Santa Claus Still in Legal Trouble in Ohio

santa claus lawsuit

Maybe he really is Santa Claus.

Warren J. Hays continued to brew trouble with that official Ohio identification card issued to him in the name of Santa Claus, listing his address as 1 Noel Drive, showing his birth date as December 25, 1900, and bearing a picture of him in a false beard.

Santa Claus Is Coming to Court” recalls part one of the drama.

After being involved in a minor accident in his car, “which resembled a sleigh,” Hays presented his Santa Claus ID to the other party, who showed it to a police officer-friend of hers. The officer, suspecting that Hays might not really be Santa Claus, met with the prosecutor, who filed a misdemeanor complaint against Hays alleging that he provided false information in obtaining an the Ohio ID card.

The instant action was Hays’ suit for malicious prosecution and abuse of process, which he lost.

The burning question remains: How does a man claiming to be Santa Claus obtain an official state ID card? On the other hand, maybe he really is Santa Claus, in which case the state should quit hassling him so he can get ready for the holidays.

Hays v. Merkel, Case No. 2003-T-0082, 2004 Ohio App. LEXIS 4476 (Ohio Ct. App. 2004). Thanks to Matt Vansuch.

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Andrew Jay McClurg is a law professor whose teaching and research interests include tort law, products liability, legal education, privacy law and firearms policy. He holds the Herbert Herff Chair of Excellence in Law at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law.
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