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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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