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Texas Woman Jailed for Overdue Library Books

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posted on Dec, 10 2010 @ 11:14 AM
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Originally posted by ProtoplasmicTraveler

Originally posted by buddhasystem

Originally posted by doom27
So your saying, if i go into your house. Smash your 200 dollar monitor, that it would be wrong for me to go to jail because i refused to pay you?


Exactly... Let's see what PT has to say when someone accidentally bumps his car for $500 damage and runs away.


What PT always says, it's only a car, thank heavens no one got hurt.

People are what have value not things. Things can always be replaced or fixed, people can't. Ultimately if I want to drive a nice car the responsibility is on me to maintain it. It's a risk, life is fluid and there are no gaurantees.


That seems like a pretty fuzzy answer to me (why am I not surprised?). So you saying you are OK if someone took out a headlight and the passenger side door of you car, and water is leaking in now? You'll just cough up cash for all these repairs, no hard feelings? Really? What if axle cracked and needs replacement as well? You'll just whip out your credit cards?




posted on Dec, 10 2010 @ 11:46 AM
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reply to post by buddhasystem
 


Yeah, as a matter of fact I would and have. I had a nice elderly couple from Eastonia do 6,500 in damage to my car that didn't have insurance. He was an unemployed cab driver, and she a lifelong home maker. Nice folks, I didn't want to get them in trouble, so I didn't call the police to report the accident. Without an accident report the Insurance company wouldn't pay. So I paid out of my pocket to get the car fixed.

You can't squeeze blood out of a rock.

They invited me over to their humble little home on the wrong side of the tracks for a home cooked meal of their ethnic cuisine (pretty tasty for cheap fare) and gave me a bottle of cheap Russian sparkling wine as a memento and token of their gratitude and for good luck that they had saved from their last trip back to Russia years before.

I still have it, the label is so old and faded now you can't even read it! I keep it as a reminder of who I am and what I stand for in life. That some people appreciate that.

They told me all about living in Eastonia during the hard Soviet Stalin Era and how they emigrated to the United States eventually, what their life was like, the problems caused when the wife had a bout with cancer that left them basically bankrupt and close to penniless.

I gave them $500.00 dollars cash to fix up the minor cosmetic damage on their car.

I get a call from them every Christmas with their undying gratitude.

Money well spent, if you ask me.

I know but for my own good fortune, there could be sitting I in that same hard luck position.

I wonder how much goodwill the poor woman who got sent to jail over library books has for you!

Me I don't go around twisting my gut in anger over people who have sometimes wronged me intentionally or by accident or otherwise caused me dissapointment or regret, that just deminishes me, and effects my own quality of life by doing things like that.

I would rather die than live in that world you think 'ought to be' it's cruel, selfish, indifferent, exacting, and robs people of joy and the freedom to enjoy this wonderous thing called life and decide for themselves how to live and what's really right and wrong.

It's your life though, if you want to spend it hating people, for not following other people's rules, and blaming everyone for everything you don't have or could have, or should have that's up to you.

Good luck with that!



edit on 10/12/10 by ProtoplasmicTraveler because: spelling



posted on Dec, 10 2010 @ 12:36 PM
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reply to post by ProtoplasmicTraveler
 


Good for you! You did a commendable thing.
I did forgive a few dings on my car to other drivers, but honestly none was worth $6500.



posted on Dec, 10 2010 @ 01:26 PM
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Originally posted by buddhasystem
reply to post by ProtoplasmicTraveler
 


Good for you! You did a commendable thing.
I did forgive a few dings on my car to other drivers, but honestly none was worth $6500.



Good on you! It's not that hard to be forgiving towards others.

The important thing to remember is you can't squeeze blood out of a rock. Trust me when I say the Court did not throw her in jail for failure to appear, they arrest you for failure to appear, but if you can pay what ever fine they court levies they let you go.

The woman has no money.

I am a businessman and I extend credit to my clients for their convenience as well as my own.

I know that a certain percentage are going to end up not paying. Whether it's because they don't want to pay, or can't pay doesn't really matter.

Yes, the law allows for me to take legal action to collect valid unpaid debts but I always have to consider a couple of important things. It costs me time and money to pursue that, filing with a court, having them served, showing up to court, are all things that take time (which is money to me) and money (which is money to me) to attempt to have the debt legally enforced.

