Woman’s Survival Garden Destroyed By Tulsa Authorities

(Lori Fullbright)  A Tulsa woman is suing the city’s code enforcement officers after she said they cut down her garden with no cause.

Denise Morrison said she has more than 100 plant varieties in her front and back yards and all of them are edible and have a purpose.

She knows which ones will treat arthritis, which will make your food spicy, which ones keep mosquitoes away and treat bug bites, but she said none of that matter to city inspectors.

Last August, Morrison’s front and back yards were filled with flowers in bloom, lemon, stevia, garlic chives, grapes, strawberries, apple mint, spearmint, peppermint, an apple tree, walnut tree, pecan trees and much more.

She got a letter from the city saying there had been a complaint about her yard.

She said she took pictures to meet with city inspectors, but they wouldn’t listen, so she invited them to her home so they could point out the problem areas.

“Everything, everything needs to go,” Morrison said they told her.

When she heard they wanted to cut it all down, she called police. The officer issued her a citation so it could be worked out in court.

She said she went to court on August 15, and the judge told them to come back in October. But the very next day, men were cutting down most of her plants.

They even cut down some of her trees -– ones that bore fruit and nuts -– and went up next to her house and basically removed everything in her front flower bed.

“I came back three days later, sat in my driveway, cried and left,” Morrison said.

Morrison said she had a problem at her last property with code enforcement, so this time, she read the ordinance, which says plants can’t be over 12-inches tall unless they’re used for human consumption. She made sure everything she grew could be eaten, which she told the inspectors.

“Every word out of their mouth was, ‘we don’t care,'” Morrison said.

Morrison said she used many of the plants that were destroyed to treat her diabetes, high-blood pressure and arthritis.

“Not only are the plants my livelihood, they’re my food and I was unemployed at the time and had no food left, no medicine left, and I didn’t have insurance,” Morrison said. “They took away my life and livelihood.”

Morrison finally went to court last week for the citation she got last August at another property. The garden portion of the citation was dismissed and she pleaded no contest to having an inoperable truck in her driveway.

She filed a civil rights lawsuit this week, accusing the inspectors of overstepping their authority.

The City of Tulsa said it hasn’t received the lawsuit yet, so it couldn’t comment.

  • rich

    i hope you win lots of cash and they get fired

    • JD

      Folks… current zoning laws are designed for the AFFLUENT modern world of the 90’s… not for the NEW REALITY of Recession / Depression Era life. It’s time to fire current city planners/zoners if they REFUSE to flex and loosen up these stupid laws.

      VICTORY GARDENS like this are a WWII American Tradition… thus has PRECEDENCE!!! Time for folks to find young lawyers looking to make a name to embarrass and relieve these city crooks of all the permit monies extorted from good folks just living. Get the MEDIA in to make these jerks look stupid for enforcing SILLY LAWS in hard times.

      Beautiful gardens are a source of pride… not eye sores! AND ONLY ONE COMPLAINT CAUSED THIS? Sound Vengeful… bring them into the suit as well. Two can play this game.

      KEEP FIGHTING FOR WHAT’S YOURS… it’s too hard for law enforcement, judges and officials to catch & convict irresponsible criminals… because its EASIER to go after law-abiding VICTIMS.

      FOLKS… this will hit everybody soon… SHOW YOUR TEETH!!!

  • Brett Stevens

    I hope you win!

  • Frank J Rizzo

    Those guys are terrible human beings. I hope you win, they get fired, and their families live in agony because they can’t afford luxuries they take for granted like insurance and ample food supply. I hope those responsible read this and realize they are living an empty, pointless life.

  • Breaking News

    i’m grateful you have the strength to fight these bastards. Take the city for all they got.

  • Bless you Denise, and I hope you get justice. Please know that you have support out here. Peace.

