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Michigan woman jailed 11 days for alleged cursing

berrien county aclu 1st amendment rights ^&%$#@!

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#1 Hum

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 16:15

BERRIEN COUNTY. MI — A woman is free on bond after spending 11 days in jail.

Her alleged crime: cursing.

Hours after a circuit court judge ordered the bond for a woman jailed for swearing reduced to the $500 she already paid, LaRue Ford walked out of the Berrien County Jail.

The ACLU filed an emergency appeal to get Ford released from the jail, where she's been since Dec. 18 for cursing in the court clerk's office.

She said her first thoughts when she walked out shortly before 4 p.m. were, "I'm free. You know, free." She added, "I guess right now I'm just speechless, I'm tired. I've just been through so much."

The ACLU maintains Ford's 1st Amendment rights were violated and they allege District Court Judge Dennis Wiley abused his authority in jailing Ford and revoking her bond.

She admits cursing, but said it was to herself as she left the clerk's office frustrated after getting the runaround while trying to clear up an old traffic ticket. When she returned with $50 to finally clear it up, Judge Dennis Wiley ordered her arrested.

But it was the last day on the bench for Judge Butzbaugh, who is retiring. Her case will be heard at a later date by a different circuit court judge.

Ford, who holds a master's degree in social work, is 49 and has no criminal record.

source


#2 Mark

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 16:25

After leaving the court room, she exclaimed "Thank **** for that." She is now serving a life sentence.

#3 OP Hum

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 16:28

Many Neowin members here should go visit Michigan ... :shifty:

#4 ahhell

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 16:31

"Ford, who holds a master's degree in social work, is 49"

Sure glad that they included that piece of info. :rolleyes:

#5 theyarecomingforyou

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 16:34

But we mustn't forget that America has more liberty than any other country! I mean, it's in their Constitution. :rolleyes:

#6 DocM

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 16:59

Cursing isn't allowed in public buildings unless it's quoting an exclamation as a sworn witness. Around here there are signs posted with the rules for dress, decorum etc.

#7 *RedBull*

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 03:34

Still the ACLU has it right. It was a violation of her 1st Amendment right. No one should be jailed for swearing. Disturbing the peace...different story...

#8 shakey

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 03:55

Cursing isn't allowed in public buildings unless it's quoting an exclamation as a sworn witness. Around here there are signs posted with the rules for dress, decorum etc.


I have seen no law that says this.... Disturbance laws yes... but not cursing laws. You don't go to jail for breaking a "rule".... at least you should not.

#9 Gary2MBz

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 04:14

Someone should jail that unconstitutional judge. If I was her, I'd sue like ASAP!

#10 FlintyV

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 14:39

Someone should jail that unconstitutional judge. If I was her, I'd sue like ASAP!


It's the American way, right?

#11 DocM

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 15:24

Someone should jail that unconstitutional judge. If I was her, I'd sue like ASAP!


News flash: freedom of speech isn't open-ended; you can't yell "fire" in a theater, certain speech is a hate crime, you can 't incite a riot, and a conspiracy or solicitation charge (ie - soliciting someone to commit a crime) can be speech based. We also have senior citizen protections via Adult Protective Services where you cannot threaten or verbally abuse someone over 60 or the handicapped - can be a felony.

Also, cursing at a magistrate or clerk is illegal here, and jurists have a wide latitude when it comes to decorum in the courthouse. Even a persistantly bad attitude in the court can get to tossed for contempt. Even the lawyers & prosecutor.

#12 Gary2MBz

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 06:15

It's the American way, right?


More like corporate way in this case because you see more of Apple vs Samsung, Motorola, HTC, etc etc suing more than the individual. Some things I agree should totally be dismissed (McDonalds coffee being too hot is an example...seriously??) while others have their place (the case that this judge denied the individual's first amendment right and if you want to put it into more perspective a fair trial.)

News flash: freedom of speech isn't open-ended; you can't yell "fire" in a theater, certain speech is a hate crime, you can 't incite a riot, and a conspiracy or solicitation charge (ie - soliciting someone to commit a crime) can be speech based. We also have senior citizen protections via Adult Protective Services where you cannot threaten or verbally abuse someone over 60 or the handicapped - can be a felony.

Also, cursing at a magistrate or clerk is illegal here, and jurists have a wide latitude when it comes to decorum in the courthouse. Even a persistantly bad attitude in the court can get to tossed for contempt. Even the lawyers & prosecutor.


Profanity at the federal level still falls under the 1st amendment, states can change that to a degree though. Of course if a lawyer and prosecutor disrupt the court session be it profanity or not they got a place to be kicked out but you can't outright ban them for talking either. There are some stupidly absurd things about that "fire" bit you mentioned. If I say bomb on the phone for example, I'd be triggering a red alert just for the word and lets be honest here.. Doesn't that sound just stupid?? Unless its someone who takes psychotropic drugs, nobody in the right mind would actually gun down a movie theater or a school even if someone just said the word Gun. Common sense play a role anymore in society or do we have to have our rights stripped 90% of the way and pretty much nonexistent?

#13 shakey

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 18:09

News flash: freedom of speech isn't open-ended; you can't yell "fire" in a theater, certain speech is a hate crime, you can 't incite a riot, and a conspiracy or solicitation charge (ie - soliciting someone to commit a crime) can be speech based. We also have senior citizen protections via Adult Protective Services where you cannot threaten or verbally abuse someone over 60 or the handicapped - can be a felony.

Also, cursing at a magistrate or clerk is illegal here, and jurists have a wide latitude when it comes to decorum in the courthouse. Even a persistantly bad attitude in the court can get to tossed for contempt. Even the lawyers & prosecutor.


So we have DocM, supports gun rights, not speech rights. yaaaay! .........

#14 LaP

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 18:29

After leaving the court room, she exclaimed "Thank **** for that." She is now serving a life sentence.


Life sentence ? She deserves the deahth penality.

#15 SupportGeek

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 22:45

So we have DocM, supports gun rights, not speech rights. yaaaay! .........

I didnt see him endorsing it either way, I saw a pretty clear explanation of how it works where he is.