Odds & Ends
A judge in Utah served an eviction notice to an unborn child last week. According to reports, Kaylee Bays, a judicial assistant at the Fourth District Court in Provo went to the hospital earlier in the week thinking she was going into labor. It turned out to be only a false alarm, though, and she returned to work the following day. As a joke, she asked Judge Lynn Davis to serve the baby an eviction notice. Davis subsequently served a stamped notice to the unborn child notifying her that she had committed a nuisance because “Mommy is uncomfortable and running out of room for you!” The notice gave the baby three days to vacate the premises under threat of being served with a Summons and Complaint for unlawful detainer and the possibility of further fines. Within 12 hours of receiving the written notice, Bays did indeed go into labor and gave birth to a baby girl. No further legal actions were pursued.
A judge has convinced a German couple not to name their newborn Lucifer. Two parents who had given birth to a son earlier this year in Kassel were told by an official at the local registry office that the name Lucifer could put the baby in danger. In Latin, “lucifer” means “light-bearer,” but the name is more often used in reference to the Christian Satan—a figure of evil. The official refused to approve the name and passed the matter on to a district court. Court spokesman Matthias Grund told Hessische Niedersächsische Allgemeine (HNA) that the couple was persuaded by a judge to give their child a different name during a private hearing. Instead of Lucifer, the baby was officially named Lucien. There are no official laws banning specific names in Germany, but registrars can have a case clarified by the court if they feel a name will put a child's welfare at risk.
A driver in Montreal received a ticket for singing “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)” in his car. Taoufik Moalla claims he was on his way to buy a bottle of water and was singing along to the C+C Music Factory '90s dance hit last week when a police vehicle pulled him over. Moalla says four officers surrounded his car, and asked him if he was screaming. He claims he told them he had only been singing. The officers then allegedly returned to their vehicle to check Moalla's license and registration. When they came back, they issued him a ticket for screaming in public. According to CTV News, a Montreal bylaw prohibits “screaming” because it violates “peace and tranquility.” Moella says he doesn't feel like he was being particularly loud, but seemed to hold no grudges against the officers, telling reporters that they “were doing their job.” He has contested the ticket, though, and is waiting for a court date to plead his case.
Officials in Madagascar warn against the practice of dancing with the dead, saying it could spread the plague. Since August, the country has been suffering from an outbreak of the plague that has infected over 1,000 people and killed over 100. Plague is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Humans usually are infected through the bite of a flea or rodent. Two-thirds of the cases identified in Madagascar have been identified as pneumonic plague, which spreads from person to person through coughing or sneezing. The harmful bacteria will stay active on the victim's body well after death, however, and the country's health officials are warning citizens that handling the corpses of loved ones can lead to infection. Their concern is in response to a local practice called famadihana—or “the turning of the bones”—which involves exhuming deceased family members, wrapping them in a cloth and dancing with the remains before returning them to their graves.
The Iowa Department of Transportation released a reminder to the state's residents that deer can't read signs. In a Facebook post last week, the department published an image of a deer crossing sign along with the comment: “We actually get this question on a pretty regular basis. Q. Why don't you put these signs where it is safer for the deer to cross? A. Deer can't read signs. Drivers can. This sign isn't intended to tell deer where to cross, it's for drivers to be alert that deer have been in this area in the past.” The confusion is apparently felt in other areas of the nation as well. A 2012 viral YouTube video uploaded by the producers of a North Dakota radio show featured an audio interview with a woman who claimed to have sent a number of letters to various state agencies asking to move the signs. She says her pleas were ignored.