24-year-old speeding ticket haunts man

John Hancock has 60 days to pay the city of Rio Hondo $212 for a speeding ticket, or else he won't be able to renew his Texas driver's license.

The problem is Hancock said he already paid that fine when he got the ticket 24 years ago, in 1990.

"I received a notice in the mail from the DPS saying my driver's license could not be renewed unless I took care of a failure to appear," Hancock said.

He called the Rio Hondo trying to clear-up the situation, but he said they were less than willing to help work out the possible mistake.

"I did contact the municipal court, I talked to the clerk and the clerk informed me that the judge would call me," Hancock said. "Instead, the clerk called me back and told me the judge said to pay thefine."

Multiple security and background checks, including one for a police academy, have never turned-up a failure to appear citation on his record, according to Hancock.

He adds it's the Scofflaw that Rio Hondo is relying on to dig up old fines.

This law allows municipalities to deny the renewal of vehicle registrations and licenses if there's an outstanding citation on a person's record.

"The next step is to put it in writing to the municipal court in Rio Hondo," Hancock said. "The next step from there is maybe a complaint to the Department of Public Safety, which I don't think will get me anywhere."

Hancock said he just wants to resolve this issue, but has no way of proving he paid that ticket 24 years ago.

He's also warning others of the possible additional and fines he said are unfair.

"I think the IRS (records keeping) is something like seven years, and I think seven years would be a fair period. I'd probably be able to respond to that," Hancock said. "But I just don't think (24 years) is a fair and reasonable expectation."

An employee at Rio Hondo City Hall tells Action 4 that the burden of proof is on Hancock.