Legally Weird - FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

Butt Dials: a Big Pain for 911 Dispatchers

Last year Federal Communications Commissioner Michael O'Rielly suggested that half of the nation's 911 calls were no emergency. Now researchers have confirmed that there is something to this statement, in San Francisco at least.

Pocket dials -- also known by the more crude appellation "butt dials" -- make up almost one third of the city's emergency calls, according to data from Google researchers shadowing dispatchers. Emergency line operators said these accidental calls were the biggest "pain point" in their day.

Priest Allegedly Aimed a Musket at a Child, Pleads Not Guilty

A New Jersey priest who allegedly threatened an eight-year-old parishioner with an empty musket will plead not guilty to child endangerment and aggravated assault at his arraignment. Father Kevin Carter's lawyer says the incident stemmed from a football rivalry and was just a joke.

One Sunday before Mass last month, Giants fan Father Carter allegedly pulled a boy wearing a Dallas Cowboys jersey into a rectory room at St. Margaret of Cortona Roman Catholic Church, stood him against the wall, and aimed an empty gun at him. It may have been a joke, but the Bergen County Prosecutor's office is not laughing.

New 'Peeple' App to Allow Online Reviews of You

A new app will allow us to rate each other online. Peeple, set for release in November, is Yelp for, well, people.

The Peeple tag line is "Character is Destiny." The app seems destined to be the source of numerous libel lawsuits. Anyone who has your cell phone number can create a profile for you and rate you online. And to many of us, that is not at all fine.

For the past few years, immigration officials have focused on deporting immigrants who commit crimes. Convictions for drug offenses or sex offenses, aggravated felonies, weapons possession, and crimes of moral turpitude could all get a legal immigrant deported to his or her home country.

But can owing over $84,000 in child support get you deported? To heaven? That's what one "sovereign citizen" was wondering in an Alaska courtroom last week. Unfortunately, the answer is no.

Selfie Stick Deaths Reveal Dangers of Narcissism and Tech

Narcissus was killed when he gazed lovingly at his own reflection in a pool of water and drowned. Now technology has brought Greek mythology to life.

Twelve people died from selfie-stick-related deaths in 2015, and that is just known cases. Let's take a look at these sticks and the safety hazards they present.

Food Fight: PETA Sues Whole Foods for False Claims on Humane Meat

Morrissey sang that meat is murder, and PETA couldn't agree more. But shoppers at Whole Foods could long console themselves that their cuts came from friendlier farms than most. Now People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is suing the posh supermarket chain, claiming that its humane meat rating system is a farce.

PETA, in a class action lawsuit filed in California on Monday, says that Whole Foods barely surpasses national meat standards and is deceiving shoppers. Animals are living in poor conditions, despite the five-step rating system which grades suppliers based on their creatures' quality of life, among other factors. Whole Foods, meanwhile, believes that PETA manipulated a pig farm video posted to prove the suit's validity.

Daytime Dog Visitor Is Not an Illegal Tenant for Eviction Purposes

Daytime dog visits do not amount to pet harboring, says a Bronx judge. A New York civil court found that tenants did not violate a settlement agreement or their lease by allowing their sister's dog to visit periodically during the day.

Cookie, a Pomeranian recently registered as a service dog, has been the subject of a protracted landlord-tenant dispute. But the landlord lost his eviction case after his witnesses admitted at an evidentiary hearing that they never heard the dog bark at night.

The job of a jail guard shouldn't be too complicated -- make sure the inmates don't escape and don't hurt anyone. Oh and, if one inmate is testifying against another in a murder trial, maybe don't put them both in the same jail cell.

An Ohio guard didn't get that second piece of advice, apparently, and it didn't take long for the murder suspect and the witness against him to come to blows.

Alabama Authority Proposes Baggy Pants Ban Because God

God is talking to authorities in Alabama about fashion. A Dadeville councilman is proposing a dress code that bans baggy pants because "I prayed about this. I know God would not go around with his pants down."

Colleagues supported Frank Goodman's proposal, introduced at a Dadeville City Council meeting last month. But this week, one council member concerned about fairness added a new wrinkle to the dress code proposal, local paper Alex City Outlook reported.

The homemade clock that 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed brought to school on Monday may have looked innocent enough, but his eagle-eyed teachers weren't fooled. One saw the ticking converted pencil case as "possibly the infrastructure for a bomb."

Officers were quick to respond. They immediately took Mohamed into custody before the small circuit board, digital display, and decorative tiger hologram could cause further disruption.