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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.”

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.

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Dan MacGuill

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