Quite a few developments lately in stories I have previously mentioned. These all deserve more words than they're getting below, but it's hard enough to keep up with the new material.
- The man who was charged in February with driving a Zamboni ice machine while intoxicated ("Another Zamboni DUI" (Feb. 12, 2015)) has been convicted. At the end of a bench trial in Fargo, North Dakota, a municipal judge held that the definition of "vehicle" in the state's DUI law is indeed broad enough to cover a Zamboni. (CBC, local news). Personally I think the defense had the better of this argument, but the judge did not adopt (or, probably, know about) my analysis. "Our purpose was to have someone state with authority that this is a violation of the law," the defense attorney said afterward. Mission accomplished?
- Nationwide, the conviction rate in known drunken-Zamboni-driving cases now stands at 66.6 percent, counting the guilty plea in Minnesota as a conviction. Don't drive a Zamboni drunk, but if you must, do it in New Jersey.
- Good news for Roger Weber, who will not have to pay for cutting his neighbor's garage in half. ("Property Dispute Resolved With Power Saw" (Sept. 29, 2014)). A judge ruled on May 29 that half of the garage was indeed on Weber's land, as Weber claimed, and so he had the right to remove it. The court said it did not condone Weber's "rash actions," but did not find him liable for the damage. The plaintiff accepted—no, wait, it's a conspiracy. "The Itasca County Sheriff's Office, County Attorney's Office, and now the judicial system," he lamented. "They all deemed Mr. Weber's actions justified. How far does this guy reach?"
- Speaking of long reaches, Spanish entrepreneur Maria Angeles Duran has reportedly been cleared to sue eBay for refusing to let her sell plots of land on the Sun. ("Sunshine No Longer Free, Says Sun's New Owner" (Nov. 29, 2010). Previously, her plan for monetizing the G2-class stellar object involved charging people, or at least corporations, for using its energy. That doesn't seem to have gone well, hence the eBay strategy. It appears that eBay terminated her sales after concluding the offer was a scam, and Duran then sued. It looks like the recent order deals only with the court's jurisdiction over eBay, not Duran's jurisdiction over the Sun.
- This isn't recent but I don't think I ever mentioned it: the guy who argued in 2012 that a judge was biased against him for unusual reasons ("Recusal Motion Cites Girl-Scout-Cookie Purchase" (Aug. 31, 2012)) actually succeeded in getting that judge removed from his case. The judge denied even asking him to buy cookies from her daughter's troop, let alone holding a grudge because he failed to do so, and the report does not say that cookie bias played any role in the result.