    • Monica

      I hope she wins too! This was horrible, just horrible! BUT, why on Earth would you wish for the families of the officers to live in agony??? They are innocent and had nothing to do with this. It is this type of thinking that keeps the world so messed up. Please don’t perpetuate the cycle of hate by wishing ill upon those who had nothing to do with this.

      • Anonymous

        No family is innocent they are fed clothed and sheltered from the officers pay

  • leeloo

    Attn: Denise Morrison!!! See the comment by “ed” at http://www.newson6.com/story/18802728/woman-sues-city-of-tulsa-for-cutting-down-her-edible-garden

    says he will make a GENEROUS donation to a lawsuit.

    30 mins ago+1
    Share | Flag
    I’d like to know what country the City of Tusla code people think they are operating in!?!?! Come on a citizens property aganst a Judges orders and destroy valuble plants!?!? Too far. Ms Morrison, you set up a donation page for your lawsuit against these bullies and I’ll donate towards you putting the City in it’s place. Petty public servants at work again.”

  • leeloo

    Tulsa police budget manager a Simplot? Or connected with Monsanto by chance?
    This runs at the heart of sustainability – food security.

  • leeloo

    Tulsa police say they do not have the law suite yet?
    Well Tulsa WE ARE WATCHING…
    I think we should all make our cover photo on facebook read “TULSA, OK, THE AMERICA IS WATCHING”

  • Kim quinn

    Dont give up girl! This is bs! In a big way! I am sharing this! God bless you.

  • Anouk de Winter

    From France, the world is watching you Tulsa.. this is shocking, how can you be so INHUMAN ? The lady is a blessing, You should have spread her work instead of destroying it. Moreover, she seems to live on poor economy, dont you feel ashamed to have destroyed her food ?? SHAME on you Tulsa. Bless you Denise, and I do hope that you win the court case.

  • What a case! Thank God I don’t live and pay taxes in that s#it hole place. But rest assured I will never set foot in any of the hotels or motels, pay a bridge toll, go golfing, hold business conferences, buy goods or services originating in, or have anything to do with … the city of Tulsa, EVER!

  • Elizabeth Conley

    I’m so sorry the City of Tulsa destroyed your garden. I think your law suit is a winner. Gardening is the most popular hobby in America, and your garden was more than just a hobby.

    As times get tougher and more people depend on their plants and trees for good quality fresh food, this type of government perpetrated crime will be taken more seriously.

    This is a very timely law suit.

    We’ll all be watching.

  • Jim Coke

    Much success in making official thugs pay for abusing your rights and in getting justice and reinforcing the democratic concept that we are a “country of laws, not of men”, which is still as debatable as ever.

  • Sheri

    It is despicable that government can regulate what plants you can grow and use for personal use. Instead of taking advantage of the government and having them support her, she tried to support herself by growing this gaden. It’s not easy – it takes a lot of love and dedication to grow a healthy garden. I am sure that the person who ordered the workers to cut it down will pay in one way or another. That person should be ashamed of theirself for having no human compassion.

  • Alvin

    Agenda 21

    • Anonymous

      Yes it is Agenda 21!

  • trey

    the gov. in general consists of bullies and deark hearted greedy people.they probably want people to buy poisoned food from the grocery store, so they make it hard for people to become independant in producing thier own food supply. after all, if everyone made thier own food , then that power would be taken from the them.

  • kass

    Cities often lack common sense when it comes to dealing with people’s private property.

    In my neighborhood we had a situation that was almost laughable it was so ridiculous.
    We called in because of a couple that had left a massive pile of pine straw in their front yard. It’d been there the entire summer and a HUGE yellow jacket nest had formed. The couple did nothing about it and people were being stung- some like my mom are deathly allergic.
    When they city showed up they said we couldn’t do anything since the bales weren’t on our property and the couple was planning on “using the bales for landscaping”. (My dad and some other neighbors finally starting spraying the bales at night.)

    And then I see stuff like this and just “huh?” Since when was a vegetable garden a bad thing?