Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

May 2016 Archives

3 Weird Divorce and Breakup Laws

First you say I do and walk down the aisle with your true love. Then you hang out for a while and say I don’t, and you’re headed for divorce court.

Whatever state you are in, you will likely come across some strange marriage and divorce laws. Some make sense if you think about them a little — and we will — and some are less logical. Let’s look at a few funny annulment and divorce rules from around the country.

Mustache Matters: Bearded Valedictorian Barred from Graduation

With the bearded hipster so ubiquitous, few would have expected this, but facial hair is under attack. More precisely, a mustachioed valedictorian was barred from attending his high school graduation in Amite, Louisiana this past weekend due to his facial hair.

Jones has a 4.0 grade point average and will be attending college next year on academic and sports scholarships, reports the Huffington Post. But he did not walk in his graduation and was asked to turn over his cap and gown.

Old Man Writes to Federal Court to Complain About Deflategate Decision

They say that with age comes patience and wisdom, but one World War II veteran, 93, is short on the former. He wrote a letter to federal judges on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals to let them know that their recent intervention in a sports scandal is, well, scandalous.

Calling a decision to overturn a ruling for quarterback Tom Brady and reinstate his four-game suspension for Deflategate "asinine," Warren B. Lessing chided the judges for wasting time. "Don't you have anything more important to do," he asked in his letter, reports the New York Daily News. Let's see why he's angry.

Jelly Belly Family Sued for Wrongful Death in Sweet Day Gone Sour

The family of a worker run over by a World War II tank on the property of Jelly Belly Chairman of the Board, Herman Rowland Sr., sued him and his son-in law, Dwayne Brasher, for wrongful death. The tank is part of an extensive antique machinery collection belonging to Roland.

The victim of this accident was Kevin Wright, 54, a father of two who assisted with maintenance of this collection. He was in attendance at the family reunion to help, reports the New York Daily News, and was riding in the tank when he was ejected and run over. Let's look at wrongful death and this unfortunate incident.

Florida Police Chief Tickets Himself for Parking Violation

If you could ticket yourself, would you? The Groveland, Florida Police Chief did just that this week, issuing himself a ticket and paying a $45 fine for parking his car on the sidewalk in violation of local laws.

Melvin Tennyson took responsibility for his failure and told reporters, "I paid my fine like anyone else would." But one local citizen disputes this, according to the Huffington Post, saying he caught the chief and shamed him into paying by posting pictures of his parking violation online.

Poultry Workers Need Longer Bathroom Breaks, Report Claims

You care if your chickens roam free and get healthy feed, whether the meat is organic or not. So probably you also care about poultry workers and the conditions in which they work, which are reportedly not great. According to Oxfam America, poultry workers routinely complain of insufficient bathroom breaks and some say that they wear diapers on the job to deal with the problem.

Having adequate bathroom breaks is written into the law, and it's not optional for employers to allow them. So what's going on in the poultry industry?

Having your license suspended 15 times over a 15-year driving career is pretty impressive. Most of us could never come close to that suspension-a-year pace. But instead of rewarding Rahman Keith Idlett for his consistency and tenacity, a New Jersey judge has denied him a gun permit. All because he has an "atrocious" driving record.

So how bad was it? After all, this is America, where, last I checked, the Second Amendment was alive and well. So how could a couple tickets keep a man from his Founding Father-given right of gun ownership?

Payless Pulls Light Up Toddler Sneakers on Fire Fears

If you have had cause to shop for kids’ gear in the last few years then you know that there’s a lot of fun stuff out there now. New technologies allow for new materials to be integrated into fabrics, resulting in wondrous items like sneakers that roll or light up, or both.

But Payless Shoe Source this week pulled some illuminated sneakers after a Texas family reported that the shoes were flammable, according to the Huffington Post. Luckily, the little boy whose Jake and the Neverland Pirates sneakers burned was not wearing them when the fire occurred and was not hurt. The company says it is investigating the cause of the fire and has removed the shoes from store shelves for now. The boy’s mother, however, blames the battery.

One of the first principles of law most of us learn, even if we never go to law school, is that stealing is wrong, even if you're hungry. The concept goes so far to prohibit cannibalism, even if you're lost at sea for 14 months, and prohibit giving out free school lunch, even to starving students.

But Italy's highest court might be pushing back against that idea. The country's Supreme Court of Cassation recently overturned the conviction of a man who didn't pay for $4.60 worth of cheese and sausages from a market, ruling instead that he was sufficiently hungry and "acting therefore in a state of need." So how hungry do you have to be to justify stealing food?

Fake Lawyer Sued for Fraud: Will He Hire Counsel?

In a perfect world, the teen in West Palm Beach who played doctor professionally and was recently criminally charged would be represented by the man accused of moonlighting as a lawyer in the local courts. But ours is not a perfect world, as evidenced by the fact that Paul Donahue posed as a lawyer in Florida after being arrested for impersonating an investigator in North Dakota.

The claims about Donahue are made in a civil complaint filed against him in Palm Beach County Court last month. The accusations are alarming and amusing. One of the plaintiffs says Donahue ran a tacit law firm while the other, reports Courthouse News Service, says he pretended to be an attorney in front of a veteran county court judge.


Florida Driver's BAC of .604 Too High for Jail, but He Denies Drinking

Some people are in denial about their drinking problems and others take denial to the next level. Stephen Allbritton is in the latter camp, and he is likely going to have to face facts.

Allbritton, a 46-year-old Florida man, was arrested with a blood alcohol content of .604 percent, or eight times the legal limit of .08. His alcohol level was so high, he couldn't be taken to jail -- the police had to take him to the hospital.

Since his kids were in the car with him during the incident, he's being charged with DUI and child neglect, reports the local ABC News. But despite his alcohol level, he denied drinking at all, according to a Lee County Sheriff's Office police report.

There are plenty of students and employees out there that will do anything for a day, or even an afternoon off school or work. Sadly, there appear to be plenty of teachers and employers out there that will do anything to spoil a good time, like asking for a doctor's note and even calling the number to prove it's legit.

The market abhors a vacuum, so in steps to the rescue. Now hooky-playing high school students and burnt out account reps can acquire Get Out of Jail Free cards, right on the Internet. Truly this is a golden age. But is any of it legal?

Starbucks Iced Beverage Drinkers Unite: Class Action Lawsuit Filed

If you’re drinking Starbucks beverages and miffed that all the ice is depriving you of your due liquid, fear not. Someone has taken up your cause. A class action lawsuit was filed in Northern Illinois Federal Court last week on behalf of Starbucks iced beverage drinkers whose cups are being underfilled compared to hot java drinkers, reports Courthouse News Service.

The suit’s lead plaintiff, Stacy Pincus, says Starbucks iced beverage drinkers are being deprived of the amount of liquid advertised in any particular size cup when they buy iced drinks, and that Starbucks is disproportionally profiting from iced drinks. A representative of the java giant called the claims in the lawsuit meritless and reminded reporters, “If a customer is not satisfied with their beverage preparation, we will gladly remake it.”

Burglars Smash Car Into Chanel Boutique to Steal Handbags

What would you do for a Chanel handbag? Would you save your pennies for a big stylish splurge or just drive a car through the security grill of a fancy boutique and scoot off with the pricey goods, leaving the car behind?

Last week, burglars in Paris opted for the latter, driving a sports utility vehicle through the Chanel boutique in a posh central neighborhood. This is one in a string of robberies of high-end shops in recent years reportedly. The robbers took off on motor scooters, leaving their car burning behind them after the smash n' grab.