Author Topic: A cat in court?  (Read 1815 times)

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atirial

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A cat in court?
« on: January 17, 2011, 01:38:13 PM »
Apparently a feline got summoned to do jury service...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/8264782/Cat-ordered-to-do-jury-service.html

I can't quite believe this isn't a hoax - after all if my cats were called to court they'd be in the dock!

Elfmama

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Re: A cat in court?
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2011, 02:36:27 PM »
If Willow (lastname) was summoned to jury duty, I'd load her into the carrier and take her down there.  With all the reporters I could scrounge up in tow!
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JoW

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Re: A cat in court?
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2011, 02:45:04 PM »
Thats what happens when computers talk to each other without human intervention.

Boots, my late diabetic cat, used to get pre-approved credit card applications from Citi Bank.  He was on human insulin purchased at a human pharmacy.  I got a rebate on the insulin.  To get the rebate I had to give the patient's name the way it was in the pharmacy records - Boots MyLastName, Cat.  The list got sold a couple of times, eventually making its way to Citi Bank.

(I'm almost certain I've mentioned this here at least one time before.)

mechtilde

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Re: A cat in court?
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2011, 02:47:51 PM »
Thats what happens when computers talk to each other without human intervention.

Boots, my late diabetic cat, used to get pre-approved credit card applications from Citi Bank.  He was on human insulin purchased at a human pharmacy.  I got a rebate on the insulin.  To get the rebate I had to give the patient's name the way it was in the pharmacy records - Boots MyLastName, Cat.  The list got sold a couple of times, eventually making its way to Citi Bank.

(I'm almost certain I've mentioned this here at least one time before.)

Whaaa? Whatever happened to confidentiality?

It does sometimes happen in other countries- but here (UK) there is less of an excuse as jurors are drawn from the electoral register and people should not be putting their pets on there at all.
NE England

Bellantara

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Re: A cat in court?
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2011, 02:49:54 PM »
I would give good money to be there when they try to question the cat for jury duty.  >:D  If he uses the judge's bench for a scratching post, will he be cited for contempt of court? (Silly question--cats have nothing but contempt for ALL things!)

mechtilde

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Re: A cat in court?
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2011, 02:51:54 PM »
Never mind that- what if he curls up on someone's lap? Showing that he could be influenced by either the prosecution or defence counsel! That's before we get into the question of how succeptible he might be to (ahem) payment in tuna or prawns...
NE England

Elfmama

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Re: A cat in court?
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2011, 02:53:56 PM »
The owner thinks they got it off the census form, which apparently asked for the type of pets and their names.  I didn't see anything like that on ours but the 'long form' census has all sorts of things on it that aren't the business of any government official.  They're asked anyway and you have to answer or risk a substantial fine, $5000 IIRC.  Like "Is this person disabled?  Physically or mentally?  Does this person need assistance with toileting/dressing/eating?"  Something that intrusive might very well have a place for pets and their names.

(They ask for nationality on the 'short form' which is the one most people get.  I checked 'other' and wrote in "American".  >:D)
« Last Edit: January 17, 2011, 06:45:02 PM by Elfmama »
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JoW

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Re: A cat in court?
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2011, 10:39:50 PM »
Thats what happens when computers talk to each other without human intervention.

Boots, my late diabetic cat, used to get pre-approved credit card applications from Citi Bank.  He was on human insulin purchased at a human pharmacy.  I got a rebate on the insulin.  To get the rebate I had to give the patient's name the way it was in the pharmacy records - Boots MyLastName, Cat.  The list got sold a couple of times, eventually making its way to Citi Bank.

(I'm almost certain I've mentioned this here at least one time before.)

Whaaa? Whatever happened to confidentiality?...
The pharmacy's records were not released.  The confidentiality laws were not broken. 

I voluntarilly gave the information to a 3rd party that was processing the rebates so I could get my $20 back.  That 3rd party is not bound by the pharmacy privacy laws.  They shared Boots's name and address with CitiBank and with the American Diabetes Association.

VorFemme

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Re: A cat in court?
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2011, 10:44:17 PM »
Never mind that- what if he curls up on someone's lap? Showing that he could be influenced by either the prosecution or defence counsel! That's before we get into the question of how succeptible he might be to (ahem) payment in tuna or prawns...

