Circuit Court Clerk Paula Thompson said a local payday loan company is sending delinquent customers to court using bogus documents for cases that don't exist.
Ms. Thompson said 10 customers of Cash Express, 4925 Brainerd Road, showed up for court on Monday at 4 p.m. - closing time. She said another 12 customers called the court to inquire about their "case."
Ms. Thompson said one of the customers on Tuesday faxed her office a copy of the document that had been sent by the firm.
She said it bears her name and is somewhat similar to one of the office forms, but is a made-up document.
She said she has shown the document to District Attorney Bill Cox, and he advised her it amounts to forgery.
Nancy Masterson, who oversees the civil division of General Sessions Court, said those who showed up Monday "were scared. They were all asking if they were going to jail."
She said she told them there were no such cases in that court. But she said "they were still confused and did not know what to do."
Ms. Masterson said, "The last time this happened Judge (H.L.) Smith sent an officer out to have them arrested."
She said Judge Clarence Shattuck has been advised of the matter and he has contacted the attorney for Cash Express.
Ms. Masterson said when Ms. Thompson called Cash Express she was not allowed to talk to the manager and an employee told her "to forget about it."
The manager of Cash Express, who identified herself only as "Kay," advised Chattanoogan.com to "call corporate" about the matter.