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(The Raw Story)   Arkansas reestablishes debtors prison. This is not a repeat from 1833   (rawstory.com) divider line 120
    More: Asinine, Arkansas, debtors, Human Rights Watch, jail  
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5457 clicks; posted to Politics » on 10 Feb 2013 at 6:13 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-10 03:56:40 PM  
That's one way to re-legalize slavery
 
2013-02-10 04:10:30 PM  
I'm sure it's just as easy for a tenant to bring a land lord to court for sub-standard housing and unsafe living environments Right?
 
2013-02-10 06:16:55 PM  
And the Union workhouses? Are they still in operation?
 
2013-02-10 06:18:23 PM  
I guess if you're going to live in Arkansas anyways, being in prison can't be that much worse.
 
2013-02-10 06:20:53 PM  

udhq: I guess if you're going to live in Arkansas anyways, being in prison can't be that much worse.


Funny, that's what I thought. If you're in debt and in Arkansas, hell, might as well be in jail.
 
2013-02-10 06:20:59 PM  

KarmicDisaster: And the Union workhouses? Are they still in operation?


Well played.

fta: Landlords and corrupt public officials have frequently abused the law, which is unlike landlord-tenant law in any other state in the union.

I don't even have a joke here. That's just farked up. Third world shiat.
 
2013-02-10 06:22:13 PM  
Ok, so Joe Tenant gets behind and asshole landlord sends Joe to jail. Joe loses his job and now hates asshole landlord.

1. Do you think asshole landlord will ever see the money owned to him?

2. Do you think asshole landlord will soon start find his tires slashed and his properties vandalized?

Of course this will be (ab)used mostly by faceless corporate property management companies.
 
2013-02-10 06:27:03 PM  
This seems like one of those laws just waiting to be ruled unconstitutional.
 
2013-02-10 06:27:08 PM  
Debtor's Prison?  What the Dickens are they thinking?
 
2013-02-10 06:27:56 PM  
Uh, most states have the same law. It's referred to as trespassing.
 
2013-02-10 06:28:00 PM  
Decrease the surplus population.
 
2013-02-10 06:28:04 PM  
God dammit so much. There are so many nice things about living in NW Arkansas but the rest of the state is packed full of ignorant, mouth breathing conservative christian hicks.
 
2013-02-10 06:30:40 PM  

evil saltine: Uh, most states have the same law. It's referred to as trespassing.


Trolling or just bone stupid?
 
2013-02-10 06:31:43 PM  

Dwight_Yeast: evil saltine: Uh, most states have the same law. It's referred to as trespassing.

Trolling or just bone stupid?


It's usually both.
 
2013-02-10 06:34:55 PM  

Dwight_Yeast: evil saltine: Uh, most states have the same law. It's referred to as trespassing.

Trolling or just bone stupid?


Did you read the article? Going to jail for the crime of refusing to vacate someone else's property isn't "debtor's prison" by any stretch of the imagination.
 
2013-02-10 06:34:59 PM  
FTA: Tenants who are unable to deposit the rent amount but plead not guilty anyway face substantially harsher fines and up to 90 days in jail.

...how is this not a violation of the Equal Protection clause?
 
2013-02-10 06:35:24 PM  
Well at least they're not throwing them out on the street.
 
2013-02-10 06:40:34 PM  

nmemkha: Ok, so Joe Tenant gets behind and asshole landlord sends Joe to jail. Joe loses his job and now hates asshole landlord.

1. Do you think asshole landlord will ever see the money owned to him?

2. Do you think asshole landlord will soon start find his tires slashed and his properties vandalized?

Of course this will be (ab)used mostly by faceless corporate property management companies.


On the other hand, if Arkansas is the only state that has a law like this, it's probably a good way to get deadbeats to move to another state. You can also go to jail for not paying your income taxes. Funny how the federal government doesn't thinks debts are a reason to imprison someone until it's their money.
 
2013-02-10 06:43:02 PM  

nmemkha: Ok, so Joe Tenant gets behind and asshole landlord sends Joe to jail. Joe loses his job and now hates asshole landlord.

1. Do you think asshole landlord will ever see the money owned to him?

2. Do you think asshole landlord will soon start find his tires slashed and his properties vandalized?

Of course this will be (ab)used mostly by faceless corporate property management companies.


Especially if they've branched out into the "for-profit prison" industry.

/No such thing as a conflict of interest if you have enough money
 
2013-02-10 06:46:14 PM  

antidisestablishmentarianism: I'm sure it's just as easy for a tenant to bring a land lord to court for sub-standard housing and unsafe living environments Right?