Yet the truth is, if they don't have any money to pay, then no, I am still not going to get paid. Their is no debtors prison but even if there was, it wouldn't put money in my bank account to have them thrown in jail. The state is not going to pay me for their failure to be able to pay or want to pay.

Now maybe they can afford to pay and just don't want too. Sure I can take that judgement and file then in Judgement Debtors Court and have them served (again at my cost) and compelled to disclose their bank accounts and assetts.

However nothing in the law prevents them from closing that bank account as soon as they leave the court room, and opening another one the court doesn't know about.

Nothing prevents them from parking that car some place else, or selling it for a dollar to a friend, who loans it back to them, if they really don't want to pay.

Now let's say they don't do that, and I at my expense pay a Deputy or Marshall to go to their bank and try to get the money out of the account. Let's say they owe me 500.00 and they even have the 500.00. The Deputy collects the money and guess what, he get's paid off the top, so now the 500.00 is 220.00. 220.00 to cover hundred if not thousands in court filing costs, attorneys, and time I couldn't productively spend working, going back and forth and sitting in a crowded courtroom. Plus parking, plus gas, plus tolls, etc. etc.

Most businesses write off minor debts and simply take a break on their income taxes when they file, because you don't have to pay tax on revenue lost from bad debt. So for every 100.00 I loose I would recoup about 28.00 in tax savings. Which is about what I might hope to collect on every 100.00 dollars in bad debt provided the person owed me at least several thousand dollars.

However I cut most people's credit off by the time they have failed to pay me on far less.

You write it off as a cost of businesses, and most businesses write off a noticable percent in lost merchandise, damaged, stolen or destroyed equipment, unpaid and stolen goods and services, and wastage and spoilage.

It's simply a cost factor.

Now in the State's case since it's charging all this expense to you, to pursue someone for a minor amount of money, that is not cost effective, it becomes acceptable to the state, in fact preferable because if they don't pay you pay.

The truth is that the vast majority of people are going to voluntarily pay their debts and return their library books because they believe it's the right thing to do. The vast majority of people who do this, know some people don't, and they know many people who don't end up never having to pay or be punished for it. That doesn't make them stop doing what they believe is right though.

The state did not prosecute this woman because it was to your advantage, the state prosecuted this woman to your detriment and their own advantage because the State is a business too.

I don't care what county you live in, it's incorporated, it's a corporation, I don't care what town or city you live in, it's incorporated, it's a corporation, I don't care what state you live in, it's incorporated it's a corporation.

They all function as a business, a business that you subsidize, they can afford to do 'bad' business because of that, where I can't afford to do bad business because of that. Yes a small percentage of the laws are designed to protect you but basically at your expense. Most of the laws simply are designed to expand and perpetuate the states power and it's ability to control you and tax you to offset the cost of it's enterprise.

The state didn't replace the books as a result of this action against the woman.

It failed to do ultimately what you are entrusting it to do, in this case safeguard the books you believe should be there for you to borrow.

The State did what it did because it can, because it serves the State as a business and an institution, a business that has a 'captive' customer base, decreed by it, the business, that not just commands, but demands you patronize and fund it at your expense.

I can't do that with my business, my customers use me at their and my discretion and they pay me because they believe what I provide has true value to them.

The truth is that I don't need the police, in the rare chance I am robbed I can pay a private detective or a mafia hood less money to recover the items and punish someone than it cost me in taxes for police service that I have almost no need of.

My own town's police force spends 95% of their time handing out speeding tickets making money for the town. They can do that because there is very little criminal activity taking place within the town, a domestic violence call now and then, a petty anti-burglary less than once a month.

Yet the 30 odd officers of the police force have a choice of over 50 vehicles to drive at my expense. The local car dealer profits nicely off that but not me.

They hand out on average 100 tickets a day, at 135.00 a pop, grossing nearly 5 million dollars a year on that alone. That doesn't count the 100 parking tickets they hand out on average each day at 28.00 a pop, grossing another million dollars a year there, so please explain to me what my police department of 30 people is doing that 6 million dollars a year in revenue doesn't pay for it and I have to pay taxes to subsidize it. The officers aren't being paid 200,000.00 a year so it isn't in payroll.

Now here is the other thing you might not be getting, my town is one square mile, and has a number of small businesses, where that six million that is being fined from people is not going is to purchases at those businesses.

