Folklaw 1 September 2006
Russian woman sues the weathermanAAsniffling Russian woman is suing weather forecasters for wrecking her weekend away with shoddy predictions.A court in Uljanovsk heard that Alyona Gabitova had
Russian woman sues the weatherman
AAsniffling Russian woman is suing weather forecasters for wrecking her weekend away with shoddy predictions.
A court in Uljanovsk heard that Alyona Gabitova had taken to heart a forecast of 28 degrees and sweet sunshine when she planned a camping trip to a local nature reserve, newspaper Nowyje Iswestija said.
But to her abject horror it did nothing but pour with rain for the entirety of her holiday, leaving her stricken with a cold.
Gabitova has now asked the court to order the weather service to pay her the cost of her travel.
Dwarfed by justice
A judge in the Philippines was sacked by the Supreme Court in April after it became publicly known that he believed he had befriended three mystic dwarves in his chambers.
Judge Florentino Floro recently failed in his appeal against a three-year inquiry which led to his removal from the bench, after a medical evaluation found him unfit to continue on the grounds of psychosis.
“They should not have dismissed me for what I believed,” Floro said after lodging his appeal following his dismissal on “administrative grounds”.
Floro had earlier confessed to investigators that he conducted healing sessions in his chambers whenever time allowed — kindly assisted by a trio of mystic dwarves named Armand, Luis and Angel.
“The psychological finding of mental unfitness, when taken together with [Floro’s] claimed dalliance with ‘dwarves’, poses a serious challenge to such required judicial detachment and impartiality,” the Supreme Court ruling said.
According to Floro, he had formed a covenant with the dwarves, who allowed him to write while in a trance, and numerous witnesses could attest to seeing him in two places at the same time.
Floro wrote a letter to the court (possibly in a dwarf-sanctioned trance), in which he announced that “from obscurity, my name and the three mystic dwarves became immortal”.
Among his other talents included an ability to see into the future. Floro also changed his court robes from blue to black every Friday “to recharge his psychic powers”.
The Supreme Court ruled that Floro’s extracurricular relationships with dwarves may tarnish public opinion of the judiciary as a legal authority, as well as making it an object of ridicule.
“His insistence on the existence of ‘dwarves’, among other beliefs, conflicts with the prevailing expectations concerning judicial behaviour and manifests a mental state that should lay to rest any doubts about his valid removal from office for lack of the judicial temperament required of all those in the bench,” the report said.
Warden! Quick! There’s a break in!
An Austrian ex-con regarded his days behind bars with such fondness that he tried to break back in.
Detlef Federson, 23, was set free after a two year stint in Vienna’s Josefstadt prison for theft. But earlier in August he was arrested again after trying to find a way back into the big house through the roof.
Police had initially been called by prison guards who suspected a prison break, only to discover that Federsohn was headed in the other direction.
“Life is so much easier on the inside,” the young Austrian said after his capture. “They feed you, do your washing and let you watch TV, which I can tell you is a lot more than my mum does. So I thought if I could sneak back in, I would blend in with the others and the screws wouldn't notice.”
Drunken man talks his way into divorce
Islamic clerics in Kolkata, India, have ordered a woman divorce her husband after he drunkenly uttered a magic word.
Under the system of law administered by the clerics, the man’s wife can only remarry her partner after first taking another husband, and obtaining a second divorce, according to Reuters.
Ershad, a rickshaw driver from Kolkata, said “talaq” (divorce) three times to his wife while under the influence in early August. When the local clerics were informed of this, they were left with no other option but to order the pair be separated.
“The couple had kept it under wraps and continued to stay together but the clerics ruled that since Ershad uttered the word ‘talaq’ three times, it constituted a divorce,” district police chief Shatrughan Parida told Reuters.
The mother of three is now obliged to remarry a man of at least 70 years of age, Parida said. Her new husband would then have to divorce her in order for Ershad to reclaim his bride.
The case follows a decision affecting a Muslim couple in West Bengal made in early 2006. In that instance religious authorities ordered a divorce after the husband said “talaq” three times while asleep — but the couple have refused the order.
Running afoul of the law
A trio of German thieves picked 7,500 euros ($12,665) from an unsuspecting man’s pocket after pretending to clean off faeces they had just hurled at him in the street.
The man had just left a Berlin bank with the money in his pants’ pocket when what he later described as human faeces struck him in the back of the neck, Reuters said.
“Immediately afterwards two large women came up to him from behind and claimed they had seen someone excreting down onto the street from above,” a police spokesperson said.
Both women rushed to the man’s assistance, hurriedly wiping him clean with paper towels. A third good Samaritan appeared, also conveniently sporting paper towels, to help in the removal of the offending excrement.
It was only later when the victim took his befouled trousers to the dry cleaners that he noticed his rear pocket had been relieved of the cash — money he had withdrawn from the bank for an upcoming holiday.
Folklaw hopes next time German police are able to catch the thieves brown-handed.
Diamonds, not squirrels, are a girl’s best friend
A US woman is suing Old Orchard Shopping Centre following a surprise squirrel attack outside a Tiffany and Co. store.
Marcy Meckler stepped outside of the jewellery shop in Skokie, Chicago in 2004, when she was accosted by a squirrel, which she said the store’s employees “encouraged” by feeding it.
According to Meckler’s statement, the animal leapt up and attached itself to her leg. In the course of “frantically attempting to escape from the squirrel and detach it from her leg, [Meckler] fell and suffered severe injuries,” the statement said.
Although specifics were absent from the statement, Meckler’s lawyer alleged she suffered both internal and external injuries. “[She] will in the future endure pain and suffering in body and mind.”
The law suit includes the allegation that Westfield Corp., the owner and manager of the Old Orchard shopping centre, “encouraged the squirrel to remain on the premises by feeding and caring for the squirrel, despite the dangerous conditions that arose from allowing said animal to remain on the premises”.
Meckler’s lawyer said Westfield was negligent in its failure “to warn the plaintiff of the squirrel’s presence”, an oversight that can only be rectified with damages of more than US$50,000 ($65,590).