Legal Grounds - The FindLaw Legal News with an Attitude Blog

November 2017 Archives

Are Elephants People Too?

Under the law, plenty of things are people: people are people; municipalities, states, and federal offices are people; and even corporations are people, with religious rights and all. And now, a lawyer is arguing that elephants (three specifically, at least) are people, too.

"The Nonhuman Rights Project's lawsuit on behalf of the elephants," according to Steven Wise, founder of the group and filer of the lawsuit at issue, "marks the first time in the world that a lawsuit has demanded that an elephant's legal right not to be imprisoned and treated as a thing be recognized." From whence do these rights derive? And do Minnie, Beulah, and Karen have any shot at getting the same legal rights as Hobby Lobby?

Diabetes service dogs. Emotional support pigs. Kangaroos? As the debate over which species make legally acceptable service and support animals rages on, one intrepid Florida squirrel has thrust herself into the national spotlight. Brutis, an eastern gray squirrel rescued the emotionally unstable Ryan Boylan during Hurricane Matthew last year. "Ever since then I mean, oh my God, I can't imagine not being around her," Boylan told WFLA.

The only problem is that Boylan's condo association has a thing about unregistered emotional support animals (and also unapproved tenants, apparently), and issued him, and Brutis, an eviction notice.

If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. And if you send your ex a bunch of "nasty" text messages and calls in violation of a no-contact order, you'll have to write a bunch of nice about them to make up for it.

So said Maui Judge Rhonda Loo to Daren Young last week, sentencing him to write 144 compliments about his ex-girlfriend in response to the 144 text messages and calls that he was accused of sending her. (We're guessing Young has to turn this homework in to the judge, lest he continue violating the protections order.) Loo's sentence got us thinking of some of our favorite odd punishments, from the Legal Grounds archives: