Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

September 2016 Archives

In a handful of cities across the nation, The Satanic Temple, a religious political activist organization that does not actually advocate the worship of the devil, has set up afterschool programs for young children that attend schools where evangelical Christian groups also have afterschool programs. The program, called After School Satan Club (ASSC), is a direct response to the Good News Clubs, an afterschool program designed by the Child Evangelism Fellowship.

While the name may sound ominous, foreboding, or perhaps downright silly, the program has clear, secular, and realistic goals. ASSC programs teach a scientific, rationalist, non-superstitious worldview, and allegedly make no effort to educate children about or convert children into members of The Satanic Temple.

As of September 26, 2016, thanks to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and a unanimous vote in the state legislature, it's now legal to be buried with the remains of your cremated pet in New York. Prior to this past Monday, pet owners would have had to be buried in pet cemeteries if they wished to have their final resting place alongside their furry friend.

Now, before you go revising your last will and testament to make sure Mr. Fluffster McNuggets III will get buried alongside of you, there are some restrictions. Primarily, this new law does not apply to religious cemeteries, nor does it apply to for-profit cemeteries. It only applies to not-for-profit, non-religious cemeteries.

If you had counterfeit fifty dollar bills, what would you buy? A basketful of groceries? Some new clothes? All the Taco Bell you can eat?

Or maybe you're worried that a big business will recognize your fake money, so you look for an unsuspecting rube to exchange your counterfeit $50 for smaller, real bills. Maybe that little girl running a lemonade stand to raise money for Alzheimer's research. If that's what you're thinking, congratulations -- you are a terrible person.

All the kids are back to school, and many are leaving their favorite toys, clothes, and gadgets at home. Administrators and teachers are generally given a lot of leeway when it comes to policing schools and classrooms, meaning that, for the most part, what they say goes. And sometimes they say some weird things.

Hugs? Clapping? Here are ten of the weirdest things schools have banned.

An Ontario, Canada, man is being charged with two counts of mischief by Canadian authorities for bringing a Carrie Underwood song, 'Before he cheats,' to life. Allegedly, the 43-year-old Canadian from St. Mary's not only punctured the windshield and slashed the tires of a Dodge truck, he may have left an oversized note on the windshield saying: "I might've saved a little trouble for the next girl."

While the Carrie Underwood song is about a woman vandalizing the car of her man/lover/boyfriend (or former man/lover/boyfriend) who has cheated on her, it's unclear if there is any motive for the vandalism in this case. Also unclear is whether the victim has any relationship with or to the impressionable perpetrator, or whether the vehicle owner was out with a bleached-blond date that was having a fruity drink and getting frisky.

When most people think of the Better Business Bureau, they think of consumer protection. After all, the BBB has a handy Scam Tracker to root out shady businesses and sales tactics. But the BBB might be most famous for its business rating system, where it provides grades for local shops and national chains based, ostensibly, on the level of customer service and amount of customer complaints.

Or perhaps infamous is the proper term there, after the BBB was nabbed in a pay-for-play scheme, handing out A's to stores that paid annual membership fees and F's to those that didn't. One of those high grades, an A-, went to a dummy company calling itself Hamas after the Palestinian nationalist group designated by many governments as a terrorist organization. Meanwhile, Leif's Auto Collision Centers -- "far and away the largest auto collision repair provider in Oregon and potentially the largest in the country" -- got an F. And now Leif's is suing the BBB to get its revenge and reputation back.

An amazing story unfolded last week in San Francisco. Victor Rodriguez, a twenty-year-old inmate, was released from San Francisco County Jail last Wednesday -- on accident! After a few days on the lam and after the story started getting press, Mr. Rodriguez did turn himself in to authorities.

Apparently, the accident that provided Rodriguez with the free pass occurred when the court clerk erroneously dismissed all charges. That clerk better have a V8 next time. Rodriguez had been charged with additional crimes since his arrest and when the judge sought to dismiss the new charges only, the clerk accidentally dismissed the whole case.

Look, none of us like being in hospitals. Most everyone there is sick or injured, or attempting to comfort someone who is sick or injured. Hospitals are an institutional reminder of human frailty and the all-too-brief nature of existence on this planet. Plus, they smell funny.

Still, that's no reason to say, "F*** it," steal an ambulance, and try and drive it home. So don't do like David Joseph Karosus, of Carbondale, Pennsylvania did, lest you'd rather spend a couple years in prison rather than a couple more days in the hospital.