Judge jails woman for wearing short shorts

By Greg Kocher


LANCASTER — A woman was ordered to serve three days in jail after a judge found her in contempt of court for inappropriate dress.

Kirstie Arnold, 28, of Lancaster, was sent to the Boyle County Jail after wearing short shorts during a court appearance Monday before Garrard District Judge Janet Booth.

Booth had warned Arnold about her clothes in two previous court appearances, and in the last appearance had fined Arnold $50 for her attire. A court videotape of Monday’s proceeding contains the following exchange:

“Why shouldn’t I put you in jail for contempt today?” Booth asked. “I told you twice.”

“I’m sorry,” Arnold said.

“No, you’re not,” Booth said. “I told you twice. I even fined you for being in contempt. Why shouldn’t I throw you in jail today? You apparently don’t care about the court’s orders.

“I forgot,” Arnold said.

“How could you forget?” Booth said. “No, seriously, how could you forget? It’s a complete disregard of court order. Complete. You should go to jail today, and you’re going.”

“Well, next time I won’t wear shorts,” Arnold said.

“I bet you won’t,” Booth said. And with that, Booth ordered her to serve three days of temporary detention “for disregard and disrespect for court proceedings.”

Arnold went to the Boyle County jail because the Lincoln County jail, which normally holds Garrard prisoners, had no room for her. She declined to be interviewed Thursday. Booth could not be reached immediately for comment.

Arnold would have been released Thursday except that she got into more trouble when she allegedly tried to conceal a drug from Lancaster Police Officer Allen Weston.

Court records say that Arnold moved Suboxone, a drug for treatment of opiate addiction, from her purse into her pocket.

She was then charged with possession of a controlled substance, tampering with physical evidence, possession of drug paraphernalia, and having a controlled substance not in its original container.

The new charges against Arnold are in addition to pending charges of harassment, criminal trespass and leaving the scene of an accident. The last charge came after she allegedly knocked over a tombstone in a Lancaster cemetery with a vehicle and left, according to court records.

Arnold remained in the Boyle jail Thursday afternoon, but bond information was not available.

Arnold’s next court appearance is scheduled for Monday in Garrard District Court. If she is still an inmate at that time, she will wear a bright yellow jail uniform.

Greg Kocher covers Garrard County for the Herald-Leader. Reach him at (859) 885-5775.
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37 Comments on “Judge jails woman for wearing short shorts”

  1. Goebel Says:

    If the judge warned Kirstie two times then she put herself in jail for three days.

  2. John Anderson Says:

    I hope the United States Women’s volleyball team never appears before Judge Booth. They won’t be in jail but under it.

  3. ReconMarine Says:

    If he does not like her clothes, then let him go to the store and buy her some. The last time I checked there is no law against dressing yourself in your own clothes that you purchased with your own money,

    Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

    He is just mad because he could not oggle her with all the other people in the court room.

    Semper Fi

  4. Christy Miller Says:

    I was present in the courtroom during all of this and I can tell you, Ms. Arnold seemed like a nice enough young lady with the same attitude as a lot of folks these days, “I’ll do what I want and pay my fine”. Well, she had an attitude adjustment coming and I believe Judge Booth was very polite and adamant that Ms. Arnold WOULD respect her courtroom and dress decently OR she would do the time. So, a fine…”fine”…time…”I am sorry your honor”. Attitude adjustment accomplished. I hope Ms. Arnold respects the courtroom and herself more the next time. I believe she will.

  5. Christy Miller Says:

    I was there & Ms. Arnold seemed like a nice enough young lady with the same attitude as a lot She had an attitude adjustment coming and Judge Booth was very polite but adamant that Ms. Arnold WOULD respect her courtroom OR she WOULD do the time. A fine! “fine”! Time? “I am sorry your honor”. I hope Ms. Arnold respects the courtroom and herself more the next time.

  6. Christy Miller Says:

    I was there & Ms. Arnold seemed like a nice enough young lady but she had attitude! She had an adjustment coming and Judge Booth was very polite but adamant that Ms. Arnold WOULD respect her courtroom OR she WOULD do the time. A fine! “fine”! Time? “I am sorry your honor”. I hope Ms. Arnold respects the courtroom and herself more the next time.

