October 18, 2014 7:17 pm -

The Lenoir City, TN resident didn’t conform the town’s yard-keeping standards.


Karen Holloway just spent six hours in a jail cell for failing to maintain her yard in accordance with the standards set by the city.

The saga began last summer, when Holloway was sent a citation for her overgrown grass and shrubbery. Holloway, who works a full-time job and has two children living at home, a husband in school, and one family vehicle, admits the yard needed some attention but that it just wasn’t feasible to do the work.

“The bushes and trees were overgrown. But that’s certainly not a criminal offense,” she says.

Last week, Judge Terry Vann handed down a five-day jail sentence to Holloway for refusing to comply with the city ordinances regarding yard maintenance, specifically the lack thereof. Holloway feels this was all just too much, saying, “It’s not right. Why would you put me in jail with child molesters and people who’ve done real crimes, because I haven’t maintained my yard.”[su_csky_ad]

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

30 responses to Woman Goes To Jail For Not Mowing Lawn

  1. Carla Akins October 18th, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    Sorry, I’m with the city. How long did she have to take care of this issue? According to the article she received a notice at least 6 months previously. Allowing your yard to become overrun is very much a criminal issue. Tree limbs can fall on people or property, it ruins property values and creates issues with pests. Ants, termites, and rats. Yes rats. The costs to the city, your neighbors and the community at large very much makes this a crime.

    • JMax October 18th, 2014 at 8:30 pm

      Then why not have a cop take her home and watch her mow the yard and trim the trees? Cost of a few hours of cop time instead of cost of 5 days of prison.

      • whatthe46 October 18th, 2014 at 8:41 pm

        why is everyone forgetting she’s married? what about him. isn’t he just as responsible?

        • Carla Akins October 18th, 2014 at 8:53 pm

          He was deployed during part of the time, but home now.

          • whatthe46 October 18th, 2014 at 9:03 pm

            thanks, i didn’t see that there. makes more sense now that i can’t blame him too.

      • Carla Akins October 18th, 2014 at 8:52 pm

        It’s jail, not prison and that’s a waste of resource. She’s a grown up, yard work is part of the gig. I friggin hate it, absolutely hate it. In spite of my age, health and lack of resources I manage it. In my city you receive a letter of violation, you have 90 days to fix the issue before reinspection. You have an opportunity for a reinspection 3 more times before you’re ticketed. If you don’t show up to court, pay the ticket or ever correct the violation – you go to jail. Trust me, she had plenty of opportunity and just didn’t do it.

        • whatthe46 October 18th, 2014 at 8:56 pm

          i hate hate hate it too. since my son is off to college, i get his friends (neighbors) to cut my grass. because target was built, basically, in my back yard, they like to go through my property to get there instead of the long long way. (they go through the fence) so, get the cutting guys.

          • tracey marie October 18th, 2014 at 9:14 pm

            I love yard work and gardening, I pay someone to mow. On a cool day weeding, trimming and planting seeds or plants is such a pleasure to me.

          • whatthe46 October 18th, 2014 at 9:21 pm

            that’s awesome.

          • tracey marie October 18th, 2014 at 9:24 pm

            I am the dog and plant lady. I save seeds and make cuttings and give them away to those who want them. My tomatoe plants in early spring are in demand, I start them in feb and by planting time they are huge. I sound like an old lady with a funny hat but I am not

          • whatthe46 October 19th, 2014 at 1:05 am

            i love home grown tomatoes, those are the best.

    • whatthe46 October 18th, 2014 at 8:30 pm

      so why is it all on her and not on her husband as well? he could very well, along with her taken care of the lawn. if she’s working full time and he’s in school, he could have taken a day off from school as they obviously need her income. so, now the family’s going to be without income altogether.

  2. An American in Canada October 18th, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    Because jail is a for profit industry…

  3. tracey marie October 18th, 2014 at 9:12 pm

    you or your husband or 2 children should have taken the time to at least mow and pick up the mess you created. One hour or less a week and this would not be an issue.

    • whatthe46 October 18th, 2014 at 9:14 pm

      well Carla just told me that the husband was deployed at the time all this was going on. so he’s off the hook.

