For over three hours, over $200 in cash and a few coins sat on the edge of a table in a Hamilton County Chancery Courtroom as an East Ridge couple and an attorney for the county’s sewer authority argued about how that money could change hands.

A trial that began Thursday in Chancellor Jeffery Atherton’s courtroom focused on whether Rick and Anna Grace Carpenter owe the Hamilton County Water and Waste Water Treatment Authority hundreds in old sewer bills.

The two-year battle has gained attention because the couple says they have tried to pay, but haven’t found a way to pay in cash without incurring a $1 to $3 fee for each payment — something they refuse to do on principle.

The authority sued the Carpenters in March over a 2-year-old sewer balance of $563.37 and has sought to issue a restraining order against Rick Carpenter for the number of times he can call the authority.

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