New York judge warns woman, 83, to clean up her yard or face jail

Margaret Nichols' dirty yard
By: John Roberts

Old people do not have the same energy level as the young. However a New York judge does not seem to care much.

He warned the old woman to better have her yard cleaned up or face punishment.

Margaret Nichols, a woman 83 years old, who went to trial last month for having what the judge called "offensive" weeds and debris in her backyard, will have two weeks to clear up the yard before a judge issues a verdict in the case.

Town Justice John Gardner, who was expected to issue a verdict in the trial without a jury, has agreed to postpone the case for 2 weeks at the request of the village attorney Martha Conforti, to allow more time for Nichols, to put her property back in order. Nichols, could face thousands of dollars in fines and possible jail after being cited for 10 code violations.

Neighbor Jill Quartararo, said a water heater was still in Nichols, yard that appeared to be abandoned and said Nichols, has more cleaning up to do.

The complaint against Nichols says the property was "strewn with lots and blocks of vegetation, tree limbs, garbage, wine bottles and other objects, tall grass that could create a tripping hazard, feed a fire and harbor parasites, insects and rodents that could cause property damage and cause disease."

Denise Lippolis of New Paltz, New York, said she became concerned about Nichols’s property when her mother, who lived next door, contracted West Nile virus. "She had a high fever of 104," said Lippolis. "We were about to lose it." An attorney for Nichols, Jeffrey Chartier, declined to comment after the latest hearing.



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