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Seriously, what do you expect when you burglarize a haunted house? That the spirits are just going to let you waltz out the door with their otherworldly possessions? I don’t think so. As reported by the AP, out of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia:

A news report says a burglar who broke into a house claims he was held captive by a “supernatural figure” for three days without food and water. Police official Abdul Marlik Hakim Johar told The Star newspaper the house’s owners found the 36-year-old man fatigued and dehydrated when they returned from vacation Thursday. He says they called an ambulance to take him to a hospital. The man told police that every time he tried to escape, a “supernatural figure” shoved him to the ground. Abdul Marlik could not immediately be reached and other police officials declined to comment.

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Regular readers know one of the Juice’s least favorite phrases is “expletive deleted.” So, straight from the indictment (with very brief intro’s) are the f-bombs uttered by Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich (and his wife!).

On squeezing some money from his authority to appoint President-Elect Obama’s replacement in the Senate…

ROD BLAGOJEVICH later stated, “I’m going to keep this Senate option for me a real possibility, you know, and therefore I can drive a hard bargain. You hear what I’m saying. And if I don’t get what I want and I’m not satisfied with it, then I’ll just take the Senate seat myself.” Later, ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated that the Senate seat “is a fucking valuable thing, you just don’t give it away for nothing.”

In regards to the Senate seat, ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated “I’ve got this thing and it’s fucking golden, and, uh, uh, I’m just not giving it up for fuckin’ nothing. I’m not gonna do it. And, and I can always use it. I can parachute me there.”

Showing his love and respect for President-Elect Obama …

ROD BLAGOJEVICH said that the consultants … are telling him that he has to “suck it up” for two years and do nothing and give this “motherfucker [the President-elect] his senator. Fuck him. For nothing? Fuck him.” ROD BLAGOJEVICH states that he will put “[Senate Candidate 4]” in the Senate “before I just give fucking [Senate Candidate 1] a fucking Senate seat and I don’t get anything.”

ROD BLAGOJEVICH raised the issue of whether the President-elect could help get ROD BLAGOJEVICH’s wife on “paid corporate boards right now.” Advisor A responded that he “think[s] they could” and that a “President elect . . . can do almost anything he sets his mind to.” ROD BLAGOJEVICH states that he will appoint “[Senate Candidate 1] . . . but if they feel like they can do this and not fucking give me anything . . . then I’ll fucking go [Senate Candidate 5].”

Later in the conversation, ROD BLAGOJEVICH said he knows that the President-elect wants Senate Candidate 1 for the Senate seat but “they’re not willing to give me anything except appreciation. Fuck them.”

Tidbits relating to (1) some Chicago Tribune writing Blagojevich didn’t particularly like and (2) the state’s assistance in the sale of the Cubs (the same man owns both) …

In another call between ROD BLAGOJEVICH and Deputy Governor A that occurred a short time later on November 3, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH and Deputy Governor A discussed an editorial from the Chicago Tribune regarding the endorsement of Michael Madigan and calling for a committee to consider impeaching ROD BLAGOJEVICH. During the call, ROD BLAGOJEVICH’s wife can be heard in the background telling ROD BLAGOJEVICH to tell Deputy Governor A “to hold up that fucking Cubs shit. . . fuck them.” [His wife too!]

ROD BLAGOJEVICH said Tribune Owner should be told “maybe we can’t do this now. Fire those fuckers.” [“this” meaning aiding with the sale of the Cubs, and those “fuckers” meaning the offending Chicago Tribune writers]

ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated that because of the impeachment articles, “we don’t know if we can take a chance and do this IFA deal now. I don’t want to give them a grounds to impeach me.” ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated that “our recommendation is fire all those fucking people, get ‘em the fuck out of there and get us some editorial support.”

Trying to encourage contributions to “Friends of Blagojevich” …

According to Individual A, after Individual B left the meeting on October 6, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH told Individual A that he was going to make an upcoming announcement concerning a $1.8 billion project involving the Tollway Authority. ROD BLAGOJEVICH told Individual A that Lobbyist 1 was going to approach Highway Contractor 1 to ask for $500,000 for Friends of Blagojevich. ROD BLAGOJEVICH told Individual A that, “I could have made a larger announcement but wanted to see how they perform by the end of the year. If they don’t perform, fuck ‘em.”

Mothertrucker! That boy has a mouth on him! To read the entire indictment,click here.

