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An Ohio man who tried to help a friend in court was held in contempt for wearing low-sagging pants that revealed his underwear. Durrell Brooks tried to offer proof of insurance for a friend's car accident, but instead was ordered to jail for three days for his saggy attire.
"I felt I had no choice," Lorain Municipal Court Judge Mark Mihok told the local Chronicle-Telegram.
Brooks is the third person in the last month whom Judge Mihok has held in contempt for saggy pants. And Mihok is not alone in his judicial anti-saggy pants crusade.
A judge in Alabama did the same thing in April, when a man showed up to court wearing saggy blue jeans, the ABA Journal reports.
"You are in contempt of court because you showed your butt in court," Circuit Judge John Bush told the defendant, who, like Durrell Brooks in Ohio, was ordered to jail for three days.
"When you get out you can buy pants that fit, or at least get a belt to hold up your pants so your underwear doesn't show," Judge Bush said.
What gives judges this power to send people to jail for wearing saggy pants? In general, judges have discretion to run their courtrooms however they like. If a judge feels something is preventing court proceedings from moving forward, or if someone is disrespecting the court's authority, he can hold a person in contempt.
In Judge Mihok's case, he told Cleveland's WEWS-TV that it wasn't just a matter of court decorum. Everyone who enters his courtroom, including children and the elderly, must feel safe, he said.
The judge didn't elaborate about how saggy pants relates to safety. But he told the Chronicle-Telegram his anti-saggy pants rule isn't overly burdensome. "At least you have to have your pants up. I don't think I've set the bar too high," Mihok said.
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