Salmon, milk, chicken, or possibly cheese............
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I say more?

Venus193

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Re: A cat in court?
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2011, 11:51:49 PM »
Hmm.  This makes me think of a story a friend of mine tells about her former accountant.

He came to their appointment shaking like a leaf.  When she asked him what was wrong he told her he had just come from another client's appointment where he learned that "George", who had been listed as a dependent on that client's tax forms for the previous ten years, was a dog.  He was afraid of the possibility that this client could be audited and he would be in trouble with her.

Since babies are given SSN's at birth this can't happen anymore.

Iris

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Re: A cat in court?
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2011, 12:01:51 AM »
Like "Is this person disabled?  Physically or mentally?  Does this person need assistance with toileting/dressing/eating?"  Something that intrusive might very well have a place for pets and their names.

Most questions on a census form are to help in planning and providing services. For example, if loads and loads of people in an area have new babies it gives them an idea that the local school might have a lot of enrollments in a few years time and may need another classroom or more teachers. So the disability questions would be relevant in terms of providing services. A few years ago in Australia there was a humorous campaign to have people write down "Jedi" as their religion. Government officials pointed out that if a high enough proportion of the population did this, they would be required by our laws to include Jedi in the scripture instructions for schools, allow tax breaks for donations to the 'church of Jedi' and so on. So less funny than it seemed, in the end. I really can't see how pet information is relevant at all in this context. Governments don't typically provide services for pets...

In the OP, I saw this article earlier and thought it was hilarious that they were actually having to argue WHY the cat couldn't do jury duty, rather than just ringing up and saying "Dude. It's a cat"
"Can't do anything with children, can you?" the woman said.

Poirot thought you could, but forebore to say so.

Elfmama

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Re: A cat in court?
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2011, 10:24:16 AM »
Like "Is this person disabled?  Physically or mentally?  Does this person need assistance with toileting/dressing/eating?"  Something that intrusive might very well have a place for pets and their names.

Most questions on a census form are to help in planning and providing services. For example, if loads and loads of people in an area have new babies it gives them an idea that the local school might have a lot of enrollments in a few years time and may need another classroom or more teachers. So the disability questions would be relevant in terms of providing services.
Then why do they ask whether you have indoor plumbing or a TV?  Or how much your condo fee is? Or how much you paid for homeowner's insurance?  How does that help the government provide a service?  Here are the questions for the 2000 'long form'. http://usa.ipums.org/usa/voliii/inst2000.shtml  I don't see any listing for pets, so if the cat's information was pulled from her census records for jury duty, she must have listed him as a person, perhaps as a joke.  Bad idea, if so.

Quote
In the OP, I saw this article earlier and thought it was hilarious that they were actually having to argue WHY the cat couldn't do jury duty, rather than just ringing up and saying "Dude. It's a cat"
The owner did.  Apparently they thought that SHE was "Sal" and was just making up a silly excuse.
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Julep

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Re: A cat in court?
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2011, 10:54:37 AM »
Ages ago, my aunt's cat got a draft notice. Mean, nasty old guy, he probably would have done well at war. My aunt ignored it at first, and then upon the second piece of mail, called to inform them of their mistake. This was before things were done by computers with no human touching them, too. They kept sending notices with more and more insistance, until one day, a couple uniformed guys came out to the house. When they asked to speak to the drafted party (who, it's true, had reached the age of service), she brought him out (along with his vaccination records) and they all had a good laugh. They gave him a bunch of stuff - t-shirts, hats, buttons, etc. Not long after that, he started getting other mail, and it's never quite stopped. He's long gone now, but for the last few years, she's been saying she figures he'll get his AARP card any day now.

Iris

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Re: A cat in court?
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2011, 05:58:48 PM »
Like "Is this person disabled?  Physically or mentally?  Does this person need assistance with toileting/dressing/eating?"  Something that intrusive might very well have a place for pets and their names.

