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From a Michigan court hearing regarding a citation for an unkempt property, which was held on Zoom in January.

judge: All right. You have a ticket for failing to keep a walkway, sidewalk, or alley free of leaves, trees, or other vegetation. This is a first-offense civil infraction. You can plead responsible, responsible with an explanation, or not responsible.

defendant: I am a cancer patient. I am very old, ma’am, and I am a cancer patient. I was then very weak, very weak. And during this time I could not look after this.

judge: You should be ashamed of yourself. If I could give you jail time on this I would. The fine is one hundred dollars. Pay it by February 1.

defendant: Oh my god.

defendant’s son: Sorry, ma’am. Is it forgivable because my father is sick, and we cleaned it?

defendant: I am very sick, ma’am.

judge: That is shameful. Shameful! The neighbors should not have to look at that. You should be ashamed of yourself.

defendant: I am sorry.

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April 2022

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