Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Law Is Not An Ass, I Say!

I know my US readers have probably seen this, but this story make me howl with laughter - especially the judge's ruling!
Woman escapes jail for swearing at toilet.

Dawn Herb, 31, of Scranton, Pennsylvania, was charged after an off duty police officer overheard her swear at an overflowing toilet.
Officer Patrick Gilman told the hearing he heard someone yell: "Are you f***ing retarded? Get me the f***ing mop."
Patrolman Gilman said he then yelled, "Watch your mouth", to which the person replied: "F*** off."
He then called Patrolman Gerald Tallo, who was on duty at the time, who charged Ms Herb after she admitted cursing at her toilet.
But District Judge Terrence Gallagher has now ruled she did nothing wrong, reports the Scranton Times-Tribune.
He dismissed the disorderly conduct charge which could have led to up to 90 days in jail and a £150 fine.
The language she used "may be considered by some to be offensive, vulgar and imprudent" but she was entitled to use it under the First Amendment, the judge ruled.
Attorney Barry Dyller, who was asked to represent Ms Herb by the American Civil Liberties Union, said Judge Gallagher made the right decision.
"He's exactly right in his reasoning," Mr. Dyller said. "And it's important that the public understands this. There are cases like this each year."

Sorry, but I do I see a little common sense creeping in there? - finally...?



OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

OL< LOL...No, I had not seen or heard anything about that storuy...! But I sure agree! If I was arrested everytiner I use the
"F" word...well....I would never get out of jail!!!

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I don't know what happened to that first LOL...but Michele said to say Hello!

Melli said...

You do! You DO! I certainly do NOT condone her behavior -- but this is strictly a moral issue, not a legal one! Our First Amendment absolutely positively guarantees our freedom of SPEECH! How we USE it is between US and GOD!

R. Sherman said...

Well, speaking as a lawyer, I would say that cursing inanimate objects is acceptable under our current jurisprudence, so therefore, the judge made the right decision.

(Thanks for stopping by my blog.)


Susan Helene Gottfried said...

I think I'm proud to be from Pennsylvania, although from the opposite end of the state...

Michele sent me today, cq. We can only hope for more common sense to creep in!

colleen said...

I think we should be required to curse at an overflowing toilet. I have nightmares about them. Michele sent me to read this funny bit.

Carmi said...

I'm going to keep this in mind the next time I decide to swear at an inanimate object while I'm home.

I'll watch myself when I'm out on my bike, though, as I've been known to curse under my breath after missing a shift and ending up in the wrong gear (very bad for acceleration when you're in a hurry.) I'd hate to get pulled over for THAT!

Yet another reason why I love living in Canada. We're a little less rear-end-backwards when it comes to meting out justice. We also don't sue each other for the smallest disagreement. We actually talk. Imagine that!

Thanks for a howling slice of happy, CQ. You have this way of injecting light into a dark eve.

Anonymous said...


Of all the things I've heard or read over the years I've been blogging, this is right up there as one of the classics!

Seriously, if I were to get arrested every time I swore or used the F word, I'd be in the same position as Old lady of the hills! I'd never get out of jail!

Thanks so much for the laughs. I'm coming down with a cold and feel utterly miserable. Your post made me laugh for the first time all day.

gautami tripathy said...

What? I curse the public toilet system all the time. They are so ful of s**t!

Michele sent me your way for a laugh!

Dianne said...

It's bad enough that people sue each other over every little thing. When the police become nit-picky weasels it's just madness. Kudos to the judge. The looniness going on here in the States is scary.

Michael Manning said...

Hahaha! Vulgar language aimed at what else? A toilet! I laughed myself silly!!! I'm going to try that!