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

samzenpus posted about 6 months ago | from the beyond-the-late-fee dept.

Crime 467

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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Can we get grammar cops too? (5, Insightful)

fascismforthepeople (2805977) | about 6 months ago | (#46263437)

a movie you renter 9-years earlier?

I think that statement is worthy of jail time as well.

Re:Can we get grammar cops too? (2)

trytoguess (875793) | about 6 months ago | (#46263825)

To be fair, that could've just been a typing error since the r and d keys are close together. Course, if you're touch typing you shouldn't make that mistake so who knows?

WHO. THE. FUCK. HERE. CARES. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46263929)

This is TMZ shit. This is not ... well, okay, it is what-is-still-called-slashdot shit. My bad. I forgot all the rotten piles of smelly shit slashdot calls news for nerds now.

Re:WHO. THE. FUCK. HERE. CARES. (1)

trytoguess (875793) | about 6 months ago | (#46264003)

Best to just leave a site/channel/whatnot if you think they suck I'd say. Minimizes all the personal drama one tends to feel.

What (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46263443)

What

Re:What (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46263497)

I bet it was "The BEST VHS in the WORLD!"

Re:What (0)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | about 6 months ago | (#46263871)

More likely some porn the shop owner was dying to get back.

Debt (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46263463)

I thought you couldn't be arrested for owing debt? Wasn't that the point of credit scores and bankruptcy laws?

Re:Debt (1, Informative)

bws111 (1216812) | about 6 months ago | (#46263587)

This wasn't owing a debt, it was plain old theft.

Statute of limitations (5, Informative)

pcjunky (517872) | about 6 months ago | (#46263467)

She will need to look up the laws in her state but here in Florida the statute of limitations is 5 years for a written contract. This should be easy to make go away.

Re:Statute of limitations (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46263527)

Not if the warrant was issued within that time frame. When she walked into a police station to report a crime, they (unfortunately) had no choice but to arrest her. It didn't matter how old it was at that point.

Re:Statute of limitations (2, Insightful)

thrillseeker (518224) | about 6 months ago | (#46263545)

They always have a choice.

Re:Statute of limitations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46263623)

They had a choice to violate the law, yes. Do you really want the police to have free reign to violate the laws?

Re:Statute of limitations (2, Informative)

CauseBy (3029989) | about 6 months ago | (#46263641)

Stop with the transparent false dichotomies. The police exercise wide discretion in everything they do.

Re:Statute of limitations (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46263857)

Police DO NOT have discretion with arrest warrants, they never have and they NEVER SHOULD.

Re:Statute of limitations (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46263931)

Police with no discretion are worse than those who are corrupt.

At least the ones with discretion can pretend they choose not to do wrong.

The ones without? Will do wrong, and pretend that their orders made them do it, so they have no choice.

I prefer authority with responsibility myself.

Re:Statute of limitations (1)

ArchieBunker (132337) | about 6 months ago | (#46263893)

I can't tell if you're serious or not.

NSA chose to violate the Constitution (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46263683)

They had a choice to violate the law.

Well ... NSA did violate (and is still violating) the Constitution and no one punish them.

Re:Statute of limitations (1)

OhPlz (168413) | about 6 months ago | (#46263747)

I was just following orders.

Re:Statute of limitations (4, Insightful)

AK Marc (707885) | about 6 months ago | (#46263973)

No, it's not a violation of the law to exercise discretion. The police have sued many times for that right (and almost always win), so they could have used it this time as well. They chose not to.

Re:Statute of limitations (5, Insightful)

russotto (537200) | about 6 months ago | (#46263569)

No statute of limitations for most crimes in South Carolina. Failure to return rental property of a value of less than $2000 is a misdemeanor carrying up to a $1000 fine and/or 30 days in jail. Probably a few bonus months for failure to appear back in 2005. And she gets to forever in the future check that box "I have been convicted of a crime" and therefore no good jobs for her, and since it's an FDIC disqualifying crime (larceny), she's forever barred from having a job in the financial industry.

And you know what most people will have to say about that? "Well, she should have thought of that before she stole that videotape".

