Woman Trained Her Bird to Call Ex-Husband's Girlfriend a Whore

Article Placeholder Image
By Deanne Katz, Esq. on September 12, 2012 9:43 AM

If you're thinking of training your bird to swear, consider the legal trouble that could cause you. It hasn't gone well for Lynne Taylor.

The Rhode Island woman has been sued by her ex-husband's new girlfriend, Kathleen Melker, for teaching her cockatoo to call Melker a whore.

Normally there's nothing legally you can do if someone swears at you so it seems as if training your bird to do it wouldn't make a difference. But a local Rhode Island law makes it possible to for Melker to sue Taylor for her bird's dirty language.

The city of Warwick, where Taylor and Melker both live, has an ordinance about animal-noise in the city which Melker claims Taylor violated by training the cockatoo to swear.

The bird swearing is just the culmination of a year-long dispute between the two women who are neighbors, reports the Providence Journal. Taylor has also thrown rocks over her neighbor's fence and threatened to drown her cat according to the complaint.

Local governments often make noise-related ordinances to stop people from disturbing their neighbors. Most of them deal with loud music though, not with noisy animals.

Taylor's lawyer challenged the suit claiming that the statute was unconstitutional, reports USA Today.

His argument was that the ordinance was too vague to give Taylor any notice that she was violating it. Under the constitution, laws must be clear enough to let people know what actions will be punished.

It was a bold legal argument but ultimately unconvincing.

The judge threw out Taylor's motion to dismiss and ruled that the case can go forward.

Melker and her boyfriend (Taylor's ex), Craig Fontaine, claim that the bird repeatedly curses at Melker. At one point they reportedly heard it swearing for up to 15 minutes.

That is a serious grudge to teach your bird that kind of swearing.

The case is moving forward to Taylor will have to explain the swearing and whether she was actually training her bird to do it or if it's just an innocent mistake. In the meantime the judge is keeping the women apart with a restraining order.

Related Resources: