Ohio Judge Mocks Inmate in Poem About How He Soiled His Pants

Darek Lathan
Ohio Adult Parole Authority 
Darek Lathan
Ohio Adult Parole Authority 

An Ohio judge thought that an inmate's lawsuit was "frivolous," so he wrote a five-stanza poem to jokingly dismiss the case on Thursday, the Columbus Dispatch reports


The lawsuit was filed in October by Correctional Reception Center inmate Darek Lathan, who claimed that he suffered harassment and emotional distress after a correction officer refused to let him use the bathroom, causing Lathan to soil his pants on Sept. 17 while standing in line for recreation at the prison.

According to the Dispatch, Lathan said in his lawsuit that he told the officer that he was struggling with a cold and diarrhea from taking cold showers in the prison, but the officer refused to let him out of line. He said that as a result he suffered "harassment, embarrassment, riddiculing [sic] and emotional distress" because other inmates began laughing at him after the incident. Lathan is seeking $2 million in damages. 

Common Pleas Judge David E. Cain, however, was not impressed by the claim, and mockingly dismissed it with a five-stanza poem.

"I read the complaint and quickly concluded that it was totally frivolous," Cain said. "You know, if he is going to file something that frivolous, he can't expect me to be too judicious in how I respond. He can't expect me to take it seriously."

The poem reads as follows, according to the Dispatch: 

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 minim[i]s non curat lex.


"De minimis non curat lex," the news site notes, is Latin for "the law does not concern itself with trifles." Cain noted that he would soon be ineligible to seek re-election because of an age restriction, so he decided to "have some fun."

"I only have three years to go," he told the Dispatch. “If there's anything I want to do, I better get about doing it. I just wanted to have some fun.”


Cain said it took him about an hour to compose the poem.

Read more at the Columbus Dispatch