Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

June 2017 Archives

One Minnesota man just learned a hard life lesson: Monopoly money, cards, and property, aren't real. After being pulled over by law enforcement due to an arrest warrant being connected to the owner of the vehicle, officers discovered that the driver also had an active arrest warrant.

However, in a joking manner, which perhaps had a glimmer of hope behind it, the man handed the officer a "Get Out of Jail Free" card from the famous Monopoly board game. Unfortunately, the card holds no authority in the real world. The man was still arrested.

A Colombian judge, Miguel Horacio Gomez Achicue, was arrested at Miami International Airport earlier this month and later arraigned on charges relating to the shipment of gun parts from the U.S. to his home country. Gomez Achicue is accused of sending parts of an AR-15, a civilian version of the military's M-16, from Pembroke Pines, Florida to Cali, Colombia in violation of federal customs laws.

The criminal complaint alleges the firearm parts "were concealed in the package, which also contained clothing and shoes," but not concealed enough, apparently.

In a courtroom in the state of Ohio, DUI convicts are being required to comply with an unusual court order as part of their sentencing. In addition to fines, potential jail time, license suspension, and alcohol and driving safety courses, individuals convicted of a DUI are being required to download and activate either Lyft or Uber, the most widely used ride-sharing apps.

Judge Michael Cicconetti, of Painesville, Ohio, told local media that if ordering DUI convicts to download these services' apps saves one life, prevents one injury, or just keeps one more DUI from occurring, it's worth it. After all, as the judge noted, these apps can be downloaded and activated for free.

The criminal justice system is far from perfect. Sometimes mistakes get made due to accidents caused by flaws in the system. Fortunately for Richard Jones, the miscarriage of justice he suffered has been corrected; unfortunately, it took nearly 20 years to happen.

Thanks to the Innocence Project and another criminal's lack of luck, Ricky Amos, Mr. Jones was confronted one day, while in custody, by a friend who claimed Mr. Jones snubbed him in the cafeteria. When Mr. Jones denied that accusation stating he wasn't in the cafeteria, the truth was discovered: Mr. Jones and Ricky Amos looked almost identical.

While it may not necessarily be worse than selling real drugs, a man was arrested in Tennessee for selling fake drugs at the annual music festival Bonnaroo. Though that in and of itself is not very shocking, like that U2 album that keeps popping up on your iPhone, the man's purpose and the size of his fake stash were rather peculiar.

David E. Brady, a 45 year old from New York, was arrested holding over 1,000 doses of LSD, 22 bags of fake psychedelic mushrooms, 20 bags of fake cocaine, and 37 fake pills of molly, as well as some fake heroin. While his purpose isn't even likely to impress the Blues Brothers, his mock supply would be rather impressive for a Hollywood stage's prop closet. Brady claimed to be doing "God's work."

"You know what will be great," the civil fine-burdened man thinks to himself, "I'll just pay the whole thing in pennies. That will really show them."

Jokes about paying fines in change have existed since coins were invented, apparently, but most of us don't follow through on the threat because most of us are adults capable of understanding that dumping a bunch of pennies on a civil servant's desk is a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing. Still, some of us try to make a statement in copper-plated coins and need to be reminded that no, they don't have to take your pennies.

Remember back when you were in middle school and you really wanted to a ride to the mall and your mom was all like, "No way, I don't have time to chauffeur you all around town," and you were all like, "But Mom, Jenny (your best friend) is going through a really bad breakup right now and she really needs me to meet her at the Cinnabon," but really you just wanted to see if Chad was there and ask him what was up with his friend Ryan and if he really, really liked you or just kinda liked you?

That's pretty much what a Brevard County man did; only he told 911 his grandmother was having a stroke in the Hooters' parking lot. And while you just had to text Jenny instead and ask her to ask Chad to ask Ryan what was up, Jonathan Clayton Hinkle got arrested and charged with a misdemeanor.

A request to be unblocked by two Twitter users who got blocked by @realDonaldTrump, President Donald Trump's verified, personal (?) Twitter account, is making waves through the internet. Users @joepabike and @AynRandPaulRyan have claimed that the block violates their First Amendment rights to participate in a public forum.

Basically, they are claiming that a public forum is being held and they are denied entry for an illegal reason. More specifically, it would be like a public official banning you from a town hall meeting being held at a privately owned location because you publicly criticized or even insulted that official. The First Amendment protects the peoples' right to free speech, particularly when criticizing government officials.

Dr. Kadri, a plastic surgeon with an office on Los Angeles's famous Rodeo Drive, has reported that a former employee has stolen thousands of patient records. While privacy rules prevent the doctor from disclosing whether the records stolen include any celebrities, the doctor did explain that the plastic surgery practice has helped countless affluent individuals from many different states and countries.

The employee quit after being confronted about embezzling money. When she quit, she claimed to have lost the company cell phone. However, the cell phone was found at the practice's Palmdale records storage office, after discovering the location had been burglarized. As such, the theft of the 15,000 patient records (the actual paper records) is presumed to be the work of this former employee. Unfortunately, what was found on the phone gave the doctor even more pause.

Never underestimate the stupidity of people on social media. Two adults, who were initially presumed to be teenagers, admitted to and were arrested for abusing a baby alligator by capturing it, blowing smoke into its face, feeding it beer, and using its tail to drink beers off. What's more, these geniuses thought it would be a good idea to post their abuse of the baby animal that is protected by both state and federal law on Snapchat.

The images they posted were saved, posted to Facebook by a concerned viewer, and then transmitted to the authorities, who are still investigating despite having already made arrests and filed charges. Joseph Floyd, 20, and Zachery Brown, 21, are being charged with a misdemeanor for harassing wildlife under state law.