Denise Morrison of Tulsa, Oklahoma gardens. Every single plant in her yard was edible. Some were medicinal and used by her to treat her diabetes, high blood pressure, and arthritis. Others were fruit or nut trees. Some were vegetables. All of them were well-tended.
Last year, the city received a complaint against her yard. Knowing that everything in her garden and yard was up to code, she took the citation to court last August. The judge ruled to postpone the case until October. Three days later she came home and found city workers digging up her garden, removing thousands of dollars worth of plants as well has her only source of food at the time. (She was unemployed.)
The city did not have permission to do this — either from her or the court. She lost everything.
Watch the video.
When her case finally did go to court, the judge dismissed the citation against her garden. Turns out Ms. Morrison was right. Her garden was up to code.
Too bad she’d already had her local government officials step in without authorization and destroy her property.
They even cut down some of her trees -– ones that bore fruit and nuts -– and went up next to her house and basically removed everything in her front flower bed.
“I came back three days later, sat in my driveway, cried and left,” Morrison said.
Morrison said she had a problem at her last property with code enforcement, so this time, she read the ordinance, which says plants can’t be over 12-inches tall unless they’re used for human consumption. She made sure everything she grew could be eaten, which she told the inspectors.
“Every word out of their mouth was, ‘we don’t care,'” Morrison said.
Morrison said she used many of the plants that were destroyed to treat her diabetes, high-blood pressure and arthritis.
“Not only are the plants my livelihood, they’re my food and I was unemployed at the time and had no food left, no medicine left, and I didn’t have insurance,” Morrison said. “They took away my life and livelihood.”
Now, she’s suing the city for violating her civil rights.
Here’s hoping she wins!
If this story sounds familiar, that’s because it’s not the first one like it I’ve told. Remember Amy Becerra’s story from last summer?
What is it with these local governments overstepping their bounds? Do you have a similar story to share? How did it turn out?
(photo by wiccked)
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