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Sure, it’s not a frontal attack on Christmas. Nevertheless, municipalities are chipping away at old St. Nick. As reported by The Telegraph:

[crossing guard] Kevin Simpson has decorated his lollipop [crossing sign] each year for Christmas to spread some festive cheer among the children arriving at Berrywood Primary School in Hedge End, Southampton. But this year, after he placed extra tinsel around the edge of the circular sign, an anonymous member of the public complained to his employers, Hampshire County Council. Despite protests from parents council officers banned father-of-two Mr Simpson from using the tinsel.

Other than being a spineless, anonymous weasel, what kind of person would complain about tinsel? Probably the same kind of folks who were behind these measures:

Westminster council banned Debenhams from playing Christmas carols at its store in Oxford Street, west London, over fears of “noise pollution”.

Carol-singing Brownies and Guides were banned from the Marlowes shopping centre in Hemel Hempstead, Herts because of fears the girls would obstruct fire escape routes.

Last month, Wimborne council in Dorset threatened to ban the town’s 400-year-old Christmas custom of firing muskets into the sky because of fears the noise would scare children. The custom dating back to the 17th century however was allowed to take place however following publicy outcry.

Plans for Christmas trees in the streets of Llandovery, Carmarthenshire, were also cancelled, after volunteers were told they risked breaking health and safety rules if they climbed ladders to put them up.

What’s next, banning Festivus celebrations? Here’s the source.

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Regular readers know that the Juice is a hardcore free speech advocate. That said, I think most folks would agree with me that Pembroke Pines Principal Peter [damn you for not having a last name beginning with “P” !] Bayer grossly overreacted. As reported by CBS4:

On Friday, November 9th, 2007, then high school senior Katherine Evans posted a picture of her Advanced Placement English teacher, Sarah Phelps, on her page and called her “the worst teacher I’ve ever met.”

Ms. Sarah Phelps is the worst teacher I’ve ever met! To those select students who have had the displeasure of having Ms. Phelps, or simply knowing her and her insane antics: Here is the place to express your feelings of anger.

Evans created the posting after school hours and on her computer at home.

Principal Bayer suspended Ms. Evans for 3 days and “forced her into lesser honors classes.” The actual “charges?”

At the time, Bayer said Evan’s actions constituted “Bullying/Cyber Bullying Harassment towards a staff member” and “Disruptive Behavior.”

My response? WTF? NFW! Ms. Evans’ response? The ACLU filed suit on her behalf, stating that the posting ….

… was “protected off campus speech” and it didn’t contain any threats of violence, did not disrupt any school activities and “gave rise to a spirited exchange of opinions by students who disagreed with Evans, who ultimately proved her wrong in her assessment of the teacher.”

So what does she want? ” … that the three day suspension be revoked and removed from Evan’s permanent record.” Nevermind “the force.” May the Juice be with her.

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In this post-9/11 world, we ask a lot of airport security personnel – they are, after all, our first line of defense against airborne terrorist attacks. We expect them to be vigilant watchdogs, keeping their eyes and ears open for signs of anything unusual in our nation’s airports.

But this is ridiculous.

Ms. Renee Koutsouradis had boarded her flight from Las Vegas to Tampa, and was waiting for the plane to leave the gate, when she was summoned to the front by flight attendants. She was escorted off the plane and down onto the tarmac, where she was informed that “something was vibrating” in her bag (guess what it was). The court explains what happened next:

On the tarmac, in the presence of three Delta male employees, and apparently in view of some of the other passengers still seated on the plane, the gate agent asked Koutsouradis to open her bag and take the batteries out of the vibrator. Koutsouradis alleges that, at this time, one of the Delta male employees . . . made sexually explicit statements toward her, causing the other men to laugh. She claims [he] licked his lips and said “What do [you] need that for?”, “Doesn’t your husband satisfy you?”, and “Come on Baby, let me satisfy you.”

vibrator.jpg Surprisingly, this smooth-talking luggage-handling lothario failed to win the heart of our heroine. In fact, she found his comments inappropriate and offensive. And so – this is a legal blog, after all – she sued the airline for infliction of emotional distress (among other things), claiming that its boorish bagman had caused her to suffer “panic attacks and post-traumatic stress disorder.”
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How do you think she did at trial?

She lost! The United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida struck a mighty blow for freedom, upholding the rights of airport personnel to make sexually suggestive comments to weary travelers, so long as the conduct does not “surpass all boundaries of decency” and is “utterly intolerable in a civilized community.”
The case is Koutsouradis v. Delta Air Lines, Inc., 427 F.3d 1339 (11th Cir. 2005). To read the decision, click here.

