Couple face 3 month jail term for losing library books
A judge warned a Michigan couple they face three months in jail after they failed to return two overdue library books.
The couple, Cathy and Melvin Duren borrowed one Dr Seuss book for their teenage son to read to their granddaughter back in July 2014 and in April 2015 they borrowed Rome Prophecy from Tecumseh Public Library which they didn’t return for 8 months. They incurred late fees up to $35 WXYZ reports.
The Durens said they received a letter in December 2015 asking them to pay the fees and return the books or pay the costs of the books to replace them if they couldn’t find them, the letter also warned them that they could be charged and taken to court if they didn’t pay the fees.
Fortunately, they were able to find the The Rome Prophecy which they returned but when they couldn’t find the Dr. Seuss book, Cathy Duren sent a $55 money order to the prosecutor’s office to cover the late fees and replacement costs for the lost book.
But they refused to pay the $210 Lenawee County Economic Crimes Unit diversion fee which they claim is extortionate.
However, their refusal to pay the fee landed both in court and they face up to 93 days in jail and a maximum $500 fine for failing to return the books.
‘I can’t image going to jail over it, but I certainly will fight these charges because I’m not guilty,’ Cathy Duren said
She said that the experience had left her so angry, she would never return to Tecumseh Public Library or any other library for that matter.
The Durens paid $100 bond to avoid going to jail last Friday when they were served with arrest warrants.
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