Judge Outrages Public After Berating 72-Year-Old Cancer Patient Over Lawn Clutter

If you talk to a lawyer for long enough, they'll likely tell you that judges hold a level of power in how they conduct court that is easy to underestimate.

And that's not just a warning about how quickly you can find yourself in contempt of court if you talk back to them, but also an explanation for why judges can get away with their more unorthodox decisions.

This isn't always a bad thing, as some judges have been known to hand down unusual sentences and jail disruptive visitors for reasons that were both compassionate and lived up to the spirit of the laws they interpret.

However, it also means that when a judge adopts a bizarre position that leads to a miscarriage of justice or treats people unnecessarily harshly, there is usually little recourse to be had against them.

And that has been a major point of frustration for the public in the wake of an online court session that has attracted viral outrage in recent days.

On January 10, Judge Alexis G. Krot of Hamtramck, Michigan was dealing with a ticket for failure to keep walkways clear of nuisance vegetation.

As Insider reported, the defendant in this case was 72-year-old Burhan Chowdhury, who was in the process of undergoing treatment after being diagnosed with lymph-node cancer in 2019.

And while his 33-year-old son Shibbir tended to care for his father's property after he fell ill, there was a three-month period in 2021 when he was unable to do so as he was in Bangladesh.

And in that time, the elder Chowdhury had received a ticket for the noxious weeds and vegetation we see here.

As he explained to Krot while struggling to breathe, he was unable to deal with these plants as both his cancer and the relevant treatments had left him too weak to do so.

However, Krot quickly made it clear that she wouldn't accept this explanation, saying, "You should be ashamed of yourself. If I could give you jail time on this, I would."

Instead, she imposed a $100 fine to be paid by February 1.

She added that Chowdhury would also have to clear the vegetation out as it was "totally inappropriate."

And when his son reiterated that Chowdhury had been ill and that the vegetation has since been cleaned up, Krot interjected, saying, "Do you see that photo? That is shameful. Shameful. The neighbors should not have to look at that."

As Shibbir would later tell The Washington Post, "I was really shocked by it. I didn't expect her to yell at us in this kind of a situation."

He also found the prospect of telling a 72-year-old cancer patient that he deserves to go to jail for not clearing an alleyway "ridiculous."

Nonetheless, he promised that he would pay the fine and court records obtained by Insider confirmed that it was indeed paid by January 12.

He also said that he has since received a great deal of support both from online well-wishers and from those within his community.

As he put it, "People understand that a situation like this can happen with someone who is old or sick."

And while Krot's position as a judge prohibits her from commenting on this case, a Change.org petition has since called for her removal, citing Krot's supposed "history of being bigoted to immigrants."

At the time of this writing, it has received over 11,000 signatures.

h/t: Insider