Lighter side: Judge writes poem to deny lawsuit

by Samantha Woodhill22 Jan 2016
An Ohio judge told a prisoner his lawsuit was being denied by verse.

Prisoner Darek Lathan was suing Ohio penitentiary for emotional distress, seeking $2m in damages over being denied a bathroom break, in one of three civil lawsuits he filed against the prison back in October.  According to Reuters, Lathan was sentenced to 17 months prison in January last year after pleading guilty to vandalism.

Judge David E. Cain’s poem explains his rejection of the lawsuit:

Cold showers caused his bowels to malfunction
Or so the plaintiff claims
A strict uncaring prison guard
Is whom the plaintiff blames.
While in line for recreation
And little time for hesitation
His anal sphincter just exploded
The plaintiff’s britches quickly loaded.
It made the inmates laugh and play
To see the plaintiff’s pants this way
The foul, unsightly, putrid mess
Caused the plaintiff major stress.
Claiming loss and shame to boot
The plaintiff filed the present suit
But the law provideth no relief
From such unmitigated grief.
Neither runs nor constipation
Can justify this litigation
Whether bowels constrict or flex
De minimus non curat lex.

The last line translates as ‘the law takes not account of trifles,’ the judge explained.

Cain said lawsuit was filed incorrectly and was in the wrong court. “This was even more frivolous than we are used to seeing so I thought I would have a little fun with it,” Cain said.

“It was a change from going into a courtroom and hearing about wrecks, rapes and robberies.”

Reuters reported that this is the first time the 72-year-old judge has used rhyme to deliver his judgement in over 30 years on the bench, but noted that as a former newspaper reporter, he did write song parodies for press events back in the 70s.

All three of Lathan’s personal injury lawsuits have now been dismissed.