'It’s not going anywhere': Texas mom wins court fight over basketball goal outside home

·2 min read

WICHITA FALLS, TEXAS — About three years ago, Kari Hill bought a portable basketball goal and put it in her front yard for her son. Soon, other neighborhood kids and even some adults were shooting hoops.

“Normally you see six or seven playing out there,” Hill said.

Life was good.

Then the trouble started.

She got a notice from the city of Wichita Falls in January stating she was in violation of “unlawful placement of a basketball goal in a public right-of-way between sidewalk and curb or on a public street."

Kari Hill stands in front of house where the portable basketball goal is set up in her front yard. Hill had been issued citations for encroachment and the case was a topic of discussion during a recent City Council meeting.
Kari Hill stands in front of house where the portable basketball goal is set up in her front yard. Hill had been issued citations for encroachment and the case was a topic of discussion during a recent City Council meeting.

“We have no sidewalks – none – and it’s never been in the street,” Hill said. “It’s never touched the curb.”

She said she called the city and was told as long as the goal was in her yard it was fine.

In April she got two tickets in mail for $440 each for “encroachment of easement.” She called the city again. She believed she had been fouled and neither quibbled nor dribbled about where she stood.

“I told them the goal is not moving. It’s not going anywhere. It’s not leaving the front yard,” she said.

Hill went to municipal court Monday where the judge declared her not guilty and gave her a free throw, saying she was to be discharged from all further cause.

Malique Young, left, Ian Polvado, Kilar Hill and Lane Hill, right,  shoot baskets on a goal set up in Kari Hill's front yard. The city had cited her for encroachement.
Malique Young, left, Ian Polvado, Kilar Hill and Lane Hill, right, shoot baskets on a goal set up in Kari Hill's front yard. The city had cited her for encroachement.

She thinks a complaint from someone in the neighborhood led to the tickets and said others with goals had gotten letters from the city, too.

“As soon as the city mentioned fines, they took their goals down,” she said. I told the judge as long as it is a fully portable goal and it can be moved and is not an obstruction in any way there should not be an issue. We need to fight for our kids. They depend on us," Hill said.

City Councilor Steve Jackson, whose District 5 includes the neighborhood where Hill lives, congratulated her at Tuesday’s City Council meeting for not sitting the bench on the issue.

“She presented herself very well. I was proud of her,” Jackson said. “I think it’s better if we have our kids close right there by our homes instead of hanging out at parks. We don’t know what all goes on in the parks.”

This article originally appeared on Wichita Falls Times Record News: Texas basketball mom wins court fight over goal

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting