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Indiana district sues hundreds of families for unpaid bills

A southern Indiana school district is suing nearly 500 families or individuals over unpaid bills for textbooks, laptop rentals, meals, daycare services and other fees.

Posted: Dec 19, 2017 10:19 AM

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — A southern Indiana school district is suing nearly 500 families or individuals over unpaid bills for textbooks, laptop rentals, meals, daycare services and other fees.

The Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation filed small claims court cases over three months this year seeking amounts ranging from $21 to more than $1,400, the Evansville Courier and Press reported.

Some of those being sued, including CEO of Leadership Evansville Lynn Miller Pease, said they were unaware of their debt. Small Claims Court records show Pease owes $203.60. Others said they can’t afford to pay.

Pease said the address that data shows is an old one. According to online court records, she hasn’t been served with a complaint. A Small Claims complaint must be served before a judgment can be made.

The school system reports over $55,900 in unpaid student meals as of early December. District officials said they offer payment plans and multiple methods of contact.

Jason Woebkenberg, a district spokesman, said EVSC didn’t want the situation to come to this.

“Once we’ve worked and worked and worked with a family and tried to create a payment plan, ultimately, unless they’re qualified for free lunches, the payment has to be made,” Woebkenberg said. “If somebody — in spite of multiple contacts, and in spite of many flexible payment options, just doesn’t pay anything —then we have an obligation to turn that over.”

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