Katie LaPotin, Red Alert Politics, November 1, 2013
Failing to return a library book on time can result in a criminal record for residents in one Texas town.
According to Our Town Texas, Jory C. Enck of Copperas Cove was arrested Oct. 23 on an outstanding warrant after allegedly failing to return a GED study guide checked out in 2010. He was released on a $200 bond and given a court date, as mandated by a local ordinance, after being slapped with a $200 fine.
Copperas Cove City Municipal Judge Bill Price told Our Town Texas that the four-year old law was passed to help offset the costs associated with replacing library materials not returned on time.
“No one wants to get arrested over a library book,” he said. “The other side of that is people who go to our library and can’t have these materials, they’re put out, too.”
The policy requires that a person must have an overdue book both checked out for at least 90 days and fail to respond to phone calls or emails before notifying the court.
“I guess that they have to have some way to enforce the rules at the library to return borrowed material, I think that’s a little extreme personally and I’ll certainly talk to the mayor to maybe get that changed,” Clyde Glosson, a Copperas Cove resident, told Our Town Texas.
Police Sgt. Julie Lehmann told the station that while Enck was not the first city resident to be arrested under this policy, the arrests are infrequent and usually occur if during a routine stop or call the offer discovers there is an active warrant issued for that person.
It is unknown at this time whether Enck has an attorney to fight the charges or what the potential punishment for the crime is, as both the Copperas Cove City Library and Enck have so far refused to comment to the media about the incident. The book “mysteriously reappeared” after the arrest, however, according to ABC News.