Let's see:
http://www.ag.arkansas.gov/consumer_landlord_tenant_rights.html

"When you rent a house or apartment, you usually agree to take it "as is." This means that the landlord is not required to provide additional maintenance to the dwelling."

So the landlord has no responsibilities besides watching the money roll in.
 
2013-02-10 06:49:46 PM  
What a shiatty article.... Absolutely NO real data whatsoever.

How far behind do you have to be before this is a thing? I month? $100?
How long does the process actually take?
HOW is it "getting abused"? Are landlords falsifying documents, or are judges allowing cases to proceed who don't really fall into the scope of the law as it was intended?

The thing that really sucks here? Moist of the time, the landlord-tenant agreements are designed to protect the tenants, since the landlords have a lot of protections anyway. This is why they HAVE to repair things in a reasonable time, why they have to keep the grounds safe, the sidewalks in good repair, etc. One of these designed to screw the tenant is just sad. The only thing sadder is the quality of writing in this poor excuse for journalism.
 
2013-02-10 06:51:53 PM  
That is bullshiat, no wonder it comes from a southern state.
 
2013-02-10 06:53:20 PM  

evil saltine: antidisestablishmentarianism: I'm sure it's just as easy for a tenant to bring a land lord to court for sub-standard housing and unsafe living environments Right?

Let's see:
http://www.ag.arkansas.gov/consumer_landlord_tenant_rights.html

"When you rent a house or apartment, you usually agree to take it "as is." This means that the landlord is not required to provide additional maintenance to the dwelling."

So the landlord has no responsibilities besides watching the money roll in.


They still have to maintain things like plumbing and things that affect health and building safety.
 
2013-02-10 06:56:08 PM  
...wouldn't it just be cheaper and easier for the state to use the money being paid for the incarceration to pay their rent instead? And then take the repayment out of their tax refund or something?
 
2013-02-10 07:00:55 PM  
When you sign a rental contract, you enter into an agreement with your landlord wherein he allows you to live on his property and in exchange you pay him rent.  If you fail to uphold your end of the contract, your landlord should be absolved of upholding his.  If you refuse to vacate his property after violating the rental agreement, you are trespassing and the landlord should have the right to have you arrested.
 
2013-02-10 07:02:28 PM  
Honestly, is anyone surprised? It's Arkansas.
 
2013-02-10 07:03:17 PM  

JesusJuice: When you sign a rental contract, you enter into an agreement with your landlord wherein he allows you to live on his property and in exchange you pay him rent.  If you fail to uphold your end of the contract, your landlord should be absolved of upholding his.  If you refuse to vacate his property after violating the rental agreement, you are trespassing and the landlord should have the right to have you arrested.


You spelled "evicted" wrong.
 
2013-02-10 07:03:27 PM  
Good idea actually, non-payment of rent is essentially property theft.
 
2013-02-10 07:07:49 PM  

Arkansas' prison system oversees a total 14,816 people, reports the Arkansas Democrat Gazette ("http://www.nwanews.com/adg/News/237816/">State still opposes private prisons," Sept. 20), but 1,247 are presently housed in county jails because the state doesn't have enough beds. In response, four legislators co-sponsored legislation last week to use private prisons for the overflow, but the state prison system is resisting the idea. Said a Department of Corrections spokesperson:

"I will say our department is not overly eager to step back into privatization." [Dina] Tyler cited the state's experience with the Wackenhut Corrections Corp., which ran the Grimes and McPherson units in Newport from 1998 to 2001."That experiment didn't go well. The state had to assume management of those two facilities because the company couldn't do what it said it could do," Tyler said.

 
2013-02-10 07:07:58 PM  

Mikey1969: They still have to maintain things like plumbing and things that affect health and building safety.


The residence has to be up to code. So yes if it's unsafe you'll get booted out. Arkansas doesn't have the "deduct and repair" remedy though.
 
2013-02-10 07:08:56 PM  

whistleridge: ...wouldn't it just be cheaper and easier for the state to use the money being paid for the incarceration to pay their rent instead? And then take the repayment out of their tax refund or something?


Yeah, but that way, they don't get their kickbacks from the for-profit prisons.

/Only half-joking.
 
2013-02-10 07:09:17 PM  

evil saltine: antidisestablishmentarianism: I'm sure it's just as easy for a tenant to bring a land lord to court for sub-standard housing and unsafe living environments Right?

Let's see:
http://www.ag.arkansas.gov/consumer_landlord_tenant_rights.html

"When you rent a house or apartment, you usually agree to take it "as is." This means that the landlord is not required to provide additional maintenance to the dwelling."

So the landlord has no responsibilities besides watching the money roll in.


