This week on the Weird and Wacky Wednesday legal roundup, the BC Supreme Court gives some pretty helpful guidance on how not to import a car to China. Then, we examine just how a cartoon character can be issued a speeding ticket and arrested. Finally, we see that the use of emojis has finally started to trickle its way into our court system, and discuss how this evidence will be interpreted in cases to come.
All this after the jump!
How Not to Import a Car to China
The bottom line is that if you want to import a luxury car into China, you're better of to not do it. This appears to be the crux of a very long, but very wacky BC Supreme Court judgment this week. It involved a Chinese lawyer, who retained the services of a company called Westport Motor Cars, Ltd. to import luxury cars into China. Unfortunately, due to China's extreme importation restrictions, the plan to import the cars fell by the wayside.
Not only were there criminal charges for smuggling laid and successfully prosecuted in China, but the luxury cars were seized and the owners never obtained the cars.
The weirdest and wackiest part of this case isn't how difficult it is to get a car to China, but that a lawyer called to the bar in China and in New York state did not seem to see any problem with using importation documents, pre-approved, in another person's name. Something smells fishy.
The people whom the lawyer was acting for sued him and the importation company for negligence. Their case was dismissed, partly because it was time-barred, and partly because all the relevant documents were allegedly lost when her safe was stolen. It sounds like there's a lot more to this case than meets the eye.
Fred Flinstone Caught Speeding
There are plenty of driving-related cases that are weird and wacky. But one never truly expects a childhood Saturday morning cartoon staple to end up receiving a speeding ticket. Particularly when that cartoon character lived in the paleolithic era.
But apparently it can happen.
Police in Florida (what? you're surprised?) stopped a man driving a vehicle decked out as the Flinstone Footmobile, wearing full-on Fred Flinstone regalia for speeding. He was issued a ticket, and rather than say "Yabba Dabba Doo" and head on home, Mr. Flinstone became aggressive and unruly with the officers, resulting in a further arrest. The vehicle was impounded.
No word yet on whether it runs on fossil fuels.
Stalking Threats Based on an Emoji
I tend to shy away from emojis in my text messaging. Mostly because I find they are subject to misinterpretation. And that misinterpretation issue may be the crux of a New Zealand man's defence.
After sending a text message to an ex-girlfriend, stating "You're going to fucking get it" and ending with an airplane emoji, the man was charged with stalking. If you're wondering why, the reason is that the airplane emoji apparently suggested to her that he was on a plane, on his way to her, to do something nefarious.
There are huge legal questions surrounding the use of emojis in court proceedings. Because they are open to interpretation, and the use of emojis may vary based on the relationship, some evidence is likely necessary in an emoji case before the court can accept the argument that an airplane means stalking. Whether this is expert evidence (and how to qualify an expert in emojis, much less find one) is still totally open to litigation.
But just as the jealous ex boyfriend may have been on his way to get his ex girlfriend, so too will these cases come to Canadian courts in the future. And knowing about the dawn of emojis and the law is probably a good place to be.
Vancouver Criminal Lawyer with a focus on impaired driving, cannabis legalization and related issues, and immediate roadside prohibition defence.