Legally Weird: Bizarre Bureaucracies Archives
Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

Recently in Bizarre Bureaucracies Category

A man who claims he lost his dentures after being attacked and beaten unconscious in 2011 is getting a new set on the State of Ohio's dime.

The decision, reached yesterday by the Court of Claims of Ohio, came after Ohio's attorney general rejected Jeffrey Childers' original claim for reparations, citing lack of documentation reports The Plain Dealer.

How did Childers manage to finally get his "teeth" back?

A South Carolina boy and his mother are suing the state's DMV over his right to wear his "everyday" makeup in his driver's license photo.

Teresa Culpepper has sued the state and local directors of South Carolina's Department of Motor Vehicles after her 16-year-old son was refused a driver's license photo in June while wearing foundation, mascara, eye shadow, and lip gloss, reports Courthouse News Service.

Can South Carolina's DMV legally tell a boy to take off his mascara for a license photo?

Relatives of a living man who was legally declared dead have been told they must pay back the benefits they received from his "death."

Donald Miller Jr. was declared legally dead in 1994 and again in 2013, but the 62-year-old Ohio resident is still very much alive. According to The Courier of Findlay, once the Social Security Administration learned of Miller's not-so-dead status, it demanded repayment of death benefits paid to his children, totaling more than $47,000.

How can Miller be legally dead but still alive enough for his children to owe the SSA money?

Two teens returning from a bagpipe competition in Canada hit a sour note with U.S. border authorities, who swiped their pipes because they contained ivory.

Campbell Webster and Eryk Bean of New Hampshire, both 17, were crossing the U.S.-Canada border in Vermont, where U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized the boys' prized bagpipes. According to The Associated Press, the bagpipes did contain ivory, but Webster claims it was completely legal to possess.

So which is it: teen bagpipers or young ivory smugglers?

After a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the issue of prayers at public meetings, the town of Greece, New York, is awaiting an atheist's secular invocation at its town board meeting tonight.

The Supreme Court determined in Town of Greece v. Galloway that sectarian prayers before town hall meetings were constitutional, even if the lion's share of the invocations were distinctly Christian. Key to the High Court's decision was the fact that anyone was allowed to open a town hall meeting, even those of non-Christian faiths.

Now it appears an atheist is preparing to test this ruling.

Indiana's Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) has lost a court battle over denying an "0INK" license plate, but the state may still choose to appeal.

Greenfield, Indiana, police Officer Rodney Vawter had his "0INK" vanity plate revoked when the BMV determined it was "offensive or misleading." But a judge ruled last week that the BMV was biased and inconsistent with applying its own standards, reports The Associated Press.

So what's the big deal with "0INK"?

Floridians may soon be hearing a Satanic prayer at a public meeting if one determined man from Deerfield Beach gets his way.

Chaz Stevens, the same man behind Florida's beer-can Festivus pole last holiday season, is now petitioning for a Satanic prayer at the next town council meeting -- or even at a session of the Florida Senate, reports The Huffington Post.

Does Stevens have a legal leg to stand on for his Satanic suggestion? Or is he just playing devil's advocate?

An Iowa man was fired and denied unemployment benefits after he used a forklift to lift a vending machine that had held his Twix candy bar hostage.

Robert McKevitt claims that he paid for the Twix candy bar in question, and was only "trying to get the snack he had paid for," the Des Moines Register reports.

Can KcKevitt's determination for a Twix really keep him unemployed without benefits?

Jailed 'N.J. Weedman' Gets to Smoke Pot 10 Days Per Month

Ed Forchion -- who made headlines for his unsuccessful attempt to legally change his name to NJWeedman.com -- finally scored a court win. Soon, he'll score some pot, too.

Although Forchion was convicted of pot possession in New Jersey, he recently received court approval to spend 10 days every month in California to -- you guessed it -- smoke medical marijuana, according to The Trentonian.

The process is called a medical furlough.

As Colo. Pot Sales Top $5M, Bank Accounts Still a Problem

The bud business is booming in Colorado, the first state to legalize retail recreational marijuana sales to adults age 21 and older. In the first week of sales alone, pot retailers raked in more than $5 million. Combined wholesale and retail pot sales are expected to generate a jaw-dropping $600 million annually.

But here's the kicker: The businesses can't open bank accounts. The issue would make for the most bureaucratically frustrating episode of "Weeds."