In June this year, people working at a law firm with offices underneath the childminder Catherine Acloque’s flat, in north west France, complained of loud footsteps and too much noise while the children were playing.
Unable to attend the hearing this week, Acloque learnt by post she had been ordered to pay the office €600 in damages.
Catherine used to look after three children, now she only has one 14-month-old baby.
“I’m thinking twice about taking on more work,” she said to local paper Ouest-France.
“I’ve been a childminder since 1996. I love my job, but now I can’t do it. At the moment I have losses to cover.
“I never would have thought you could fine someone because their children were playing.”