So buying rental property in Arkansas means I just have to keep the property from being condemed? Sounds profitable.
 
2013-02-10 07:11:06 PM  

antidisestablishmentarianism: I'm sure it's just as easy for a tenant to bring a land lord to court for sub-standard housing and unsafe living environments Right?


I don't know much about Arkansas, but the laws are HEAVILY stacked in the favor of the tenant in NY. This is the main reason I will not invest in rental property in this state. You have almost no ramification if a tenant destroys your house and refuses to pay rent. It takes three months to file eviction, get a court date, win, schedule an eviction date with the sheriff, give 72 hours final notice, and then finally show up with a legal empowerment to reclaim your own house.

I know people love to hate landlords, but some of them are decent, working folk who are renting a house they inherited from their parents, or renting their starter home after upgrading to a nicer one. It can be financially devastating to get a scumbag in there who doesn't pay his rent. And since it's illegal to only rent to college educated tenants, you pretty much have to rent to anyone who can demonstrate income or else risk other lawsuits. My father got three months of rent out of my grandmother's house, spend half a year arguing with the tenant and going through the court process, and then found the basement literally full right up the stairs with garbage bags because the POS lady didn't want to pay for dumpster service. She also broke every window and poured concrete in the drains before leaving, out of spite.
 
2013-02-10 07:24:20 PM  

evil saltine: Uh, most states have the same law. It's referred to as trespassing.


Look everyone! It's a person who has absolutely no idea what they're talking about! But they keep posting on the Internet with utmost confidence anyways! How special!
 
2013-02-10 07:25:37 PM  

abb3w: FTA: Tenants who are unable to deposit the rent amount but plead not guilty anyway face substantially harsher fines and up to 90 days in jail.

...how is this not a violation of the Equal Protection clause?


The other way of putting this would be "Lesser sentences are available to those willing to make restitution," which is really no different than nearly every other property crime.
 
2013-02-10 07:27:14 PM  

evil saltine: Mikey1969: They still have to maintain things like plumbing and things that affect health and building safety.

The residence has to be up to code. So yes if it's unsafe you'll get booted out. Arkansas doesn't have the "deduct and repair" remedy though.


I hope you're misstating the law here, because if this is accurate then Arkansas law allows for a particularly despicable form of extrajudicial eviction.
 
2013-02-10 07:30:22 PM  

JesusJuice: When you sign a rental contract, you enter into an agreement with your landlord wherein he allows you to live on his property and in exchange you pay him rent.  If you fail to uphold your end of the contract, your landlord should be absolved of upholding his.  If you refuse to vacate his property after violating the rental agreement, you are trespassing and the landlord should have the right to have you arrested.


Some day, when you grow up, you'll come to appreciate the fact that you don't live in the 1890s. Or, you'll just become increasingly bitter and angry and spend most of your time in your underground bunker. Just don't drag any innocent five year old Asbergers kids down there with you, OK? The rest of us have a modern society to run and don't want to waste our time on your bullshiat.
 
2013-02-10 07:31:32 PM  
i always knew it was a felony to write a bad check in arkansas and knew a few people who went to county jail over it

cant remember the amou maybe around $3-500
 
2013-02-10 07:32:15 PM  
One day, someone will get tired of the evil, corrupt assholes running this country, and they will start shuffling those evil assholes off their mortal coils. And I will cheer them.
 
2013-02-10 07:41:34 PM  

siphra: Good idea actually, non-payment of rent is essentially property theft.


So when your cell phone bill is three days late the sheriff will be stopping by to haul you into jail?

It is the same thing. Late payment of rent impacts your credit - doesn't result in criminal prosecution.
 
2013-02-10 07:42:56 PM  
Hell, I rent in Arkansas and thankfully have always been able to make rent on time, The landlord is king, rented a shack with leaking floors, crooked drafty windows, and the gas line for the oven was a total no-go with the gas company, there was no way to get dude to fix it, or to discount rent.
Also, thirty day notice to vacate sucks balls for working class folks, I was one week away from ending up on the street, as I normally don't have 1,500$ sitting around for an emergency move. Guess I'm lucky I didn't end up in jail and having to pay the courts and the old landlord, and a new one too.
Live in a better place now.
 
2013-02-10 07:43:41 PM  

nmemkha: Ok, so Joe Tenant gets behind and asshole landlord sends Joe to jail. Joe loses his job and now hates asshole landlord.

1. Do you think asshole landlord will ever see the money owned to him?

2. Do you think asshole landlord will soon start find his tires slashed and his properties vandalized?

Of course this will be (ab)used mostly by faceless corporate property management companies.


