If someone pays me money and then I sue them to pay me the same money again, that’s fraud, no? And, after my lawyer has been advised that that person doesn’t actually owe me the money anymore, but I allow my lawyer to keep suing them anyway, I am committing a crime, no?
Well, that rule apparently applies to regular citizens, but not to city councils and their lawyers in Israel.
Last December 2014, I made a payment arrangement with Jerusalem Municipality to pay my back taxes in payments.I am so poor, they made an exception and gave me a back discount on 3 years of taxes instead of 2. Their lawyer, however, has a hold on my account like a Rottweiler on a dog bone, and refuses to let go.
Their lawyer wants me to pay a flat fee of 4,000 NIS, which I don’t have; they refuse to make any kind of payment arrangements and insist I pay the 4000 in full, immediately. He also refuses to speak with my lawyer about a payment arrangement.
However, according to the police enforcement unit. known as Hotza’ah La’Poa, I owe them over three times as much, and they refuse to inform the court otherwise. Not only does the hold on my account include attorney fees, but it includes money I have already paid to the city of Jerusalem since January 2015. They issued a court order that all my belongings be seized immediately, and because I have a small start-up and need to run it from my laptop until I can pay, I now have to disobey another law and not update my official address in the Ministry of Interior. (I have a laptop because someone raised money to buy me a laptop so I would be able to work from home.)
The city of Jerusalem refuses to get involved and correct their lawyer, absolving themselves of all responsibility, and allowing their lawyer to keep a choke hold over my life that has rendered me homeless. I cannot write checks, and without checks, I cannot rent an apartment. I have become the proverbial “wandering Jew,” wandering from home to home of friends in Jerusalem since May.
I don’t have money to hire a lawyer to fix this, and I don’t have money to pay the municipality’s lawyer. I can barely make the payments to the municipality and to the storage unit (storing our belongings), buy clothing, and put food on the table.
The really sad part is that I know other people this has happened to as well. We need to get together and make a class action suit against the City’s lawyer and against the Jerusalem City Council..
Jerusalem City Tax Authority claim that there is no hold on my bank account.