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A judge told a 72-year-old man who has cancer that he 'should be ashamed' of himself after he said he was too weak to keep up with his lawn

INSIDER logo INSIDER 1/13/2022 (Kelsey Vlamis)
A virtual meeting of the 31st District Court in Hamtramck, Michigan. 31st District Court in Hamtramck, Michigan © Provided by INSIDER A virtual meeting of the 31st District Court in Hamtramck, Michigan. 31st District Court in Hamtramck, Michigan
  • Burhan Chowdhury, of Hamtramck, Michigan, told a judge he had been too weak to clean up his yard.
  • Judge Alexis G. Krot said he should be ashamed and she would've given him jail time if she could.
  • Chowdhury's son said he usually helped his dad with the yard but was out of the country.

A Michigan judge on Monday berated a 72-year-old man who had told her he'd failed to maintain his yard because his cancer treatments made him weak.

In a video of the exchange, Burhan Chowdhury of the Michigan city of Hamtramck, near Detroit, appeared to struggle to breathe as he explained his situation to District Judge Alexis G. Krot.

"You should be ashamed of yourself," Krot could be heard saying in the video. "If I could give you jail time on this, I would."

She then issued him a $100 fine, adding: "You've got to get that cleaned up. That is totally inappropriate."

The man's son, Shibbir Chowdhury, 33, who appeared with his father for the Zoom hearing of the 31st District Court, spoke up to clarify that his father was sick and that the property had already been cleaned up.

"Do you see that photo?" Krot asked. "That is shameful. Shameful. The neighbors should not have to look at that."

Shibbir Chowdhury told The Washington Post that his father was found to have lymph-node cancer in 2019. He said he usually helped keep up the yard for his parents but was in Bangladesh for three months last year.

He said weeds grew out around his parents' house while he was gone. When he returned, he said, his father told him they had received a ticket for noxious weeds and vegetation. The younger Chowdhury said he was shocked by the judge's reaction to the situation.

"She was telling my father, a sick person, that he should go to jail. That's ridiculous," he told The Post. "You can't give a 72-year-old person jail time for not cleaning an alley."

"I was really shocked by it," he added. "I didn't expect her to yell at us in this kind of a situation."

Shibbir Chowdhury said he would pay his father's fine and had received a lot of support from other people online and in their community.

"People understand that a situation like this can happen with someone who is old or sick," he said.

Court records viewed by Insider showed the fine was paid Wednesday.

Krot was appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder in August 2016 and elected in November 2018. As a judge, she is unable to comment on the case, WDIV reported.

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