Woman says she wasn't allowed to enter courthouse because she was wearing a dress

By Sally Mamdooh - Reporter

SOUTH HOUSTON, Texas - The city of South Houston municipal court dress code is clear.

The rules are written in red on the entrance door: "No shorts, no tank tops, no food, no drinks, no chewing gum in the courtroom.

That's why Crystal Winters said she was thrown off when she went to the courthouse Friday to pay her traffic ticket.

She said she wasn't allowed inside because she was wearing a dress.

“As soon as I walked in, he (the city marshal) put his hand up and stopped me and said, 'No shorts,' and I responded with, 'I’m not wearing shorts, I’m wearing a dress.' He said, 'No shorts, turn around and go outside,'” Winters said.

Winters said she was baffled at the way the city marshal was acting about her dress.

“It's a very conservative dress. I have worn it to work and church and I have never had an issue,” she said.

She says the city marshal refused to elaborate on why he had an issue with her dress.

“I was trying to understand. He said either go wear pants or get out,” Winters said.

Winters said she called an attorney who helped escort her inside the building two hours after she initially arrived to pay her ticket.

Winters said the ordeal was demeaning.

“I still don't have an answer as to why this happened,” Winters said.

KPRC 2 tried to get answers as to why the city marshal refused to let Winters inside, but officials with the city of South Houston wouldn't comment on camera.

The city secretary told KPRC 2 off camera that they are investigating the incident and women are allowed to wear dresses in the building.

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