Inmate's Egg Drives Judge To Rhyming Ruling
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - September 22, 2007 -- A federal judge was driven to rhyme after receiving a hard-boiled egg in the mail from a prison inmate protesting his diet.
U.S. District Court Judge James Muirhead reached for Dr. Seuss' "Green Eggs and Ham" for inspiration after getting the egg from inmate Charles Jay Wolff.
"I do not like eggs in the file," Muirhead wrote. "I do not like them in any style. I will not take them fried or boiled. I will not take them poached or broiled. I will not take them soft or scrambled/Despite an argument well-rambled."
He then ordered the egg destroyed: "No fan I am/Of the egg at hand. Destroy that egg! Today! Today! Today I say! Without delay!"
Wolff sent the egg in a manila envelope as part of his complaint against state officials. Wolff, 61, says he is an Orthodox Jew and has accused prison officials of refusing to feed him a kosher diet.
Wolff also says he cannot tolerate hard-boiled eggs and is suing the state Department of Corrections for $10 million.
Wolff asked the judge to issue a preliminary injunction that would force prison officials to serve him meals that meet "both his spiritual and medical needs."
Wolff is serving 10 to 20 years for sexually assaulting a 7-year-old girl. His lawsuit was filed in August 2006 and is scheduled for trial in June 2008.
"We've told him, if you don't like the eggs, don't eat them," said Assistant Attorney General Andrew Livernois, who also received an egg in the mail. "That's not good enough for him."
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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