Federal Judge Rules Against Woman in Garden Suit

A north Tulsa woman had her case droppedin a federal court this week against a City of Tulsa department that claims she violated a city ordinance when she overgrew her front lawn.

It's a case of she said, they said that has spanned all the way back to 2011. And this week, Denise Morrison found out from a federal judge that her lawsuit against City of Tulsa employees would be dropped in their court.

"They ruled against me saying that I should have taken it to an appellate court before I took it to their court," Morrison said.

Channel 8's Kim Jackson spoke to Morrison last summer who said her whole front yard has been dedicated to her love of gardening. A garden which sprung forth spinach and mint and because of that, she says it can grow as high as it will, because it's edible and not mandated under the city ordinance.

But City attorney Gerry Bender told that's not the case when we spoke to them on Thursday. He said during initial observations a horticulturist stated that the yard was more than a garden with herbs - but also had lots of trash and junk.

Bender said a decision was made by the City to trim Morrison's yard after repeated warnings were given and multiple meetings. Neighbors also made multiple complaints and 11 cubic yards of material were removed, including:

- Loose tree limbs

- Rusty shed pieces

- Trash

'They cut down food and they didn't just cut down all of it. Say for instance, like this right here, the highest thing I had, apple mint. They didn't cut down the height of it, they just cut down patches of it," Morrison told Kim Jackson last summer. She said some of her vegetation didn't grow back, some of which she used to treat her diabetes and arthritis.

So Morrison went and filed a lawsuit at the federal district court against members of the City. At court hearings, Bender said several exhibits and documents were presented that the judge would need to "decide the case from both sides." He added that there was plenty of case support for the City against Morrison.

During their final appearance in federal court, Bender said the judge reviewed all the evidence and ruled the City's judgement was entitled by law.

"There was no violation of her constitutional rights in her case," Bender said.

On Thursday, spoke to Morrison who said she would file an appeal of the judge's decision bringing up the issue of corruption in the city.

"I'm going to make the public aware that what happened to me, if this ruling stands, could happen to them too," she said. "There's nothing to do with neighborhood inspections in this case."