It's getting sucked right out of the economy.

Now there is more, my town has a reputation for handing out speeding tickets, State law says you can't be ticketed unless you are going over 5 miles above the speed limit because of odometer calibration discrepencies, many people think they are driving the speed limit when they aren't. At 6 miles over you are getting ticketed, many juristictions set their radar guns to 14 miles over before giving a ticket.

So in reality the businesses in town further suffer because a lot of people who can will avoid the area to avoid getting a speeding ticket.

Sure you can say "well they broke the law they should have to pay" but once that money gets sucked up by the state it doesn't trickle down into jobs and cost of living wage increases for people like you, it just goes to paying the interest on the sweet heart deals that the city took out in loans for itself. My town has a beautiful city hall, that basically no one goes to but the people who work for the city. They basically built a Taj Majal and Temple for themselves to process fines and fees and taxes. Having it built for way more money than they needed to spend by steering the contract to the friend of someone sitting on the City Council or the Mayor or Police Cheif.

This is the real system, it's why the nation is in debt, people are broke, there are no jobs, and wages hardly ever keep pace with inflation, because what the State isn't sucking from you in taxes, the banks are sucking from you in interest and fees, or the oil companies are sucking from you in gas through price fixing to virtually create another form of tax, or the insurace companies are gouging you with, assurances in case something bad happens that you can't pay for, which of course you can't pay for because the medical industry and pharmacutical industry have conspired to make it so expensive between what the government and other corporations are sucking out of you, there is no way you could have money if you got sick, injured, or had your valuable property damaged and destroyed by accident or an act of nature.

The parasitical system is literally sucking the life out of the nation, and when it gets to the point they have to suck the life out of a poor woman who lost some books in a fire, by tossing her in jail, it shows a determination to just keep sucking and sucking everything it can.

Throwing poor people in jail isn't going to make that better, it's not going to change to much big overly intrusive overly expensive government, it's not going to create jobs, it's not going to increase wages, it's just going to make angry frustrated people happy that it wasn't them tossed in jail and feeling good about that alone.

That though is not the kind of thing I would write home to mom about, but it sure is the kind of thing I love to write about here on ATS!




edit on 10/12/10 by ProtoplasmicTraveler because: spelling



posted on Dec, 10 2010 @ 02:25 PM
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Originally posted by buddhasystem
In case you followed this thread, you's discover that she was given 7 years to rectify situation and she didn't. How do you "fine" a person who shows you a middle finger every time you make a reasonable request?


Obviously I wasn't talking about the library. I was talking about the punishment by the State.

And if you hit me causing $200 worth of damages, then I'd expect $200 worth of damages in return. Not a $.05 per day for seven years punishment PLUS the damages incrued.

Got it yet?



posted on Dec, 10 2010 @ 02:26 PM
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Originally posted by buddhasystem
That seems like a pretty fuzzy answer to me (why am I not surprised?). So you saying you are OK if someone took out a headlight and the passenger side door of you car, and water is leaking in now? You'll just cough up cash for all these repairs, no hard feelings? Really? What if axle cracked and needs replacement as well? You'll just whip out your credit cards?


No. I'd want the damages paid for. But not a "fee" attached to the damages incrued.

Get it yet?



posted on Dec, 10 2010 @ 02:49 PM
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Originally posted by Nutter
No. I'd want the damages paid for. But not a "fee" attached to the damages incrued.

Get it yet?


Oh please. The "damage" that the books are missing from the library and inaccessible to others is proportional to the time span during which such condition existed. Late fees are a deterrent against people keeping the books indefinitely.



posted on Dec, 10 2010 @ 03:54 PM
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Originally posted by buddhasystem
Late fees are a deterrent against people keeping the books indefinitely.


Most Libraries and other institutions (I.E. Netflix) will only charge the amount of the book/video to be replaced. Not years worth of overdue charges.

But, I guess in a broke state like TX, they need all the $200 in late fees they can get. Meanwhile spending thousands to incarcerate this woman. Makes sense to me.

edit on 10-12-2010 by Nutter because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 10 2010 @ 08:51 PM
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Originally posted by Nutter
Most Libraries and other institutions (I.E. Netflix) will only charge the amount of the book/video to be replaced. Not years worth of overdue charges.


