A tagger taken to civil court this past summer by the city of San Francisco learned her fate last week, and it is an expensive one. The City Attorney's office announced that it had won a $217,831.64 judgement against the woman, and City Attorney Dennis Herrera expects her to pay up.
Terry Cozy, the person accused of spray painting a variation of "COZE" or "COZE1" around the city, has until February 15 to pay the amount due, reports the Chronicle.
Cozy would allegedly post photos of her tags to Instagram, Tumblr, and Flickr, but those pages were taken down when she was sued last summer. Officials decided to sue Cozy, instead of pursuing criminal charges, as the standard of proof is lower in a civil case. Also, they had apparently attempted criminal charges before.
"I would just say so far she has not been deterred by criminal prosecution," said Deputy City Attorney Victoria Weatherford last summer when the suit was announced.
“I don’t think it will stop graffiti in San Francisco, but I hope it makes people think twice,” Deputy City Attorney Jill Cannon told the paper. “We want people to know that when you damage property, there are consequences — maybe beyond what they anticipated.”
The total financial judgment is the result of an estimated $50,000 in damages, plus attorney's fees and various penalties. The City Attorney's office, notes the Chron, can seize Cozy's property or garnish her wages should she fail to pay the fine on time.
"The city spends upwards of $20 million a year on graffiti cleanup," says Herrera. "That’s unconscionable. Let the taggers foot the bill for their mischief.”