Mom Faces Jail Time After Returning Library Books 2 Years Late

A Michigan woman is living my biggest childhood nightmare. She forgot to return some library books…and now she’s paying big time. In 2017, Melinda Sanders-Jones checked out two books from the Charlotte Community Library for her son, “Night” and “Where the Sidewalk Ends”.  She continued on with her life as a working mother believing everything was fine.

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A year later, Melinda returned to the library and was denied printing services because of the overdue library books. She had no recollection of the books not being returned, but searched her son’s bookshelf and found them and returned them immediately. With the overdue books returned to the Charlotte Library, the busy Michigan mother assumed she would get the notification of the fine on her account or in the mail. But she was wrong.

In the professional sector of Melinda Sanders-Jones’ life, she was up for a promotion. She found out from her boss, who was trying to conduct the routine background check, that there was an open warrant for her arrest. When he told her, she thought it was a joke. A call, to the Charlotte Police Department, informed Melinda that she did have a warrant, issued October 2018. The charge was for “failure to return rental property.”

According to the Charlotte Community Library, they sent her multiple overdue notices and late fee warnings. Jones, apparently has spent the last few years moving around and switching address in an attempt to outrun an abusive relationship. Jones stated she “definitely didn’t want to steal their property,” and  “I really don’t think that going to jail over those two books is OK,”.

Same, Melinda, same. The two books hold less than a $200 value, but Jones could face up to 90 days in prison or a $500 fee. Thankfully, a retrial is scheduled for this Thursday, November 7, 2019. Hopefully, they don’t jail this woman. We already know people aren’t even reading anymore. This is definitely NOT the message to send to the country at large. Dear Melinda, our thoughts are with you.

*If you or someone you know are a victim of domestic abuse, you are not alone. Know that there is help.

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