This sad sob story is about a man who refuses to pay for a parking ticket, even if it means losing his house:
In what city officials believe is the first case of its kind, the city foreclosed on Tubic's house on W. Verona Court after repeated attempts to collect the fine - which over the years had escalated to $2,600 - had failed.
Month after month the city Department of Neighborhood Services sent an inspector to the house to see if the van had moved or had license plates. Each time a new fee was assessed. And a letter was sent to Tubic's home.
At no time did Tubic call or write to object or explain his circumstances, city officials said. So the bureaucratic cog kept turning.
Tubic's $50 fine escalated to $1,475, and after it was clear he wasn't going to respond, the city filed a tax lien. While Tubic paid the property taxes, he never paid the $1,475 for the zoning violation. With interest and penalties, he owed $2,645 before the city foreclosed on Monday.
Tubic takes the blame for disregarding the 15 or more notices he received seeking payment and warning of the pending foreclosure on the house, which was fully paid off, but says he had good reason.
He was physically and psychologically unable to handle the situation, he says.
According to the Social Security Administration, Tubic, 62, has been disabled since 2001. He has been diagnosed with psychological disorders that limit his "ability to understand, remember and carry out detailed instructions," according to documents from the administration.
In addition he suffers from chronic pain caused by degenerative diseases of the knees and spine, as well as chronic respiratory disease, diabetes and obesity, among other ailments.
Tubic first got the fine for parking his Ford E150 with no license plates in the driveway of the home, which belonged to his parents at the time. The radiator had broken and Tubic couldn't get his plates renewed unless the van passed an emissions test. He didn't have the money to make the repair and had more pressing worries, he said.
His father was suffering from dementia. His mother was battling cancer, and he was their live-in caretaker. He needed to shop, cook, clean, maintain the house and tend to his parents' needs.
Tubic said he set aside $2,600 in an escrow account "to protect the estate in case I die" but didn't want to use it to pay for the parking violation.
Janine Geske, a former Wisconsin Supreme Court justice and law professor at Marquette University, called the case a human tragedy and an example of how people can fall through the cracks in the system.
Judge Sankovitz called the case a shame and said it demonstrates the need for judges to have authority to appoint attorneys for people involved in civil litigation.
"If you were a criminal, we'd take care of the whole problem for you, get you an attorney," he said. "But if you're involved in civil litigation - in jeopardy of losing your house or your family... what we do is make you go out and find your own attorney.