      • tracey marie October 18th, 2014 at 9:15 pm

        for the first time, the article states he is home and a full time student. Sounds like a bunch of lazy people, 1 hour a week is not to much to ask

  4. Deborah October 18th, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    Sounds like a bunch of normal judgemental busy-body’s with nothing better to do than pick on a family because they have some kind of citified idea of what nature should look like….trimmed up and chemically sprayed to their liking. I can understand mowing the grass only because it may attracts rodents that carry disease but trim her bushes and trees? Seriously? And if the trees aren’t branching out over the road causing any traffic hazards, then this Sm. (About 8,000 people) city and others like them are nothing but a bunch of Nasty people. And did anyone even try to understand what issues this family may be dealing with? The husband returned from the military….very stressful for family…and the mother of two children working full time, and most likely parenting alone for some time, may also have other personal responsibilities or concerns that she doesn’t want to disclose to the power-tripping busy body’s! If her husband is now in school, maybe they couldn’t afford to hire someone to do the lawn care either. Here is a returning home veteran and did anyone offer to come and help them with the mowing or trimming? . No….they put her in jail because they are on an anal retentive power trip! Good God the world is full of jerks! I was blessed to have a crippled man come and help me when I needed help with mowing and he did it for free and I wasn’t even in the military!
    Trim Trees and bushes….good grief and this city counsel and it’s workers probably support stripping the land of our trees for profit! A mature tree produces oxygen for 18 people and purifies the air while if leaving the area untouched under the tree, that tree can support many plants that are medicines for humans and animals alike! Dandelions are one of the healthiest plant for human on the planet but most humans try and poison it. This women should remove the lawn and plant nothing but dandelions! I certainly am considering that…even if just a portion and then plants flowers and bushes in the remaining part if the lawn!
    Some areas of the country are so dry grass will not grow and is completely brown if not gone! Wonder how those judgemental busy body’s would do in a location like that? Gripes and then put her in jail for that and probably give her a fine too . No wonder people get pissed at Government! How many people asked if this family needed helping hand hand and offered to help this family? Have we become such nasty people that we would put a mother in jail for overgrown lawn, bushes and trees? No wonder people can justify destroying the planet! I am happy I will not ever have to visit such a nasty town as Lenoir TN.!

  5. burqa October 18th, 2014 at 10:58 pm

    I .buying her excuses.
    Plenty of other people work full time and have a spouse in school and are able to mow the lawn.
    Is that husband of hers in school all day during the weekends? I’d like to see his class schedule.
    Mowing the lawn is man’s work and that lout should have been out there taking care of business.

    • Deborah October 19th, 2014 at 12:07 am

      Burga… you really have enough information about these people’s lives to label the man a lout or make that kind of judgement? Do you think there should be ordinances that tells people how their yards should look, how their plants should look, their trees, their bushes should grow? How about how their gardens should look or what kind of plants should be planted? Lawns….how long is too long? I see different kinds of grasses sold at nurseries and they get to be about 2 or 3 feet or more. Should property owners be able to fill their yard with these types of grasses? Do you think people should go to jail because their lawns and plantings don’t meet someone else’s idea of esthetics or lawn manicures?
      Look at the crimes politicians or even guys like the Koch Brothers have committed and they didn’t see an hour of jail time! The koch Brothers steal Oil from indian Reservations and Public Lands, and don’t even see an hour of jail time. We have mines and drilling that destroy our water, land, and air… just to name a few and yet a husband, who is a recent veteran, and wife don’t mow their lawn and she gets thrown in jail, and not only that, they get called things like lazy or a lout on Liberaland. Don’t you think that is a bit extreme and laws like that are petty nit picking when real environmental crimes go completely unpunished and in many instances get rewarded with tax payer subsidies? Such Justice seems like nothing but crazy land to me! Your judgement of this man doesn’t sound like the burga I’ve heard here on LL over the years!

      • Deborah October 19th, 2014 at 12:32 am

        I’ll say it again…it’s crazyland there in Lenoir Tn. Another woman from Lenoir spent six nights in jail because she had loose shingles on roof! These people pay taxes and this city Government is power tripping and it has to do with esthetics! The women in this article has to go back to court even though she has Inlisted friend and family to help get her yard it top shipshape. But they said they ” could still give her more jail time if it is not to their liking”! And at the same time Government is giving tax payer’s moneies to people or Corporations that commit real environmental crimes…poisoning water, land and air…….giving the residents citizen’s hard earned tax payer money in the form of subsidies! And paying the salaries of officials who create city ordinances!

