Reporting Kurtis Ming
STOCKTON (CBS13) — A Stockton Police officer crashes into a viewer’s parked car.
The department admits it was their fault but when they refused to pay for her damage, she called Kurtis.
That crash caused more than $2,800 in damage.
But we’ve learned this UOP grad student and dozens of others may never see all the money they’re owed.
“It was shocking at first, let alone being from a city police officer,” said Jessica Kurtzer, Stockton resident.
Jessica remembers hearing the loud crash in October from inside her home.
“It was just like metal crushing, it was just boom, boom, boom. Just really, really fast,” said Jessica.
A Stockton Police officer responding to a call, hit one car and then Jessica’s parked Toyota Avalon.
“The major impact is right here,” Jessica showed us.
The damage… $2,842.26. She filed a claim with the city.
“I’m just a broke college student,” said Jessica.
In this letter, a city investigator admits the police department “attributed the cause of the accident to the police officer” but because of the city’s “chapter 9 bankruptcy”… the investigator writes, “I do not have authority to issue payments”.
And then in March, this showed up. A letter saying her claim was “rejected.”
“All claims are on hold due to our bankruptcy process,” said Connie Cochran, City of Stockton spokesperson.
The city plans to file a plan to reorganize its debt with the court in September.
In the meantime, the bankruptcy court is collecting claims.
Records show at least 50 filed worth more than $78 million.
“I understand that it’s a frustrating process, we’re working very hard for our city to recover,” said Cochran.
Bankruptcy attorney Anthony Hughes says the city will prioritize who gets paid and the court must approve it.
He says a car accident claim like Jessica’s would be low on the list, meaning she’ll be lucky to collect her $2,842.26.
“It’s either going to be over a long period of time at a low interest rate or no interest or it’s possibly never going to get paid,” said Hughes, owner of Hughes Financial Law.
Unable to afford the repair, Jessica was forced to buy a new used car, hoping Stockton will eventually pay up.
“I’m just trying to stay positive and hopeful,” said Jessica.
The city of Stockton says if you are owed money, you need to file what’s called a “proof of claim” by August 16th.
It doesn’t mean the city will pay but it gives you the chance to get paid later on.