CHICAGO (CBS) — A South Side woman was left scratching her head when she got $600 in tickets for garbage left behind her home.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports, the woman, Gerri Curtis, says she went to court, where, without explanation, she was told the fines had doubled and that if she was unhappy she could “go downtown.”

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports

Curtis’ manicured property is located at 68th Street and Prairie Avenue, in the Park Manor neighborhood. Her four garages end at the alley, and it was there that the offending garbage was found on city property.

“They put it there,” she said. “People are always putting debris in the alley.”

Curtis was cited by a police officer with two counts of dumping, at $300 a pop. So the former Chicago Transit Authority bus driver, who is on disability after a crash, hauled herself to court and $600 became $1,200.

She was not able to get an answer about why the fines doubled.

“I was asking him (why the fines doubled), and to me, now, what I would say, is this extortion?” she said.

Curtis’ alderman’s office is now working to take care of the problem.

Watch & Listen LIVE