Close up shot of many colored books in two stacks.
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Mom Finds Out There Was A Warrant Out For Her Arrest Due To Kids’ Overdue Library Books

“I offered to pay for the books. I offered to pay for the late fees but I cannot pay $600.”

Texas mom Kaylee Morgan had no idea that a book about Vincent Van Gogh would lead to an arrest warrant. The mom of five recently found out that a warrant had been issued for her arrest because of her kids’ overdue library books, leaving her feeling like she either wanted to “laugh or cry” with the absurdity of it all.

Morgan, who homeschools her children, was pregnant with her fifth in March 2023 when she went to take out some books to Navasota Public Library in Grimes County, Texas, that she was using to educate her kids. Morgan told NBC News that she took out five or six books at the time, and was deep into dealing with both extreme morning sickness and placenta previa, which can cause bleeding and mild cramping in the second trimester of pregnancy. Her husband returned all but one of the books a few weeks late, as the biggest book would not fit in the returns slot. Her stepson brought the book into the library later.

This was apparently too late. Navasto Public Library issued late return notices, which were sent to a former address, noting that she had to pay a $2 fine or the matter would be turned over to the court.

They turned it over to the court, but Morgan had no idea that anything was amiss until she went to renew her driver’s license and was told she had a warrant for her arrest over a $570 ticket from the library. “So I go in and the DMV tells me that they cannot renew my license because I have a warrant out for my arrest, and I audibly laugh,” she explained in a video posted to Facebook. “And I’m shocked because I haven’t been pulled over, haven’t got any tickets. It just doesn’t make sense.”

NBC’s Houston affiliate KPRC reported that Morgan was charged with “theft of government property,” which is a Class C misdemeanor.

“I offered to pay for the books. I offered to pay for the late fees, but I cannot pay $600,” she told NBC News. “I understand that we have deadlines for a reason and all of those things, but there has to be a better way to cultivate community engagement, instead of tearing the community apart.”

Morgan started a GoFundMe page in an effort to raise enough money to pay the ticket, and fortunately raised nearly $4,000, which she said she will use to hire a lawyer in an effort to keep this ticket from going on her permanent record. “Additionally whatever we have leftover (if we get extra $$$) will be donated to the Smithville Public Library,” she wrote on her GoFundMe page.

In the wake of Morgan going public with this issue, a Navasota judge reduced the fine from nearly $600 to $0, and lifted the warrant for the mom of five, local news outlet KBTX reported. The city of Navasota issued a statement to KBTX about this decision, noting that citizens should communicate with elected officials if they have any issues before adding, “City ordinances cannot be changed by discussions in the media or social media platforms.”