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View Diary: It keeps happening: Faceless Bank's Repo Contractor hauls all of W Va. Woman's possessions to dump (279 comments)

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  •  Accident my ass. (83+ / 0-)

    What he did was destroy this person's life.

    They need to pay for that. Especially given that bankers hold special community trust due to their position to lend money and the like.

    They have powers the rest of us do not have, and if they fuck up , it not only undermines community values and trust, but it's catastrophic for the poor serf that gets screwed.

    Drunk Drivers are accidents too, and we put them in jail and send them to rehab.

    Seems simple to me. Drunk on power certainly counts in my book.

    Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

    by GreenMother on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 06:03:45 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks for correlating the two. (30+ / 0-)

      Was trying in my head to tie these together.

      Drunk Drivers are accidents too, and we put them in jail and send them to rehab.

      "He went to Harvard, not Hogwarts." ~Wanda Sykes

      Blessinz of teh Ceiling Cat be apwn yu, srsly.

      by OleHippieChick on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 06:12:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Drunk Driving is criminal because (11+ / 0-)

        it's the drinking and driving part that's criminal, not the accident part.

        You can have an accident that does a lot of damage based on mere negligence -- you didn't see a car coming, for example.  That's a big civil lawsuit, but not criminal.  On the other hand, drunk driving is a crime even if you don't get in an accident.  The accident part increases the severity of the crime, but the accident is not what makes it criminal.

        Here, unless you can show that these people had a criminal intent -- "mens rea" -- like they KNEW it was the wrong home and did it because they wanted her property or wanted to harm her personally, it's probably not a crime.  It may very well be a huge civil lawsuit for a lot of money.  

        •  au contraire (12+ / 0-)

          Particularly with cars and driving, there are myriad instances where negligent behavior has earned criminal penalties. Cause a severe accident, especially if you maim or kill someone, and the authorities take an interest in you. If the result is bad enough the prosecutors often take the result itself as evidence of gross negligence and charge you under some sort of criminal vehicular operation or vehicular homicide statute.

          On the other hand, I think you’re probably right that under existing statutes there is no criminal penalty that applies here. However, if we stick with the concept of negligent homicide, which is a criminal offense: If a person, or company, enters the wrong house and then removes and destroys all of a person’s worldly possessions why isn’t that something like Negligent Burglary or Negligent Theft?  

          Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx

          by Joe Bob on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 08:16:53 AM PDT

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          •  That's why I say "generally" you need intent (4+ / 0-)

            There are some laws with respect to dealing with things that are dangerous by their very nature where extreme negligence can be a crime.  Highly explosive material, for example.  In some states, extreme negligence with cars may do it, because of the danger cars pose to the lives of others.

            But generally, if you are fully competent to drive (no drinking, no lack of sleep, no drugs) and you just don't see a car and there's an accident and someone is badly hurt, that's not a crime.  It's a big civil lawsuit, but it's not a crime.

            •  some crimes are strict liability. (0+ / 0-)

              some are intent crimes.

              DWI is a strict liability thing,  possession CDS is strict liability, but,  unless your conduct rises to gross recklessness or extreme negligence or willful blindness.

              for instance, if you just dive into a key container and take the first keys you find, that's willful blindness or reckless conduct when you take a car, even though, you didn't "Mean to".

              I once was at a rental place, they had the keys in the car, they told me take the white toyota. There were 2 white toyotas, i grabbed the first one because it had keys in it.
              I didn't realize it was the wrong toyota.

              It wasn't a crime, heck, they just fixed the paperwork on the computer and advised me to not get ticketed because the police may think i stole the rental, but, that's just a routine error.

              but if i just took any random car, then it's starting to be reckless.

              •  Intent be damned (0+ / 0-)

                IF you broke into a home, thats a crime, IF you took possessions of anyone else, it is a crime and if you took the possessions  to the landfill, it is STILL wrong, the victim deserves to be "made whole"

                I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK?

                by MDhome on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 08:59:39 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  There are other states of mind that import (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              OleHippieChick, MDhome

              criminal liability.  Reckless disregard, wantonness, recklessness, etc.  Failure to fully compensate the victim of this home invasion may very well be a crime, as where a sum of money is mistakenly posted to your bank account and you just go out and spend it.  It's still larceny, even without the tresspassory taking.

              Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

              by StrayCat on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 11:59:57 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  IANAL (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MDhome, GreenMother

              And I know you are, but I reject your premise that there has to be intent for there to be a crime.  If I'm speeding, and I get pulled over, I will probably get a ticket.  Even if I didn't know that I was speeding because I was negligently not paying attention.  I have still committed a crime and I can still be held accountable for said crime.

              You don't have to have intent to trespass to be cited for trespassing, all you have to do is actually trespass.  You don't have to have intent to steal something to be charged with theft.  If I go to the store and forget to get a basket, have an armload of stuff and put a few items in my pocket so I can carry everything but negligently forget to get them out at the register and I am caught leaving the store with items that I did not pay for, I will probably be arrested and charged with shoplifting.  I didn't intend to shoplift but I shoplifted none the less and that is actionable.

