Taco Seasoning Bandit

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

A funny item from the Complaint in Villa v. Target Corp., where plaintiff is alleging that Target wrongly (and grossly negligently) identified her as a suspected shoplifter:

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  1. Oh how disappointing — I was hoping it was unauthorized seasoning of somebody else’s taco. But then I guess it wouldn’t be a bandit.

    1. That’s a much more serious crime.

  2. OK professor, you usually provide a little context as to how you came across a transcript. The lack of context is making me REALLY curious about this one…

    1. More curious is what was funny about this case.

      Perhaps if you can’t watch the Daily Show, Colbert, Kimmel, Conan, or Fallon; can’t listen to anything other than country music; can’t watch all but a few movies; can’t enjoy the top comedians; can’t take mainstream network television; and can’t stand Saturday Night Live, it doesn’t take much for something to seem entertaining or even humorous.

      1. Funny?

        How about:
        “40. Based on information and belief Plaintiff claims Defendant Swain *miraculously* and maliciously transformed surveillance footage of Plaintiff’s vehicle…”

        Even the Reverend has to think it’s a little funny that this loss prevention employee was accused of performing miracles. Or is that something else?

        1. The 40th paragraph is not republished as this appears on my screen. You figure the author planned to have readers follow the link and wade through 20-some paragraphs to reach that particular knee-slapper?

          I thought it might be the capitalized term “Taco Seasoning Bandit” that ostensibly precipitated giggling.

      2. “can’t listen to anything other than country music”

        You *are* aware that Ken Burns did a documentary on country music – for public television, no less.

        https://www.pbs.org/kenburns/country-music/

        That means, you status-obsessed dolt, that country music is officially cool in the hip circles which you so desperately want to circulate in.

        1. Country music . . . every bit as cool as Prohibition, cancer, the Holocaust, Vietnam, racism, and prison!

          1. So…what I hear you saying, is that you’re a raving lunatic.

  3. My takeaways:
    -I was amazing (but not shocked) at how often this woman’s case was postponed by the court. I don’t do criminal cases, and I’ve never tried a case in Texas, so maybe this is more common there?
    -The linked claim is written differently then I’d expect here in California. The lawyer did an okay job. But if he was a first-year showing it to me, I’d ask for another draft.
    -That lawyer did no favors for his client (IMO) when he compared her to Rosa Parks. It struck me as a really strained analogy…being falsely accused/arrested is NOTHING like being told to sit in the back of the bus. Until I got to that part of the document, I had been assuming that the defendant was white. Now, my assumption is that she is black, yes?
    -I also didn’t really get the “funny” item part of this case. I mean; the title is sort of funny. But the caption for the OP makes it seem like the case itself is funny (or the linked paperwork is funny). Any humor there just flew over my head, I guess.

    1. I just thought that a Complaint labeling an unidentified third party as “Taco Seasoning Bandit” was slightly amusing (partly because taco seasoning is such a picayune target for “banditry”). But, indeed, only slightly.

    2. The many postponements are a cynical collusion between prosecutors and judges to wear out the defendant, to perplex and exhaust her patience, to overthrow her brain, and to break her heart so that she will plead guilty, pay a fine, and get the hell out of the courthouse. Even if she’s innocent.

      As a criminal lawyer I saw this grim enterprise worked on innocent defendants many times, even had it worked on me.

    3. I didn’t see the analogy as strained. The system told her to be a good girl and just plead guilty. She refused to go along. It’s as reasonable a metaphor as refusing to be a sheep.

      If her allegations are true, she has a right to be angry. I don’t think this particular way of expressing her anger is particularly inappropriate. A purpose of a functioning justice system is to channel emotions like anger and frustration at being wronged, and enable people to express them without becoming violent.

    4. I’m missing the part that showed a bunch of postponements. All I see is that the trial for a felony offense happened in under a year. That’s well under the federal presumption for considering denial of a speedy trial claims. Is there some part of this talking about postponements that I didn’t see?

  4. The legal system reflects the primitive stupidity of the human race.

    That is certainly no laughing matter.

  5. Country music . . . every bit as cool as Prohibition, cancer, the Holocaust, Vietnam, racism, and prison! QQ Online

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