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Stories about breaking the law!

Did You Just Dare Me To Take You To Court?

, , , , , , , | Legal | CREDIT: theb00kmancometh | November 20, 2022

This incident took place in India in the late 1980s and early ‘90s. The school where my sister and I studied was in my hometown. We knew almost all of the teachers since they were practically our neighbours.

By the time I graduated from school, the principal had retired and the vice principal had taken over as the principal.

[Vice Principal] was also from the same town, and for some unknown reason, he had some sort of grudge against my father. In local gatherings and such, he would always try to belittle my father at all chances he could get. My father would normally let it pass since he knows that getting into silly arguments with such a bully is totally unproductive.

When my sister and I joined the school, my father was required to pay a refundable deposit of 5,000 Rupees per child, which would be returned when each child graduated from the school. 10,000 Rupees was a large amount in the ‘90s and is equivalent to 95,000 Rupees now.

I graduated in 1989. My father enquired about the refund.

Vice Principal: “Since [Sister] will be graduating next year, both of the deposits will be returned together.”

When my sister graduated from school, my father requested that the school refund both of the deposits. There was no response, even after two weeks, and my father personally went to the school to demand the refund. [Vice Principal], being the egotistical bully, started arguing with my father stating that the school couldn’t refund the deposits. The argument became very heated, and he refused point-blank.

Vice Principal: “We are not returning the deposits. Do what you want. You can take us to court if you want!”

My father went silent, got up, and left the school. He came home, sat down with Mom, and went through all the school-related documents she had kept. My mom had a very meticulous documentation system; she used to save every receipt, bill, stub, etc.

He found the receipts for the deposits and took them to his lawyer friend. My dad informed his friends whose children were in the same school about the issue.

The lawyer filed the case and took the school to court. The school couldn’t provide any reason for withholding the deposits, so my dad won. The school was instructed to pay back the deposits with interest, as well as court dues.

My father’s friends who were in the PTA took up the issue in the subsequent PTA meeting, and they got the school’s trustee board to ensure that such issues wouldn’t be dealt with in the same manner. All deposits would be refunded in time. They strictly warned [Vice Principal] not to bring personal grudges into school business.

Other parents who were owed deposits but had forgotten about them started claiming them. It cost the school a lot to pay back all the deposits.

Not Just Thieves, But Rude Ones At That

, , , , | Legal | November 18, 2022

My husband and I stopped at a beer distributor that offers a “pick six” option where you can mix and match beers for the same price as a six-pack. While we were debating which new beers to try, a younger couple came in. The girl pushed me out of the way to get to a particular beer.

Me: “Um, excuse you.”

Girl: “You were in my way.”

Me: “And grownups say, ‘Excuse me,’ when that happens.”

The girl rolled her eyes and kept stepping in front of me every time I moved. Her boyfriend laughed and encouraged her. Finally, I told my husband I’d had enough and just wanted to go. We took our beer to the register, which had two sides to approach but only one cashier.

Cashier: “Hi, guys, did you find everything today?”

Me: “Ah, I guess.”

Cashier: “You guess?”

The other couple approached the register on the other side, behind the cashier.

Husband: “It’s not your fault. There was a rude customer.”

He subtly gestured to the couple. The cashier looked behind her and then back to us.

Cashier: “Would you like me to go get you anything in particular? It’ll only take a second.”

Me: “No, that’s okay. Thank you.”

The cashier proceeded to ring us out. I glanced over at the younger couple and saw the girl sliding sixteen-ounce cans of beer up her coat sleeve while her companion stuffed a bunch of lollipops in his pockets. I’m not one for confrontation, but I’d had enough.

Me: “Hey!”

Guy: “What?”

Me: “How much are those?”

Girl: “How much are what?” *To her companion* “Babe, don’t even answer.”

Husband: “Excuse me? You jus—”

Me: “It’s okay, my mistake.” *To the cashier* “I thought, with the way he’s filling his pockets with those lollipops, they might be free.”

The cashier spun around to see two horrified young faces.

Girl: “You lying c***!”

Guy: “Yo, f*** you, b****!” *To the cashier* “You gonna let her talk to us like that?”

Cashier: “Certainly not, but since I can see the lollipops sticking out of your pocket and your girlfriend’s arms have grown considerably since you came in, I’m going to have to ask you to step aside and wait for the police to resolve this.”

