MI woman released after 11 days in jail for cursing
The Michigan woman released from jail on Friday after being incarcerated for 11 days for cursing inside a county court told WOOD-TV her legal troubles aren’t over.
“It wasn’t necessary, it wasn’t even necessary to put me through all this,” LaRue Ford said upon exiting Berrien County Jail. “I know this is just the beginning.”
Ford said she was cursing to herself in frustration over the process of clearing up an old traffic ticket; on her second trip to the county clerk’s office to pay the $50 fine on Dec. 18, District Court Judge Dennis Wiley ordered she be arrested and she be put in jail on a $5,000 bond.
Her attempt to pay $500 was rejected, she said, since a planned move to Indiana left her without a permanent address.
An attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union filed an emergency appeal on her behalf, which was upheld when Circuit Judge Alfred Butzbaugh overruled Wiley and reduced her bond to $500, enabling her to go free. But she is due back in court on Jan. 4 with a new judge to formally deal with the charges against her.
“We don’t have, ultimately, a win yet as to the contempt charge,” said the attorney, John Targowski. “But I feel like we got what we wanted to get today.”
Watch WOOD’s report on Ford’s ordeal, aired Friday, below.