  7. C Says:

    What kind of stupid judge is this?
    Why would what someone wears to court need to be addressed?
    This is just another pathetic waste of tax dollars to punish someone for ‘dress code’!
    So, how much money will taxpayers have to jail this person???
    (Probably cost more than the sum of her original issue.)
    I’m so sick of this kind of waste of court time, taxpayer $$$ & judicial misconduct…
    SO WHAT if the judge was offended? I get offended when I see people wearing clothes 3-4 sizes too small, with their fat rolls hanging-out, looking like a busted-can-of-biscuits, but i don’t think they should be put in jail!!!
    And she had a pill that was prescribed to her to help her break her opiate addiction???
    This person need MEDICAL TREATMENT, NOT to be JAILED by the FASHION POLICE!!!
    Of course, this story is all over national news, embarrassing KY again, like that stupid sheriff who went to Cali to pick-up a drunk driver (how utterly stupid!) & got all the way back home before his dumb-ass realizes he had the WRONG GUY! Nice use of taxpayer $$$ when our state is so broke… (Why did he need to go get a drunk driver anyways? shouldn’t extradition be reserved for VIOLENT OFFENDERS, ONLY!?)
    Follow the money people & demand more from our tax $$$ than these morons are HAPPILY wasting…

  8. BSman Says:

    sounds like the judge was jealou.

  9. whitney Says:

    Who is this judge ? Why should he be in control of what people wear. I dont understand why the judicial system gives judges so much power. Its not right and she needs to get an attorney and fight this all the way.

  10. jack glines Says:

    When will the day come when judges won’t have to resort to childish behavior.
    She’s just punishing the woman punitively rather than using any statute that governs dress. My God…the fashion police are doing well in Garrard county. Maybe we could get some photos of the judge and send them off to Mr Blackwell to see if he is offended by her sense of fashion. Don’t we really have bigger poblems to solve in this state.
    Seriously, the children that wear black robes these days are just so immature and pathetic.

    Another big loser is Joann Wise of the 6th division family court in Fayette county. She approves of using a prosecutor Duane Osborne to prosecute others when he has a criminal record for soliciting prostitutes in Northern KY> It certainly gives new meaning to the letters J.D. after a lawyers degree. Rather than Juris doctorate…it should be JUSTICE DOGGYSTYLE!

    These judges should be more resilient and worry about real contempt for court proceedings and court orders. They would rather pick on someone weaker than them than really do their job and ajudicate with wisdom.

  11. Joe LeDuc Says:

    First of all, Judge Booth is a woman.

    Second, a tank top and short shorts is not the appropriate way to dress when you are going to appear in court. She had been warned twice and it did not take. Throwing her in jail for a couple of days should make sure that “I forgot” will not be a valid excuse the next time she shows up before a judge.

    Based on the charges and the number of appearances she has made, the girl may be under the mistaken impression that she can earn frequent flier miles every time she goes to court. She needs to grow up and straighten up.

  12. Pat Says:

    If more judges were like this one, there would be a lot more respect shown to the court.
    I have seen guys try to enter the courtroom without shirts on, etc. But they were told by the bailiffs to dress appropriately and denied access to the courtroom until they complied.

  13. jackglines Says:

    Another big loser is Joann Wise of the 6th division family court in Fayette county. She approves of using a prosecutor Duane Osborne to prosecute others when he has a criminal record for soliciting prostitutes in Northern KY> It certainly gives new meaning to the letters J.D. after a lawyers degree. Rather than Juris doctorate…it should be JUSTICE DOGGYSTYLE!

  14. Gadfly Says:

    If this “woman”, in parenthesis, since there is some question as to her maturity, has had multiple warnings from the judge, then Judge Booth is justified with her decision. A failure to respect the Court shows the persons has no respect for anyone, including herself. 72 hours in a cell may cause her to rethink to lack of decision-making abilities and poor judgment. In response to C’s comments, there was nothing done by the judge that could be construed as judicial misconduct. If the lady would have reported her medication, there would not have been an issue. It’s only when she lied about it and tried to hide it does it become a problem. If you want to reference common sense, you are correct. The lady in question showed no common sense and no judgment.

