Hotel heiress back in court

Heiress Paris Hilton will go back to court today to find out whether she will be allowed to serve the remainder of her prison sentence wearing a tag at home.

Heiress Paris Hilton will go back to court today to find out whether she will be allowed to serve the remainder of her prison sentence wearing a tag at home.

Within hours of Hilton being allowed home from prison, the judge who originally put her in jail ordered her back to court to determine whether she should go back behind bars.

“The city attorney filed a petition for an order to show cause why the sheriff should not be held in contempt for releasing Ms Hilton, and demanded that she be held in custody,” Los Angeles Superior Court spokesman Allan Parachini said.

He said Hilton must report to court at 9am local time today.

“My understanding is she will be brought in a sheriff’s vehicle from her home,” Parachini said.

Superior Court Judge Michael Sauer issued his order after the city attorney filed a petition late yesterday afternoon questioning whether Sheriff Lee Baca should be held in contempt of court for releasing Hilton yesterday morning.

The celebrity inmate was sent home from the Los Angeles County Jail’s Lynwood lockup shortly after 2am for an unspecified medical condition, only three full days into her original 45-day sentence.

She was ordered to finish her sentence under house arrest, meaning she could not leave her four-bedroom, three-bathroom home in the Hollywood Hills until next month.

“What transpired here is outrageous,” county Supervisor Don Knabe said, adding that he received more than 400 angry e-mails and hundreds more phone calls from around the US.

He said Hilton’s return home gave the impression of “celebrity justice being handed out”.

City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo complained that he learned of her release through news reports.

“It is the city attorney’s position that the decision on whether or not Ms Hilton should be released early and placed on electronic monitoring should be made by Judge Sauer and not the Sheriff’s Department,” said Jeffrey Isaacs of the city attorney’s office.

Sauer himself had expressed his unhappiness with Hilton’s release before Delgadillo asked him to return her to court.

When he sentenced Hilton to jail last month, he ruled specifically that she could not serve her sentence at home under electronic monitoring.

Parachini said Sauer reminded the Sheriff’s Department of that when he learned Hilton was about to be released.

“He reiterated the terms of his sentencing order. He did not agree to the terms of release that the sheriff proposed,” Parachini said before Delgadillo asked that Hilton be returned to court.

Delgadillo’s office indicated that it will argue that the Sheriff’s Department violated Sauer’s May 4 sentencing order.

As she was released from prison yesterday, Hilton said she hoped others have learned from her mistakes.

The 26-year-old served had been sentenced for violating probation in an alcohol-related reckless driving case.

In a statement released to showbiz website TMZ.com, Hilton said: “I want to thank the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and staff of the Century Regional Detention Centre for treating me fairly and professionally.

“I have learned a great deal from this ordeal and hope that others have learned from my mistakes.”

Steve Whitmore, a spokesman for the LA County Sheriff’s department, told reporters gathered outside the jail that Hilton was released due to an unspecified medical condition.

He said her time in jail totalled five days because she arrived just before midnight on Sunday night and left just after midnight this morning.

Mr Whitmore said: “I can’t specifically talk about the medical situation other than to say that, yes, it played a part in this.”

She had been expected to serve 23 days in jail because state rules allow shorter sentences for good behaviour.

Hilton was housed in the “special needs” unit of the jail, separate from most of its 2,200 inmates.

The unit contains 12 two-person cells reserved for police officers, public officials, celebrities and other high-profile inmates. She did not have a cellmate.

During her stay, she was held in a special unit where she was spending 23 hours a day in a solitary cell, her lawyer Richard Hutton said.

The star of The Simple Life reality TV show pleaded no contest to a reckless driving charge in January and was sentenced to 36 months’ probation.

When she was later pulled over by the California Highway Patrol, Hilton was told that she was driving on a suspended licence and signed a document acknowledging she was not to drive.

She was then pulled over by sheriff’s deputies on February 27 and charged with violating probation.

The evening before she was jailed, Hilton made a surprise appearance at the MTV Movie Awards.

More in this section

#ChoosetoChallenge

Did you miss our Virtual Event with Alison O’Connor, Aoife Moore, Clodagh Finn, Derval O’Rourke and Vicky Phelan