I never found out what happened to them, but I like to pretend justice was served and they learned their lesson. Probably not, but I can dream, right?

Is The GPS Some Kind Of Snitch?

, , , , , | Legal | November 15, 2022

I’m driving from Michigan to South Dakota to go to the Badlands National Park. It’s a two-day drive, so I decide I’ll just go for one day and then turn around and go home.

My GPS gives me two options on how to get there. I can either go essentially 270 degrees around Chicago, through Wisconsin, across Minnesota, and then across South Dakota, or I can keep going west through Illinois, into Iowa, and then north to Minnesota. The second option is ten minutes longer and about $6 cheaper from the lack of tolls. I say great and go that route.

Being the little speed demon that I am, I end up passing an Illinois state trooper going seventy-four in a seventy-mile-an-hour zone. He pulls out behind me but doesn’t turn on his lights. I hope the universe is being merciful and get in the right-hand land going sixty-nine. He follows. I come up behind a semi that’s going sixty-five. I turn on my blinker, change lanes, pass the truck, turn on my blinker, and move back over.

The trooper then turns on his lights, and I pull off the side of the road.

Trooper: “Hello, ma’am. Illinois state law says that you need to have your blinker on for 300 feet before you change lanes. Now, I’m not going to write you a ticket for that, just give you a warning.”

Me: “Thank you, officer.”

Trooper: “Where are you going to?”

Me: “Badlands National Park.”

Trooper: “Oh, neat. How long will you be there for?”

Me: “I’m just driving out there, spending one day, and then coming back.”

Trooper: “Just a day?”

Me: “Yeah, I mean, the trip is going to take a week as it is.”

Trooper: “Huh. Can I have your license? I’ll just run that real quick and get you the warning, and you’ll be all set.”

I hand off the information and sit and wait. And wait.

A second car that says, “Sheriff,” pulls up behind the gentleman with too much time on his hands. Finally, the sheriff comes up to my window.

Sheriff: “Hello. Do you mind if we have the dog sniff your car? He will be checking for narcotics.”

I have six more hours left to drive and want to get a move on.

Me: “That’s fine.”

The dog circles my car. And I wait some more.

Trooper: “So, ma’am, we get people carrying drugs across the state. So, I just want to know, do you have any contraband on you?”

Me: “No, sir.”

Trooper: “Are you carrying large amounts of cash?”

Me: “I think I have a dollar bill in my wallet.”

Trooper: “Did anyone give you any little baggies or other packages to carry?”

Me: “No, sir.”

Trooper: “Okay. Do you mind stepping out so we can search your car?”

I am pretty sure I can tell him no, but again, I want to get back to driving, and agreeing seems like the fastest way out of this corn-filled state.

Me: “Just so long as you don’t judge how messy my car is, that’s fine.”

I step out, and they spend about thirty seconds glancing through my car with luggage in the back seat and craft supplies in my trunk. The trooper comes back to me with my license and a warning for going seventy-four in a seventy.

Trooper: “Sorry about that, ma’am. There seems to have been a misunderstanding. You drive safe now.”

Me: “Thank you, officer.”

I’m not really sure what was misunderstood there, but I didn’t go that way on my way back home.

The Thieving Ravens At Sea

, , , , , , | Legal | November 12, 2022

My fiancé and I offer sailing holidays. People book a berth in a cabin and live and sail with us for one week. This, of course, means that we actually live with our customers and spend a lot of time with them in very limited space. This happened before I met my fiancé, but I’ve heard him tell the story plenty of times, and I found all the emails, reports, and protocols from this story on my fiancé’s old laptop. It was a very interesting read.

The story takes place in Sardinia in August, which is super-duper-high-season and everything is super expensive. Really, the prices are ridiculous! Sardinia happens to be a hotspot for the rich and the famous, and they pay for their privacy by jacking up the prices.

It was a normal week for [Fiancé]. The boat was full of a mixture of people: two couples and two friends. The groups didn’t know each other before the trip.

One of the women from one of the couples was the week’s treasurer, meaning she collected money from the rest of the crew to pay for the week’s expenses, like fuel, mooring fees, etc. Because it was August, they had to pay a lot. The two friends, two women in their thirties, never had enough money to pay their part and were always in “debt”. They repeatedly said that they had tried getting money but the ATM wasn’t working, and they kept making other excuses just like that.

On day two, [Fiancé] talked to them.

Fiancé: “We are not leaving this marina until you pay your part.”

