Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now

Judge throws out prisoner's $2 million toilet lawsuit - with a poem

“Neither runs nor constipation can justify this litigation.”

cainlathan Judge David Cain (L) and Darek Lathan (R) Source: Franklin County Courts/Ohio Dept of Rehabilitation and Corrections

A JUDGE IN the US state of Ohio used a five-stanza poem to dismiss an Ohio prisoner’s lawsuit over bathroom access, writing “neither runs nor constipation can justify this litigation.”

Franklin County Judge David Cain concluded the inmate, Darek Lathan, didn’t have a case, after alleging that he soiled himself and was ridiculed when a prison guard wouldn’t let him use a toilet.

“You know, if he is going to file something that frivolous, he can’t expect me to be too judicious in how I respond,” Cain told the Columbus Dispatch newspaper.

He can’t expect me to take it seriously.

Lathan claimed  a guard at the Correctional Reception Centre in Orient refused his request to use an open toilet during recreation time one evening.

He sued the state, seeking at least $2 million (€1.8 million) in damages.

Cain dismissed the case yesterday through written rhymes that summarised Lathan’s case and his own conclusions.

While in line for recreation/And little time for hesitation/His anal sphincter just exploded/The plaintiff’s britches quickly loaded…

The poem ended with a Latin phrase meaning “The law does not concern itself with trivialities.”

Making a difference

A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article.

Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can make sure we can keep reliable, meaningful news open to everyone regardless of their ability to pay.

cainpoem Source: Franklin County Courts

Records show Lathan, 47, is now in prison elsewhere and had no lawyer in the case who could comment on his behalf.

The judge, who started out as a journalist, said it took him about an hour to write the poem.

We have to have some fun every once in a while in this job.

Contains reporting by the Associated Press.

Read: New York lawyer being sued formally demands Trial by Combat>

Read: Obsolete laws scrapped – Now we can say whatever we like about Henry VIII’s marriage plans>

About the author:

Dan MacGuill

Read next: