If you’ve ever looked a lawn that needed trimming and said to yourself, “I’ll get around to it. What are they gonna do, arrest me?” this story of a woman in Tennessee might have you dusting off the mower and hedge clippers.
WVLT-TV in Knoxville reports on a local woman who was told she had to spend a five-day term behind bars for failing to keep up with her yard work.
She initially received a citation from the city during the summer because her property required some grooming.
“With my husband going to school and working full time, me with my job, with one vehicle, we were trying our best,” she explains. “[The bushes and trees] were overgrown. But that’s certainly not a criminal offense.”
But following a second citation and a recent court hearing, the mother of two was looking at five days in the clink.
The woman says she was steamrolled by the process; that she was never told of her legal rights or that she could have a lawyer represent her at court.
“It’s not right,” she claims. “Why would you put me in jail with child molesters, and people who’ve done real crimes, because I haven’t maintained my yard.”
Earlier this week, the judge acknowledged that this was not a criminal case and reduced the sentence to only six hours of jail time. She offered to do five days of community service instead, but the judge insisted on some time behind bars.
She served her time on Tuesday evening, but the judge could give her additional jail time if he’s not happy with her lawn-maintenance efforts when they review her progress at a November check-in hearing.
For comparison’s sake, semi-celebrity Nicole Richie only spent 82 minutes in jail for an incident in which she drove the wrong way on a highway while admittedly being under the influence of alcohol, marijuana and Vicodin.
[Thanks to Steve for the tip!]