Woman Arrested For Not Paying Twilight Book Fine


File this one under either there is more to the story, or the folks in New Mexico literally have no other pressing crime issues. According to the LA Times:

A New Mexico woman was handcuffed and taken to jail this month for $35.98 in library fines. The Portales Public Library‘s records show that Lori Teel checked out Stephenie Meyer’s book “Twilight” and a two-DVD set of “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” in 2010 and never returned them.

The overdue library fines led to a summons to appear in court; when Teel failed to do that, a warrant was issued for her arrest. Teel says she never got any notices, because they were sent to an old address and returned to the court, undeliverable.

Teel was arrested in front of her five children, ages 1 to 10. Police had been called to her home to investigate a disturbance when they discovered the warrant for Teel.

See more on the LA Times

Erik Odom who is in Breaking Dawn Part 2 as Peter Tweeted:


  1. Ok thats just awful. I know its not right to not return the books but I’ve never returned some books either by mistake of I just moved and never got around to it. What I’m trying to say is arresting someone for over due fines is a bit extreme. I bet it cost more to arrest her and do all that paper work than what the actual amount is worth. It should have gone to small claims court.

    And I’m not defending her cause she had Twilight books. I think its ridiculous no matter what book it was. I don’t know; I’ve never heard of anyone getting arrested for overdue books.

    I feel sorry for because she was humiliated and shamed in front of of her children for $35 -_-

    • I’m with you. Library fines should not be something the police need to be involved in. Especially a measly $35!

    • I’m with you too. On a side note, was it even necessary to mention what she had by name? “Books and dvd’s” would have sufficed. If they were any other books would anyone even have noticed? It’s like a bad PR stunt.

      • It was TOTALLY necessary to mention the books/DVD by name. How else are they ever going to make the world aware of the sheer depravity of the Twilight fan?

        Surely there must be more to this story?

  2. In truth, I strongly doubt that is the ONLY reason she was arrested. In most cases if the theft is less than 50 dollars, then it isn’t Grand Larceny, and most police organizations won’t even bother. This isn’t even theft. She took the books from the library with their permission, and didn’t return them.

    In my state, if you don’t return an item or lose at item, you simply have to pay for it. Anything that you owe gets attached to your global profile and follows you no matter what library you go to. It is the same procedure at most movie rental places. They won’t press charges if you rent something and don’t return it, but you’ll have to pay the full charges of the product before you can rent/ loan anything else.

    If this individual didn’t ever pay the fines and such, then they would report or default her charges over to the collector of sorts (if it is a large enough sum) (Like not paying your cell phone bill for several months) and then have them get the money.

    Chances are this individual was accused of stealing the said books/dvds (couldn’t get enough Edward I guess), and the library pressed charges. When she failed to appear before the court to plead her case, they issued a warrant. It is quite possible that the summons was sent to an old address, and in all reality it was a whole misunderstanding. The police respond to said distrubance, and then find that this lady already had a warrant.
    That is my theory.

  3. jennifer says:

    This lady wasn’t arrested for not paying the fine. She was arrested for failing to appear in court. There’s a big difference. The arresting officer was there for a disturbance, did some research (they do this to protect themselves) and found an outstanding warrant. Remember that most people who don’t appear in court are drunk drivers, violent criminals, deadbeat dads, abusive partners, etc. The cop was just doing his job.

    • Either way, it’s ridiculous that the library wanted to take her to court over an overdue book and movie. I check books out from my library all the time. And tho I’m rarely late in returning them, it does happen. I most recently got a notice stating that if there were fines totaling more than a certain dollar amount, your name would be turned over to a collection agency. That’s all that should’ve been done in this case. Unless, like a previous poster stated, there’s more to the story. In which case, the story never should have been released with just half the facts.

      • jennifer says:

        I’m not arguing to point of whether or not the punishment fits the crime. The subject line says she was arrested for not paying the book fines. Everyone was in an uproar over that and I was merely pointing out it simply is not true.

        I do agree with a previous poster that there was NO reason to put the titles of the material in the story. I think it was only done because of their popularity and the misconception the general public has about Twilight fans. Would we have heard about it if it were Stieg Larsson books or Mark Twain books or John Grisham books? Only if we subscribed to blogs for those books. (:

        And putting that info in the story sure got all of us talking about it (and the story got picked up by the LA Times {Anyone here read the Albuquerque Journal??? I didn’t think so.}) So score one for the author of the story. He probably earned his paper’s website more hits in one day than they normally get in a month.

  4. I live in New Mexico and never heard about this.

  5. Christina says:

    This story seems suspect to me. What was the nature of the disturbance the police had to respond to that led to their discovery of the woman’s arrest warrant? I would assume the average American never has the police called to their house for a disturbance in their entire lives. I mean, that’s not exactly a common occurrence. Which leads me to believe there’s more to this story…

  6. I also live in new Mexico and heard about this- and that the lady threw the fine back at the librarian which technically is assault. It’s stupid, yes. from what I understand it was on front of her children too.

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