I suppose in that scenario they could keep Joe Tenant in prison on a variety of trumped-up but technically legal charges until he (or someone else in his stead) pays whatever fines are owed, which will be in the amount of the rent owed plus whatever court fees they decide are applicable.  The court gives the money to the renter and keeps their cut.  He could fight it if he could afford a real lawyer, but the odds of him being able to afford one are remote since he doesn't even have the cash to pay rent, and the PD is probably gonna just tell him, "You need to pay if you ever want to get out," over and over until he finally does.   I'm sure if there's something wrong with this scenario, someone will inform me.
 
2013-02-10 07:44:12 PM  

Because People in power are Stupid: That's one way to re-legalize slavery


Slavery is already legal in prisons, this just herds more people that way.
 
2013-02-10 07:48:41 PM  
What's the problem here?  This is not debtor's prison.  It's time in the can if you refuse to leave.

If you don't pay your rent, you get ten days to GTFO.  If you refuse to leave, you end up in the can.

I'm a landlord in another state.  If someone doesn't pay, they get a 72 hour notice to pay rent or quit.  If they don't, then we have them evicted.  All this happens in about ten days.  After you get the judgment, they have 24 hours to clear out.  Then law enforcement shows up, changes the locks and puts all their stuff outside.

It works the same in most states.  Further, it's hard to burn a month or two of no rent when you have a mortgage, property taxes, upkeep, and then having to drop a few hundred for fresh paint and carpet before getting someone else in.

No, I don't toss everyone who is late, either.  There's a simple rule of thumb.

If they come to you before the rent is due and say that their transmission blew up and need an extra week to pay, they make good on that 99% of the time.

If a tenant doesn't pay and then starts making excuses when you ask for rent, they're usually full of shiat and have no intention to pay you.
 
2013-02-10 07:50:24 PM  
Yes Tommy Moo, New York's pro-tenant policies have really destroyed the rental market here.

BRB, someone is building a luxury apartment building over my apartment building that is made up of more apartment buildings. (Yo dawg...)

Meanwhile, every evicted family costs the city of New York around $36,000 a year just to shelter them. It would be economically insane for them to change policy.
 
2013-02-10 07:54:40 PM  

antidisestablishmentarianism: I'm sure it's just as easy for a tenant to bring a land lord to court for sub-standard housing and unsafe living environments Right?


I know you're being sarcastic, but as long as landlords are allowed to draw up one-sided contracts absolving them of all responsibility which renters have no choice to sign because it's either that or live in a cardboard box, the answer is no, no it is not.
 
2013-02-10 07:55:24 PM  

abb3w: FTA: Tenants who are unable to deposit the rent amount but plead not guilty anyway face substantially harsher fines and up to 90 days in jail.

...how is this not a violation of the Equal Protection clause?


more a violation of due process, also its a perfect example of using the criminal justice system to solve a civil wrong.  (failure to pay on a contract).  Landlords love this law because they get to threaten their tenants with arrest and it turns the city attorney into their personal attorney.  Because its a criminal charge landlords do not have to pay filing fees or attorney fees that they would have to pay (like the rest of the country) in a civil matter, which an eviction is.  Landlords also like that it's a criminal charge because then the "Defendant" cannot make a counterclaim, which otherwise the would be allowed to in the civil system.  The funny thing about the law is it requires the tenant to pay into the court registry.  There are no registeries in District court were most of these cases are heard.  If your a tenant under this law try to pay into the registry at District court...the clerk won't take it.
 
2013-02-10 07:57:14 PM  

L.D. Ablo: I'm a landlord


There is no faster way of saying "Please don't like me".
 
2013-02-10 07:59:37 PM  

LouDobbsAwaaaay: L.D. Ablo: I'm a landlord

There is no faster way of saying "Please don't like me".


Sure there is: "I'm a lawyer."

/Really, I am.
 
2013-02-10 08:06:30 PM  

Mikey1969: What a shiatty article.... Absolutely NO real data whatsoever.

How far behind do you have to be before this is a thing? I month? $100?
How long does the process actually take?
HOW is it "getting abused"? Are landlords falsifying documents, or are judges allowing cases to proceed who don't really fall into the scope of the law as it was intended?

The thing that really sucks here? Moist of the time, the landlord-tenant agreements are designed to protect the tenants, since the landlords have a lot of protections anyway. This is why they HAVE to repair things in a reasonable time, why they have to keep the grounds safe, the sidewalks in good repair, etc. One of these designed to screw the tenant is just sad. The only thing sadder is the quality of writing in this poor excuse for journalism.


for your reading pleasure

http://www.hrw.org/reports/2013/02/04/pay-rent-or-face-arrest
 
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