        • rg9rts October 19th, 2014 at 3:48 am

          They are Nazis in training… goes along with their weekend past time of lynching and cross burning

          • Deborah October 19th, 2014 at 2:13 pm

            I’d like to buy the Koch’s a world so they leave ours alone….
            l’d like to teach the Koch’s about a true Democracy…..
            Where Working Class kicks Corporate Ass….
            They’re The Evil Thing….
            Love, Love, Love, the Other 98’s new parody commercial for; The Koch Brothers and other Corporations like them!
            They’re the Evil Thing!
            Lol! Right On!

  6. rg9rts October 19th, 2014 at 3:45 am

    Putting the stoves and washing machines on the lawn as ornaments and every car you ever owned in the back of your house is the Tennessee standard of House Beautiful

  7. Spirit of America October 19th, 2014 at 7:30 am

    Owning a home has responsibilities and where to live is a choice. Nothing is perfect, follow the law until you can get it changed. It does effect others in the neighborhood in several ways.
    My view.

    • Deborah October 19th, 2014 at 11:21 am

      True….lawns that are too long will attract flea infested and possible disease infected rodents. Even when I lived in the country, we had to keep our lawn mowed because when we were on the road driving semi, and out for anywhere from three to six weeks, my husband could hardly get a riding lawn mower through it and it took four hours to mow even with an inch grow. We had to hire someone but that did not come without problems while away.
      But this business of large fines and even jail is out of control. In these towns, it is usually people financially stable that work on boards that create ordinances and much if it based on what people think looks nice! Picking on people in difficult situation comes at different levels of attack.
      Young parents are learning if not very busy and not everyone is able to even pay to fix a lawn mower on someone else’s schedule. And I am still upset that while her husband was serving in the military, they sent her a citation rather than offering to help!
      Then there is the issue of jailing a women with loose shingles after issuing her a $500.00 fine. My neighbor’s son recently bought a house a few door down, and tries to help his mother with health issues, my next door neighbor. She must have a roof leak because I saw him stapling black and clear plastic to the roof. Lol! Now that the prairie winds are picking up, I look out my kitchen window and see that plastic blowing in the wind. By winter it will be shredded. He will learn! I didn’t call the city and say…throw a citation at him or her, and fine her, or throw her in jail! Now some people in towns and cities are just BusyBodies without any thing better than spend time Judging other people’s homes or lawns!
      I go through a lot of trouble to save all my zinnia and marigold seeds, plant for insects and birds and as a natural aphid combination control planting. Another neighbor says to me, I don’t like those zinnias. I don’t like the way they look!
      I didn’t plant them for her but I said, ” not to worry, now that I know that, I will plant this plot facing your house in Dandelions for my dandelion tea!”
      When I go over to the assisted living facility, I always see this fabulous lady with all sorts of crap taped to her walker and I think, ” Thank God for people like this! What a boring world it would be if we are all the same or what we thought looked beautiful or nice was a carbon copy for each of us to follow! When these cities tell someone how their bushes or trees should look, they crossed a line of decency not only in terms of jailing people for something that is not even a real environment crime!

    • Deborah October 19th, 2014 at 12:19 pm

      From my town!

      • Deborah October 19th, 2014 at 12:33 pm

        Maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on Lenoir. Maybe every town has a certain level of crazy! This is a picture taken at our water filtering facility. In a town of about 450 people. Notice how close this vent is to playground equipment and I know what gets vented from this vent and how it smells! Yet no one seems to have a problem with this because it was there long before I moved to town! They even refuse to move the equipment despite the fact it still draws children and we have a larger modern playground in town. No fines or jail time issued here!
        But God forbid if someone’s lawn gets too long, shrubs get shabby looking or ” weeds become overgrown ” in someone’s yard! Everyone seems to be completely okay and there are no ordinances protecting anyone from deadly chemical herbisides and pesticides sprayed and blowing into their neighbors yards! What we find a crime is simply amazing and maybe that level of craziness exists all over this country! That’s my view!

  8. Abby Normal October 19th, 2014 at 8:58 am

    In my small village, if someone’s lawn reaches a certain height, I think it’s about 8 inches, the village street department mows it and bills the resident $140. If they don’t pay, I’m guessing it’ll end up in small claims court and they’ll get a judgment against them.

    • Obewon October 19th, 2014 at 9:19 am

      Send in a goat herd! Rotating goat lawn trimmers creates domestic Shish Kebab and jobs that can’t be outsourced.

  9. Denise October 19th, 2014 at 9:05 am

    don’t mow your lawn, treated like a criminal. nearly bring the economy down, treated with kid gloves. go figure.