Most questions on a census form are to help in planning and providing services. For example, if loads and loads of people in an area have new babies it gives them an idea that the local school might have a lot of enrollments in a few years time and may need another classroom or more teachers. So the disability questions would be relevant in terms of providing services.
Then why do they ask whether you have indoor plumbing or a TV?  Or how much your condo fee is? Or how much you paid for homeowner's insurance?  How does that help the government provide a service?  Here are the questions for the 2000 'long form'. http://usa.ipums.org/usa/voliii/inst2000.shtml  I don't see any listing for pets, so if the cat's information was pulled from her census records for jury duty, she must have listed him as a person, perhaps as a joke.  Bad idea, if so.

OK we're arguing from two different positions here. Over here we do have censuses and they do ask reasonably personal questions, but I don't think there's ever been a quiestion that I couldn't see a plausible reason for asking in terms of government services. Indoor plumbing I can kind of see as a measure of living standards, but TV? When i looked at your form the employment questions seemed really, really detailed as well. We're due for a census later this year, the last one was 4 years ago, so I'll have to pay close attention when I see the form. Also, the last census I did I filled out online, so you don't see the questions if it's a "If the answer is no, skip to question 28" type. The online form just skips you straight there so perhaps I just missed some questions.

Quote
In the OP, I saw this article earlier and thought it was hilarious that they were actually having to argue WHY the cat couldn't do jury duty, rather than just ringing up and saying "Dude. It's a cat"
The owner did.  Apparently they thought that SHE was "Sal" and was just making up a silly excuse.

Fair enough, but it still seems to have gone way further than it should have.
"Can't do anything with children, can you?" the woman said.

Poirot thought you could, but forebore to say so.

Slartibartfast

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Re: A cat in court?
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2011, 03:53:08 AM »
Like "Is this person disabled?  Physically or mentally?  Does this person need assistance with toileting/dressing/eating?"  Something that intrusive might very well have a place for pets and their names.

Most questions on a census form are to help in planning and providing services. For example, if loads and loads of people in an area have new babies it gives them an idea that the local school might have a lot of enrollments in a few years time and may need another classroom or more teachers. So the disability questions would be relevant in terms of providing services.
Then why do they ask whether you have indoor plumbing or a TV?  Or how much your condo fee is? Or how much you paid for homeowner's insurance?  How does that help the government provide a service?  Here are the questions for the 2000 'long form'. http://usa.ipums.org/usa/voliii/inst2000.shtml  I don't see any listing for pets, so if the cat's information was pulled from her census records for jury duty, she must have listed him as a person, perhaps as a joke.  Bad idea, if so.

OK we're arguing from two different positions here. Over here we do have censuses and they do ask reasonably personal questions, but I don't think there's ever been a quiestion that I couldn't see a plausible reason for asking in terms of government services. Indoor plumbing I can kind of see as a measure of living standards, but TV? When i looked at your form the employment questions seemed really, really detailed as well. We're due for a census later this year, the last one was 4 years ago, so I'll have to pay close attention when I see the form. Also, the last census I did I filled out online, so you don't see the questions if it's a "If the answer is no, skip to question 28" type. The online form just skips you straight there so perhaps I just missed some questions.

Quote
In the OP, I saw this article earlier and thought it was hilarious that they were actually having to argue WHY the cat couldn't do jury duty, rather than just ringing up and saying "Dude. It's a cat"
The owner did.  Apparently they thought that SHE was "Sal" and was just making up a silly excuse.

Fair enough, but it still seems to have gone way further than it should have.

They only ask the "long form" to a small subset of people, though - most people just got the basic questions about demographic data (names, ages, race, ethnic origin, etc.)

A lot of the obscure questions deal with data collection for various government agencies.  Indoor plumbing, for example - if they have that information, they can see whether there's a correlation between indoor plumbing and outbreaks of disease, or between indoor plumbing and crime rates.  Then if they do find a correlation, they can look at other places which have lower rates of indoor plumbing as potential sites that might need an additional health clinic or police department.

Given the issues with the cat, though, I suspect it's far more likely that the cat ended up listed as a human on the census.  It could have been intentional - an attempt to claim the cat as a dependent and thus save some money in taxes - or it could have just ended up in the wrong blank on the form.