(IANAL, and certainly IANAL in South Carolina)

Re:Statute of limitations (3, Insightful)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 6 months ago | (#46263575)

I wonder how many of the same people think that corporations getting off scott free after illegally foreclosing on homes is just okay dokey...

Re:Statute of limitations (5, Interesting)

Nexus7 (2919) | about 6 months ago | (#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.

Re:Statute of limitations (1)

CodeBuster (516420) | about 6 months ago | (#46263849)

If lenders are not able to foreclose on collateral pledged as a condition of receiving a loan then you will find a great deal less credit made available in the economy, especially to working class and poor people. If you've ever been in a situation where you couldn't get credit or good credit anyway then you know how much that hurts financially. So no, making foreclosures harder is not good for society, at least in the long run. A few lucky people are helped but secretly the payday lenders, rent to own and pawn shop owners would be rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of more ordinary citizens being cut off from credit cards, bank loans and other traditional forms for credit. Why do you think the Obama Administration is trying to get basic banking and small lending going through the post offices? Because being cut off from credit makes people poor and keeps them poor. So as much as you don't like foreclosures, understand that sticking it the lenders hurts the poor not the rich.

Re:Statute of limitations (5, Informative)

compro01 (777531) | about 6 months ago | (#46263937)

In your rush to leap the defense of foreclosure, you missed the fact that none of what you're talking about has anything to do with what MickyTheIdiot was talking about, which is shit like being foreclosed on even if you've paid up [thinkprogress.org] or being foreclosed on, even though you don't have a mortgage [bloomberg.com] .

Re:Statute of limitations (3, Insightful)

blue trane (110704) | about 6 months ago | (#46263961)

If lenders refuse to make markets, the government (or the Fed) should step in and make them. If private banks refuse to make mortgage loans, Fannie and Freddie should do it, because it's in the public interest, in the General Welfare. The Fed can loan them money at 0% so they can invest in T-bills at 3% and keep the loans rolling over forever.

Re:Statute of limitations (1)

reve_etrange (2377702) | about 6 months ago | (#46263987)

+1 Accurate.

Re:Statute of limitations (2)

tompaulco (629533) | about 6 months ago | (#46264061)

The Fed can loan them money at 0% so they can invest in T-bills at 3% and keep the loans rolling over forever.

This is exactly the sort of crap that has to stop. I spent three years trying to refinance my higher interest loan because the banks would far rather invest the zero percent interest money they get from the government in T-bills. Of COURSE they would. I would love to have that deal, too. But the reason the government lends at zero percent is so that that money can be loaned to people and businesses. The government should look at any bank that has invested in T-Bills and raise their lending rate for that bank to T-bill rate of 0.5%.
Fat lot of good it does anybody to have 3% mortgage rates when the bank has no incentive whatsoever to loan out at that rate,

Re:Statute of limitations (5, Insightful)

tompaulco (629533) | about 6 months ago | (#46263817)

Probably a few bonus months for failure to appear back in 2005

Well, if she was properly served, then she definitely should have appeared. If she was not properly served, than the case should be thrown out.

Re:Statute of limitations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46264007)

And she gets to forever in the future check that box "I have been convicted of a crime" and therefore no good jobs for her, and since it's an FDIC disqualifying crime (larceny), she's forever barred from having a job in the financial industry.

I don't think that's necessarily true. Don't a number of job applications stipulate that you don't answer yes unless it's been within the last 10 years? Maybe there's an exception for felonies though.

Re:Statute of limitations (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46264031)

IANAL but a decent lawyer should be able to make it go away....unless she admitted to it to whoever arrested her. I assume they would need a paper trail and witness testimony to convict. Nine years and a defunct business might make that difficult.

I agree that the police had to follow through on the outstanding warrant, but if she hasn't admitted it, and refuses to plead guilty, the prosecutor will be the one wasting money if he/she takes it any further.

Re:Statute of limitations (1, Informative)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 6 months ago | (#46263573)

Unfortunately for her, the arrest warrant was issued in 2005 and I don't think those expire. It's stupid that this originated with a tape rental, and I'm shocked that the video store pressed charges, but those tapes were worth over $100 and theft is theft.

