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A lawyer-friend sent me a link to this frankly hilarious court case summary out of Canada.

Morland-Jones v. Taerk, 2014 ONSC 3061 (CanLII)

One sample:

[6] The hearing before me started off with counsel for the Plaintiffs playing a short excerpt from security footage shot by the Plaintiffs several years ago, in which Ms. Taerk is seen performing a “poop and scoop” after a dog did its business on her front lawn. The Plaintiffs’ security camera shows her crossing the street with the plastic bag-full in hand, and then walking toward the Plaintiffs’ driveway where the garbage cans were out for collection. Although the impugned deed actually takes place off camera, Ms. Taerk can be seen moments later returning to her side of the street empty-handed.

[7] Apparently, much to the consternation of the Plaintiffs, she deposited the goods in the Plaintiffs’ garbage can. In doing so, she failed to walk to the back of her house to place it in her own receptacle like a truly good neighbour would do.

[8] The “dog feces incident”, as counsel for the Plaintiffs calls it, is a high point of this claim. At the hearing, it was followed by counsel’s description of a cease and desist letter sent to the Defendants in 2008 by a lawyer then representing the Plaintiffs, which describes what is now referred to by counsel as the “dog urination issue”. This letter enclosed photographs – apparently stills taken from the Plaintiffs’ non-stop video footage – documenting Mr. Taerk walking his dog and occasionally allowing it to lift its leg in a canine way next to the bushes lining the Plaintiffs’ lawn.


Really, the phrase "And it goes downhill from there" should not appear in a summation of an actual court case, should it? But as the subject line says, "And yet..."

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( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
dreamflower02
May. 25th, 2014 11:25 am (UTC)
OMG! Since the DH is still asleep, I had to stifle my LOLs! I thought my face would explode!

That's hilarious! I love the judge's snark; I hope he was equally snarky to the people in the case, and I hope their lawyers soaked them thoroughly.

The judge made clear what should have been obvious to the Plaintiffs to begin with: you can't sue someone because you don't like them. (Or rather, apparently you can, but not with any hope of winning.)
marta_bee
May. 26th, 2014 08:07 am (UTC)
I do love a judge who can laugh at himself! It was LOL-worthy in the literal way, wasn't it?

My friend is an adjunct law professor at NYU who fills in the gaps as an arbitrator, and he says ridiculous cases like this aren't nearly as rare as you'd like to think. Usually they don't go to court because that's so expensive, and much less outside of America where judges usually have the ability to dismiss cases like this as frivolous. (He was a bit surprised this case got that far.) But yes, according to him judges often let their snark fly a bit when the case deserves it. :-)
shirebound
May. 25th, 2014 01:59 pm (UTC)
I love that phrase, "lift its leg in a canine way". So delicately worded!
marta_bee
May. 26th, 2014 08:13 am (UTC)
Indeed! I love the creative turns of phrase you see in legal documents. :-)
sjames_centre
May. 25th, 2014 06:28 pm (UTC)
I went and read the whole thing- hilarious - I love that judge's comments. I hope the parties involved are suitably embarrassed by their bad behaviour. But those types generally aren't, are they? Or they wouldn't be behaving that way.
marta_bee
May. 26th, 2014 09:03 am (UTC)
You're right, people prone to press this to court aren't likely to feel any shame. At least we get a good laugh out of it, though. :)
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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