Parents May Face Jail over Owning a Child’s Swing Set

Lou Colagiovanni | ANTIMEDIA

Missouri parents have found themselves in hot water for having a swing set for their children on their property.

Two Lee’s Summit, Missouri parents have found themselves in hot water for having a swing set for their children on their property. The Stout family is facing sanctions, fines, and possibly even jail time.

Leading the charge against the family—which has been ongoing for over a year—is the most dubious of opponents: The Raintree Lake Neighborhood Homeowner’s Association. The claim against the family swing set is that it infringed on HOA guidelines, which specifically state that play equipment must be “subdued and within harmony with other colors of the community.

Let’s note, for the record, that the definition of “harmony” is suspiciously missing from the HOA’s guidelines.

Marla Stout, speaking for her family, said the dispute originally began over the color of the swing set, which was red. That color was deemed not in “harmony” by the HOA, and the Stout family was fined. They fought the HOA on that charge and the decision was reversed.

To compromise, the family changed the color to purple, which also failed to appease the HOA. It went on to threaten further legal action. According to local KMBC.com, Marla Stout says she received documents from a law firm representing the HOA that said “if we didn’t remove the swing set from the subdivision in a couple of weeks, we go to jail.”

Neither the Stout family nor the The Raintree Lake Neighborhood Homeowner’s Association has elaborated on the particular charge that would apply. One could theorize that it may be related, at least in some way, to being held in contempt.

Let’s play this scenario out to its finality and assume that one or both parents winds up jailed over this trivial matter. What, then, would become of the children? Would they be in the custody of Missouri’s Child Protective Service? And for how long? Who in that association can believe the prudent action to take is to threaten a family with criminal penalties over a lousy swingset?


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Lou Colagiovanni joined Anti-Media as an independent journalist in July of 2014. His topics of interest include crime and politics. Born in New York City, New York, he currently resides in Las Vegas, Nevada. Learn more about Colagiovanni here!

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