Re:Statute of limitations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46264033)

Unfortunately ... those tapes were worth over $100 ...

This was in 2005, not 1985.

Re:Statute of limitations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46264039)

The law team that arrested and will prosecute her should go away for 5 years.

I was once filed an order to pay for a tape once (4, Interesting)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about 6 months ago | (#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

Re:I was once filed an order to pay for a tape onc (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46263507)

Well, at least at my university library, Cost of replacement, or if you bring it back... $10.

Provided no law modifies that.

Re:I was once filed an order to pay for a tape onc (3, Insightful)

tompaulco (629533) | about 6 months ago | (#46263833)

I once had to pay $50 for two redbox DVDs which I did properly return. Apparently their machine didn't register it or got disconnected from the internet. They also said they audited the box and did not find the videos. However, their audit was incorrect, because I returned it. I don't do business with redbox anymore.

Debtors Prison? (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 6 months ago | (#46263479)

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

Re: Debtors Prison? (4, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 6 months ago | (#46263533)

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 [economist.com] , well, you can always spin a new set of legalisms to achieve the same effect, can you not?

Re: Debtors Prison? (-1, Flamebait)

AK Marc (707885) | about 6 months ago | (#46263843)

They went to jail over $450 they didn't pay. Then, once in jail, managed to get $900 to pay off fees to that point to get out. If they could get $900 then, they should have gotten $450 earlier. It'd have been cheaper. I guess there's a reason they were poor.

I've seen the same with deadbeat dads. They can't afford $150 a week, but once they are in jail for $15,000 in back support, they manage to scrape together the money to pay to get out. That's one reason why deadbeat dads getting sent to jail is so common and encouraged. Many just consider jail a first warning. Any less is ignored. Even after having been sent to jail for it before.

Jail is punishment for not paying, and motivation to pay at the same time, and it works. When the citizenry are so ill-mannered, does it surprise you that tactics that are effective are used?

Re: Debtors Prison? (1)

blue trane (110704) | about 6 months ago | (#46263979)

The real problem is the artificial scarcity of money, which banks create out of thin air, and then restrict access to because they want attention and fear they have nothing to offer society except an arbitrary control of the money supply.

Re: Debtors Prison? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46264025)

Arrogant 1% doucheprick scores again! It's a FUCKING RENTAL MOVIE. For Fuck's Sake, Man, get your balls out of a knot. This isn't someone's child support. How the hell do you rack up $450 in fees? Answer: you don't. You charge them the cost of the movie, plus $25 or something. Even RedBox simply assumes you intended to buy it at a relatively steep price after a while--but they don't charge anywhere near $450, even if you TRIPLED the cost (a typical measure for punitive damages).

This is a case of the punishment NOT fitting the crime. Yanno, in theory, we did away with debtor's prison...

Re: Debtors Prison? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46264035)

It's a stupid punishment and only makes sense when the country has a corrupt for-profit prison system with political lobbying in effect. Putting someone like this in prison reduces their usefulness to society and costs the taxpayers money. It would be far more effective to have these individuals work off any debt they have. But I guess then you'd have unions bitching that these people were taking away overpaid union jobs.

Re: Debtors Prison? (2)

anglico (1232406) | about 6 months ago | (#46264049)

As long as the debt is actually correct, then throwing a dead beat dad in jail is fine with me. It's when you go to court to fix their $7500.00 mistake only to find out two months later they screwed up and set it to $75,000.00 instead of zero! So please don't assume that a person is a dead beat dad because one of the most inept and incompetent agencies in the government says so.

Re: Debtors Prison? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46263561)

Had this been earlier in the day she probably wouldn't have spent the night in jail. But being later in the evening they likely couldn't get anyone to get her released on her own recognizance until early the next morning. It'll end up getting dismissed.

Re: Debtors Prison? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46263603)

that only applies if your significant campaign contributor

Re: Debtors Prison? (1)

bws111 (1216812) | about 6 months ago | (#46263611)

Sure, if you go to court and get the debt discharged. If you just don't bother returning borrowed property it is just theft.

