Arrested for a brown lawn?

Mortgage and Lending with Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc

brown grass


Maybe we should arrest the owner of this land, since it's so brown. What is this world coming to?  People that have power, do they abuse it? Well, we know the answer to that question. But at what cost is power abused!!!

There was a 70 old woman in Orem, Utah that was arrested Friday for refusing to accept a ticket for violating a city ordinance. Betty Perry hasn't watered her lawn in over a year because she can't just afford it.

Okay, so this town has a city ordinance. Does the tax payers money go to police driving around looking at lawns? Shouldn't this be up to other township officials? I guess crime is very low in Orem, Utah.


Conclusion :  It's your property. Sure, beautification is mandatory in some towns, making it a law. You sometimes need a permit from your township to cut down trees. But to be arrested for a brown lawn? Okay, give me my ticket. If I don't accept it, put it in my mailbox. If anything, go back to the jail and mail the ticket as certified mail. Wouldn't this be cheaper than an arrest?

It will be good to know that officials released Betty Perry an hour later after realizing that custody was not appropriate. And that the officer who arrested her is suspended until further review. What se thee!!!


****  and why this post?  Awareness....... **** 


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Comments (32)

Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate
That's ridiculous! It was an ordinance? Not a deed restriction?
Jul 09, 2007 04:50 AM
Jeff Belonger
Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc - Cherry Hill, NJ
The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans

Cheri....   I semi agree....  nature should take it's course. But if I am in a nice neighborhood, you want things to somewhat look uniformed. But if you saw the picture of her house, yard, and the area,.... this would have not be an issue. 

Overall, it's the common sense that was not used when making this arrest. That is the sad part... 

Monika.....  I totally agree.  It must be a slow town with nothing else to do? Tax payer's money at its best. 

Mike.....  this was a major crime ring. The water ring...    this ring is saving all of their water to flood out towns.... lol   Sorry... but I had to make a crack at what took place. It just makes you wonder.  And it does make a statement that not all public officials have common sense. You just need to pass certain tests. And it makes you wonder if having the badge makes you feel like you have more power, that nobody can say no to you. 

Hey, don't get me wrong. The are police that put their lives on the line.... but with a  70 year old woman in a beat up home with brown grass.????

Tom B. .......  that's if she lived in a HOA area.....   and even if she had, they fine you, right?  They can't kick you out of the house. Besides, this wasn't a townhouse. This was a house. And I know some homes have HOA's, but that is extremely rare in my parts.

Tom W. .....   you break rules all the time.  lol  Seriously.... I can understand the water restrictions and such. But this was a person not even using water. Now, I am sure there are a few areas out there that say that you have to keep your grass green. But for the most part, that is BS>...   what about conserving water in most areas?  Especially now with so many droughts and such.

But overall, just for the fact that this so-called officer cuffed an elderly woman. Tom...  the police didn't come and arrest your son, they just sent you a ticket. That is the other funny part about this. The officer had to get out of his car and go to her door. Isn't that time and money?  And then taking her to jail?  Processing her?  You need to get her back to her place?  Just so much involved.  COMMON SENSE.... ouch 

Jul 09, 2007 04:57 AM
Jeff Belonger
Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc - Cherry Hill, NJ
The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans

Lisa...  I know it was an ordinance. But I am not 100% sure on what the ordinance states, which would be interesting in finding out. How could we do that?

Jul 09, 2007 04:58 AM
Thomas Weiss
Thomas R. Weiss - West Palm Beach, FL

Hey Jeff,

Your funny, I try not to get caught that's all.... I am disgusted at what is happening in this world, i'm glad you brought it up, for these people to take time out of their day and arrest someone for something so petty, this was an old women, I think that's what you wrote, it's horrible ordinances or not...

Jeff it's sad!!

Take care,

Tom Weiss

Jul 09, 2007 05:53 AM


 I can completely understand why she was arrested. Now here me out. If she was in voiolation of the law. She has to sign the ticket. She can dispute it. But, that takes place in a court of law. It is just like a speeding ticket. In Florida, if you are speeding and you refuse to sign the ticket. You will go to jail.

Do I think it is right? No. But that is how they are able to inforce the law. Now if she had signed it and went to court, She would more than likely be able to get some kind of assistance because of her low income.

The Bottom line is this. The law is the law. If we don't like it we can try to get the law changed.

Jul 09, 2007 06:34 AM
Jeff Belonger
Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc - Cherry Hill, NJ
The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans

Tom W......  yes, sad....


Shaun....   now, I haven't received a speeding ticket in a very long time. But the last time I remember getting any kind of ticket in NJ, I didn't sign anything. I think you are suppose to....  but in reality, think about it. I'll be going to court anyhow, signing it or not. That's if I want to dispute it. You have so many days before a court date, if you wish to choose this route.

Now....  listen to this. If it was a law in Utah to sign this ticket, they would have kept her in jail. Why did they release her and suspend the police officer?  This makes me believe that it's not a law to sign this type of ticket. Hence the reason I said that he could have just left it with her. If she doesn't pay it, then I think there is a warrant that goes out.

The law or not, common sense can also play a role. That is why they have bosses... superiors above you....  watch commanders...etc etc.  If in question, call someone. My honest opinion, sounds like this guy just acted in a authoritative position taking it to the extreme. Just my .02. And it's hard not knowing all the facts, the laws in Utah, and the actual ordinance for burnt lawns.... lol  

Jul 09, 2007 06:53 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Jeff - didn't see this before but it made me scratch me head in wonderment. Hmmm, sounds like someone didn't have enough to do. Maybe they have a quota of tickets or arrests to meet? Good example of some of the absurd laws that are in effect in many towns. Bet they aren't consistent with their enforcement. Given the drought conditions in many parts of the west, one has to wonder.


