Fun_People Archive
2 Sep
Legal Looniness

Date: Fri,  2 Sep 94 13:36:09 PDT
To: Fun_People
Subject: Legal Looniness

From: WEIRDNUZ.341 (News of the Weird, August 19, 1994)
by Chuck Shepherd

* The lawsuit Irene Geschke, then age 55, filed against a mortgage company
in 1979 in Chicago just passed its 15th anniversary without coming to trial.
There have been more than 530 motions and orders, and nine dates for trial
have come and gone.  Geschke claims the mortgage company caused her to go
out of business when it wrongly foreclosed on a loan and is now acting as
her own lawyer, managing the one ton of legal documents involved in the
case. [Wall Street Journal, 3-24-94]

* In June in London, lawyers for convicted murderer Stephen Young filed an
appeal after learning from one juror that three other jurors had conducted
a Ouija board seance during jury deliberations and "contacted" the dead man,
who named Young as his killer. [Houston Post-Reuter, 6-21-94]

* In April Rodney Williams, 21, appeared in the courtroom of Judge Robert
Altenhof in Kelso, Wash., to explain why he had missed a previous court date
on an assault charge.  Fearing that the judge might not believe his
excuse--his mother's recent fatal illness-- Williams held up his mother's
ashes, in a plastic box, and offered them for the judge to examine.  Said
Altenhof, "You think you've heard it all, but somebody always comes up with
something new." [Chicago Tribune- AP, 4-30-94]

* Late last year in Bangladesh, Falu Mia, 60, was released from prison after
21 years.  He had been locked up until his trial for theft in 1972, then
found not guilty, but a lethargic bureaucracy failed to release him.  He
recently filed a lawsuit against the government for 21 years' back wages
(about $26,000).  [Boston Sunday Herald, 4-3-94]

* In June, a judge in Thousand Oaks, Calif., dismissed neighbors' request
for an injunction against Kathleen Adams, who the neighbors said lures
squirrels to her home with food and thus creates a nuisance.  Adams claims
the area is populated with squirrels, anyway, and that she does not need to
lure them.  Neighbors' evidence included the fact that Adams posts
"Squirrels Welcome" signs in her yard, but the judge said he found the signs
unpersuasive in that he doubted that squirrels could read them. [Los Angeles
times, Jun94]

* In December, a federal court in San Francisco ruled against former Doobie
Brothers drummer John Hartman in his employment discrimination lawsuit over
his firing from the Petaluma, Calif., police force.  Hartman claimed that
his drug use in the early 1970s made him "disabled" under the Americans with
Disabilities Act, but the judge ruled that Hartman had not proved that he
had done enough drugs to be disabled. [San Francisco Chronicle, 1-2-94]

* Apparently weary of interfamily bickering in the federal bankruptcy case
of Judith Herskowitz of Florida, Judge Jay Cristol ordered Herskowitz in
March to "obtain and mail to" her sister Susan Charney, at least five days
before Susan's next birthday, a card which reads "Happy Birthday Sister"
and contains the signature of Ms. Herskowitz.  Further, Cristol ordered that
"the card shall not contain any negative, inflammatory, or unkind remarks."
[Fla. Law Weekly, order issued 3-7-94]

* In July, Ontario judge Lee Ferrier upheld the 1991 firing of Sharon
Bagnall, 52, by Calvin Klein Canada, where she worked as a cologne
demonstrator.  The judge said he was persuaded by the company's witnesses,
who testified that Bagnall had a "personal hygiene problem" and smelled like
an "armpit." [Montreal Gazette, 7-5- 94]

Copyright 1994, Universal Press Syndicate.  All rights reserved.
Released for the personal use of readers.  No commercial use may
be made of the material or of the name News of the Weird.

[=] © 1994 Peter Langston []