              Just as the bank didn't intend to go to the wrong house and steal all of this woman's property and then dispose of it, they did it none the less.  They committed a crime whether they intended to or not and if that's not actionable, it damn well should be because it is for all of us peons if we were similarly caught committing a crime however unintentionally.

              Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

              by democracy inaction on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 05:14:08 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  di - there was no crime (0+ / 0-)

                but if there was it wouldn't be the bank. Apparently the bank gave the contractor all the correct information. This is a civil matter and the question is the bank's liability? There is no doubt the contractor is liable. Can counsel for the victim put the deep pocket bank on the hook? Don't know, it depends on state laws and the relationship between the bank and the contractor.

                "let's talk about that"

                by VClib on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 05:39:17 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  That's preposterous (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  DSPS owl, MDhome, GreenMother
                  there was no crime
                  Stealing isn't a crime?  Trespassing isn't a crime?  Destruction of property isn't a crime?

                  Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

                  by democracy inaction on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 05:55:07 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  di - it's a fact (0+ / 0-)

                    There was no crime. That's why the prosecutor didn't indict anyone because the first judge that saw it would toss out the case.

                    "let's talk about that"

                    by VClib on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 05:57:14 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You didn't answer my questions. n/t (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      MDhome

                      Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

                      by democracy inaction on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 06:11:14 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  There was no intent to (0+ / 0-)

                        steal, trespass, or destroy. This was a mistake, it wasn't intentional and that's the difference. If you pulled a truck up to someone's house with the intent to trespass, steal and destroy their property that would be crime and would be prosecuted. This tragedy was negligent and the parties are liable for civil damages to make the victim whole. There is no state, or jurisdiction, in the US where this action would be prosecuted as a crime.

                        "let's talk about that"

                        by VClib on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 04:37:01 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  So if you got pulled over for speeding (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          MDhome

                          but you didn't intend to speed, would the officer that pulled you over then be unable to charge you with speeding and give you a ticket because there "was no crime?"  Is it the job of the officer that would cite you for speeding to make that call?  Or is that a job for a court?

                          The fact is that crimes did occur (trespassing, breaking and entering, destruction of property).  Intent is something that is argued in court once charges are filed.

                          Furthermore, you don't know whether or not this was a mistake.  You don't.  What if the contractor had a problem with this woman and made this "mistake" on purpose?  What if someone at the bank didn't like her and gave the wrong address to the contractor on purpose?  Those are things that you don't know.  You and plenty of others here including at least one lawyer are merely assuming that those things or other things that could demonstrate some level of mens rea did not occur.  You and the prosecutor are accepting the bank's explanation that this was an honest mistake at face value when neither you nor the prosecutor know that to be true.  So when you say that it is a "fact" that no crime occurred, you clearly don't understand the concept of "fact."

                          I have no doubts that if this had been a private citizen rather than a bank, charges would have been filed and Mr. Private Citizen would then be compelled to defend their actions before a court, as it should be.  And as it should be with this bank.

                          Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

                          by democracy inaction on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 07:33:39 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Both the bank and the repo people (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            democracy inaction, GreenMother

                            have an obligation to be absolutely certain of getting the right home when they do something, the least that they deserve to be charged with is CRIMINAL negligence.

                            I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK?

                            by MDhome on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 09:06:58 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  They also have an obligation to right the wrong (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            blue91

                            by making financial compensation to the victim.

                            If they cleaned all my scrap books out, I would be devastated. I have images that are near 100 yrs old, I have art work, and thousands of books, and journals and sketches.

                            If someone cleaned me out like that, I would be beside myself.

                            Furniture and dishes can be replaced, but the quilts made by my great great grandmother? or her set of depression glass? Not likely.

                            And I don't make enough money to buy it back. Hell with gas at 3.5? a gallon and the price of food going up up up, I just get by.

                            You don't know what was in that house. And you don't know what it meant to that woman. She could go to a store and find her heirloom photos cut to pieces in someone's collage tomorrow in some artsy fartsy district, or posted on the net somewhere for fun.

                            My old man's medals, and our military records and more.

                            Just the family photos would kill me. Just that. All the first steps, and drawings, and the intricate care I took in scrap booking and journaling our lives and our family history.

                            The thought of just that being manhandled--you don't get that back. Because no doubt, even if she scanned it all onto a hard drive, that was taken, sold and wiped too.

                            It's not just things! It's the life this person had, personal life, creative life, family life, love, friendships, history--all of that gone.

                            People become depressed and angry when they lose that stuff to a natural disaster or a house fire. But the bitterness that would breed over a fucking mistake on paper by an entity that didn't just get the house number wrong--SHE PAID THAT HOUSE OFF! She had no reason to worry about this ever happening! EVER!

                            They owe her big.

                            Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

                            by GreenMother on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 04:03:06 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  di - if the facts prove otherwise, it would (0+ / 0-)

                            be different. From what we currently have been told the bank gave the repo agent the correct address. If anyone can show that this tragedy was something other than an unfortunate, unintended, mistake the case would have to be re-evaluated. However, based on what we now know, this is a civil matter.