Jul 09, 2007 08:04 AM
William J. Archambault, Jr.
The Real Estate Investment Institute - Houston, TX

How dare Granny show disrespect for the Cop!

She's lucky to be alive! Refusing to talk. What felony had she committed, or was it a misdemeanor? No, the cop was trying to issue a nuance ticket, legally like a parking ticket. If she wouldn't tell the cop her name he could have looked up the owner's name and mailed her the ticket

By the cop demanding her name he created the crime! Then he ruffed her up, cuffing her. She may have fell down the stairs, but would she have fallen if her hands were free? Indeed would she even have been on the stairs?

The Druge report shows the local TV stations report:

Orem police spokesman Lt. Doug Edwards said, "Every officer in his career has situations they find themselves getting into, at the end of it they scratch their head and say, ‘gosh, how did this happen?' Today, I think, was one of those days. Clearly there were some other options available."

Sounds like the same thing they say when the officers are caught on video tape.

It's a good thing that in her confusion that she didn't mis-speak or lye she could have faced 30 months in jail and a $250,000 fine, as is the fine and probation will proably be a lot less.

Why is it we only get upset over bad law and/or enforcement when the people look like us or our mothers?


Jul 09, 2007 08:13 AM
Pam Hofmann
Third Tennessee Realty & Associates, LLC - Crossville, TN
Your Crossville, Lake Tansi & Fairfield Glade Specialist
In most places now days, they will arrest you for having a "Green" lawn with the drought!!
Jul 09, 2007 08:24 AM
Julia Fedak
Platinum Home Designs - Burlington, ON

Unbelievable! That is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard. Are they hurting for business? Do they need to meet a quota???


Jul 09, 2007 08:52 AM

Since I can't post the answer here is the link to the explaination of the law.

Jul 09, 2007 09:12 AM
Jeff Belonger
Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc - Cherry Hill, NJ
The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans

Jeff D. ..... having and meeting a quota is a good thought. I love when a township says that they don't have quotas. Then tell them to tell the officers to stop telling their friends their quota stories... lol  We know they exist.  

Bill.....  thanks for finding some more info out about this.  And I agree that this sounds just like when they get caught on video. In any case....  it would be great to follow up with this and see what they say about the officer and his suspension. 

Pam..... well, arrest me... lol  

Julia.... well, it certainly sounds like it. But as I mentioned, I am still missing a few facts. Their laws on if they give you a ticket... and the ordinance on the lawn issue. We can't jump to a conclusion 110% without knowing all facts. But as I stated, if they released her, it sounds like he went to far.

Jul 09, 2007 09:15 AM
Jeff Belonger
Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc - Cherry Hill, NJ
The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans
Shaun... thanks for this. But two things....I don't think this is a federal law. It's state specific. 2nd....  what you listed is for traffic tickets. This was a grass ticket.... lol  An ordinance. Besides... I would like to read that ordinance instead....  and why is a police office handing these out?   lol
Jul 09, 2007 09:19 AM

Was the police officers name Barney?

 Hmmm. Nothing happening today  lets go see if someone isn't watering their lawn. Give me a break.

Jul 09, 2007 09:28 AM
Leah Ross
Your Tampa Bay Mortgage Source - Tampa, FL
Tampa, Florida Mortgage
In Florida, our homeowners associations are CRAZY!  Our friends just had to resod their front yard b/c it was dying...$5k later...the hoa is satisfied until they find something else that isn't up to par!
Jul 09, 2007 09:58 AM
Olan Carder
Fairway Independent Mortgage - Charlotte, NC

OK, I will not beat around the bush here...

Whoever ordered her arrest should have the snot beaten out of them.  That is just plain ridiculous.  It shows once again that our society is fantastic....... IF you have lots of money. 

Jul 09, 2007 10:58 AM
Todd Clark
eXp Realty LLC - Tigard, OR
Principle Broker Oregon

I saw this news story last night on the news and couldn't believe it! We have had times where it was against the law to water our lawns because of lack of water and here is a town demanding you spend money to keep your lawn green.

Jul 10, 2007 05:22 PM
Ray Perry
CENTURY 21 The Neil Company Real Estate - Roseburg, OR
Realtor, CRS, GRI, e-PRO
I think Orem, Utah is going to change the law after this national embarrassment.  Perhaps they should have paid her water bill instead of waisting taxpayers money on the enforcement.  They would be way ahead.
Jul 10, 2007 05:33 PM
Jeff Belonger
Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc - Cherry Hill, NJ
The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans

Shaun.....  not sure, it could have been.

Leah.....  sometimes you just wonder.....  sometimes these mini police associated with the HOA have nothing else to do. Or you get some whinny neighbor. 

Olan..... well, that might be taking it a little to far.  ;o)   But I do think it was ridiculous. thanks for the comments.

Todd.... I know, laws water your grass, but a law not watering it?  hhhhhmm

Ray....  time will only tell. It will be interesting to see what else happens. I guess I'll check next Monday or this Friday.

Jul 11, 2007 01:28 AM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

Senior citizens need to abide city ordinance or go to variance justify their poverty level.


Jun 28, 2016 01:11 AM