Poll: If I gave a dismissed Juror $2 so he could pay for his parking, should I have asked him to pay me back?

Yesterday, I was working late at the Court and was the last person there.

A dismissed juror returned to the Court, and told me that his parking fee was $7 and he only had $5. He did not have a debit card to withdraw money from an ATM (not too uncommon out here in PA) and the parking lot would not accept credit cards.

Without hesitation, I offered to give him the $2 he needed. I also gave him the Court’s address and asked him to kindly pay me back.

Is this wrong? Everyone in chambers was really proud of me, up until I mentioned the part about asking for a reimbursement.

In hindsight, I realize the price of a stamp will be about 25% of the total amount loaned. Putting that fact aside, is it wrong to expect a person to pay you back? He was certainly in need at the moment, as he had no other way of retrieving his car. But he did not look impoverished by any stretch. Ultimately, he can submit all of his costs to the Clerk to be reimbursed. (Had I thought about it, I would have just asked the Clerk to pay me back, but the thought did not occur to me at the time).

So what say you?


3 Responses to “Poll: If I gave a dismissed Juror $2 so he could pay for his parking, should I have asked him to pay me back?”

  1. Adelle Says:

    …generally, if it’s such a small sum of money (under $5), I wouldn’t ever ask for it back. I just assume it will get paid forward at some point. Honestly, I’d be pretty mortified to ask for it back – and I’d be pretty shocked if someone gave me $2 that I wasn’t likely to see again and asked for a mailed reimbursement.

    I don’t think it’s wrong, but personally, I wouldn’t do it.

  2. Adina Says:

    Though I wouldn’t have asked for it back, I do not think it was wrong for you to, but I would not be surprised if he doesn’t. $2 isn’t much, but little amounts add up. You are in a public service position, but that does not mean that you aren’t entitled to ask to be reimbursed when you help someone – if he does reimburse you, that means you have it to lend again. if he doesn’t, then you ask for reimbursement and next time you just plan to be reimbursed.

  3. Hilary Says:

    The part about him “not looking impoverished” is whack. Horrible argument.

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