Tecumseh District Library book case dismissed in court

TECUMSEH – Cathy and Melvin Duren had criminal charges dropped against them in Lenawee County District Court on Tuesday, May 3, after they failed to return two books borrowed from the Tecumseh District Library (TDL). The Durens paid all delinquent fees, plus the replacement cost of the Dr. Seuss book they were unable to find.

Defense attorney Shane Hilyard represented Cathy Curen free of charge after learning about the case, and arranged for attorney Patrick O’Keefe to represent Melvin. Hilyard negotiated with the district court in order to get the charges dropped.

The Durens were arrested on April 8, 2016 after they’d failed to return “A Hatful of Seuss,” checked out in July 2014, and “The Rome Prophecy” in April 2015. The Durens had received multiple letters and phone calls, both from the Economic Crimes Unit (ECU) and the TDL to return the books and pay the delinquent fees before the arrest. The Durens returned “The Rome Prophecy,” but not “Seuss.” Cathy sent a money order to pay for the fines and the replacement cost of the book, but it was not accepted because she would not pay the $210 diversion fees to the prosecutor’s crime unit.

The Tecumseh Police Department (TPD) facilitated the arrest. The Durens were not taken into physical custody. The TPD notified the Durens of the warrant for their arrest and advised them to return to the department to pay off a $100 bond associated with each warrant. The Durens paid both bonds. 

The ECU has been taking care of delinquent unreturned book cases for the TDL and the Lenawee District Library for the past year. Before the ECU, the TDL reported a loss of over $38,000 in unreturned books and other items since 2007. The TDL has credited the ECU for substantial reductions in losses since the program began.

In the 2013-14 year alone at the TDL, unreturned items amounted in $5,816 replacement costs for the library and $3,061 in unpaid fines.

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Tecumseh Herald

 

110 E. Logan St.
P.O. Box 218
Tecumseh, MI 49286
517-423-2174
800-832-6443

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