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Dude had 60 pot plants growing in 2 rooms. As luck would have it [bad luck, that is], there was a fire in his apartment building, leading to the discovery of the weed. So how much time do you think he’s facing? Zippy. Nada. Squadoosh. Sure he doesn’t have a record, but if it happened to you or me, fuhgeddaboutit. We’re doing time. But not Mr. Graham McConnell, who actually had a pretty good story, which might even be true. Per The Paisley Daily Express:

[His lawyer said] “He is a man who has been using cannabis for some time and made the foolish decision to cultivate the drug in order to avoid coming into contact with those who traffic in the drug.”

“He had decided to grow a lot of the stuff, dry and freeze it and, by doing so, not become involved with those who traffic in drugs on the street.”

True or not, that’s a tough sell. Mr. McConnell was sentenced to 300 hours of community service. Here’s the source.

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You’re not going to believe what this formerly respectable couple did to try and avoid a £60 ($88 US) ticket and three points. And it’s not like it would have put the wife over the top – her driving record was spotless. So Mrs. Diane Rodger, a lecturer [professor] was doing 40 mph in a 30mph zone when she was nailed by a speeding camera. Instead of just paying the fine, what did she and her husband Michael (a magistrate!) do? As reported in the Mail Online:

After consulting an internet website for tips on challenging speeding tickets, they altered the car’s appearance.

They changed the style of the Skoda’s number plate and removed stickers from its windscreen in a bizarre attempt to persuade police it had been ‘cloned’ and that she was not the driver…

Then they tried to weasel out of it.

Over the next three months Nottinghamshire Central Ticket Office, which deals with speeding fines, received five letters contesting the ticket, all signed by ‘Mr Rodger JP’.

They variously claimed he had no knowledge of the offence, that the car was regularly used by others, that the car may have been ‘cloned’, that the car was parked in Nottingham city centre at the time of the offence and that the captured image was not clear enough to identify the driver.

The letters also claimed that the middle letter on the number plate was indistinct and that his vehicle did not have stickers in the windscreen, unlike the images of the speeding car.

So the cops went to their house to ask them about the letters. What did they say?

Mrs Rodger stated she had, while Mr Rodger claimed he had signed them without reading them. Thomas Elmer, defending Mr Rodger, said: ‘It was his wife who wished to evade the penalty but it was their joint idea how to go about it.”

Partners in an asinine crime. The Judge agreed.

The couple wept as Judge David Brunning told them they had been ‘staggeringly stupid’ and that he had ‘just been persuaded’ not to send them to prison. Instead, they were each given six-month jail sentences, suspended for two years.

They were also ordered to carry out 300 hours of unpaid work each and to pay £5,000 costs between them after admitting intending to pervert the course of justice.

Here’s the source.

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burglar_searching_hg_clr.gif “Why me?” the 64-year New York homeowner had to be thinking after burglar Luis Hidalgo broke into his home and bit his ear off! So badly that it couldn’t be reattached! And Hidalgo punched and kicked the homeowner, and whacked him in the head with a karaoke machine. Okay, so why this house? Mr. policeman?

“This guy just randomly picked this house,” said Sgt. Anthony Repalone, a police spokesman. “There were no proceeds and there’s no connection between the victim and the subject. Obviously, his behavior was such that there may have been some drug involvement.”

Ya think?

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As you’ll see, this defense is not available to everyone… As reported by The Times:

The driver was a belly dancer who had stopped in her car in a restricted parking zone in London. She had left her vehicle stationary with the engine running, and walked off with some props into the building where she was to perform. She was issued with a [ticket] …

On what grounds did she contest the ticket?

She explained that her conduct was necessary because in her car she had snakes that she was about to use in her “exotic dance routine”. She needed to leave the engine running, she explained, in order to keep her reptiles warm to stop them from falling asleep. If they fell asleep they would, the appeal was told, be difficult to rouse quickly enough for their impending stage performance with the dancer.

Could you say no to a belly dancer with that defense? I didn’t think so. Neither could the court. “Her appeal succeeded and the fine was cancelled.”

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Or else another blawg will win :( … Anyway … for the second straight year, the ABA (American Bar Association) Journal selected Legal Juice as one of the 100 best legal blogs (from a pool of 2,000+). Yada, yada, yada.

PLEASE CLICK ON THIS LINK AND VOTE FOR LEGAL JUICE! It will take about 10 seconds.