Valley Alabama Police Arrest 82-Year-Old Woman For Failure to Pay Trash Services

DATELINE: VALLEY, Ala. –––  According to officials, the City of Valley Code Enforcement Officers issued Martha Louis Menefield a citation in August 2022 for non-payment for trash services for the months of June, July and August – the bill totaled $77.80.

Prior to issuing the citation, Code Enforcement said they attempted to call Menefield several times and even attempted to contact her in person at her residence. When contact could not be made, a door hanger was left at her residence.

The hanger contained information on the reason for the visit and a name and contact phone number for her to call. The citation advised Menefield that she was to appear in court on September 7, in reference to this case.

She didn’t appear in court, so a warrant was issued.

WBRC 6

When two officers pulled up outside her Valley, Alabama home on Sunday, Menefield didn’t know why they were there. She said the officers – one white, one Black – got out of their patrol car and approached her home. One of the officers said they were there to arrest her for failure to pay her trash bill. 

“You’re not kidding?” She recalled asking him. He wasn’t. He was there to arrest her for failure to pay $77.80. She thought the bill had already been paid, she said Thursday afternoon, sitting on her front porch’s rocking chair, “but they said it hadn’t.”

Menefield said the officers told her they would have to place her in handcuffs. She put her hands behind her back. The front will do, they told her. Menefield slowed as she told the story. She held her arms out in front her. “And the cuffs,” she said, her eyes swelling with tears. “They’re so heavy.”

CBS 42

Menefield has a history of failing to pay her trash bill, according to Valley Police Chief Mike Reynolds’ statement. Her trash services were suspended three times in the past two years, and there have been more than 22 incidents of suspensions and revocations of trash services since 2006, the statement said.

Code enforcement officers tried to call Menefield several times and attempted to contact her at her home, the statement said.

“When contact could not be made, a door hanger was left at her residence,” the statement said. “The hanger contained information on the reason for the visit and a name and contact phone number for her to call. The citation advised Ms. Menefield that she was to appear in court on September 7, 2022, in reference to this case.”

NBC NEWS

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