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Last Updated: Friday, 8 June 2007, 01:53 GMT 02:53 UK
Paris Hilton must return to court
Paris Hilton
Ms Hilton was released from jail for unspecified health reasons
A Los Angeles judge has ordered Paris Hilton to appear in court later to determine whether she should be returned to jail.

The celebrity heiress was allowed to leave jail on Thursday, only three days into a 45-day sentence for violating probation on a drink-driving ban.

She was given an electronic tag and ordered to remain under house arrest for the remainder of her sentence.

Her release on unspecified medical grounds sparked widespread criticism.

She is due in court at 0900 (1600 GMT) on Friday, where Judge Michael Sauer, who sentenced her to jail at her trial in early May, will hear the case for her "reassignment" to house arrest.

In a statement following her release, Hilton thanked the Sheriff's Department and jail personnel "for treating me fairly and professionally."

"I have learned a great deal from this ordeal and hope that others have learned from my mistakes," she said.

Jurisdiction row

The office of the Los Angeles City Attorney filed a petition on Thursday demanding LA's Superior Court to show why Sheriff Lee Baca should not be held in contempt of court for releasing Hilton.

This early release gives all of the appearances of economic and racial favouritism
Rev Al Sharpton

It also demanded that Hilton serve the rest of her sentence in jail.

"The decision whether or not Ms Hilton should be released early and placed on electronic monitoring should be made by Judge [Michael] Sauer, and not the Sheriff's Department," Jeffrey Isaacs, Chief of the LA City Attorney's Criminal Branch, said.

Speaking to the Los Angeles Times, Sheriff Baca defended his department's decision.

"My message to those who don't like celebrities is that punishing celebrities more than the average American is not justice," Baca was quoted as saying.

"The problem here is that there is a medical issue and it isn't wise to keep a person in jail with her problem over an extended period of time and let the problem get worse," he added.

No details of the medical problem have been given for "privacy reasons".

'Double standards'

Civil rights leader Rev Al Sharpton condemned the release as showing the "double standards" of the US legal system.

"This early release gives all of the appearances of economic and racial favouritism that is constantly cited by poor people and people of colour," he said.

"There are any number of cases of people who handle being incarcerated badly and even have health conditions that are not released."

The socialite was arrested for driving under the influence last September and was given probation, which she violated several times by driving with a suspended licence.

When Hilton was originally sentenced to 45 days for violating probation on a drink-driving conviction, she was told there was no prospect of early release.

Judge Sauer had also specifically ruled that she could not serve her sentence at home under electronic monitoring.

She was held at the Century Regional Detention Centre in Lynwood, California, in a special unit for celebrities, public officials, police officers and other high-profile inmates.

Steven Whitmore, of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, said she had officially served five days in jail - including late on Sunday night and the early hours of Thursday morning - meaning 40 days of house arrest would complete the sentence.


Here are a selection of your comments on the news of Paris Hilton's release from jail:

It is funny that Paris Hilton should develop a medical condition at the prospect of spending her full term in jail. It is funnier to know officials fell for her story.
Gitanjali Marcelline, Colombo, Sri Lanka

As The old saying goes, "Money Talks".
Christine Winney, Whitefish Bay Wisconsin. U.S.

That just stinks. If she were having a mental breakdown then let her serve her time in a mental ward. Any other medical problem is treatable in jail. And that's where she should be.Joey Salaun, Jacksonville, Florida USA

I'm disgusted at the fact that every normal woman would have to have carried out a full sentence. It makes me sick that because socialites have money that they don't have to do this. It is unfair and disgraceful. Why should money eliminate you from doing the time when they have clearly continued to do crimes? Unfair to us normal every day people.Holly, Ipswich

Her medical problem was claustrophobia. Jails tend to induce that in people. But, most people are ignored when they complain about their fear of being in a confined space. Must be nice to be a member of the elite and exempt from the law or rules.
Jack Tucker, Texas

This is a slap in the face to the people who actually have to pay for their crimes!
Adrian Niculescu, Milano, Italy

House arrest for Paris Hilton means living in a palace with every possible diversion a young (or old!) person could want at her fingertips. She should be ordered to spend house arrest in a one bed flat somewhere . . . by herself. What a joke.Charlie Levante, London

I think we just saw money and influence at work. If Paris Hilton had been a nobody person I doubt if they would have released her on "medical grounds". We see this sort of thing a lot around here in Nigeria. But in America? Methinks they've been watching too many corruption movies.
Robert Lazobra, Lagos, Nigeria

One law for the rich! I hope the bracelet has real diamondsSteve Franklin, Borehamwood, England

Good for her!!! But a sudden quote just came in my mind from the classic novel Animal Farm, "All Are Equal But Some Are More Equal Than Others" One part of my mind (Good Part) saying, Even though I don't know her she seems to be nice by look and she is in house arrest anyway. Another part of my mind (Bad Part!!!) saying what if a Poor Guy committed the same crime. In fact drunk driving is in fact a serious crime that's what we been told. In the end who am I to decide until I get killed in the street by a drunk driver....
Stan, Toronto, Canada

What sort of deterrent is it and it smacks of favouritism for who she is. It would be interesting to know how many other people in her situation from less privileged backgrounds were offered the same get out of jail free card! By not saying on what medical grounds she was released is only adding fuel to the fire. If it was publicised then people would be more understanding
Kaz, Wales

This is right along the lines for celebrity treatment here in the US. Remember OJ Simpson? I can't believe things like this are allowed to happen. What about all the other inmates in that jail and others, who can't stand where they are? Some of them must have medical conditions too. Are we going to let them all go home?
Adrienne Spargo, Los Angeles, USA



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