Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

July 2015 Archives

The American Beverage Association is suing the city of San Francisco over a law requiring warning labels on sugary beverages. The lawsuit relies on a unique argument: the First Amendment.

This raises the question: can you use free speech principles to shut somebody up?

I know, we all do the same thing at red lights and interstate exit ramps -- try not to make eye contact with the panhandlers and their cardboard signs. But here's a reason to pay more attention next time: those homeless-looking beggars might be cops.

If they see you unbuckled or texting while driving, you're getting a ticket. San Bernardino police officers pulled over 53 cars and issued 50 citations in a three-hour sting this month, all while posed as panhandlers.

This isn't the first time we've covered a story of bizarre criminal activities involving men in Florida. But in this case, the story centers around a true hero.

Stan Pannaman was volunteering to protect sea turtle nests on a Lauderdale-by-the-Sea beach when a drunken man assaulted him, and then shot Pannaman with his own gun.

Dunwoody, Georgia -- birthplace of Ryan Seacrest and home to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. It's also not a place where you want to anger the local police.

After what sounds like quite the eventful Monday night, Dunwoody PD took to the 20th Century's town crier -- Facebook -- to dispense a little wisdom to the townsfolk. Here now is their advice on staying out of jail:

It must be handy to have a local politician in your pocket at your beck and call.

In Chelsea, Oklahoma, about two hours north of Oklahoma City, a local politician meddled in a DUI arrest. Now the entire police force has resigned en masse? What happened?

Is spending 30 years in prison too long for giving someone a wedgie?

Brad Lee Davis was just sentenced to 30 years in prison after he pled guilty to first degree manslaughter for killing his stepfather with an atomic wedgie.

Man Steals Hearse During Funeral

Why would anyone want to steal a hearse?

Joe Brown and his family were getting ready to carry his father's casket from the church to the hearse when they were given the bad news. The hearse was gone!

Savannah, Georgia, known for its wonderful Southern charm and its equally wonderful liberal open container laws, may also be the site of the Great Segway Wars of 2015. While many of us (hand raised) hoped that the monstrous vehicles would be banned in a great city like Savannah, it turns out that there are several Segway tour companies doing business in town.

Well, two such Segway tour companies are locked in battle. This sounds like the making of an epic scene: two fronts of Segways, lances raised, charging at each other on their two-wheeled contraptions. Instead (unfortunately), the two sides will face off as litigants sparring over a proposed sale and an allegedly ignored non-disclosure agreement.

Satire: "A way of using humor to show that someone or something is foolish, weak, bad." - Merriam Webster

Apparently, one Tennessee woman didn't know satire when she was reading it. Pamela Downs allegedly couldn't understand why police arrested her for counterfeiting money when President Obama had already made printing your own money legal.

Flying in the face of new Texas legislation allowing citizens to openly carry handguns in the state, Whataburger has said it won't allow the open carrying of firearms in any of its locations. Predictably, gun activists reacted with hysteria, promising to boycott the restaurant.

Not everyone was on the boycott bandwagon, however. For example, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America supported the move and has been successful in getting other restaurant chains to follow suit.

West Palm Beach police charged a mom with drug possession, attempting to sell drugs, and child abuse after she was found with drugs and drug paraphernalia in her child's stroller. Briana Sue Hoxter also allegedly admitted to snorting Alprazolam (sold as Xanax) while pushing her baby around in a stroller full of heroin. (This is not to be confused with the Edmonton mom who was busted in March for hiding GHB, crystal meth, and crack cocaine in her 18-month-old baby's stroller.)

This got us reminiscing on some other outlandish parent-child-drug stories, so here are a few of our favorites:

Naked Man Steals Deputy's Car

Something about being naked makes a lot of people do crazy things.

Earlier this month on July 4th, a naked New Mexico man was arrested after he stole a police car and fled captivity. You may be surprised to know that this is not a particularly rare occurrence.

People never seem to look twice at a person in a uniform.

A thief, dressed as an armored truck driver, got away with a bagful of Walmart's money, without raising any alarms.

Police are now on the lookout for the costumed bandit.

Hair is serious business. When schools start regulating students' hair styles, they should tread carefully or risk receiving a federal civil rights complaint.

Late last year, five-year-old Jalyn Broussard happily went to school with a new haircut. His new style was innocent enough. He had a "fade" which was short on the sides and longer on the top. According to his school, this haircut was a distraction to other students, so they sent him home.

Now, Jalyn is represented by the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, a legal advocacy group. The group has just filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education alleging racial discrimination in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.

Have you ever claimed your tea cup chihuaha as a service animal when you don't actually have any disability? Well, don't. You could be thrown in jail.

Florida's law criminalizing false service animal claims took effect today. The problem with laws is that they usually don't make exceptions for lighthearted pranks, even when cute animals are involved.