I'd read/heard about this story back in November 2008 when it happened. An 89 year old woman was arrested and charged with petty theft for not returning a kids football that landed in her yard. Apparently, footballs were always landing in her yard, so she held onto this one and someone's father figured he'd fix her and filed a complaint.
Today, the story rose again under the title: The First Stupid Lawsuit of '09! Supposedly, the grandma is sueing for emotional damages of the arrest and charges.
GOOD FOR HER!
Personally, I think the complaint (not to mention the complainant) was pretty stupid to begin with. There has always been crotchety old ladies (and men), but we (kids) were taught to respect them regardless, not to aggravate them. If that would've happened when I was a kid, I would've been told "Well, you shouldn't have let the ball go over there."
Yeah, accidents happen, and yeah, kids have the right to play, but little old ladies, old men, adults in general, have rights as well. Don't they? I remember quite a few folks on the block that you just knew were ornery and we stayed away. Why risk loosing a ball? Why not just go play and let them have the right to their property the way they choose?
I agree that lawsuits have gotten totally out of hand, but so have police calls. Shame on that father for not teaching his children to respects others' rights while they exercise their own. Just another generation coming up thinking that the only way to solve a dispute is to call in the infantry.