The time a court barred defendants from arguing that ghosts don't exist
October 31, 2015 9:27 AM   Subscribe

"The legal system is practically infested with cases about people who buy houses full of termites and find out too late. These are run-of-the-mill lawsuits that can turn on the wording of the contract and the jurisdiction the house was sold in. Stambovsky v. Ackley is basically the same, except ghosts." Sarah Jeong, writing for Motherboard.

Previous Sarah Jeong.

The title of this post comes from Derek Mead.
posted by Banknote of the year (6 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
RTFA. The post title was infuriating, but reading why the court argued why they did, I see it makes sense. I also agree with the dissenting judge that if you're going to throw out caveat emptor, poltergeists might not be the best reason.

Thing is, if they had just listed the house as haunted, they could have gotten even more for it. One real estate broker in New Orleans has figured this out.
posted by thecjm at 11:00 AM on October 31, 2015 [1 favorite]

I did RTFA and I'm not getting how the court's decision makes sense. Are you required to disclose if your house is locally famous?
posted by selfmedicating at 11:52 AM on October 31, 2015

I think the argument is more, "If you spend a few decades telling everyone your house is haunted, you can't argue, 'Ghost's aren't real,' when your buyer complains you didn't disclose that fact during the sale."
posted by thecjm at 12:02 PM on October 31, 2015 [5 favorites]

Houses known to be 'haunted' attract sightseers and 'ghost hunters'. That the house is 'haunted' (even as local folk-lore) thus has real-world implications for the quality of life in that house.
posted by truex at 2:00 PM on October 31, 2015 [4 favorites]

This case was in one of my law school textbooks. We got a good chuckle out of it.

Unrelated: that textbook was written by Andrew W.K.'s dad.
posted by kevinbelt at 2:14 PM on October 31, 2015 [4 favorites]

I believe Jeong to be a real treasure but this just wasn't up to what I usually think of as her level of quality. Maybe that's just reflective of my own hobby horse about how poor most legal reporting is; usually she's so great about cutting to the legal core of the matter and this seems like just another hurfdurf funny stuff in an opinion article.

I guess she is entitled to slum it and get paid just like anyone else, but anyone could have written this.
posted by phearlez at 11:31 AM on November 2, 2015

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