Woman Gets 11 Days in Jail for Cursing in Public

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We can all agree that cursing in public is not the most lady or gentleman-like thing to do, but should you go to jail for it?  A woman in Michigan has just had bond ordered after she was sent to jail for 11 days for cursing.  After a nightmarish ordeal, LaRue Ford just left the Berrien County Jail and is already considering her legal options.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a petition to get the woman released, and she’s been there since December 18th.  The county forced her to spend both Christmas and New Years away from her family because she was cursing in the court clerk’s office.

“I’m free. You know, free.” She said after being released, “I guess right now I’m just speechless, I’m tired. I’ve just been through so much.”

The ACLU says that the woman’s first amendment rights were violated by Judge Dennis Wiley, the man responsible for throwing her in jail.  He also revoked her original bond, arguably over-stepping his legal boundaries.

Ford admits that she did curse, but said that she was only cursing to herself. She was frustrated after not getting anyone to help her deal with an old traffic ticket.  She came back to the courthouse to pay the $50 for the old ticket, which is when the judge ordered her to be arrested.

In some states, attorneys say that you can be given a ticket for cursing, although it’s rare.  The situation becomes especially sensitive if you are verbally abusing a police officer or there are children around.  But cases in which someone is sent to jail for cursing are incredibly rare, and it appears that this judge went over the line.  He probably didn’t think that the case would make national media.

Perhaps she should consider filing a lawsuit.

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