Michigan judge scolds cancer patient over broken lawn: ‘If I could give you jail for this, I would’

A Michigan judge scolded a 72-year-old man who was battling cancer across his ruined lawn and told him he “should be ashamed” of himself and that “if I could give you jail for this, I would do it.”

Burhan Chowdhury of Hamtramck, located a few miles north of Detroit, said during a court hearing in Zoom on Jan. 10 that he has not been able to maintain his garden because cancer treatments have left him weak. In 2019, he was diagnosed with lymph node cancer.

A photo of his property shows overgrown plants and weeds that partially block an alley.

Burhan Chowdhury's property pictured with overgrown grass.  He told a Michigan judge last week that cancer treatments have made him too weak to maintain the farm.

Burhan Chowdhury’s property pictured with overgrown grass. He told a Michigan judge last week that cancer treatments have made him too weak to maintain the farm.
(31. Hamtramck District Court)

The lack of maintenance of the farm is in violation of a city ordinance, for which he received a ticket on August 2, 2021.

“I’m a cancer person,” Chowdhury said. “Back then I was very weak … I can not take care of these things.”

Alexis Krot, a judge at the 31st District Court, was not entertained and fined him $ 100, which must be paid by February 1st.

“You should be ashamed,” replied Krot. “Have you seen that picture? It’s shameful. If I could give you jail for this, I would do it.”

Neighbors told Fox affiliate WJBK-TV that Chowdhury was returning to his native Bangladesh for about two months in the summer for his son’s wedding, and that was when the farm started to get bad.

Shibbir Chowdhury, 33, spoke for his father and said his parents have been trying to maintain the property and that the farm has since been cleaned up.

“She told my father, a sick person, that he was going to jail. It’s ridiculous,” he told The Washington Post. “One cannot give a 72-year-old person in jail for not cleaning an alley. I was really shocked by that. I did not expect her to yell at us in these kinds of situations.”

Judge Alexis Krot of the 31st District Court is seen during a court hearing in which he appeared to scold a man about his farm.

Judge Alexis Krot of the 31st District Court is seen during a court hearing in which he appeared to scold a man about his farm.
(31. Hamtramck District Court)

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A signature collection on Change.org has been launched demanding Krot be removed from his seat. Monday night, it had more than 194,000 signatures.

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