A judge in Columbus wrote a poem to let a prisoner suing an Ohio penitentiary for “emotional distress” know that his lawsuit was being denied and read it in court. Franklin County Common Pleas Judge David E. Cain, 72, dismissed Darek Lathan’s lawsuit seeking $2 million in damages over a denied bathroom break.
Lathan, an inmate at the Correctional Reception Center in Orient near Columbus, filed three civil lawsuits against the prison in October. The case before Cain involved an accident Lathan had when a guard did not let him leave a line to use the bathroom. Lathan was sentenced in January 2015 to 17 months in prison after pleading guilty to felony vandalism. Cain’s poem explained what occurred and his rejection of Lathan’s argument:
Cold showers caused his bowels to malfunction
Or so the plaintiff claims
A strict uncaring prison guard
Is whom the plaintiff blames.
While in line for recreation
And little time for hesitation
His anal sphincter just exploded
The plaintiff’s britches quickly loaded.
It made the inmates laugh and play
To see the plaintiff’s pants this way
The foul, unsightly, putrid mess
Caused the plaintiff major stress.
Claiming loss and shame to boot
The plaintiff filed the present suit
But the law provideth no relief
From such unmitigated grief.
Neither runs nor constipation
Can justify this litigation
Whether bowels constrict or flex
De minimus non curat lex.
The last line translates as “the law takes no account of trifles,” the judge said.