They were a bit pissy about it but agreed.

[Fiancé]’s bulls*** radar kicked in, and he decided to sleep outside in the cockpit that night. Lo and behold, at 3:00 in the morning, the two friends tried to sneak out with their luggage. They hadn’t thought anyone would notice and were horrified to see [Fiancé] out there, stopping their sneaky departure.

Fiancé: “Where are you going at this time of night? And with all your luggage?”

Friends: “Oh, we’re leaving. For good.”

[Fiancé] woke the rest of the crew up and told them to check their things. Oh, no. Cameras, phones, tablets, etc., were all gone! And the ship treasurer’s wallet, containing around 1,000€, was missing, too!

The two friends were busted and gave back the things they had tried to steal.

Fiancé: “You two go to the next ATM and get the money you owe. I’ll keep your luggage as a deposit until then.”

They grudgingly did, and then they were given all their luggage back and unceremoniously banned from the boat.

The following day, the women came back with the Italian police, claiming that my fiancé had stolen their stuff. After listening to [Fiancé] and the rest of the crew, the officers just shrugged, pointed to the German flag on the boat, and said:

Officers: “German flag, German problem.”

That was it, or so everyone thought. [Fiancé] continued the trip with the remaining crew, and everyone was happy the two women were gone. 

Two days later, the booking agency called [Fiancé], saying he had to take the woman back. Apparently, the MOTHERS of the two women — adult women in their thirties! — had called the agency. The women had no money and couldn’t afford a hotel.

[Fiancé] absolutely refused. The agency made it very clear that they would hold him financially responsible for any consequences coming from this.

Of course, the women sued. They wanted money back for the trip, the flight, the hotels, restaurants, and all kinds of expenses. [Fiancé] had the testimonies from the other guests and various receipts for stuff the women tried to reclaim, so he told his attorney to go all in.

Not only did the women lose the case, but it was also revealed that they had tried the same stunt several times before with other agencies. This was the fourth time this had happened, but it was the first time someone just didn’t pay the money back to avoid the hassle. After hearing this, the previous three agencies sued the women, wanting their money back.

The story also shows how that one agency works. As long as they don’t have any costs, they don’t care. If your actions are costing them money, they will make you pay, and they don’t care about how the rest of the crew would have felt. Imagine how they would’ve felt if the two thieving ravens had come back on board.

ALWAYS Trust The Experts

, , , , , , , , | Legal | November 9, 2022

Many years ago, I worked for a contracting firm in New York that specialized in Lexan glass windows. We were contacted by a very well-known jewelry firm near Wall Street about replacing their aging front display window with an extremely large panel of Lexan. By “extremely large”, I mean two inches thick, six feet high, and fourteen feet long! This panel was literally going to be bulletproof! The owners wanted to get rid of the “jailhouse ambiance” of having huge vertical bars all across the display window.

They and we agreed upon a price for the installation — almost astronomical considering it was just a big window. As we removed the old window and the bars, we realized that the framework surrounding what would be the new window badly needed beefing up for better security. We recommended a couple of other contractors to perform that work as that was outside the scope of our knowledge and experience. The owners, already unhappy about the amount they were having to spend, declined to do so even after we practically begged them to and required them to sign off on an agreement holding us harmless for the framework holding the new Lexan panel.

A week after we completed the installation, we got a frantic phone call early in the morning from the owners of the jewelry store. My boss and I arrived at the store’s location to find that the thieves had come very well-prepared. They had drilled two holes in the Lexan panel, installed collapsible grappling hooks on chains through the panel, and apparently simply hooked the chains to a tow ball on the back of a large vehicle. The entire Lexan panel was laying on the sidewalk — completely undamaged except for some minor scratches and the two drilled holes — along with the chains and grappling hooks, having been completely jerked out of the storefront.

We all — the police, the store owners, my boss, and me — stood there gazing at the now-empty display window and cases in the store. The store had lost close to a million dollars in jewelry and expensive watches.

The owners immediately tried to blame our company for the failure of the Lexan panel to protect the store. We took the position that the Lexan had done exactly what we’d promised and that its mostly undamaged condition was a testament to that.

Our insurance company and their attorneys argued with their insurance company and attorneys in arbitration for months until the judge hearing the case finally found completely in our favor. His analogy and the lesson: when the plumber putting in your new toilet says you need to replace the floor under it, and that’s out of his scope of work, LISTEN TO HIM!