Entries in court (3)


Court: Violent Snatching of iPhone was Temporary Taking Not Theft

iStock/Thinktock/Apple, Inc.(LOS ANGELES) -- An appellate court in Contra Costa County, Calif., has discovered a previously unknown pastime: cellphone joyriding.

It involves a stranger taking violent possession of an owner's phone against the owner's will, but the court has found that this isn't theft. It's "temporary taking."

The facts of the case, according to the appellate court's decision, filed Sept. 26, are these: "On December 20, 2010, Matthew Cardoza was standing outside the hospital where he worked, taking a 10 minute break. He was using his new Apple iPhone 4 cell phone to exchange text messages with his fiancee."

He had just hit "send" on his last text when a stranger approached him and said, according to the court filing, "Hey, man, let me get that phone."

The stranger took the phone out of Cardoza's hands and made off with it. Cardoza gave chase, grabbed the man by the back of his shirt, and a struggle ensued. During the struggle, the stranger yelled, "Give me the phone, give me the phone. I'll hurt you. Give me the phone." He punched Cardoza in the head several times.

Cardoza got the phone back, after which the man said, "I'll pay you, I'll pay you. I just want the phone." Cardoza told the man he didn't want his money and asked him please to leave him alone.  

The violent stranger was Kurt Carr, who prior to the incident, had a fight with the mother of his fiancee, according to the filing.

"He felt he had to call his fiancee immediately to tell her about his fight with her mother," according to court papers. Carr went looking for a phone, and saw Cardoza on his new iPhone. He then asked Cardoza multiple times for the phone, according to the filing, following which, there was the struggle.

The court found that in order to prove theft, the prosecution would had have to have shown that "[Carr] intended to deprive [Cardoza] of [the phone] permanently or to remove it from [Cardoza's] possession for so extended a period of time that the owner would be deprived of a major portion of the value or enjoyment of the property."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Indiana Hairstylist Wins Lottery; Court Battle Follows

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(INDIANAPOLIS) -- Millions of Americans dream of winning the lottery.  An Indianapolis hairstylist says she did — and now she’s being hauled into court by seven of her friends.

Eight stylists from Lou’s Creative Styles salon in Indianapolis pitched into a pool for the Hoosier Lottery. The woman selected to purchase for the group says she also bought a number of tickets for herself. She won the $9.5 million jackpot with what she is claiming was her own ticket, separate from the pool.  The odds of winning the Hoosier Lotto Jackpot are one in roughly 12.2 million.

Now, the other seven stylists are trying to get their share of the jackpot. They have filed for a restraining order to freeze the jackpot, pending proof that the woman did in fact purchase her ticket independently. This will be the responsibility of a judge for Marion County, Indiana.

Attorney Scott Montross, who is representing the seven women told the Indianapolis Star that “We are concerned that the winning ticket may have been purchased with the group’s money… There’s a dispute about it, but until there is something more definitive, we were trying to keep a low profile.” Montross has not yet responded to an ABC News request for comment.

Jason Kurland, an attorney who has represented other lotto winners, said that issues like this should be avoidable “without question… It’s so easy,” he said. “It takes five minutes.” He suggests making copies of all tickets, emailing them to all participants, and making absolutely clear who is eligible for the jackpot.

“When you buy a ticket you dream about winning but you never actually think that you will,” he said. “You really have to treat it like, in this case, a $9.5 million transaction.”

In the meantime, $9.5 million remain in the hands of the Hoosier Lotto. Spokesman Al Larsen said, “We’ll just stand by and look forward to paying that prize at some moment… That’s all you can do.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Huguette Clark: Reclusive Heiress' Gifts To Doctors, Nurses Question In Estate Battle

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The generous gifts Huguette Clark lavished upon her doctors and nurses are being questioned in a high-powered battle playing out in a New York courtroom over the late copper heiress' estate.

Ethel Griffin, a court-appointed official, is trying to reclaim $37 million in gifts the reclusive heiress gave to her doctors and nurses over the course of the two decades she lived in New York City hospitals. Clark's estate is said to total around $400 million.

Griffin alleges Clark's mental state could have led her to have been easily manipulated into giving grand gifts to her medical team.

She has also asked the court to investigate whether the hospital where Clark lived for two decades should return a $6 million Edouard Manet painting and whether a Washington art museum should return a $250,000 gift.

Clark's longtime attorney, Wallace Bock, wrote in an affidavit in 2010 before the heiress' death that his client "has always been a strong-willed individual with firm convictions about how her life should be led and who should be privy to her affairs."

Bock said the two nieces and a nephew named in the petition are "very distant relatives of Ms. Clark, who have only recently appeared on the scene."

Clark's last will was believed to have been signed in April 2005, bequeathing most of her fortune to charity. Her private nurse was allocated at least $30 million. However, a will apparently signed just weeks before mandated Clark's estate be left to her 20 great-nieces and great-nephews, who are now fighting a legal battle for the fortune of an aunt they likely never met.

Though Clark had a 42-room apartment on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue and sprawling estates in California and Connecticut, she lived quietly for decades in a hospital room, most recently at Beth Israel Medical Center, dying two weeks shy of her 105th birthday.

"Ms. Clark has explicitly instructed me on many occasions that she does not want visitors and does not want anyone -- including her relatives -- to know where she resides," Bock wrote in a 2010 filing, adding "Ms. Clark has been a very private person for as long as I have known her. She has often expressed to me her desire to maintain her privacy."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio