Tennessee Woman Jailed Over Poor Yard Work

220px-'JardimBotanico.BotanicalGarden.CuritibaParanaBrasilBrazilWe have previously discussed the criminalization of every element of American society. A new case in Lenoir City, Tennessee is the latest such example. Like many Americans, Karen Holloway has failed to keep her yard work up. Few Americans however have ended up in jail like Holloway after her failure to maintain her yard was turned into a criminal matter. It appears the above garden would be more in line with those wishing to avoid time in the slammer for their overgrown yards.

I have long been a critic of the criminalization of America where millions of citizens are finding themselves labeled as felons for acts that used to be treated as strictly civil matters. The trend toward criminalization feeds itself as politicians insist that their pet peeve (from feeding pigeons to missing parent-teacher meetings) are no less important than other crimes. The result is that everything is being translated into a criminal offense.
Karen Holloway was cited by Lenoir City officials for not keeping up her yard.

Holloway stated that she was sent a citation over the summer, but with her husband going to school and both working with only one vehicle (and two kids at home), she let the yard work slide. It is not clear why she was jailed rather than her husband or both owners.

She was given a five day jail sentence by Judge Terry Vann. She said that she was never told that she could have a lawyer or read her rights. Vann however insisted on jail time, though it was reduced to six hours. Vann suggested he might add on more jail time if the city isn’t satisfied with the yard work.

Source: Local 8

101 thoughts on “Tennessee Woman Jailed Over Poor Yard Work”

    1. Sandi, there’s a pink rabbit named “Energizer” who might help your situation. If not, Mr. Bacardi and a herd of pink elephants is another alternative.

        1. Sandi, I often find myself roaring at the insanity of humanity during the darkest hours of the night. What’s particularly frustrating to me is the silence that usually follows, indicating people feel things are perfectly fine the way they are, or they don’t care that so many wrongs exist, or they don’t believe they could do anything about them even if they joined with the many others who agree with them. The sheeple just keep voting like their votes actually mean something, and they keep voting the same people into office to administer the same oppressive control over them and more. By definition, that’s insane. I realized recently that everything I was taught about government and human societies years ago in school is backwards from how things are in reality. Governments and all their bureaucratic rules and regulations may idealistically have been created to protect individual freedoms and ways of life, but they are being used to manipulate the economy, restrict and enslave entire populations, and keep corrupt professional politicians in power to run things according to their own preferences and the demands of the wealthy sources of money behind them. Once I inverted that memory chip in my mind and rationally accepted the truth, I was able to stop “should”-ing myself and quit playing “Ain’t it Awful?” I take Mr. Bacardi’s advice in moderation and try to stay focused on what’s most important to me and work only on what I can actually change and try to be effective in making things better for me and those I care the most about. Common sense? That’s a rare commodity these days and it may never return in abundance. Maybe it never really existed in humans as much as we imagined it.

          1. Tyger, thank you for your response. At least I know there are others who are as frustrated as me.

            I still don’t understand why voter ID is a threat to blacks voting.

            Annie, all Republicans are not evil. As all Democrats are not.

            Being on jury duty is a chance to see how vapid people are. If I was guilty, I’d have a jury. If innocent, the judge. You can tell immediately what party they align with. And they just want to get out.

  1. We are withdrawing from interaction with neighbors. If you offer help unsolicited, would someone be offended? And we don’t want to offend. Schools change rules so no one is offended. Menus are changed so no one is offended. We’ve been invaded by people so dogmatic they can’t meld into our social fabric. We can’t convince people who don’t believe in religious freedom that this country is founded on religious freedom, among others. Suddenly we hear of “honor” killings and “beheadings.” Here? We don’t do that. Little children are expelled for sexual harassment, they can’t play cowboys and Indians, or say the word gun. Look what atheists have done to Christmas. It was always a joyful time; now it’s equal space near a decorated tree for a rendering of satan. And court orders and a Governor of a State says we aren’t decorating the capital with a Christmas tree. They want to remove the Ten Commandments from the Supreme Court! Cigarettes. They are legal and taxed to get health care for children (we are told). But you can’t smoke one; people want to stop smoking in your own home! Peanuts and perfume are bad for someone so we can’t have that. Will it ever end? People came here for freedoms. Now people are coming here to take them away. We pay tons of money to governments that don’t serve us well. Our President keeps changing his health care law via Executive Order and no one cares. We are in chaos, struggling to get back to how we grew up. We talk on the Internet, not to each other. What’s going to happen tomorrow that I don’t understand? We`re making air strikes, but not too many. Horrible people are killing innocent people just living their lives and loving their kids. And we just watch. Young Kurdish girls are going to war; how do you see that and not help?

  2. I’m in a similar lawn situation. in court I was told i’d be jailed if I tried to burn it all. I wish my neighbors especially the one who saw me outside working on it and to inform me I should hire someone to take care of it.

  3. Aridog that’s how it used to be in Tampa. The terrible past ‘strong’ mayors changed it from that very good system. Wish I lived in your neighborhood. I think I did before my daddy was murdered.

  4. Darren said …

    “Mike’s suggestion of the liens is the more appropriate route.”

    To clarify what I said earlier about my town, the city hires a crew to clean up your place, because you have not done so, for sundry reasons, all legitimate, then they send you a bill.

    Our town, in the end I live in, is adjacent to a very rough ghetto of Detroit. None of us want squatters moving in because they notice inattention to property…which is how it happens. Once a squatter is in place for 10 days plus, getting them out is an expensive chore. We even go to the trouble of parking our cars in neighbors driveways when said neighbors are out of town for an extended period.

    No summons, no court time wasting money, just a simple fact that if parcel X is out of compliance, it is brought in to compliance by the city in accordance with its codes. The owner of record is billed for the work.

    Very few have ever challenged this in court here because the cost of doing so far far exceeds the cost of just paying the fee or doing it yourself.

    If you do not pay the bill, you get the lien filed…usually a notice of intent to file within 90 days is sent with the bill to get the point across. When and if you do finally pay the city’s bill, you need to get a full release of lien from the city, or waiver of lien if not already filed (inside the 90 days).

    Some places just make all this way to complicated.

  5. DBQ, Great comment continuing a great thread. I agree w/ the decision you received. It actually seems like a no brainer verdict but I’ve worked in litigation to long to be shocked by anything.

  6. @Darren

    “I don’t agree with these cities in passing these laws. If the property owner contested the infraction in court and used as a defense that he wants the graffiti to remain because it makes a statement about urban life under the state constitution’s guarantee of free speech I am convinced such a person would prevail in court.”

    In reference to your above paragraph. FYI

    About 12 years ago, my husband, I and 5 other community members started a 501-c-3 for the purpose of maintaining the historical character of the community and in general community improvement and development. We have set up a program where property owners in the historical district were able to get funding to do cosmetic repairs to their property. Our organization still exists and has also contributed to various community desired projects, such as landscaping improvements, small parks and has kick-started a couple of business that provided recreational opportunities and training for the young people.

    However, back to the point of your paragraph. IN the course of all this we sued a business owner who had several prominent business properties in the area. They were blighted. Windows broken. Leaking and sagging roofs. Moldy interiors. Stucco and siding falling off. Plywood on some windows. Besides just looking bad, they were destroying the property values and ability of those who wanted to improve their property to be able to do so.

    In addition…..he had many many signs all over his buildings saying things to the effect that there were gangs, drugs, corrupt law enforcement and so on. Even naming names! The effect of these signs was to drive business away from the hotel and restaurants which normally cater to the recreational tourist trade. Tourists would look at this decaying small town and move along.

    Now under the First Amendment, he is within his rights to have posters on his buildings and express his opinions. The crux of our lawsuit was that we were able to prove that his intentions in keeping his buildings in blighted condition and putting up defamatory signs (some even mentioning individual people) were purposeful. He had stated that he was going to bring this community to its knees. We had this in his own writings and in witness testimony. He wanted to punish the community for some perceived slights. (Yes. This man is really not mentally stable). The court in essence said. You have the right to your political and personal opinions. You do not have the right to deliberately and with malice try to damage other people and their property with your own property and defamatory publications on your properties. INTENTIONAL BLIGHT.

    It was a long long jury trial and we ultimately prevailed. We had a pro bono attorney working for us. The owner was forced to sell several of his buildings to pay his legal fees and was ordered by the court to bring his buildings back into code compliance and to remove the defamatory posters. The owners of the restaurant/hotel received a large sum in damages for the lost business, which they donated to the 501-c 3. As a result. Two of the main buildings in the historical district were ultimately sold to people who have made improvements and established 3 new businesses and the area is economically greatly improved.

    He still maintains several other large commercial buildings, but they are in decent repair and the signs he has are not defamatory or meant to harm. Basically expressions of his political stances and beliefs, which is his right.

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