Re: Debtors Prison? (2)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 6 months ago | (#46263681)

Except you already agreed to a plan that legally spells out what happens when you fail to return it, charges and fines.
Assuming that this is not the only rental story in the history of rental stores that does not have overdue-charges, she did not legally steal the movie, she just owed them thousands of dollars in late fees and interest.

Re: Debtors Prison? (1)

laird (2705) | about 6 months ago | (#46263777)

At some point the issue of what's reasonable has to kick in. If she lost a VHS tape 9 years ago, and the store went under since then, (1) there's no victim, and (2) the replacement cost for the videotape is probably only a few dollars (check on eBay).

I'm just amazed that the magistrate that has to hear all such issues before they can book people didn't throw it out, since the issue is so flimsy. Perhaps they had to wait until the morning?

Now, if a magistrate signed off on throwing her in jail for not returning a videotape 9 years ago, then there's something very wrong - the magistrates are there to filter out exactly this sort of BS from wasting the court's time.

Re: Debtors Prison? (1)

Rich0 (548339) | about 6 months ago | (#46263873)

the replacement cost for the videotape is probably only a few dollars (check on eBay).

Well, that doesn't really make sense as a basis for damages, otherwise if somebody steals a $50k car and doesn't get caught for 15 years they can argue it is only worth $500. She didn't steal a 9-year-old video today, she stole it 9 years ago. She isn't paying restitution 9 years ago either.

It probably makes sense to fine her $100-200 or something like that. If she had paid $20 or something reasonable back when she lost the tape and this were an argument over whether the $50 late charge in the contract was reasonable I'd be taking her side. When you borrow something you have an obligation to take care of it and return it.

Now, jail is just ridiculous for something like this.

Re: Debtors Prison? (2)

mysidia (191772) | about 6 months ago | (#46263877)

At some point the issue of what's reasonable has to kick in. If she lost a VHS tape 9 years ago, and the store went under since then, (1) there's no victim, and (2) the replacement cost for the videotape is probably only a few dollars

(1)Depends on how much revenue they lost due to that tape being tied up. The victims are the shareholders --- probably they can still be repaid. They need to be repaid in 2005 dollars adjusted for inflation, however; a ~20% increase on top reparations for what the value was in 2005... $100 worth of property and revenue loss in 2005 dollars, is a loss of $120.70 in 2014.

(2) Back in 2005, the replacement cost would have been much higher; the "special" videotapes that come with their licensing to rent, cost a pretty penny compared to the normal consumer VHS tapes....

Re: Debtors Prison? (4, Insightful)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 6 months ago | (#46263965)

1) The victim is whoever absorbed the assets of the company at its closing. They've lost the value of the tape.

2) Being a licensed rental copy, the replacement cost is in the range of a hundred dollars or more.

The basic issue is that the law doesn't get to be ignored just because the media can spin the story to sound trivial. If someone robbed a store of $100 worth of merchandise, had an arrest warrant issued at the time, then spent nine years on the run, would it still be unreasonable for them to be arrested today? At the most basic level, the purpose of law is to provide a consistent accounting of what behavior society does or does not approve of. If a magistrate chose to neglect an old outstanding arrest warrant, then there'd be something very wrong.

Re: Debtors Prison? (5, Funny)

In hydraulis (1318473) | about 6 months ago | (#46263975)

If she lost a VHS tape 9 years ago, and the store went under since then, (1) there's no victim

Are you seriously not seeing the cause-effect relationship here?

Not a victimless crime (1)

Camael (1048726) | about 6 months ago | (#46263981)

At some point the issue of what's reasonable has to kick in. If she lost a VHS tape 9 years ago, and the store went under since then, (1) there's no victim, and (2) the replacement cost for the videotape is probably only a few dollars (check on eBay).

While I broadly agree that reasonableness has to be taken into consideration, I don't think that it's fair to say that there's no victim here simply because the store went under. I'm pretty certain that the store owner (and his partners, if any) for one will disagree with you- he was angry enough to file a police report. Also, applying your logic, all murders are victimless crimes since their victims are dead, which statement I think many people will find hard to agree with.