My local (and excellent) library does charge overdue, which I think is 100% correct -- I was forced myself to be rather prompt about returning books and DVDs but I was comforted by knowing that somebody else would make use of these materials, so we all share.



posted on Dec, 10 2010 @ 11:36 PM
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Originally posted by buddhasystem
My local (and excellent) library does charge overdue, which I think is 100% correct -- I was forced myself to be rather prompt about returning books and DVDs but I was comforted by knowing that somebody else would make use of these materials, so we all share.


Well...your local library sucks then.


Overdue Charges


The fine for any adult book, audiocassette, compact disc, CD-ROM, recording, map, or pamphlet is 25¢ per item per day. (The maximum fine charge is $18.25 per item for an adult book, audiocassette, compact disc, CD-ROM, or recording.)

The fine for any adult videocassette/DVD is $1 per day with a maximum charge of $10.

The fine for any juvenile book, audiocassette, compact disc, CD-ROM, or recording is 5¢ per item per day. (The maximum fine charge is $10 per item for a juvenile book, audiocassette, compact disc, CD-ROM, or recording, or all maps or pamphlets.)

The fine for any juvenile videocassette/DVD is $1 per day with a maximum charge of $5.

The fine for any hold not picked up or not canceled within the 10 calendar day hold period is $1.00 per item. This policy was implemented to decrease the high number of unclaimed holds and the wait time for Library materials.



posted on Dec, 10 2010 @ 11:49 PM
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reply to post by Nutter
 


Did anyone catch that my first example was the public library in Austin, TEXAS?

Funny. I tried searching for Baytown public libraries but couldn't find an overdue policy statement on their website. I wonder why?

And if she was under the 10-20 dollar maximum like one would be in Austin, that is 20-10 items that this stupid library lent out to her. If they are so worried about other people having access, shouldn't there be a cap on the number of items one can take out at a time?



edit on 11-12-2010 by Nutter because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 11 2010 @ 04:24 PM
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Seen this on an episode of Married with Children once. Al had to pay $2,000 as well, what is wrong with the USA?



posted on Dec, 11 2010 @ 08:39 PM
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Originally posted by GF3w3ww2
Seen this on an episode of Married with Children once. Al had to pay $2,000 as well, what is wrong with the USA?



Greed.

Poor lady was thrown in jail for books she lost when her house burnt down.

Who owned the books? She did. Her taxes paid for the books. They threw her in jail for books lost in her home fire when in reality she paid for the books with her taxes.

Government is not there to provide you a service. It's an employment agency and the elite in it need to get paid.

Hence throw the lady in jail. It's not like she lives in a free country. We're a Republic. Our Kings need to be fed.



posted on Dec, 11 2010 @ 08:45 PM
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Originally posted by Pervius
Who owned the books? She did. Her taxes paid for the books. They threw her in jail for books lost in her home fire when in reality she paid for the books with her taxes.


Reading comprehension anyone? She fails to appear in court, and THAT was the reason she was detained. Let's get the fact straight before anyone claims they can have an intelligent conversation.

She had 7 (count them, seven) years to rectify the situation, and it's not even clear she paid any taxes in the meantime.

If you don't know how to use the library as a responsible adult, stay out of it and let the rest of us do the right thing. She's no better than a drunken driver on a freeway.



posted on Dec, 11 2010 @ 10:42 PM
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reply to post by buddhasystem
 


Didn't you say the reason she got arrested was her failure to attend court for overdue books? Please tell me you did not just equate "failing to return library books" with "driving under the influence on the freeway..."? Do you really believe the two can be compared in terms of irresponsibility?
edit on 11/12/2010 by Dark Ghost because: typos



posted on Dec, 20 2010 @ 07:19 PM
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Originally posted by Dark Ghost
reply to post by buddhasystem
 


Didn't you say the reason she got arrested was her failure to attend court for overdue books? Please tell me you did not just equate "failing to return library books" with "driving under the influence on the freeway..."? Do you really believe the two can be compared in terms of irresponsibility?


What does "freeway vs books" have to do with failure to appear in court?



posted on Dec, 20 2010 @ 10:27 PM
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reply to post by Becoming
 

Yea, we are such monsters.
Yea, you are.