                            Numerous people have tried to explain to you the difference between a civil and criminal action and it's not worth the time to explain to you about why speeding is not in any way related to this event.

                            "let's talk about that"

                            by VClib on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 12:26:18 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I fully understand (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            GreenMother, TKO333

                            the difference between criminal and civil, and they are not mutually exclusive as you seem to imply.

                            From what we currently have been told the bank gave the repo agent the correct address.
                            Been told by whom?
                            If anyone can show that this tragedy was something other than an unfortunate, unintended, mistake the case would have to be re-evaluated.
                            And how, exactly, would that information be found?  Shouldn't there at very least be an independent investigation?  Otherwise, how could such information come to light?  At least you are tacitly admitting, contrary to your previous pronouncement, that it is not a "fact" that there was no crime and that we don't have all the necessary information to make that judgement.

                            You, and apparently the prosecutor in the video, may be satisfied to trust the bank and take them at their word.  From my experience, American banks do not have the credibility you and the prosecutor are assigning to them by default.

                            You and the prosecutor are simply wrong; you are both making assumptions about what happened that conveniently excuse the bank without further action.  At very least, this merits further investigation.  If there were an independent investigation that showed that this were nothing more than an honest mistake, I would be satisfied that this doesn't merit criminal charges being filed, though civil action would still be merited.  But that didn't happen.

                            When a bank can demand that a prosecutor file charges against someone that wrote in chalk on the sidewalk in front of the bank threatening that person with prison time, which is a case that actually was thrown out of court (though note that the likelihood of that outcome didn't stop that prosecutor), average citizens should have no less power to demand that, at very least, an independent investigation take place and charges filed if merited.

                            Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

                            by democracy inaction on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 01:49:23 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                    •  The prosecuter didn't want to indict--there is a (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      TKO333

                      difference.

                      If the prosecuter were motivated, they would indict, they would do something.

                      But given the general way the wind blows these days with banks and the government [at every level] this really doesn't surprise me.

                      Not because there was no crime, but because our governments at almost every level lack the political will to wipe their own ass, much less go after financial institutions for screwing over anyone who isn't a movie star, super rich, a sports icon, or a politician.

                      "I ain't no sentator's son...."

                      Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

                      by GreenMother on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 03:55:51 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

            •  Also (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              War on Error, MDhome

              Being charged with a crime does not mean that a crime was committed, otherwise the concept of "innocent until proven guilty" goes right out the window.   You mention mens rea in another comment, from Wikipedia, emphasis mine:

              Thus, in jurisdictions with due process, there must be an actus reus, or "guilty act," accompanied by some level of mens rea to constitute the crime with which the defendant is charged...
              You might be right, the bank may be able to make a case that there was no mens rea and if they had been charged with a crime, they may have escaped being convicted of a crime on those grounds.  But that is for a court to decide and a court can only make that decision if there has been a criminal charge or charges filed against someone, which should happen simply because a crime was committed irrespective of intent.

              The prosecutor is not also judge and jury, it is not for him to decide whether or not there was mens rea when deciding whether or not to charge the bank with a crime.  All the prosecutor need be concerned with is whether or not there was actus reus (or "guilty act" and there most certainly was that).  There may well have been mens rea, at least at some level.  That's kind of the point in having a trial after charging someone with a crime, to determine as best as possible whether or not they have committed the crime with which they have been charged.

              The charge itself is just the formal accusation, not the conviction.  And there are plenty of crimes the bank could (and should) be charged with as I and others have noted above.  Whatever the verdict, the bank should have to defend their criminal actions before a court, which is my point.

              There can also be civil action independent of criminal action and I hope, too, that this woman sues the pants off the bank.

              Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

              by democracy inaction on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 05:50:58 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  It's more about the conduct of the person (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            OleHippieChick

            causing the accident then just the result though with grave injuries you have more sever penalties for the conduct. The simple way to think about it though not the precise definition is that the conduct is so bad it almost looks like it was purposeful.    

            Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

            by thestructureguy on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 08:30:50 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  unlikely (7+ / 0-)

            if a doctor negligently cuts off the wrong leg, it's not
            assault or maiming, it's negligence and a big check.

        •  SOME kind of law has got to apply to thievery, (10+ / 0-)

          "accidental" or not. May it be a huge civil suit on contingency basis.
          I mean, JFC, WTF? You cannot DO this to people and get away with it.

          "He went to Harvard, not Hogwarts." ~Wanda Sykes

          Blessinz of teh Ceiling Cat be apwn yu, srsly.

          by OleHippieChick on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 09:02:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Bankers no longer hold special trust (7+ / 0-)

      Not since Reagan killed the Savings and Loan Industry.  It used to be a vital part of the community, but now banks have become the symbol of unrestrained greed.  

      •  Not true, Banks are considered critical (0+ / 0-)

        infrastructure by homeland security via the Federal Government, that means they do hold special trust. And I would take that to court and rub their noses in it.

        Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

        by GreenMother on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 04:08:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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