Exile on Main Street (in Wadsworth, Ohio)

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Guess whos back (back, back), Back again...
  • Guess who's back (back, back), Back again...
Two years ago, the city of Wadsworth had an inconvenient little bug buzzing around the house, occasionally getting too close to the ears of some city officials. Judge Stephen McIlvaine, who was lounging around in his robe and thinking of new and creative ways to punish offenders, momentarily removed from the wonders of his mind, decided he'd handle the pest. So he arrived upon a simple solution: chase the bastard out of the window, shut it, and make sure it doesn't get back in.

According to the Plain Dealer, that fly was named Jeffrey Aberegg. And his buzzing apparently amounted to a number of complaints about police inacton involving various charges he had filed, lawsuits against the city and "bizarre and threatening" calls to city offices. Aberegg went so far as to complain to the FBI and the Ohio attorney general's office. To top it all off, in 2008 left a message to the city's law director's office demanding compensation for a false arrest. So, Judge McIlvaine did what any reasonable 21st century man of the bench would do: He sent down a ruling of banishment.

Yep. Aberegg was banished. Exiled. Shunned. The terms of the ruling specifically were that Aberegg could not set foot on city property. And though, according to city officials, the ruling only intended to bar him from city governance buildings, it just so conveniently happens, though it was totally unintended on the part of the city, that "city property" includes streets, sidewalks, parks, schools, the city dump and the public TV station. If he did, he would be arrested on sight.

Aberegg's appeal has finally taken hold, though, and now Wadsworth has to leave the windows open. Aberegg says he just misses the parade in Wadsworth. And the annoying little buzzing? Too bad. As Spencer Cahoon of the Ohio public defender's office said of the appeal, "He was banished from the city. We really don't do that in the criminal court system."

Here's to judicial creativity.

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