Legal Cheek

Judge orders man to write 144 compliments about ex-girlfriend

He violated a court order not to contact the woman

A judge has taken the somewhat unusual step of ordering a man to pay his ex-girlfriend 144 compliments after he bombarded her with “nasty” text messages and calls.

Rhonda Loo, a circuit judge in Hawaii, handed Daren Young the unconventional punishment after he breached a court order not to contact his unnamed former partner. According to The Maui News, the judge told him:

“For every nasty thing you said about her, you’re going to say nice thing. No repeating words.”

On 22 May, Young texted, called and attempted to call his ex-partner an eye-watering 144 times over a period of less than three hours.

The 30-year-old — who had already spent 157 days in jail awaiting his hearing — pleaded “no contest” to 16 counts of violating a protection order. The original order was issued back in February after the couple had split.

Judge Loo continued:

“It’s so childish to think a grown man can be so thumb-happy. I don’t know whether I should cut off your fingers or take away your phone to get you to stop texting. You probably shouldn’t get a phone, period. I hope she changed her number.”

Appearing remorseful for his actions, Young told the court he was “ready to move forward” with his life, and had no plans to contact his ex again. He was also ordered to pay a fine of $2,400 (£1,800) and perform 200 hours of unpaid work. Young has 144 days to write the 144 compliments.

It seems judges are getting more creative in handing out their punishments.

Over in the United Kingdom, Plymouth man John Liddicoat hit Legal Cheek headlines when he was banned from going within four metres of a bike rack. The judge said the offender: “has a tendency to take anything which is not bolted down.”

Before that, a man from Chester was forbidden from owning “any power tools, jewellery, electrical goods or games equipment without a valid receipt” for three years. Judges have also passed sentences banning defendants from contacting emergency services without a genuine reason, and from entering any Tesco, Marks & Spencer, Waitrose, Debenhams, Morrisons, John Lewis, Homebase or Sainsbury’s.