15 year old hit with $6,250 fine after border crossing COVID mishap

A teenager without a cellphone made a mistake on an email address, leading to border agents issuing him a $6,250 ticket for failing to provide a negative COVID test.

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Chanie Zaltzman was at home on the evening of June 15, eagerly awaiting the return of her 15-year-old son Yisroel, when she received an alarming phone call; he was at the Canadian border, without his COVID test results.

According to Chanie, the teenager was en route home after a trip to New York with his friend. Everything was going to plan — until they reached the border at Niagara Falls.

Yisroel, who doesn’t have a cellphone of his own, needed his mother to send his negative COVID test to a device so he could show the border agents, but his mother never received them!

The teenager had allegedly received a negative test result the day before, and had the test sent to his mother Chanie’s email, but there was a communication error, and Chanie never received the result.

Apparently, the email address was missing some punctuation and was never delivered.

So while Chanie was waiting for the emailed test results to come in, she instead received a frantic ring from worried Yisroel asking why she hadn’t forwarded his test result.

Well, she hadn’t received them, Chanie insisted, now concerned about her boy's return to Canada.

Chanie decided to call public health, who told the frightened mother that if her son couldn’t provide a test result to the border officials, that he would received a $120 fine and be sent on his way.

Chanie was relieved and called her son back on his travel companions cellphone, relaying that information and encouraging him not to worry.

A few tense moments later, she received another call from Yisroel, who sounded even more distraught.

He said the fine he received wasn’t $120, but a stunning $6,250!

Chanie wanted her son home and safe, so she told him not to worry and to continue home with his friend. But she knew this wasn’t a fine her family would be able to afford.

Luckily, one of Chanie’s family members knew about FightTheFines.com and encouraged her to reach out to us.

We’ve set Chanie up with free legal help, and her team is on the case and ready to fight this fine. Thank you to all the donors who support this cause by donating to the registered Canadian charity, The Democracy Fund. Because of you, we are able to help families like the Zaltzmans, and thousands more!

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