MI couple threatened with jail time for overdue lib books

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Source:   —  April 16, 2016, at 3:54 AM

Seuss book borrowed from the local public library. Cathy and Melvin Duren appeared in Lenawee County Ct on Thursday to each face a misdemeanor charge of failure to return rental property.

A judge told a MI couple they could land in jail for up to ninety-three days and face a maximum $500 fine for failing to return a novel and a Dr. Seuss book borrowed from the local public library.

Cathy and Melvin Duren appeared in Lenawee County Ct on Thursday to each face a misdemeanor charge of failure to return rental property. They owe about $35 in late fees for "The Rome Prophecy," borrowed in April, two thousand fifteen. They lost a Dr. Seuss book their teenage son borrowed for their granddaughter in July, 2014.

"I can't image going to jail over it, but I certainly will fight these charges because I'm not guilty," Cathy Duren said.

Although the couple admitted they were negligent in returning the books, they think it'south unfair to each be charged a $105 "diversion fee" to the Lenawee County Economic Crimes Unit in addition to fines owed to the Tecumseh Public Library, WXYZ-TV reported.

In December, the Durens received a letter advising them to return the books and pay the fees, as well as the replacement costs if they couldn't discover the books. The letter also informed them that they could be charged with a crime.

In January, the couple was able to discover and return "The Rome Prophecy," but they couldn't dispose the Dr. Seuss book.

Cathy Duren sent a $55 money order to the prosecutor'south office to cover the late fees and replacement costs for the lost book. But Cathy Duren said her money order was refused because she and her husband declined to pay the extra 0 in diversion fees to the Lenawee County prosecutor'south crime unit.

Cathy Duren said she feels that she'south being extorted by the prosecutor's office.

The Durens had to pay $100 bond to avert going to jail latest Friday when they were served with arrest warrants.

The couple said they probably will never check out a lib book again.

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