Skip to comments.81-Year-Old Great-Grandmother Jailed For 2 Days For Pet Violation
Posted on 03/14/2014 1:04:00 PM PDT by rednesss
HARFORD COUNTY, Md. (WJZ)An 81-year-old great-grandmother is placed behind bars for a minor pet violation committed nearly a year ago. The Harford County woman says she tried paying thousands of dollars in fines but couldnt afford them.
As Gigi Barnett explains, the senior citizen says her punishment doesnt fit the crime.
Mary Magdalene Roots small dogs are her constant companions. So much so that the 81-year-old widow spent two nights in the Harford County Detention Center fighting to keep them.
Ive never had a crime. Never. Not even a traffic ticket, Root said.
Back in May, Root says her pets somehow got loose from her yard several times.
A neighbor took pictures of the dogs running down the street and reported her to Animal Control.
The agency slapped Root with a $7,000 fine or she could spend nearly a year in jail.
Im struggling to pay my house taxes. I couldnt pay it. Its a different thing when you leave your dogs out and you dont care. But I do care, Root said.
But when the cancer survivor failed to show up at court on her doctors orders, a judge had Root arrested.
She was booked, fingerprinted and issued a striped jumpsuit. She waited to see a judge in a cell without her cancer medication.
I sort of clutched my Bible. And was crying and went to sleep, Root said.
Roots defense attorneys asked the judge to let the senior citizen go. She had no previous criminal history and she was in failing health. The judge said no. Instead, he ordered her to pay a $2,500 bail. And if she was able to pay it and get out, then no animals would be allowed back on her property.
She gave me the works. I feel like Im a criminal, but yet I dont feel like Ive done anything, Root said.
Then on the second night, a Good Samaritan paid the bond.
There are very nice people out there. But then there are some people who are so struck on the strictness of the law. I dont know whether maybe that needs to be looked at, Root said.
But now she cant go back to her home of 44 years. Under the judges orders, the dogs arent allowed.
But Root cant give them up.
I love them, she said. I was planning on coming down on the dogs. But my dogs, they keep my company and I love them.
Root says shes had an outpouring of support from people in the community. In fact, theres a petition asking lawmakers to make cases like this a little more lenient for senior citizens.
I dont know if Ill ever be the same. I cant pull myself back, Root said.
Root says she was taking care of her daughters four dogs at the time of her arrest. Now, shes looking for good homes for the dogs.
The old lady needs some real help. She shouldn’t have pets unless she can take care of them. It turns into a matter for the SPCA. Sad.
does this judge run for election?
It’s all about the Benjamins— every layer of government acts more and more like bandits, and their agents should be treated as such.
I didn’t see a name for the judge. Is that available to the public?
$7000.00 for loose dogs! That’s unreal, Lady sell that house and find an American community to live in! I will say maybe she should have made the court appearance or at least contacted the court!
She probably gets a percentage of the fines.
That’s what I want to know.
Clearly this is a judge who has no idea what the terms "justice" and "judicial restraint" mean.
He should be afforded the same judicial compassion he affords this woman: tar, feather and hang the bastard.
It could have been worse. It could have been cats.
So, does this “judge” get a piece of the action when he hands out fines?
All three need to be re-educated. Make them learn that, in fact, they DO have something to fear from the electorate. Time is growing short.
Judge Mimi Cooper
She gave me the works. I feel like Im a criminal, but yet I dont feel like Ive done anything,
From that comment, it's apparent the Judge is a "she".
Probably with mother/control issues.
Was in trafffic court the other day and they had probation violations up first. The judge told a young man that since he was doing his community service, making visits to probation officer and testing clean but was just out of work and couldn’t pay fines he would let do additional community service at the rate off min wage to go toward his fine. I thought that was the fairest judge I ever saw.
That said , these types of cases need to be cataloged/memorized.
They are concrete examples of how completely out of control our government is- and why making it "all powerful" - is a very bad idea.
Harford County District Judge Mimi Cooper
Apparently she has been pulled over twice for suspicion of DUI, but miraculously has never been arrested. Hmmmm....
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