Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

December 2012 Archives

Top 10 Legally Weird Stories of 2012

We have an entire blog devoted to legally weird stories. So you know that a legal story must be really weird to crack our list of the Top 10 most legally weird stories of 2012.

We covered some weird lawsuits, of course, but we also wrote about some weird law-enforcement officers and even a Red Lobster restaurant with some of the worst customers in the world. So without further ado, here is our Top 10 list for 2012:

Student, 21, Gets Restraining Order Against 'Stalker' Parents

College student Aubrey Ireland has won a restraining order against her parents.

The 21-year-old music theater major at the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati was basically being stalked by her own parents and described herself as a dog with a collar on, reports The Huffington Post.

Her parents were clearly not comfortable that their daughter was not in Kansas anymore (literally, as they would drive 600 miles from Kansas to Cincinnati to check up on her). David and June Ireland remained suspicious of their daughter, despite her making the dean's list and being an exemplary student.

'Middle Finger' Christmas Lights Are Legal, Judge Rules

Decorating your home with lights is a holiday tradition. In fact, you and your neighbors may engage in a festive rivalry over who can show the most holiday spirit with Christmas decorations. But what happens when those Christmas lights give you the middle finger salute?

In Denham Springs, Louisiana, Sarah Childs didn't exactly have the Christmas spirit. She decorated her home with lights. But those lights were in the shape of a middle finger aimed directly at her neighbors with whom she was having a dispute, reports the Associated Press.

To no surprise, her neighbors complained and the police got involved. Eventually, the courts also stepped in and ruled for Childs, finding that the lights were OK.

Game Over for Super Mario Groper in Times Square

This is kind of like telling a 5-year-old that Santa Claus doesn't exist. But apparently, video game icon Super Mario may be a real-life groper. Sorry, Super Mario Brothers fans.

A fully grown New Jersey man who enjoys dressing up in costume as Super Mario was arrested for groping a 58-year-old woman in New York's Times Square.

Police say Damon Torres, 34, dressed up as the video game hero and grabbed and groped the unsuspecting woman. Showing his superness, Torres then "jumped really high into the air," reports the website Gothamist.

Husband, Wife Busted for Separate DUIs on Same Night

Apparently a couple that drinks together stays together, even when one of them gets thrown in jail. A husband and wife were each arrested in two separate DUI stops on the same night.

Police first arrested Stephanie Souza of Warwick, Rhode Island, on suspicion of drunken driving Friday night. She was taken to the police barracks, where a chemical test indicated that she was driving under the influence, reports the Providence Journal.

The police then called her husband Michael Souza and told him to come get his drunk wife. So the 44-year-old husband got in his car and headed to the barracks.

Unfortunately, he too was allegedly drunk.

Workers' Comp for Sex on Business Trip: Court Rejects Appeal

It's official: You can successfully file for workers' comp if you're injured while having sex on a business trip.

Well, at least you can in Australia. Under very particular circumstances. And if the injury wasn't caused by sex. OK, so this "rule" won't work in every situation, but at least there's hope for people who go on a business trip, get a little action, and then get injured.

The injury happened in 2007 while an Australian woman was on a business trip. Five years later, the case has finally been resolved.

Man Left Pit Bull to 'Babysit' 10-Month-Old: Cops

It's true that pit bulls aren't as dangerous as they're sometimes made out to be. But that doesn't mean they're qualified to "babysit" an infant.

That was the excuse James R. Irvine gave his girlfriend when she found him outside her home in Palm Coast, Florida, after she'd asked him to watch her baby. The 10-month-old was allegedly left alone in the house while Irvine went out and got drunk.

The news that the pit bull was watching the child didn't reassure the mother. She called police to have Irvine arrested since his alleged actions weren't just dangerous. They were illegal.

Ex-Con Shoplifts to Get Free Health Care in Prison

Frank J. Morrocco made a show of shoplifting at a Wegmans store in Amherst, New York, but not because he couldn't pay. He told police he wanted to get arrested so he could get treatment for his leukemia.

This plan isn't as crazy as it seems, since Morrocco is a recently released ex-convict. He was convicted in 1990 of felony drug conspiracy and his 20-year sentence ended last December. Morrocco has a rare form of leukemia and couldn't afford health care.

He shoplifted in order to get back into prison so he could access prison health care. But now he's having second thoughts.

Man With Traffic Sign in Head Gets Pulled Over

Fortunately for 63-year-old Leslie Richard Newton, he was allegedly under the influence of alcohol and was somewhat dulled to the pain of having a traffic sign embedded in his head.

Unfortunately for the Florida driver, alcohol and drunken driving may have been the reason he had a sign in sticking out of his skull in the first place, reports the Miami New Times.

Florida Highway Patrol officers pulled over an erratically swerving Chevy Camaro near St. Augustine last week. As DUIs are a sad fact that troopers have to deal with every day, the officers may have expected something no different than the typical drunken driver.

So you can imagine their surprise when they pulled over Newton and discovered there was a street sign sticking out of his head.

'Fifty Shades of Grey' Porn Makers Sued Over Copyright

You knew it wouldn't take long for a "Fifty Shades of Grey" porn parody to come along, and surprise surprise, one already exists.

Now Universal Studios, the Hollywood powerhouse that purchased the rights to make the movie adaption of the book for $5 million, is suing Los Angeles-based Smash Pictures for beating it to the punch with a skin flick entitled "Fifty Shades of Grey: A XXX Adaptation," reports The Week.

Universal Studios calls the porn movie a "rip off plain and simple," and they are suing for copyright infringement.

Hiring a Craigslist 'Holidate' May Come With Legal Risks

There may be no holiday season quite like Christmas to remind you just how lonely you are. And with the Internet seemingly providing a solution for everything, some desperate (and digitally savvy) singles are now turning to Craigslist to hire a holiday boyfriend or girlfriend.

Using Craigslist to find a temporary partner for the holidays may seem strange at first, but upon reflection, the two seem to go hand in hand. After all, you can find pretty much everything else on Craigslist like jobs, housing, and video games, so why not finding some holiday companionship?

One ad that's getting some buzz announced: "Two Girls, One Season. Wanted: Holidates - w4m - 26," the website YourTango reports. While the ad has been taken down, the two women who purportedly posted the ad have since set up a Tumblr page to chronicle the responses they've received so far.

Bank Robber's Divine Defense Doesn't Have a Prayer in Court

A bank robber in Alabama has an interesting defense. He claims that prayer led him to rob two banks.

The suspect, Christopher Bruce, allegedly robbed the First Financial Bank last week and the West Alabama Bank the week prior, reports Birmingham's WBRC-TV.

After Bruce was caught, he reportedly told a tale of being down on his luck and looking for a way out. When he turned to God, Bruce said that the answer he received was to rob banks.