Michigan mother facing jail time after failing to return overdue books from two years ago

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CHARLOTTE, Mich. (WJW) — A Michigan woman could be facing jail time for failing to return her overdue books from 2017.

According to WILX, Melinda Sanders-Jones said a warrant has been issued for her arrest.

“I really don’t think that going to jail over those two books is OK, and I definitely didn’t want to steal their property,” she said.

Sanders said she didn’t realize she even had overdue books until she visited the library a couple of months ago. Turns out, they had been sitting on her son’s bookshelf this whole time and have since been returned back to the library.

She figured she would get hit with a fine, but now she’s dealing with the courts instead.

“I assumed that they had sent it to collections and that I would see it on the report or something like that. I had no idea that criminal charges would be pressed,” she recalled.

The mother of five learned about the  warrant after her boss did a background check for a promotion.

WILX reached out to the library for answers and a spokesperson said they can’t comment but did note that late notices go out for up to four months. Sanders said she never got them because she had moved to escape an abusive relationship.

“Any mail that was there, I didn’t get,” she explained. “I had to change my phone number. I had to change my entire life.”

Sanders is charged with failure to return rental property, which WILX said carries up to 93 days in jail and $500 fine.

In the meantime, she is unable to work for her employer until the case is resolved.

“Its just ridiculous. There is no reason that this needs to be happening. Like I said, they would have had a better chance of getting their money if they would have sent it to collections…because I would have known,” she said.

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