Legal Grounds - The FindLaw Legal News with an Attitude Blog

November 2012 Archives

Rapper Offers $1M Reward for Laptop; Court Orders Him to Pay

Rapper Ryan Leslie offered a $1 million reward when his laptop was stolen in Germany in 2010. But when it was returned, he tried to take back his promise.

Now, he's going to have to pay up, the New York Post reports.

Armin Augstein, a German car mechanic, found the laptop while walking his dog and gave it to German police, who returned it to Leslie in November 2010. It was the right thing to do, but Augstein was also excited about the reward Leslie had promised in a YouTube video asking for the laptop's return.

But it turns out Leslie was all talk. He accused Augstein of taking part in the laptop's theft since he "conveniently" found it. While this raises the question of whether Leslie ever planned to pay anyone for the laptop's return, a New York court has ruled that he no longer has a choice in the matter.

Woman Sues After $600 Car Gets $100K in Parking Tickets

Jennifer Fitzgerald is revving up for a fight over a jalopy that set a record in the city of Chicago -- by accruing more than $100,000 in parking tickets.

That's $105,761.80, to be precise. The total cost came as a shock to the 31-year-old single mother who insists she never drove the car in question. And she certainly didn't park the car at O'Hare International Airport's Parking Lot E, where it incurred all the penalties.

In fact, Fitzgerald claimed that she didn't even own the car, despite her name being registered as its owner, reports the website Jalopnik.

With Hostess Bankrupt, Is the 'Twinkie Defense' Dead?

Bankrupt Hostess Brands Inc. heads into mediation with its bakers' union today, as junk-food fans fear the Twinkie as we know it may soon disappear. But does that mean the "Twinkie defense" will go the way of the dinosaurs too?

The "Twinkie defense" is one of the more famous pieces of criminal lore, since it's fairly ridiculous. It comes from an old murder case in which the defendant allegedly tried to argue that he was driven crazy by Twinkies and shouldn't be found guilty.

For people who love the Twinkie defense or just want to keep anything Twinkie-related alive, we have good news and we have bad news.

Prison inmate James Washington suffered a heart attack in 2009, so he made what he thought was a deathbed confession in an effort to ease his burdens.

While being escorted to a hospital, Washington turned to a guard and admitted he'd killed a woman by beating her to death, the New York Daily News reports. Then with a clear conscience, Washington prepared to shuffle off this mortal coil.

But alas, Washington unexpectedly recovered from his heart attack, and was released from the hospital. As a result, his "deathbed" confession became a much bigger problem than he'd ever expected.

Man Steals Chinese Food Delivery Car, Makes Deliveries

Stealing a delivery car seems like the perfect way to make a quick getaway, but a Connecticut man who stole a delivery car on Friday got caught -- for making deliveries.

Keith Hinds was arrested for reportedly stealing a Chinese food delivery car when the driver left the car idling outside a middle school. The driver called his boss to report it stolen, since he was still on his delivery route, the Associated Press reports.

But when the restaurant called customers to let them know their food had been stolen with the car, at least one customer reported that the food had already been delivered.

Want a Hungarian Passport? Just Buy $322,600 in Bonds

Wealthy foreigners who buy at least 250,000 euros of special Hungarian government bonds may be able to obtain Hungarian permanent residency if a new law passes.

Lawmakers in the indebted country proposed legislation that would grant the permanent residency and ultimately Hungarian citizenship to outsiders who have that kind of money (e.g.; Chinese investors).

While the returns of Hungarian government bonds may not be that favorable, investors who receive the Hungarian passport would be entitled to live and work throughout the European Union - which can be very attractive to certain wealthy individuals - reports Reuters.