Iowa man tried to pay $455 fine in pennies, but the court says 'no'

Photo from KCRG
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - A Cedar Rapids, Iowa, man tried to pay his court Friday morning, but he didn't use bills or a check or credit card.

Brent Busch tried to used 45,500 pennies to pay a $455 fine for trespassing on railroad tracks in Cedar Rapids. That's on top of the $45 he spent on the buckets and hand cart to carry that many pennies to the Linn County Courthouse.

Busch said he was trying to make a statement, but the clerk of the court refused to take the pennies.

"She looked at me at my kinda funny and she said, 'what's this.' And I said this is $455.

A long-standing courthouse policy only lets people pay up to $5 a day in coins, meaning he would have to come back for 90 days. The U.S. Treasury states that's allowed.

According to the U.S. Department of the Treasury's website, there is "no Federal statute mandating that a private business, a person or an organization must accept currency or coins as for payment for goods and/or services. Private businesses are free to develop their own policies on whether or not to accept cash unless there is a State law which says otherwise."

The court told KCRG-TV9 this isn't the first time this has happened. The court said it doesn't have the time or manpower to count all the pennies, and there is a cost associated with counting all of the coins.