Re: Debtors Prison? (2)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | about 6 months ago | (#46263949)

Sure, if you go to court and get the debt discharged. If you just don't bother returning borrowed property it is just theft.

Actually, if you don't return borrowed, rented, or leased property, it is called conversion, not theft. The difference is that in the first case, you initially had the property legally in your possession, while in the case of theft, there is never legal possession. Conversion can occur without criminal intent as in, "I didn't return the library book, because I lost it." As with most things, laws vary widely by state. Since this is South Carolina, the woman will probably do hard time especially if she is poor and/or black.

Bateman (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46263485)

I have to return some videotapes.

We're missing something (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46263501)

There's obviously more to this story. What are we missing?

Re:We're missing something (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#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:We're missing something (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 6 months ago | (#46263531)

I have a similar feeling about the story.

Re:We're missing something (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 6 months ago | (#46264043)

The owner of the video store spent more on collecting the lost video than it was worth. I'm guessing it's out of business because he was a little loony and drove his customers away with abusive tactics that weren't exactly legal. If I "borrow" something and don't bring it back, it's a tort, not a crime. Making it a crime was a poor decision by whoever signed the warrant.

re: We're missing something (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46263921)

1. South Carolina.
2. absolutely nobody cares about a video tape that has been missing 9 years, not even the police. because, like i said 9 years.
3. she was arrested because A WARRANT was issued for failure to appear before some power hungry fuck in a black dress. Police states don't like when their sheep don't pay attention.

are you paying attention?

Economically Inefficient (5, Insightful)

jayveekay (735967) | about 6 months ago | (#46263515)

Arresting someone for theft under $10 ("Monster-In-Law" on DVD retails for about $5) seems to be a gross misuse of taxpayer dollars. A more efficient punishment would be to seize wages/tax refunds/etc. in the amount of the theft + some additional punitive amount.

Re:Economically Inefficient (5, Funny)

PRMan (959735) | about 6 months ago | (#46263595)

Yeah, fine her $100 and call it a day. I mean, after all, she already watched Monster-in-Law. Hasn't she suffered enough?

Re:Economically Inefficient (2, Informative)

fascismforthepeople (2805977) | about 6 months ago | (#46263613)

Arresting someone for theft under $10 ("Monster-In-Law" on DVD retails for about $5)

The cost for the store was much higher than that. Rental outlets don't just go to walmart and buy DVDs, they had to get them with rental licenses from the studios (ever notice the FBI warning on the discs you buy, warning you not to rent it out?). We can probably assume it was a reasonably new release when it was rented, so the cost was something closer to $50 per disc.

A more efficient punishment would be to seize wages/tax refunds/etc. in the amount of the theft + some additional punitive amount.

That is reasonable, but do the math in a reasonable manner to reflect the true cost to the merchant.

Re:Economically Inefficient (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46263787)

But the Video Store is no longer in business. Only a fool of a lawyer would try to make a case where the put the whole reason for the demise of the business on the lost income from this one tape.
But the reaction of the local Gestapo (sorry local police) is typically over the top. To jail her even for a short time is beyond the pale. I guess every person on the locality should surrender themselves to the police because they are bound to have broken at least one law in their life and deserved to have the Maximum of 20-life thrown at them even for the smallest traffic offense.

The USA is the land of the not so free where the Police will arrest you and have you in cuffs and locked up for even daring to sneeze in a no sneezing zone.

Is it any wonder that the USA is held in such contempt by people all over the world. That former beacon of Liberty (yeah they fought a war over it but since then they've been later to everything else) is now classed in the same vein as East Germany. IF they carry on it won't be long before they get to the level of North Korea.

Re:Economically Inefficient (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46264073)

But the Video Store is no longer in business.

Yeah the victim is already dead, no point jailing the people who kicked the victim.

If I were her I'd think that's a stupid argument and approach to my case.

Better approach would be:
0) Check to see if maybe she did really return the tapes and the store was wrong.
1) Check she was really given notification that she was to return the tapes (people forget), she was to turn up in court, etc

If there's some reasonable doubt that she really kept the tapes on purpose (theft) rather than actually returning them (record/bookkeeping failure) or she forgot and was never notified in anyway, then she shouldn't go to jail.

Re:Economically Inefficient (2)

JMZero (449047) | about 6 months ago | (#46263797)

It's kind of moot now that rental stores are pretty rare - but this actually isn't true. Under first sale doctrine in the US, you're allowed to rent out a DVD you own. If this wasn't true, rental places may never have taken off, as the studios would have preferred only to sell. They tried various license garbage to hinder renting, but it never held.

Re:Economically Inefficient (1)

mjwx (966435) | about 6 months ago | (#46263727)

Arresting someone for theft under $10 ("Monster-In-Law" on DVD retails for about $5) seems to be a gross misuse of taxpayer dollars. A more efficient punishment would be to seize wages/tax refunds/etc. in the amount of the theft + some additional punitive amount.

Jail is excessive but you need a disincentive to prevent people from breaking rental contracts (even though it was only a crappy DVD, it's still a rental contract), normally its just some additional amount as you've said.

In Australia they just send the debt to collectors and it goes on your credit history as a default that can make it hard to get credit or loans in the future.

Re:Economically Inefficient (4, Interesting)

laird (2705) | about 6 months ago | (#46263803)

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:Economically Inefficient (2)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | about 6 months ago | (#46264037)

It could have been the debt collectors - if they can't collect the debt, they'll file charges I think.

That would be my guess at what happened - the video store went to a debt collector, who eventually went to the police. Each step is probably standard practice, and the amount or initial reason for the debt was likely irrelevant at the end; it was probably policy to send all noncollectable debts past a certain age to the police.

Re:Economically Inefficient (1)

GrahamCox (741991) | about 6 months ago | (#46263767)

Well if it's economic efficiency that's important here, then the most sensible thing to do it just forget it.

I know we all live in a police state these days, but this is ridiculous. There has to be more to this.

Re:Economically Inefficient (1)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | about 6 months ago | (#46264023)

A woman in Japan forgot 5 DVDs for 10 years ; the fee for 1 DVD / 1 day is 200 Yen. She had to pay 5 x 200 x 365 x 10 yen ... ( $36,000 )

Re:Economically Inefficient (1)

SAN1701 (537455) | about 6 months ago | (#46264053)

Yeah, but you seem to forget that those privately owned complexes are only profitable beyond a certain level of occupation. For they, to place somebody in prison for whatever reason is always welcome.

This is the problem with Netflix, etc. (5, Funny)

dacut (243842) | about 6 months ago | (#46263557)

How are we going to arrest people on frivolous charges when movies are streamed? I suppose we could make it a felony to fail to rewind a stream when you're done viewing it...

Re:This is the problem with Netflix, etc. (2)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | about 6 months ago | (#46263845)

The RIAA manages to do that pretty well.

Re:This is the problem with Netflix, etc. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46264027)

How are we going to arrest people on frivolous charges when movies are streamed? I suppose we could make it a felony to fail to rewind a stream when you're done viewing it...

rewind(netflixStream);

All done!

Can we just start killing everyone in charge yet? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46263609)

Gotta be pretty close to when we need to clean house or there's no turning back right?

Blockbuster ended late fees and just auto billed (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 6 months ago | (#46263645)

Blockbuster ended late fees and just auto billed you the full cost.

Be kind (1)

PPH (736903) | about 6 months ago | (#46263665)

Rewind.

Re:Be kind (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46263697)

Be kind. Fist yourself until you die.

Geez, learn how it works (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46263731)

The cops have no discretion when a warrant is valid... particularly with a valid in-state warrant. When the warrant was issued, no one knew it would take 9 years for the woman to be tagged with it. Indeed, it would have been a greater waste of taxpayer resources to try to track her down over a $10 video and execute the warrant 9 years ago personally instead of by mail. Many petit larceny cases are treated like this.

She's 27 and this happened 9 years ago (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46263737)

If she was 16, that's too young to enter into a valid contract.

Re:She's 27 and this happened 9 years ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46263891)

Obviously, some people do age faster than other!

Re:She's 27 and this happened 9 years ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46263901)

27-9=18

Check your math. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46263911)

Your math sucks. 9 years ago, a 27 year old would have been 18.

Having said that, your math doesn't suck as bad as this beta does. First time I've looked at it in months, and it still sucks rocks.

Must be more to it (0)

Dan East (318230) | about 6 months ago | (#46263749)

There must be more to it. The owner must have held a grudge of some kind against this woman to have gone to the trouble. It says he sent "several certified letters" regarding the video. Just the cost of sending "several" certified letters alone would be more than the cost of the movie in 2005. Maybe back in the 80s, when commercial VHS tapes of movies cost $60+, it would have made a little more sense, but not in 2005. He had some personal reason to go after this woman.

Also, as someone else pointed out, the statute of limitations would apply here. South Carolina has one of the shortest statute of limitations I've ever seen. It's only 3 years for both written and oral contracts.

Re:Must be more to it (1)

smack.addict (116174) | about 6 months ago | (#46263761)

Once a warrant is issued, the statue of limitations goes out the door.

Re:Must be more to it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46263875)

Bzzz, thanks for playing. Statue of Limitations applies to both Criminal and Civil (although different terms).

Re:Must be more to it (1)

jeff4747 (256583) | about 6 months ago | (#46263861)

Also, as someone else pointed out, the statute of limitations would apply here. South Carolina has one of the shortest statute of limitations I've ever seen. It's only 3 years for both written and oral contracts.

The statute of limitations is the time limit to get a warrant. Once the warrant is issued, it lasts forever.

Re:Must be more to it (1)

russotto (537200) | about 6 months ago | (#46263865)

There must be more to it.

No, Just-Worlder, there might not be.

The owner must have held a grudge of some kind against this woman to have gone to the trouble.

Or maybe he's just an asshole.

It says he sent "several certified letters" regarding the video.

And maybe he did, or maybe he just said he did to get a warrant issued.

South Carolina has one of the shortest statute of limitations I've ever seen.

Only for civil matters, not for crimes.

Re:Must be more to it (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 6 months ago | (#46263883)

Statute of limitations usually applies from crime to filing formal charges. Once formal charges are filed (And they would have had to be done here, as there was a warrant), there is no limitation.

Re:Must be more to it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46263895)

movies for rental places even in 2005 range in the 60-100 dollar mark. You are paying for the rental license, you can't just replace it with a copy from wal mart. even so it does seem a little extreme, normally the worst you should expect is they sell the debt to a debt collector.

She's 27 now and this happened 9 years ago (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46263773)

In most states, a 16 year old does not have the capacity to enter into a contract. Whatever she signed to get the movie may not be a valid contract, just depends on South Carolina law.

This is how you spend your tax dollars? (1)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about 6 months ago | (#46263905)

Cost for a single VHS cassette: these days, about $5

Cost in man hours for the paperwork, arresting, jailing, court costs and so on... into the thousands, maybe even tens of thousands.

Seriously, what petulant, power-lording fuckwit sought this action?

My ex went to jail for my expired city sticker. (2)

ReekRend (843787) | about 6 months ago | (#46263933)

She took my car to get groceries one day and got a ticket in the parking lot, mistakenly thought it was dismissed, she moved and never received any summons or notices that her license was revoked, went to drive on a military base late at night 6 months later to visit a friend, they ran her license and charged her with like 4 crimes for trying to enter a military based with a suspended license (2003, they treated her like a terrorist, she spent all night locked up with the MP's), it went to court, no mercy, jail.

WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46264055)

What is the statute of limitations on something like that? I mean FFS some states only have 3 years on theft I see it's an old warrant, but it's still bs if you ask me. I mean what if she just lost it? Even if she told them it would not be hard to lie about.

Speculating.... (1)

no-body (127863) | about 6 months ago | (#46264059)

Maybe to avoid a lawsuit by the private jail company for lost profits?

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