Web Stories Thursday, April 25

A Texas stay-at-home mom said she was trying to renew her driver’s license when she learned there was a warrant for her arrest stemming from overdue library books.

“I really didn’t believe it,” Kaylee Morgan told NBC affiliate KPRC of Houston. “Like I really thought I’m on Punked or something like this is not true.”

Morgan, a mother of five children, said she took books out from the Navasota Public Library in Navasota, about 115 miles east of Austin, last March for her homeschooled children, according to the station.

At the time, Morgan said she was pregnant and experiencing hyperemesis, extreme morning sickness, and placenta previa, when the placenta covers the opening in the cervix. It can cause bleeding around the start of the second half of pregnancy and mild cramping or contractions, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

Morgan told the news station that she missed returning the library books by the due date, but her husband did eventually drop off all of the books, except for one because it did not fit inside the library’s drop box.

An overdue notice from the library dated April 10, 2023, showed that Morgan had two books due by March 31, 2023. It said the total amount she owed on her account was $1.

A week later, the library sent what it said was a second and final notice. It said Morgan had 10 days to return the books and pay a new $2 fine or the matter would be turned over to the court.

A city ordinance states that failure to return books or library items within 30 days from the due date results in their library card being suspended. If a person fails to respond to the letter of complaint within 10 days of receiving it, it is considered a misdemeanor criminal offense punishable by a fine of up to $500.

Morgan told KPRC that she did not realize she was in trouble until she went to renew her license and was told there was a warrant for a $570 ticket.

Attorney Cary Bovey, who is the library’s legal counsel, could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

Morgan said the entire ordeal has been stressful and questioned why the punishment for overdue library books was so strict.

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