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‘I’m Not Joking’: 82-Year-Old Woman Locked Up for Failing to Pay $77 Trash Bill


An elderly Alabama woman was arrested and placed in handcuffs for failing to pay a a $77 trash bill.

Valley Police Department released body camera footage of an officer’s arrest of Martha Menefield, 82, who was taken into custody in late November for failing to pay a trash bill in the amount of $77.80.

“WHAT,” Menefield said in disbelief after being told why she was being arrested.

“I’m not joking,” the responding officer told the 82-year-old.

“I’m serious, it’s a warrant,” he later said.

According to court records, Menefield was charged for not paying the garbage service bill that covered the months of June, July and August. She was charged with a misdemeanor offense of “failure to pay solid waste fees.”

After the officer explained the charges to the elderly woman, he handcuffed her.

“You ought to be ashamed of yourself, arresting an 82-year-old person,” Menefield told the officer as he began to restrain her arms.

“I’m so sorry,” the officer replied as he locked the cuffs around her wrists. “But the law is the law, Miss Menefield.”

Menefield had explained to officers that her daughter typically takes care of the trash bill.

“My daughter takes care of that for me,” she said.

“She has not been doing it,” the officer responded.

“I’d definitely try to get in contact with your daughter if I were you,” the officer later said. “Because she done screwed you on this one.”

Court records indicated Menefield was arrested in 2006 for not paying a $206.54 trash bill. The case was later dismissed “upon compliance.”

Following the arrest, Valley Police Chief Mark Reynolds said in a statement that officers were required to arrest her. The woman “was treated respectfully by our officers in the performance of their duties and was released on a bond as prescribed by the violation,” Reynolds said.

Read the arrest warrant and documents here.

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