Mom of 5 faces possible 93-day jail sentence after warrant issued for arrest over 2 overdue library books

Crime and Public Safety

Woman faces up to 93 days in jail because of overdue library books

Library books on a shelf are shown in a file image. (Photo by Tom Weller/picture alliance via Getty Images)

CHARLOTTE, Mich. — A Michigan mother of five reportedly faces up to 93 days in jail for failing to return two overdue library books for two years.

Melinda Sanders-Jones told local station WILX-TV that in 2017, she tried to use a printer at the Charlotte Library. When she asked for help to get the printer to work, she found out about two overdue books – “Where the Sidewalk Ends” and “Night.”

Sanders-Jones said she didn’t even know she had the books, but eventually found them after searching her son’s bookshelf. Sanders-Jones said she returned the books to the library and assumed all she would have were high fees.

But while her boss was performing a background check for a possible promotion, she got some alarming news.

“My boss called me on Tuesday to inform me that I had a warrant and I had to pull over because I started laughing. He was like, ‘No, I’m serious.’ And I was like, ‘No, there’s no way,’” she said.

Sanders-Jones was charged with failure to return rental property, which has a maximum sentence of 93 days in jail and a $500 fine.

The library told the local station that late notices usually go out after a few weeks and continue until the four-month mark. But Sanders-Jones said she never got them because she was moving often, according to the local station.

Now Sanders-Jones faces jail time and the possibility of losing her job. She told WILX-TV that she can’t work until the case is resolved.

“I really don’t think that going to jail over these two books is OK, and I definitely didn’t want to steal their property,” she said.

This story was reported from Los Angeles.

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