Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

March 2014 Archives

'Stoner Dogs' On the Rise: Is It Legal to Feed Pot to Dogs?

It's one thing to be besties with your dog, but it's another to turn your pup into a "stoner dog." In fact, it could potentially even land you in the doghouse.

Yes, "stoner dogs." Some vets are seeing a spike in dogs being treated for marijuana intoxication. Whether it's getting high from accidently ingesting a careless human's weed brownie or inhaling secondhand smoke, getting stoned doesn't seem to be a pleasant experience for Fido, according to The Huffington Post.

But is it even legal to feed pot to dogs?

A Different Kind of 'Revenge Porn': Val Midwest Jailed for School Pics

Porn star Val Midwest snuck onto the campus of the Catholic high school she attended and took naked photos of herself masturbating on the football field for her adult website.

Not surprisingly, that stunt didn't pan out so well. 20-year-old Valerie Dodds (Midwest's non-porn name) has begun serving her 45-day sentence -- with her clothes on.

Does the punishment fit the crime?

'Vicious Horse' Ruling Upheld by Conn. Supreme Court

Hay isn't the only thing for horses anymore. Apparently Connecticut Supreme Court decisions about their innate "viciousness" are too.

The Connecticut High Court issued a decision Wednesday in a case involving a 2-year-old boy who was allegedly bitten on the cheek by a horse named Scuppy, The Connecticut Post reports.

But did the Connecticut Supreme Court actually rule that horses are "vicious" animals, as some news headlines suggest? The answer is "neigh," not really.

'TWIT Spotting' Shames Texting Drivers on Billboards, but Is It Legal?

Public shaming rises to a new level as a project called TWIT Spotting aims to post pictures of texting drivers on billboards throughout San Francisco.

Launched by Brian Singer, a graphic artist, TWIT Spotting's goal is to "freak some people out" and make them think twice before texting while driving, according to The Huffington Post.

It's obvious that texting while driving is a traffic no-no, but is it legal to publicly shame drivers by photographing them without their permission?

World Trade Center BASE Jumpers Face Burglary Charges

A World Trade Center BASE jump has landed four men in legal trouble. Three skydiving enthusiasts and their alleged accomplice have been arrested on burglary and reckless endangerment charges for a daring parachute jump in September.

Marko Markovich, 27; Andrew Rossig, 33; and James Brady, 32, are professional BASE jumpers -- standing for "building, antenna, span, earth" -- who set their sights on the rebuilt World Trade Center, the tallest building in the United States, The Associated Press reports. Alleged accomplice Kyle Hartwell, 29, stood watch from the ground.

But how is BASE jumping from atop 1 World Trade Center -- informally known as the Freedom Tower -- considered burglary?

'Early Bird' Food Fight at Golden Corral: 1 Senior Arrested

A cantankerous senior citizen was arrested at Golden Corral for instigating a food fight among the "early bird" diners.

Polly Richards, 64, faces two counts of assault and battery after a food fight broke out at the all-you-can-eat buffet restaurant about 3:45 p.m. last Tuesday, according to Greenville's WITN-TV. Richards allegedly throttled Linwood Moore, 69, while in line and threw a plate of food at Fay Cardwell, 62.

What allegedly ruffled this angry early bird's feathers?

Hawaii Debates Law That Lets Cops Have Sex With Prostitutes

Lawmakers in Hawaii are debating an exemption that currently allows undercover cops to have sex with prostitutes... during their official, professional investigations, of course.

The law has received criticism from human trafficking experts, worried that it can unnecessarily "victimize sex workers," reports The Associated Press. Many in law enforcement, however, argue that they need the legal protection to literally catch prostitutes in the act.

So is it time to say "aloha" (as in "goodbye," not hello) to sex with prostitutes?

Motorcyclist's 20-Month Erection Lawsuit Peters Out in Court

A California court has dismissed a motorcyclist's BMW erection lawsuit. In his suit, Henry Wolf alleged that a four-hour ride on his 1993 BMW K1100RS motorcycle led to a prolonged and painful erection that lasted 20 months.

It kind of makes you wonder about that Viagra commercial showing an older man riding home on a motorcycle, ready to rekindle his passion with his perimenopausal wife.

So why did the court give Wolf's case the shaft?

Ancient Rock-Pushers Avoid Prison in Plea Deal

Aficionados of ancient natural wonders can breathe a sigh of relief -- the ancient-rock pushers of Utah have been sentenced to probation for messing with nature.

Glenn Tuck Taylor and David Benjamin Hall were charged with criminal mischief for knocking over an ancient rock formation in Utah's Goblin Valley State Park, The Salt Lake Tribune reports. The duo pleaded guilty to the charge and received probation instead of jail time.

So what's considered criminal mischief?

Crime Stoppers Exec Eats Evidence, Gets Jail Time

The director of a Florida Crime Stoppers program in Miami is heading to jail for eating evidence. Yeah, eating evidence. And it wasn't a weed brownie.

