Contrary to recent media reports, the malicious prosecution of Julie Bass of Oak Park, Michigan has not ended. Authorities have also charged her with having unlicensed dogs, though they never escaped or threatened anyone. Here’s the unedited scoop straight from her own blog, Oak Park Hates Veggies:
Home-grown: Julie Bass has fallen foul of local authorities by growing vegetables in her front yard
1- the charges against us were not actually “dropped”. they were dismissed by some judge we have never heard of or seen. we hope this person is a real judge, and had the real authority to dismiss our case, but we are going to double-check on that today
2- the dismissal without prejudice means that the prosecutor can come back at any time and reinstate the garden charge as well (he has already reinstated the dog license charge, but i will get to that in a minute). there has been no final disposition of the case, so we can’t take a deep breath and relax.
3- the prosecutor wants more time to review the ordinance. not that he has given up on the garden charge. to the contrary, he wants more time to look things over. i think usually the prosecutor in normal cases would ask the judge for a continuance or an adjournment or something. why they handled it this way is a suspicious mystery…
4- we still have our same court date- july 26th. we still have to appear for a pre-trial, only this time it will be for 2 misdemeanors (the dogs), instead of 1 misdemeanor for the garden.
5- when we got the citation for the dog licenses we cleared it up right away. we went in that friday, only to find that our government is closed on friday due to budget cuts (!). we went back as soon as we were able the following week and took care of it. we paid the license fees. we paid late fees. we got proof from them that the dogs were current and paid up, and we took this proof to court and we showed it to the prosecutor.
6- our current and valid dog licenses were shown on at least on TV news program, and i’m sure were re-broadcast many times over. there is no controversy about whether or not our dogs are licensed. they weren’t current and now they are. that’s it.
7- i can’t think of anything else to clarify, but please keep the word out there that we are not off the hook. a lot of places have been printing and posting “charges were dropped!”- but that’s only part of the story, and gives the incorrect impression that we have won. that’s not true, and i really worry that if the focus goes away, they will renew their prosecution/persecution of us. please take it upon yourself to correct errors in other places and to spread the truth.