“Applesauce woman” Nadine Hays still fighting the TSA

Nadine Kay Hays is back in court.

Hays is the woman who was arrested, handcuffed, strip-searched, and jailed after the TSA decided she was too uppity. Hays had been escorting her ill, 93-year-old mother through security at the Burbank airport in 2009 when the TSA decided to confiscate the applesauce and yogurt the elderly woman needed to eat during the journey. In trying to retrieve her stolen items, Hays was accused by the TSA of hitting an agent. Prosecutors later charged her with battery.

A year later, in April of 2010, a judge threw the case out of court. Hays had won (though not before her mother could savor the victory with her; she had died a few weeks before).

Hays then decided to sue the TSA.

But apparently she’s representing herself in court, something that few of us mere mortals can do (hats off to the indefatigable Jon Corbett, however, who has managed to do it). This self-representation has led to a lengthy, unwieldy complaint and an increasingly frustrated judge.

The latest news is that if she doesn’t cut her complaint down to size (25 double-spaced pages instead of 129), her case will be thrown out.

I’m on Nadine Hays’s side. I hope she wins. I also hope she gets some professional legal advice.

(Photo: Stacy Spensley/Flickr Creative Commons)

  • I invite everyone to go over to read defense lawyer and friend-of-the-blog Mark Bennett’s take on this case:


  • Susan Richart

    The TSA tried to fine her, didn’t it? Did she ever pay that fine?

    • Then a letter arrived saying she was subject to civil penalties of up to $10,000.”When I received the letter I just flipped out. I take it very personally given everything else that happened,” Hays told the Leader.

      A spokesperson told the Leader that while Hays’ criminal case was dismissed, it could still be perused civilly.

      Hays said she is refusing to pay the $2,500 penalty as a matter of principal.

      Hays told the Leader, “Unfortunately, sometimes people in positions of authority are unethical, unprofessional, or just downright criminal in their activity. And in that case, if you’re in the right, you need to stand up for yourself. And that’s what I did in my case — what they did was wrong, and what I did was right.”

      TSA says Hays can contest the fine.


      • Daisiemae

        Contest the fine? To whom? TSA? Good luck with that.

      • TSAisTerrorism

        I believe I read somewhere that the fine was ultimately dropped, though I can’t remember where I read it. :/

  • Fisher1949

    The com[plaint seems to be a simple matter, it just needs to be shorter. If anyone can find her contact information perhaps some other advocates with good writing skills could her her.

  • Kfred

    I hope someone helps her. We need a win for the People.

  • RB

    Perhaps someone can offer pro bono service for this good cause.