When a machine begins to run without human aid, it is time to scrap it - whether it be a factory or a government. ~Alexander Chase, Perspectives, 1966
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from: God, Plaintiff v. President Ronald Reagan (Cite as: 1986 WL 3948 (E.D.Pa.)
FULLAM, District Judge
[After granting plaintiff leave to proceed in forma pauperis]
"Plaintiff names as defendants President and Mrs. Reagan, the United States Government, Congress, and the citizens of the United States and foreign countries. Her complaint is lengthy, rambling, and at times incomprehensible. It seems that plaintiff's basic claims are that she is god of the Universe and that citizens of the Universe, former Presidents Nixon, Ford, and Carter, and President Reagan have perpetrated crimes against her through the use of an electronic eavesdropping device. The majority of her complaint is composed of a request for relief in which she asks that the court award her items ranging from a size sixteen mink coat and diamond jewelry to a three bedroom home in the suburbs and a catered party at the Spectrum in Philadelphia."
She didn't win.
"Generally [punitive damages] cases fall into three categories: (1)
really stupid defendants; (2) really mean defendants; and, (3) really
stupid defendants who could have caused a great deal of harm by their
actions but who actually caused minimal harm." - Opinion of Supreme
Court of W. Va., in TXO Production Corp. v. Alliance Resources Corp.,
419 S.E.2d 870, 887-88 (W.Va, 1992).
'West Virginia's infamous once and future Chief Justice Richard
Neely, America's laziest and dumbest judge, seeks a bright person to
keep him from looking stupid. Preference will be given to U. Va. law
students who studied interesting but useless subjects at snobby
schools. If you are dead drunk and miss the interviews, send
letters.' -- Advertisement in the U. Va. Law Weekly
In Houston, computer enthusiast Shawn Kevin QUinn, 17 pled nolo
contendere to a charge that he had tried to hire a hitman for $5.30
and 7 computer programs to kill the boyfriend of the girl he had a
crush on. He was fined $500 and got 10 years probation, and was
ordered to reduce his computing from his daily 8 hours to 90 minutes.
The subject of this action is an intentional misprint in a paid advertisement placed by the plaintiff (union) in the Old Colony Memorial, a newspaper published by the defendant, Memorial Press, Inc. (newspaper), in Plymouth [Massachusetts]. The union was in the midst of collective bargaining negotiations with the town of Plymouth. The union's demands included an increase in the number of police officers in the department and the continuation of a "minimum manning" clause, which provided for a minimum number of police officers to be on duty for a particular shift. After criticism from one of the selectmen that its officers spent too much time at a local doughnut shop, the union placed an advertisement in the newspaper to explain their reasons for their collective bargaining demands. The headline of the advertisement at issue stated: "Plymouth Police Department Is Undermanned." When the advertisement was printed in the October 25, 1979, issue of the newspaper, the second "e" in the word "Department" looked like a doughnut.
Based on this misprint, the union brought an action in the Superior Court for libel, deceit, negligence, breach of contract, and violation of G.L. c. 93A...
from: International Brotherhood of Police Officers Local 433 v. Memorial Press, Inc., 31 Mass.App. 138 (1991)
It's interesting how the case turned out: The jury had found that the
misprint was intentional and had awarded the union $35,000 on the
breach of contract count, and the trial judge had reduced that award
to $275.05, that being the price the union had paid to the newspaper
to run the ad, plus one dollar in nominal charges; the union had then
appealed the judge's action. The Massachusetts Appellate Court's
reaction to all this was to further reduce the award to $274.05, on
the grounds that nominal awards are in order only in cases where the
monetary value of the loss cannot be accurately calculated...
In Flint, Michigan, Michael Allen, 26, appeared at his hearing on
charges stemming from a house robbery wearing a green double-breasted
suit that he hoped would make a good impression on the judge.
Instead, the victim announced, " He's wearing my suit." A check of
the custom made suit's label verified the claim.
A 16 yr old in Elizabeth NJ, under court order to make restitution
for the damage that he caused in a stolen car chase, was arrested
when he tried to make his weekly payment with $6 cash and a $10 vial
of crack cocaine. According to Union County police oficer Daniel
Ward, the 10th grader asked his probation officer for a receipt for
the cash and crack payment, but " did not appear high or intoxicated
at the time."
A proposal to make NY's prison inmates pay state and local sales
taxes on purchases at prison commosaries could raise $520,000 a year
- but state prison officials said it would cost $1.5 million to hire
a clerk at each of the prisons to make sure nobody cheats.
To warn the public about 4th of July brush fires, sherriff's deputies
and firefighters gathered at a remote bomb-disposal range outside San
Diego to blow up 1000's of illegal fireworks for the media. Sparks
from the demonstration fell on a nearby hill, causing a 10 acre brush
fire that required 50 firefighters, 2 water dropping helicopters and
a bulldozer to extinquish.
Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. -Machiavelli I thought it was: "Power corrupts; absolute power is kind of neat." "I like it, I like it!" -- Hillary Clinton
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