35 of The Most Outrageous Court Cases Ever Tried

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1Judge Judy

Judge Judy

A group of friends faked a case to get on Judge Judy and got $1500 out of it.

2. American con artist Steven Jay Russell once impersonated a prison guard to simply walk out of prison. Upon recapture Russell lowered and paid his bail by pretending to be a judge, escaped his next capture by impersonating a doctor, and did so again by faking his death, eventually landing him a 144-year sentence.

3. A witness in a Scottish court who had answered "aye" to confirm he was the person summoned was told by the Sheriff that he must answer either "yes" or "no". His name was read again and he was asked to confirm it, he answered "aye" again, and was imprisoned for 90 minutes for contempt of court.

4. During the 1995 OJ Simpson trial, the ABC, NBC and CBS networks nightly news broadcasts gave more airtime to the details of that case than to the Bosnian War and the Oklahoma City bombing combined.

5. US president Stephen Grover Cleveland developed a close relationship with his friend's baby daughter (Frances Folsom Cleveland Preston). When his friend died, a court-appointed him to administer the estate, making him closer to the then 11 year-old-girl. When she graduated university at 21, Cleveland (49-year-old) married her while President.

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In Japan, if someone on trial is filmed while in handcuffs their hands have to be pixelated to be shown on TV. This is because a man named Kazuyoshi Miura brought a successful case to court arguing the image of him in handcuffs implied guilt and had prejudiced his trial.

7. A man found a newborn baby in the subway, and when he was in family court to give a statement the judge surprised him by asking if he and his partner wanted to adopt. They said yes.

8. Katie Holmes' father negotiated a prenuptial agreement for her that reportedly filled five bankers’ boxes. Because of it, when Katie Holmes made her bombshell announcement that she was divorcing Tom Cruise, the case was able to be resolved in a mere 11 days.

9. In 2001, the United States Court of Appeals upheld the right of Alice Randall (American author) to publish a parody of 'Gone with the Wind' called 'The Wind Done Gone', which told the same story from the point of view of Scarlett O'Hara's (Fictional character) slaves, who were glad to be rid of her.

10. Nissan.com is not owned by the car company, but by a single guy named Uzi Nissan. He has been fighting the car company in court since 1999.

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11Robert H. Richards IV

Robert H. Richards IV

Robert H. Richards IV, who inherited the Du Pont family fortune after the death of John du Pont (of Foxcatcher fame), was convicted in 2009 of sexually abusing his 3-year-old daughter. His 8 year sentence was suspended, as the judge claimed he would "not fare well" in prison.

12. A Michigan judge named Hugh Clarke held himself in contempt after smartphone rang in court.

13. In 1993, Creedence Clearwater Revival's record label sued former lead singer John Fogerty because his song "The Old Man Down the Road" sounded similar to "Run Through the Jungle." Although Fogerty was awarded attorney fees, the judge found that "an artist can't plagiarize himself."

14. An Ohio judge named Michael A. Cicconetti sentenced a woman to sit in the smelliest area of a garbage dump for 8 hours, for she was accused of animal abuse. He even said, "If you puke, you puke."

15. Author Nathaniel Hawthorne added a W to his last name to hide his relation to his great-great-grandfather John Hathorne, the only judge in the Salem Witch Trials to never repent his actions.

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16Cannibal Holocaust

Cannibal Holocaust

The director of Cannibal Holocaust had to prove in court that the actors were still alive and didn't get killed during the movie.

17. Website UrbanDictionary.com has been used in court cases to define slang words that are not found in dictionaries.

18. Louis Le Prince, who filmed the first ever motion pictures, disappeared without a trace in 1890. Thomas Edison soon took credit as the first and sole inventor of cinema and even took Le Prince's son to court to dispute it. A few years later, the son also died under mysterious circumstances.

19. After being caught by casino owners and prosecuted in court for cheating, the Hyland card counting team was acquitted of all charges after the judge ruled that the players' conduct was not cheating, but merely the use of intelligent strategy.

20. A woman believed "crunch berries" in Cap'n crunch were actual fruit for years, and attempted to sue Pepsico when she found out they weren't. The judge dismissed it as "common sense" knowledge.

21Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa

When Charles Keating was on trial, Mother Teresa sent the judge a letter asking him to do what Jesus would do. An attorney wrote back to explain how Keating stole money from others and suggested that she return Keating's donation to the victims ... as Jesus would surely do. She never replied.

22. A man attempted to sue Applebee's after he leaned over a plate of sizzling fajitas to pray. A trial judge dismissed the suit, finding Applebee's was not required to warn the man "against a danger that is open and obvious."

23. After Hurricane Katrina, a group of Benedictine monks in Louisiana began selling low-cost, handmade cypress caskets. The state’s Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors issued a cease-and-desist order, claiming that only funeral homes could sell caskets. A judge ruled in favor of the monks.

24. When Margaret Keane sued her ex-husband, Walter Keane (American plagiarist) for plagiarizing, the judge asked both of them to paint a painting in front of the courtroom. Walter declined, saying he had a sore shoulder, whereas Margaret completed her painting in 53 minutes.

25. In 1938, a Kindergarten teacher named Helen Hulick witnessed a burglary. She was jailed for 5 days because she wore a pair of slacks into court the day she was called to testify.

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