Comical legal case names


24 Responses to “Comical legal case names”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I’m fond of the European Court of Human Rights case of Plonka v Poland (Application 20310/02, 31 March 2009), for reasons that will be apparent to puerile speakers of British English.

  2. arkizzle / Moderator says:


  3. Kerov says:

    LOL Civil Asset Forfeiture

    “The Government took my stuff and all I got was this funny case name”

  4. Anonymous says:

    #2: exactly, these are mostly in rem cases, literally, cases against a thing, so the plaintiff is the government and the defendant is a description of the thing that is being sued. It sounds strange, but they have to sue the thing itself to confiscate it. I assume that as the amount of property forfeitures (seizures) goes up, they have been using a lot more in rem cases.

  5. spanish pantalones says:

    My personal favorit is The Smelly Bee v. Dees, 382 N.E.2d 422 (Ind. 1908)wherein the Indiana Supreme Court adopted the “sniff” test.

  6. Anonymous says:

    United States v. Fifty-Three Eclectus Parrots is a (literal) textbook case on what constitutes a question of law, versus a question of fact (at issue was whether the status of an eclectus parrot as “wild” was a legal or a factual question).

    But I like it just because of the mental image conjured by the case name

  7. jonathan_v says:

    i’ve actually read “United States v. Approximately 64,695 Pounds of Shark Fins, No. 05-56274 (9th Cir. Mar. 17, 2008).” in its entirety. Its a really weird case / decision. I didn’t really agree with it.

  8. efergus3 says:

    I wonder how many lawyers it took to produce 64,695 Pounds of Shark Fins?

  9. semiotix says:

    This is the greatest country on earth. Not even 2,507 parakeets can beat us!

  10. belldl says:

    State v. Eighteen Casks of Beer, 104 P. 1093 (Okla. 1909), is one of my favorites.

  11. JesseH says:

    These are like something Douglas Adams would come up with.

  12. Brainspore says:

    Nominee for best made-up case:

    “Thomas Pynchon sued the producers of an 80s sci-fi drama for stealing the title of his 1964 debut novel. The case was appealed four times until being settled in V v. V V.

    (From America: The Book)

  13. Anonymous says:

    Funny. I’m studying for my property final and I just noticed a case named Wiggins v. 1100 Tons, More or Less, Of Italian Marble, 186 F. Supp. 452 (E.D. Va. 1960). Sounds like bad odds for Wiggins.

  14. Little John says:

    “Approximately 64,695 Pounds of Shark Fins I am placing you under arrest. You have the right to remain silent. If you waive this right anything you say can be used against you in a court of law.

    “You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will appointed for you.

    “Do you understand these rights as I have read them to you? Mr. Approximately 64,695 Pounds of Shark Fins, do you understand? Sir?”

  15. billstewart says:

    Other than cases by people with funny names, like Batman, most of those are drug forteiture cases – there are a lot with names like “US vs. $5000″ or “State of ___ vs. A 1997 Chevy Van” (actual numbers and car models forgotten), where the Feds or state are confiscating property without the need to actually prosecute a criminal case against the owner. Just claiming that the property is “guilty” lets them do it, like bringing a case against a dog that bit somebody, and it’s up to the victim to prove that they didn’t acquire that money or car via crime. $5000 won’t pay for a good enough lawyer to beat the Feds and get your $5500 back, and even if you do beat the State and get your old car back, they’ll have charged you more than it’s worth in storage fees. Every once in a while US Today will have a page of legal notice classified ads that are the Feds ripping off a bunch more people.

  16. Little John says:

    Late-night low-budget TV ad on a local channel:

    “Are you an Article Consisting of 50,000 Cardboard Boxes More or Less, Each Containing One Pair of Clacker Balls? Are you facing legal action with the United States? Are legal debts and the risk of bankruptcy causing you to despair? Not sure where to turn?

    “Well, we here at Scruham and Howe are ready to take your case! We’ll stand up for you in your moment of need and bring all of our legal expertise to bear. We recently represented Schmuck in his famous suit against the United States, and arranged a handsome settlement for 11 1/4 Dozen Packages of Articles Labeled in Part Mrs. Moffat’s Shoo-Fly Powders for Drunkenness.

    “I’m Howie Scruham and I give you my word: We’ll give you the same quality representation as Approximately 64,695 Pounds of Shark Fins, or you pay nothing!

    “Call NOW!”

  17. Simon Bradshaw says:

    My personal favourite from the English courts is Mirage Studios v Counter-Feat Productions, a case on copyright and unauthorised merchandising. Better know to IP lawyers as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles case, I suspect the claimant was onto a winner pretty much from the opening of the case, which I imagine went rather like this:

    “My Lord, I appear on behalf of Mirage Studios, and my learned friend Mr Bloggs appears for the Defendant… Counter. Feat. Productions.

    Another good one, in the US courts recently, was FTC v Balls of Kryptonite. Sad to relate this wasn’t an in rem case against such items, but rather a lawsuit against a company of that name, which must have had them to think it could get away with flouting Safe Harbor provisions for personal data protection.

  18. Diamond Jim says:

    It was William Gaddis who first told me about Mayo v. Satan and His Staff, 54 F.R.D.282 (W.D. Pa. 1971).

  19. _OM_ says:

    …Mrs. Moffat’s Shoo-Fly?? My late grandmother had a package of that stuff in her medicine cabinet when I was about 4 years old – which would have placed this circa 1965! I hadn’t thought about that in at least 40 years if not longer!

  20. captainazul says:

    I wish I had been a law clerk for one of the judges in I am the Beast. I bet that petition was a real treat to read.

  21. Anonymous says:

    In rem actions are against goods, rather than an individual and always have the name of the goods. How about Murray v. The Charming Betsey, 6 U.S. 2 Cranch 64 64 (1804)? In rem Supreme Court decision against a ship.

  22. bklynchris says:

    clacker balls!!!!! Remember those! And then they disappeared bc they could shatter when smashed together and the resulting explosion of glass shards could blind you like they did that older neighbor teen’s friend’s cousin’s friend?

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