Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

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Catholics Can Exhume Body for Sainthood Purposes

When Father Ryan Patrick was laid to rest over 140 years ago, some may have thought it was his final resting ground. But no, the local Catholic church has different plans for old Fr. Ryan, and has put plans in motion to make a posthumous move.

The Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Chattanooga, Tennessee is interested in having Fr. Ryan declared a saint, based on some recent changes by Pope Francis regarding what constitutes a saint. Fr. Ryan has a chance of making it to the proverbial big leagues in the Catholic church, and recently moved one step closer.

Archeologists often have to consider the legal question of whether it's okay to dig up a dead body. And apparently the Catholic Church does, too.

A new year brings new opportunities. And for Oregon residents, 2019 brings the opportunity to salvage deer, elk, and other animals slaughtered by automobiles, as long as that animal was hit on accident and as long as you intend to eat the meat.

Oh, and you'll need a permit as well.

Chicken Slaughter Ritual in Brooklyn Allowed by Court

It's another swing and a miss for the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF). For years, the ALDF has been trying to put an end to the annual Kaporos ritual held in the streets of Brooklyn. As they did last year, the New York Appellate court ruled once again that they do not intend to force an end to the ancient Orthodox Jewish atonement ritual that slaughters 50,000 chickens in the Brooklyn streets every year.

Xtreme Trespassing: Human Spider Climbs Skyscraper

Recently, humans have begun practicing superhuman feats, the kind that are usually reserved for Marvel comic books and movies. Called parkour, it is the hobby, or perhaps sport, of traversing an urban environment, negotiating obstacles by running, jumping, and climbing. To many, it looks like human Spider-Man training. But to police and building owners, it looks like a menace, and trespassing.

Is There a Safe Haven Law for Wildlife?

We've all seen those Safe Haven signs at Walmart and police stations, making it legal for parents to unburden themselves by dropping off their infants and giving up all parental rights and responsibilities without legal ramification. But is there a parallel for wildlife?

To Protect Trick-Or-Treaters, Mayor Plans to Round Up All Sex Offenders

Mayor Gary Jones of Grovetown, Georgia has announced plans to round up all paroled sex offenders from 6 to 9 p.m. this Halloween, and have a parole officer guard them in city hall. Is this legal? Yes. Is it a good idea? Maybe not.

Parolees are required to meet wherever and whenever their parole officer tells them. The head of the city's parole department can indeed ask all 25-30 paroled sex offenders to meet at city hall for the designated hours. Whether or not a meeting of the town's paroled sex offenders is a good idea or not is debatable for a variety of reasons.

Half Baked Accidental Cremation -- No Harm, No Damages

You can almost see this scene being played out in an episode of The Simpsons. "D'oh!"

In May 2013, crematory workers at Alta Vista Cremation and Funeral Services in Pacheco, California, fired up the furnace and placed the deceased body of 91-year old Vincent Jarvis inside. About 25 minutes into the bake, employees realized they had made a grave mistake.

The body was supposed to go to the county coroner's office first for an autopsy. Not sure what to do next, they called the boss, who told them to open up the 900 degree furnace and pour water on the body to try to stop the burning man. As one can imagine, after baking at 900 degrees for 25 minutes, all that was left of the remains was a skinless, headless charred torso. So, in a continued case of "what do we do next," they sent that to the coroner.

Unsurprisingly, the family took legal action, suing Alta Vista for negligence.

It's only natural to think that, when you want a dog, you go to the pound or the pet store, pick out your pup, and go home to a long and wonderful friendship. But some new pet owners are surprised to learn that they were only renting their new best friends. Or, more accurately, getting "fleased" by long term lease agreements with exorbitant interest rates.

One such woman in New York was paying $180 a month for a Chihuahua puppy she wouldn't be able to own until she shelled out over twice the dog's asking price of $1,900 and kicked in an extra $300 purchasing fee. The New York attorney general has filed a fraud suit against the pet store, and the state has passed legislation banning pet leasing. Wait, how is pet leasing even a thing?

Maybe you're a LARPer or a fan of Renaissance Fairs. Maybe you're an engineering or history student, studying the effectiveness of various siege weapons. Or maybe you've got a neighbor with high walls and a penchant for playing their music too loud.

Either way, if you're looking to launch a projectile a great distance (without the aid of explosives), you might be wondering if you can build your own catapult, trebuchet, or similar siege engine without interference from the fuzz. Here's what you need to know.

Gone are the days when marriages could only be performed by a priest in a church or an official in city hall. Now just about any Joe Schmo can perform a marriage ceremony, if they click a few buttons online. And while the new Wild West of wedding officiants can leave brides and grooms wonder whether their union is actually legal, it can also open the doors for some fun marriages and ministers.

So if you're looking to get licensed to perform a wedding ceremony, here are the three weirdest places to get ordained (sadly, Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption is no longer one of them):