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Yard sale case dismissed

by KAYE THORNBRUGH
Staff Writer | November 7, 2020 1:07 AM

A judge dismissed a case on Friday against a woman cited for holding a yard sale while a statewide stay-home order was in effect.

Rathdrum resident Christa Thompson was cited April 17 for allegedly violating Gov. Brad Little’s stay-home order, which required all non-essential businesses and services to close their physical locations.

Judge Timothy Van Valin reportedly dismissed the case Friday after determining that the yard sale was not technically a business.

In an April press release, Rathdrum Police Chief Tomi McLean said police explained to Thompson on April 9 that the yard sale violated the stay-home order and provided a copy of it.

Thompson said she had called the police department prior to the sale and was told it was OK.

She also said officers told her that it was OK to sell items to passersby as long as she didn’t actively advertise the event. However, police said there were yard sale signs at the home on April 10 and a Craiglist posting dated April 13 advertised the sale.

Rathdrum police reportedly returned to the home three times and issued a written warning before issuing a citation April 17.

Violating the statewide order was a misdemeanor punishable by six months in jail or a $1,000 fine.

Eight months later, Thompson said it was a relief to have the case resolved.

“It felt like I could breathe,” Thompson said. “I think the worst ticket I’ve ever had was a speeding ticket when I was a teenager, so it’s nice to be done with it.”

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Craig Northrup contributed to this report.