  15. Joe Gambino Says:

    In response to ReconMarine —

    Your misplaced ego is showing, and your dumb comment shows you to be a jerk.

  16. B2S Says:

    The judge has every right to maintain dignity and decorum in her court – and she has the obligation to uphold community standards when conducting the people’s business. Contrary to what some who post here believe (and evidently live), the vast majority of this community consists of decent, hard-working respectful people who want their tax-supported institutions to reflect their values. As for the US women’s volleyball team, I can more than assure you that they know the difference between what’s appropriate to wear on the athletic court and a court of law and would respect that distinction. Ms. Arnold had ample warning, admitted it and “I forgot”? Well, I bet she won’t forget again. I appreciate and strongly supsport the judge’s decision – she says what she means and means what she says. Way to go!

  17. Joe Gambino Says:

    Response to ReconMarine —

    What does this have to do with life, liberty, and pursuit of happines?

    If you think we have a right to dress as we please in a courtroom, I suggest yo go see movie, “Cousin Vinny”

  18. Tom Steuber Says:

    I think we need to see the video tape before we pass any judgement here.

  19. Bmh200 Says:

    Hey ReconMarine, please reread the article. The judge is a female. I would recommend reading articles before posting messages that, as a result of not reading the article, do not pertain to the matter at hand.

  20. Ewan Mee Says:

    WOW!! Apparently there’s more than one person posting here who either didn’t read the piece before posting or they have the reading comprehension skills of a second grader!!!
    As pointed out by Bmh200 (and others) the judge was a female. Folks posting on this board apparently are as friggin’ STUPID as a pile of rocks!!

  21. Carl Says:

    The real problem here isn’t the pathetic offender, or the offended judge, but the negligent newspaper. A story about a woman in short shorts, and no photos??? What are you thinking?

  22. Tonny Says:

    What if theoretically she had no other types of clothing to dress in and a lack of funds to buy something appropriate? If that was the case, she is basically screwed either way. Go and get jailed for not dressing right or don’t go and go to jail eventually for not going to court.

  23. Paul Says:

    This would not make a good nair commercial.

  24. FD Says:

    The public needs more information — photos please!

  25. […] so incensed because the defendant repeatedly wore short shorts during her trial. Bluegrass Beat : Judge jails woman for wearing short shorts↩ Leave a […]

  26. Shad Says:

    The problem with saying that she may not have had the money to buy something appropriate really doesn’t hold up. A pair of blue jeans and a decent shirt from a thrift store would have been enough to walk into the courtroom in generally. Buying 2 items from a thrift store would probably have kept her out of trouble. Also, nowadays there is public internet access at most libraries and freecycle, craigslist, and other such sites. All one needs to do is ask for something on freecycle or look for someone giving away clothing their size. It requires a little bit of effort but as a person grows up they realize that it takes work to be a true adult and not excuses.

  27. Patriot Says:

    Judges DO NOT DESERVE respect. They have a job to do and they should shut up and do it or be removed from office. I would have a field day with this judge acting completely outside their legal capcity. I would have come into court completely naked as a form of protected speech and told the judge to grow up “Haven’t you seen a naked body before”. What a complete a$$hole

  28. k Says:

    The judge and the courts violate Americans constitutional rights in the name of power and money.Wake up people all parts of the federal and state governments. are stealing your freedoms and you don,t even know it or care.These court are not common law courts they are admiralty courts big difference.Study it and you will know that the balance of justice is one sided. These courts are all about taking your rights and freedoms. go back to sleep its easier for you sheepol to deal with. It is your duty to defend and protect the constitution of the USA. Its says we the people endowed by our creator. When the government becomes tyrannical and oppressive it is the right and duty to change it as the people see fit by peaceful or violent means this is right in the founding documents. Read them and learn the power our forefather left use. impeach all unconstitutional judges and return it to the power of the juries not the judges. its called jury nullification its in the constitution.Wake up the sleeping giant the people . My the Lord give use the courage and strength to get back our representative republic. not a democracy.