Richard Masten, the executive director of Miami-Dade's Crime Stoppers hotline, swallowed a piece of paper containing important information in protest of a court order.

So why was he sentenced to jail?

Model Sues Playboy, Alleging Butt Golf-Tee Battery

In a very un-sexy lawsuit, model Liz Dickson is suing Playboy for allowing a radio host to attempt to "tee-off" from her butt.

According to Dickson's lawsuit, she was asked to lie on her stomach with a golf tee between her buttocks during a 2012 Playboy photo shoot with comedian and radio personality Kevin Klein, reports TMZ. Klein attempted to strike a golf ball balanced on the buttocks tee, but ended up missing and whacking Dickson's derriere.

The stunt allegedly injured Dickson, and now she's seeking a half-million dollars in damages.

5 Legal Tips for Spring Break 'Pot Tourists'

Looking to spend your Spring Break with your good friend Mary Jane? Well, we don't mean to harsh your mellow, but there might be some pesky pot laws you need to keep in mind -- even in the two states where it's now legal (under state law, anyway).

Pot tourists, don't leave for your green Spring Break without reading these five legal tips:

Atheist Group Sues Over 9/11 'Miracle Cross' at Ground Zero

A prominent atheist group is suing to remove the 17-foot "Miracle Cross" from New York City's 9/11 memorial, claiming it stands in violation of the separation of church and state.

The "Miracle Cross," a cross-shaped beam discovered in the wreckage of Ground Zero, is "a symbol of comfort and hope," according to Fox News. But a group called American Atheists wants the cross removed from the taxpayer-funded monument at the site of the former World Trade Center.

Can a religious symbol legally remain at Ground Zero?

In Girl Scout Cookie Dispute, Colo. Man Sued for $740

Girl Scout cookies are delicious, but are they worth a $740 lawsuit?

Tad Osborn of Fort Collins, Colorado, wrote the Girl Scouts at $42 check for several boxes of cookies last year. It seemed like everything was sweet -- until he received a notice from a debt collection agency telling him that his check had bounced, reports ABC News.

Osborn claims that the Girl Scouts didn't notify him before they sent the problematic check to a debt collection agency. But does that matter?

Dog Keg Stand Photo Puts 2 College Students in Doghouse

Two college students have been charged with animal abuse for making a five-month-old puppy do a keg stand at a State University of New York off-campus party.

A picture of the puppy doing a keg stand, being held by an unidentified male with a SUNY Brockport sweatshirt on, went viral after it was posted on Twitter with the caption "Keg Stands n Bits!," United Press International reports.

Ugh, humans.

Bear-Feeding Woman, 81, Arrested for Feeding Birds

An elderly Florida woman has moved on from feeding bears to feeding birds, in violation of probation.

81-year-old Mary Musselman was on probation for feeding bears. Now she's being held without bail for violating her probation by feeding crows, Tampa's WTVT-TV reports.

If you're an animal lover, you might think this is mean. But when you learn why she was arrested, you might feel otherwise.

Student Suing Parents Loses 1st Round, but Case Isn't Over

A New Jersey teenager lost her first battle in a lawsuit against her parents over college tuition, but she hasn't lost the war.

Rachel Canning, 18, filed suit in state court alleging that her parents had abandoned her, and wants the court to order them to pay for her private high school and college tution, New York City's WCBS-TV reports.

The judge denied Rachel's "emergency request" for now, but what lies ahead for her and her parents?

'Stolen Plane DUI' Lands Man in Hospital, Then in Jail

Getting arrested for an airplane DUI is probably the worst way to try and satisfy one's pilot license requirements. But that's exactly what a Nevada man says he was trying to do.

Paul Weddle, 47, of Henderson, allegedly took off in a plane from a small airport outside Las Vegas while under the influence Sunday night. After a scuffle with police upon landing, Weddle submitted to a voluntary Breathalyzer test and registered a 0.132 percent blood-alcohol level, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

So how exactly does one get a DUI from taking an airplane out for a spin?

Honors Student, 18, Sues Parents Over Paying for College

A New Jersey honors student is suing her parents for financial support and access to her college fund after they allegedly cut her off when she turned 18.

Rachel Canning, a Morris Catholic High School cheerleader and lacrosse player, left her parents' home (voluntarily, according to her parents, though she says it was by force) after refusing to follow house rules, the Daily Record reports.

The teenager then filed a lawsuit against her parents to cover her private school and future college costs. Oh, and she wants them to pay her legal bills, too.

Kids these days -- or is it parents these days?

Woman Stabs Teddy Bear, Faces Felony Assault Charge

A Wyoming woman has been charged with felony assault and battery after stabbing a human-sized teddy bear.

Carly Marra of Casper is accused of being less than cuddly when she allegedly stabbed the 5-foot-tall teddy bear with a kitchen knife during a fight with her boyfriend, reports the Casper Star-Tribune.

Could Marra be facing prison for attempted bear-icide?