(WSVN) - He’s been getting mail for someone who doesn’t live at his house. No big deal, except they are notices for an accused criminal to appear in court. And guess what happens if he doesn’t. That’s why one South Florida man called Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
His name is Dutch. Not the fellow bringing in the mail, the little guy at the door waiting for him.
Patrick Fraser: “And why did you name him Dutch?”
Carel Rijper: “Because I am from the Netherlands and that’s the language of my country, Dutch.”
A great name for a wonderful dog. And speaking of names, when Carel brings in that mail, it’s not always in his name.
Carel Rijper: “Let me just, uh, put on the letter. Person doesn’t live here and return to sender, and usually that’s the end of it.”
For the past six months, mail has come for Tairiq Elijah Stubbs and for his alias Tairiq Stubbs-McBee.
And not love letters. It’s from the Miami-Dade Clerk’s office.
Carel Rijper: “Um, apparently he’s done, uh, some things. Uh, that’s against the law.”
The clerk’s office is trying to notify Tairiq he has court hearings. With several arrests over the years, he’s used to the notices, and in December, was charged with two more crimes.
A felony for burglary and a misdemeanor for giving a false name. And a false address was also listed.
Carel Rijper: “And maybe Tariq needs to go there and he doesn’t get these letters, and then he’s in more trouble than he already is.”
Carel was right.
In January, Tairiq had his bond revoked, apparently for not showing up in court, which brought more stacks of letters from lawyers offering to defend Tairiq for a fee.
Carel Rijper: “I called lawyers offices, and they told me, like, ‘we get this information from the clerk’s office.'”
When return to sender didn’t work, Carel asked the clerk’s office to stop sending Tairiq’s mail to his house.
Carel Rijper: “They told me that Tariq himself needed to correct this and not me as the owner of the house.”
The letters keep coming in, and with Tairiqs bond revoked, the police could be looking for him. Guess whose house they’d go to?
Carel Rijper: “What if they do knocked down my door for some reason because apparently they have his address in the system. It could be very scary situation, uh, to just be woken up by police storming your house.”
Every day Dutch waits while Carel walks in with the mail.
Carel Rijper: “I wanted the clerk’s office to just correct this. So, uh, the letters would go to him, or at least not to my house.”
Legally, Howard, who has to fix this?
Howard Finkelstein, 7News legal expert: “Everyone involved in these kind of cases has a reason to straighten things out. But you have to get in touch with the right person. I would contact the prosecutor and defense attorney, and if that doesn’t work, call the judges office. They can get the address mess fixed immediately.”
The response from the Miami-Dade Clerk’s office was very impressive.
After I contacted them, I was told the clerk of the courts, Juan Fernandez-Barquin, personally reached out to the Miami-Dade Public Defender Carlos Martinez to resolve this issue.
They did. The court record now shows the address was changed.
Tairiq is now listed as homeless. Carel will not get his mail anymore.
Carel Rijper: “Now, if I hear a knock at night, I know it’s not the police.”
Now when he goes out with Dutch waiting, Carel only gets his mail after that email to Help me Howard.
Carel Rijper: “So Help Me Howard was able to do it very fast, so I’m, I’m very happy.”
Glad we could help out. And if you get someones else’s mail, you can’t just throw it in the garbage. The Feds call that a crime. Best thing to do, tell you mail carrier or right return to sender. That will solve the problem in most cases.
Courting a solution to a problem? Can’t get anything delivered? Don’t mail it in. Put it on our docket so we can stamp it case closed.
With this Help Me Howard, I’m Patrick Fraser, 7News.
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