Nevermind medieval punishments, right now the USA has more people per capita incarcerated than any other nation on earth. Are you proud of that?



posted on Dec, 21 2010 @ 07:51 AM
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reply to post by buddhasystem
 


Quite a lot, actually. The number of people whose lives are in potential danger would likely be far greater if a person wanted for drunk driving fails to attend a court appearance than some woman that didn't return library books. Why? Because if the drunk driver is not sentenced and stripped of his/her ability to drive, many innocent people's lives are still in danger (if he/she decides to drive again while drunk) . If the said woman fails to attend court, the library might simply have less items to lend to others (if she fails again to return the books).

People have acknowledged that she failed to attend court, but this is not the bigger issue for many of us in this thread. The more worrying issue is how the punishment for an initially trivial offence has escalated into spending time in jail. Where does this lead to?


edit on 21/12/2010 by Dark Ghost because: spelling



posted on Dec, 21 2010 @ 11:14 AM
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Originally posted by Dark Ghost
People have acknowledged that she failed to attend court, but this is not the bigger issue for many of us in this thread. The more worrying issue is how the punishment for an initially trivial offence has escalated into spending time in jail. Where does this lead to?


If failure to appear in court does not mean anything to you, it's the missing link in your assessment of a situation. It is HER fault that escalation took place. She had a a chance to argue her case and she blew it. The case is by no means unique. People end up in jail for raking up $200 in parking tickets and never paying them. It is possible in fact to go to court to contest the ticket. They didn't.

Initial offense may be trivial, but disregard for judicial system is not.



posted on Dec, 21 2010 @ 12:35 PM
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reply to post by buddhasystem
 


For a person who claims to avail themselves of their local library frequently, it’s readily apparent to many of us on the thread who know the law through study or encounters with the legal system that you aren’t checking out any law books at your library.

Failure to appear for a legal proceeding does not preclude the legal proceeding taking place once you are compelled to appear or finally show up.

Constitutionally anyone apprehended by the law, including on a ‘bench’ warrant for failure to appear must be brought before an arraigning judge or magistrate within 3 days. The only time it typically takes three days if you were apprehended on a Friday afternoon and the next court session is not until Monday. Usually it is within 24 hours, unless law enforcement wants to use the whole three days to try to extract a confession from the accused.

Some how I don’t see Brenda from the hit TV series “The Closer” being brought into to interrogate a library book scofflaw for three days to break her down for that all important ‘confession’.

Once the person is compelled to appear the legal matter still goes to trial. Any time ‘served’ while awaiting trial as a result of being detained from the ‘bench warrant’ is credited towards any sentence that involves incarceration.

Now the woman was sentenced to seven days in jail, for failure to “Pay library fines” not failure to show up to Court. The trial is still held once the person who failed to appear in court then is compelled to appear.

What ever time she was held on her ‘failure’ to appear charge would have been routinely credited towards her over all sentence.

So assuming they picked her up on a Friday afternoon and brought her into court on a Monday Afternoon, she would have had three days ‘served’ to her credit right there. The trial would have proceeded with her failure to appear as not being any evidence of all of her guilt or innocence. Only the facts regarding the missing library books and fines would have been admissible at the trial, not the unrelated matter of failure to appear.

Obviously she was sentenced to a week in jail. In most jurisdictions in most cases where a Defendant once found guilty can not pay the required fine they are usually given a choice at their discretion to do a prescribed amount of community service usually about 20 hours per every hundred dollars owed, (far less than the minimum wage in most states) or is given the option of serving jail time, usually one day for about every 100 dollars owed in fines.

As others have pointed out to you the woman’s week long sentence is indicative of having about a 700 fine. She likely opted for the jail time versus 140 hours of community service where you have to show up at your own time and expense and feed yourself at your expense while working.

Your lack of understanding of the law is truly frightening for someone who could actually research these things in the library you so claim to love.

Your steadfast refusal to accept the knowledge people are giving with you through experience and study on the court system makes me wonder frankly what books you are borrowing; I am guessing Harry Potter to be honest with you.

The woman was not sentenced to a week in jail for failure to appear, her failure to appear did not result in a forfeiture of trial.

In other words had she shown up and argued her case she still would have received a week in jail over the fines if she could not pay them.

Obviously she could not pay them, and your argument seems to be hinged on a naïve world view and ego as opposed to any sound understanding of the legal system and the laws.

Why you might want to be more sympathetic in this case is the day that ignorance and stupidity becomes illegal a whole lot more people than this woman are going to be doing jail time, and I can think of one person in particular right now who would likely be looking at plenty.



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