I Sue You

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Maria Muresan has been ordered to do 20 days community service in Transylvania for airing her differences. To annoy her husband she took to singing and running around their block of flats naked. The singing was what really got on the neighbours’ nerves, but when police told them that singing wasn’t an offence but nudity was, they complained about that instead. Most of the men felt that she ‘brightened the place up’. (Ananova.com, 2006)

Drink had been taken. Mr Lane and a friend were chatting in the street when his neighbour Mrs Holloway yelled from a window, ‘You bloody lot!’ Mr Lane wittily replied, ‘Shut up, you monkey-faced tart’, so her husband offered to ‘see the plaintiff on his own’. Mr Lane got his retaliation in first by punching Holloway’s shoulder, so Holloway gave him a thump in the eye requiring 19 stitches. Lane sued for assault and battery and won. UK brawlers must accept the risk of proportionate blows, but not ‘savagery out of all proportion’. (Lane v Holloway, 1968)

There should be music everywhere, except next door. In 1893 music lessons next door were driving the defendant up the wall so he blew whistles and hammered on tin trays to get his own back. The music teacher won an injunction to shut him up. (Christie v Davey 1893)

A member of a Sex Pistols ‘tribute band’ had his drums confiscated after neighbours complained about the noise. Joe Feeley, who had a particular taste for Anarchy in the UK at three in the morning, didn’t hear the bailiffs knocking at his own door when they came to relieve him of £3,000 worth of equipment. (Manchester Online, 29 April 2004)

A 27 year old woman has been banned from answering her front door wearing only her underwear. Neighbours in Lanarkshire, Scotland claimed that Caroline Shepherd was just doing it to annoy them and that it was unfair on the paperboy. (Sunday Times, 6 March 2005)