  29. minb bucibei Says:

    the judge is a jerk
    elitist authoritarian controlling power tripping moron
    drooling brainless pinhead idiot
    sic semper tyranus

  30. Joyce Says:

    It was the judge’s courtroom — plain and simple. She has every right to say what goes on there. Someone in as bad trouble as the accused, is not going to “forget” her instructions when she appears before this judge. Just what is she trying to prove? Three days in the hoosegow is not enough for such adamant rebellion and disrespect. Next time, Judge, lock her up and throw away the key!

  31. dinosaur Says:

    I could see how “short-shorts” could be inappropriate dress. I don’t think this was a slut shaming incident. If a man had shown up in the same court in a speedo, I’m sure he’d have been told to change his clothes too.

    For those of you who think we have the right to wear whatever we want in court, do you also think we should allowed to be naked?

  32. DaveNJ Says:

    Sic semper tyrannis? Seriously? Because a judge doesn’t allow inappropriate attire in a courtroom?

    Jeans and a t-shirt would have been enough for this woman to not be in contempt. She was warned twice. She had an opiate on her person. She tried to conceal that opiate. And this is slut shaming? Please.

    You can get appropriate court attire for two bucks at a thrift store, and this woman is carrying illegal drugs that sell for more than that per pill. Get real. Slut shaming is wrong, but you shouldn’t be able to show up to court in a bikini should you?

    Some places have a dress requirement. Court is one of them. Everyone is aware of this. Including Kirstie Arnold.

    And for the future it’s probably best not to use a quote made famous by John Wilkes Booth and Brutus after assassinations.

  33. Man of many words Says:

    this is what everyone should be doing it’s totally sick that people have to see everyone’s naked bodies just becuase they have no self respect I’m so thankful this judge has morals

  34. Lilia Says:

    Sorry but when you go to court you should wear appropriate attire, and she was warned twice before. She can wear whatever she wants in every day life but wearing the wrong type of clothes in court (especially after being told not to) is just asking for it. It’s not just this court, any court will do it.

    If you have a problem with “seeing everyone’s naked bodies” go dig yourself a ditch somewhere.

  35. Stacey Says:

    What a mess this is. There are those who wish to take this situation and make it more than it is. This “Woman” was not only disrespectful to the courtroom and judge but to herself. I know no one who dresses this way and I would never do so myself let alone in court and especially not after I was told not to by the JUDGE that held my fate. Furtherrmore, she drew attention to herself by being defiant and was caught with drugs. My word!! This “woman” is nothing more than a child in a bigger body. My 5 year old listens and respects more than she did. As far as I am concerned, HOORAY for this Judge and for standing up for respect and for HER courtroom and beliefs. It is too common today to stand back and not say a word when so many are disrespectful to others in what we used to pride ourselves as OUR USA!!! It is up to parents to teach their children instead of having them and allowing them to just care for themselves. Pray for this woman and Judge. The woman needs a lot of insight and this may be the first person to ever show her such a thing!!

  36. SAL MARTELLI Says:


  37. David Says:

    I think that most of you who posted on this subject who are defending the women who was held in contempt need to evaluate what terms like “freedom” and “constitutional rights” mean. What we wear and how we present ourselves is definitely a sign of how much respect we have for ourselves and those around us. I agree, if you want to wear short shorts out in pubic that’s your prerogative (except for the Richmond Mall), but we as a society have deemed certain places (like court rooms) as requiring a different amount of respect and decorum then the streets outside. More than likely the Judge could care less what the girl was wearing, more than likely the Judge was upset (and rightfully so) because of the lack of respect the woman showed to the judiciary system and the court room. If we want to have a viable thriving society, we all must conform a certain extent to what the majority of the citizenship of our society agrees as being proper and appropriate.

    Also, those who posted ludicrous and very uneducated comments about this woman’s “rights” to wear what she wants and about appearing in court naked, all your doing is embarrassing yourself and showing your ignorance (using the correct use of that word) to those of us who made sacrifice and effort to be educated and productive citizens. You really should evaluate the thought that just because you don’t agree with something or that you perceive something as being wrong doesn’t make it wrong…

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