In a recent event the city of Jacksboro turned a new page of its history. On November 12th, a number of city residents were called to the city hall as potential jurors for a municipal trial. Only the second of its type in recent Jacksboro history.
The dispute began over a Disorderly Conduct citation issued to a Jacksboro resident back in May of this year. The fine for the citation was $108.00. The resident fighting the citation claims that during a time that she was at the fire hall (getting a burn permit) she inquired to the (then) Animal Control officer as to whether they had any puppies at the shelter that she could look at, in the interest of adopting. Overhearing the conversation was the Code Enforcement officer, who is ultimately over the shelter. The officer stepped into the area and stated that the resident was on the city’s “No Adoption” list and would be unable to proceed.
The Code Enforcement officer stated that the resident was on the list for a number of reasons. According to the Code Enforcement officer the resident did not have the proper fencing required to adopt and that the resident had lost a number of dogs to being ran over in prior times due to being unable to contain them. A number of times the Animal Control officers were dispatched to the area near the residence to catch dogs that had escaped and were running loose. The resident disagreed with the Code Enforcement officer, and words were exchanged.
According to the Code Enforcement officer and witnesses the heated exchange took a step toward a possible physical exchange before the Animal Control officer stepped between the two, moving the resident back. Shortly afterwards the Code Enforcement officer reported the incident to the Jacksboro Police and filed a Disorderly Conduct citation.
The resident has held firm that the Code Enforcement officer was simply harassing them due to a conflict that has stemmed from city abatement proceedings that have been going on for several months. The resident lost her home due to a fire that occurred back in the Spring. The resident claims the city is responsible for the loss of both the home and their income because of a slow response time from the Fire Department. The city denies the claim and after extending the time for the resident to get the property cleaned up, abatement is imminent.
Six jurors were chosen to hear the Disorderly Conduct case. After both sides gave their presentations and heard from their witnesses the jurors convened for about 30 minutes before announcing their decision, which was guilty. The fine for the charge was “No less than $1.00 and no more than $500.00” to which the jurors assigned it to be $250.00
The resident has filed an appeal for the case to go to the District Court. No date for the trial has been set. The cost for the resident to pursuit the issue in District court will be considerably higher than the $108.00 citation they began with, yet if they are found not guilty it will be considered by them money well spent.