A 72-year-old man battling lymph node cancer was berated by a Michigan judge for failing to keep up his lawn tidy despite the fact that his medical treatments left him too weak to do yard work.
Burhan Chowdhury, of Hamtramck, appeared in virtual court Monday over a ticket he was issued in August because the grass, brush and trees at his home had overgrown, obstructing the sidewalk and alleyway.
‘You should be ashamed of yourself,’ District Judge Alexis G. Krot told Chowdhury. ‘If I could give you jail time on this, I would.’
The judge called Chowdhury’s yard ‘shameful,’ instructed him to clean the yard and issued him a $100 fine to be paid by February.
‘You’ve got to get that cleaned up. That is totally inappropriate,’ she said.
Video of the incident shows Chowdhury’s son attempting to plead his father’s case. He told Krot his father was very sick and the family had taken care of the lawn, however the judge continued to dismiss the family.
‘That is shameful. Shameful,’ she said. ‘The neighbors should not have to look at that.’
Burhan Chowdhury, a 72-year-old battling cancer, was berated by a Michigan judge for failing to keep up his lawn tidy despite the fact that his medical treatments left him too weak to do yard work
Shibbir Chowdhury, 33, who appeared alongside Chowdhury on Zoom, told WDIV his father was diagnosed with cancer in 2019 and the treatments limit his mobility.
Since the diagnosis, Shibbir and his mother taken over property maintenance. However, the family faced hardship last fall while Shibbir was in Bangladesh for three months and the yard care lapsed.
‘I usually take care of the stuff in the backyard and everything, but that time I was out of the country,’ Shibbir explained.
He acknowledged that the yard did violate a city ordinance and should’ve been more responsible regarding maintenance arrangements. However, he doesn’t think that warranted the way Krot spoke to his father.
‘There was really mistakes I should have taken care of that. But, yeah, still, like she should have said my father more politely,’ he said.
Chowdhury was issued a ticket for ‘failing to keep the fence, walkway, sidewalk or alley free of trees, leaves’ or other items on August 2, 2021 after the city was made aware of the yard’s condition
In court Monday, District Judge Alexis G. Krot told Chowdhury: ‘You should be ashamed of yourself. If I could give you jail time on this, I would’
Chowdhury was issued a ticket for ‘failing to keep the fence, walkway, sidewalk or alley free of trees, leaves’ or other items on August 2, 2021 after the city was made aware of the yard’s condition.
‘It was a chain reaction,’ Shibbir said. ‘The neighbors probably complained and took the picture that was sent to the city.’
He said the family cleaned up the vegetation shortly after receiving the citation, but Chowdhury still had to appear in court to learn whether he would need to pay a fine.
During his court appearance, Chowdhury – who sounds as if he is struggling to breathe – attempted to explain the situation but the judge routinely interjected.
‘Do you see that photo?’ Krot questioned, referencing a picture of the yard that was shared with the city and projected during the court appearance.
‘You have got to get that cleaned up,’ she stated.
Toward the end of the exchange, Chowdhury can be heard saying: ‘Oh, my God.’
Shibbir thought Krot’s message was ‘really shocking’ and made ‘very clear’ to Chowdhury, despite the fact that he doesn’t speak much English.
‘She was telling my father, a sick person, that he should go to jail. That’s ridiculous,’ Shibbir told the Washington Post on Wednesday.
‘The way she said that my father should serve jail time for this thing really bugged me. I was really shocked by it. I didn’t expect her to yell at us in this kind of a situation.’
He added: ‘You can’t give a 72-year-old person jail time for not cleaning an alley.’
Court records obtained by Insider revealed that Chowdhury’s fine was paid on Wednesday.