A mum-of-five was fined almost £300 after a council took umbradge with rubbish she had left on the wrong side of the road.
Ivana Klusackova found herself £270 out of pocket as a result of putting out three rubbish bags to coincide with her neighbour's refuse collection day.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council decided to haul the 36-year-old before JPs when they ripped open the rubbish only to find an envelope addressed to her on April 15.
Ms Klusacova ended up admitting depositing controlled waste without an environmental permit - or fly-tipping - at North Staffordshire Justice Centre.
She was fined £270 fine and given a 12-month conditional discharge on Monday.
But neighbours rallied to support Ms Klusacova, describing the formal action as heavy-handed.
Lesley Powell, 53, said: "This is a bit of a sledgehammer response. Are we going to get fines next for putting rubbish in someone else's bin when it is not full?"
Daniel Farooq, 19, said: "I'm disgusted and embarrassed and she shouldn't have been taken to court for that. The bin collections on this road can get confusing".
However, Councillor Terry Follows maintained: "In this particular case the waste had been left on the pavement on the opposite side of the street, on a day other than Ms Klusackova's normal collection day.
"This amounts to an act of fly-tipping and that is a view shared by the court".