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Crime Idle

South Carolina Woman Jailed After Failing To Return Movie Rented Nine Years Ago 467

Posted by samzenpus
from the beyond-the-late-fee dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Could you imagine being arrested for failing to return a movie you rented 9-years earlier? Well that's just what happened to one South Carolina woman. 'According to a Feb 13 arrest report, 27-year-old Kayla Finley rented Monster-in-Law in 2005 from now defunct video store Dalton video. The woman failed to return the video within the 72 hour rental limit, eventually leading up to her arrest 9 years later.'"
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South Carolina Woman Jailed After Failing To Return Movie Rented Nine Years Ago

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  • by GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) on Sunday February 16, 2014 @10:26PM (#46263477)
    I returned a tape, that old bowling movie KingPins to a local place through the drop box. But they mailed me ordering me to pay for it. Needless to say I didn't pay it. Imagine if someone got you arrested for failure to do inventory on their part.

    Also makes me wonder about those people who check out a library book and don't return it for like 50 years. What kind of late fees would they be looking at :P
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 16, 2014 @10:33PM (#46263529)
    From TFA "Finley was at the sheriff's office on another matter when the outstanding warrant was discovered" so looking for a reason to lock her up and found an open warrant.
  • Re: Debtors Prison? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Sunday February 16, 2014 @10:35PM (#46263533) Journal

    I sort of thought they get rid of most debt based arrests.

    In theory, the US abolished debtors' prisons in the early 1830s(details vary by state, as usual).

    In in practice [], well, you can always spin a new set of legalisms to achieve the same effect, can you not?

  • by Nexus7 (2919) on Sunday February 16, 2014 @11:04PM (#46263685)

    It is a feature of stories based on a dystopian future, and bykn some accounts (Shock Doctrine, I think?) of the present-day US, that the "common folk', you know, the ones with only 1 vote, are subject to increasing harsh punishments to stifle any hint of dissent, let alone revolution. Arresting for not returning DVDs is just a macabre progression from arresting for pot possession.

    I'm sure in South Carolina, this will be only an human-interest story, not a cause of alarm or anything more.

    Corporations get off with no punishment for far worse than illegally foreclosing homes! However your example is apt, since mortgages can be viewed as renting money (not technically however).

    We had a rich man's son get off with no jail time for driving into 4 pedestrians, the judge said he suffered from "affluenza"! Other shocking examples are plenty in the US.

  • by laird (2705) <> on Sunday February 16, 2014 @11:21PM (#46263803) Journal

    Normally that's what happens in the US as well. Every place I've ever signed up for video rentals required me to give them a credit card and authorize them to charge me replacement costs plus a penalty specified in the contract. So typically she'd have been charged for the tape a few months after failing to return it. The idea of going to jail for losing a videotape rental is insane. I can't believe the video rental store would waste the money filing the charges over a single tape. Perhaps that sort of decision-making helped put them under?

  • Re: Debtors Prison? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tompaulco (629533) on Monday February 17, 2014 @12:41AM (#46264225) Homepage Journal
    Yeah, in my state, they really screwed things up. A friend of mine got divorced about 10 years ago and his judgment from the judge says he is to pay X amount per month to his ex-wife for child support. So he does, every month. Then about 2 years ago, the state decides that all child support has to be funneled through a state agency. So, then he starts getting garnishments at work, payable to the state agency. Of course, since they are taking the money out of his paycheck, he can no longer afford to pay his ex-wife directly, which puts him in violation of the child custody agreement. But so far nobody is crying about that. His ex-wife is crying however, because she is used to getting paid by my friend on the first of the month. The amount is getting withdrawn from my friends check on the first, but doesn't get paid to his ex-wife until about 3 weeks later. So, in the mean time, he is spotting her money that he doesn't have to pay her.
    Then, to make matters worse, the state decided that he owed about $15,000 in back child support, even though he has paid it every month faithfully. He is able to come up with cancelled checks for all but about 18 months. So they are forced to back down on the $15,000, but they insist that he pays the amount of those 18 months, even though he already has. Even his ex-wife says that he paid it, but the state doesn't believe them and insists that he pay them the 18 months.
    So now, he has finally finished paying off the 18 months that he already paid, and one of his children is over 18 and no longer living with the ex-wife and no longer eligible for child support. The state agency does not allow you to pre-emptively file to get wage garnishments removed. You cannot do so until the day that the garnishment is no longer valid. However, once you file, there is a backlog (3 months and counting so far) before they process the removal of the garnishment. They continue to take money out of my friends check. They have, however, stopped making payments to his ex-wife since the child is no longer a minor and no longer in the household. They stopped that the day she turned 18 without anyone needing to file any paperwork.
    Even crazier, the company we work for recently changed the company that does the payroll, so the state had to renew the now invalid garnishment with the new company in order to keep collecting the money that they are not entitled to and are not giving to the ex-wife.
  • by TeddyR (4176) on Monday February 17, 2014 @01:26AM (#46264367) Homepage Journal

    Yup... The blockbuster in Amarillo at the time insisted that I did not return the items. They were rude and tried to bill me full price for two DVDs. It was only when I insisted that they watch some security tapes from the night in question that clearly showed me returning the items did they stop harassing me. That was when Netflix was first starting in 1997..It was a no brainer to switch from Blockbuster to Netflix right then and there and I am still with Netflix... And people wonder why Blockbuster went out of business.... :-0

  • by koomba (2882339) on Monday February 17, 2014 @01:30AM (#46264381)
    I'm going to have to agree at least partially with rhook on this one, based on a personal experience. Now I am not talking about regarding a warrant specifically, but just in a more general sense. I am not proud of this, nor do I often advertise it, but I used to be an addict with a horrible heroin/opiate problem. And like many addicts, I stole all kinds of shit to feed my habit. I was caught once in the act of stealing a couple hundred dollars worth of 3DS cartridges from the wonderful retail behemoth that is Wal-Mart. Long story short, I had taken them out of the packaging and just had them in my pockets. I was stopped right at the door, they had seen me on camera. I had done this a bunch of times at other Wal-Mart, Best Buy, etc stores, but this time I finally got caught. They called the cops and took me back into the loss prevention office. They saw it on the cameras. I mentioned the couple hundred dollar part because being under $500, it was just a class A misdemeanor, the highest misdemeanor before it becomes a felony. The cops came, I didn't tell them anything cause they just watched the tape, denying it would have been useless. But they asked me a bunch of stuff just about where I lived, just basic pedigree information. He explained to me that it was SOP to arrest me, but for whatever reason be decided to trust me to just show up on my own at the court date he set. I was shocked and very grateful because no one would have bailed me out. The date was almost 2 months away, it was quite a while. I ended up getting into and finishing rehab before I ever went to court, and with that I ultimately avoided any jail time and just had probation and fines. I say all that to contrast to a couple years before that, where I did the same thing in another city. The circumstances were almost identical: under 500 misdemeanor, caught leaving store, etc. But that time they simply got my personal info and took me promptly to jail. The cops didn't even consider just giving me a summons. So I am not a lawyer and confess ignorance about most police procedures and relevant law, but I know they have at least some discretion in regards to arresting on the spot vs issuing a summons. Just my 2 cents and personal anecdotal (NOT ACTUAL EVIDENCE) experience.
  • by Khyber (864651) <> on Monday February 17, 2014 @02:21AM (#46264605) Homepage Journal

    Correct. You should try for your news instead!

Swap read error. You lose your mind.