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I was getting dressed one morning. I was almost finished, I had my socks on my hand, when suddenly my brother yelled up the stairs, "Rick, mail's here, and there's something for you!"

It was a very odd letter

Hi

This is just to let you know that we are suing you for damages amounting to $10,000. You will be hearing from our lawyers shortly. However, if you would like to settle out of court we would be happy to do so.

Cheers,

J (sorry, we can't tell you our real names for legal protection. In fact, we don't even know yours!)

Well, that made no sense, I can't remember doing anything wrong to anybody.

I didn't know what to do, so I just waited to hear more. Sure enough. the next day another brief note came in the mail. It wasn't very helpful either This one said:

Hi

Sorry about the letter you received yesterday. We forgot to tell you what you are being sued for. Actually we can't tell you, but if you look at the beginning of our comments that should tell you at least what you are being sued for.

Cheers,

D

That is not nearly enough, but at least it would be enough to be going on with. So can you help me?

What offense am I being sued for?

Hint:

I think people are over thinking this. The key is a comment in the second not.

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ So there is an interesting current meta thread around... for the curious. $\endgroup$ – Matsmath Dec 15 '16 at 1:00
  • $\begingroup$ @Matsmath is that my latest question you're talking about? $\endgroup$ – Richard Roe Dec 15 '16 at 1:02
  • $\begingroup$ Doesn't the first letter say we are suing you for damages amounting to $10,000 $\endgroup$ – Oliver Ni Dec 15 '16 at 5:49
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    $\begingroup$ This looks like a Kafka novel. Spoiler: You're never going to find out what you are being sued for :) $\endgroup$ – Marius Dec 15 '16 at 7:40
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    $\begingroup$ @Marius, what he will find is a mysterious woman who guides him into a parallel universe where his next door neighbour is a rotting goat who communicates telepathically to tell him that there is a lost cat he needs to find. The cat, of course, is his brother, but he has run away to join the Ume Cat Cult, where cats call random telephone numbers and inform people of random deaths. There'll be some odd sex somewhere too. In the end Rick returns to reality and no one ever follows up on the lawsuit. $\endgroup$ – TheGreatEscaper Dec 15 '16 at 9:20
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I believe you are being sued for a

tort

My logic is as follows:

John Doe is a puppet account of Richard Roe. Evidence for this includes the socks on hand allusions to sock puppets and Richard Roe confirming this in a comment on another answer. John Doe is also the author of the original notes, as they have been signed J and D. The second note can thus be interpreted as saying we must look at the beginning of each of John Doe's comments. However, John Doe speaks of "our" comments and we know John Doe and Richard Roe are the same character. If we take the first letter (the beginning) of John Doe's answer to the question and the comment exchange between Richard Roe and John Doe we see it spells T-O-R-T. A tort is something for which one may be sued.

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  • $\begingroup$ +1 for the good catch, although it seems like an almost circular definition. How does that answer what the actual offense was? $\endgroup$ – MikeQ Dec 21 '16 at 22:43
  • $\begingroup$ @MikeQ I had the same question. I don't see how it does which suggests my answer may be incomplete, but I don't see anywhere else it could go. $\endgroup$ – Mike Nichols Dec 21 '16 at 22:56
  • $\begingroup$ @MikeQ I suppose it is a bit of a circular definition, but it is the one I was going for $\endgroup$ – Richard Roe Dec 22 '16 at 5:03
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Could it be your being sued for

Identity fraud or theft

The reason for this is

Letter 2 states to look back at the comments made in Letter 1 for the answer to the reason for being sued.

Therefore,

The only comment made in Letter 1 was "(sorry, we can't tell you our real names for legal protection. In fact, we don't even know yours!)".
This implies that your identity is unknown to them because you are using someone else's identity.

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    $\begingroup$ That's a bit of lateral thinking. But +1 :) $\endgroup$ – Techidiot Dec 15 '16 at 12:46
  • $\begingroup$ Interesting idea, but no. The clue is much more conclusive than that. $\endgroup$ – Richard Roe Dec 15 '16 at 19:20
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This is merely a suggestion but:

Your brother is either suing you or merely playing a prank on you. You never actually saw the first letter come in the mail, and he simply gave it to you pretending it had come in the mail.

Because

You were still getting up when the first letter came, probably far too early for mail. Also the insistence that they don't know your name is odd. This doesn't seem possible. How did they get the letter to you, if they don't even know your name? The insistence on this would seem to indicate someone who does know you, pretending not to.

Also, I found a typo. You say your socks were "on your hand". They must have been "in your hand", right? No one puts socks on their hand, do they?

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    $\begingroup$ ohn Doe actually all the information you need is given $\endgroup$ – Richard Roe Dec 15 '16 at 0:54
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    $\begingroup$ Really? I can't see how that would work. $\endgroup$ – John Doe Dec 15 '16 at 0:55
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    $\begingroup$ Truest me. It does. But actually your comments have been very helpful $\endgroup$ – Richard Roe Dec 15 '16 at 0:55
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    $\begingroup$ Hm. Looking at Richard Roe's profile suggests that he is also John Doe, and that this answer is an intentional meta attempt at providing us with extra clues... $\endgroup$ – Xenocacia Dec 15 '16 at 1:51
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    $\begingroup$ Wonder if there are some hints in the typos from RichardRoe - 'J ohn Doe , actually , all the information you need is given.' - and 'Tru (e) st me. It does. But actually , your comments have been very helpful.' $\endgroup$ – boboquack Dec 15 '16 at 2:03
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Your offence

None. This is a case of speculative damages to a business. It could be something which you haven't even done yet (I would like to think this is the case, but there are other cases too)

Reasons

They can't tell you because right now it's a speculation. It could be an event which hasn't occurred right now, and if they tell you then there are chances that you stop it from happening or reverse the effects.
They can't reveal their real names because again it can possibly stop you from doing that offence, or if you already have done something (which is obviously not wrong in your understanding e.g. Posting a review online, or a breach of contract which you haven't done yet), you may be able to reverse the effect.
It is a business/organisation because you got letters from two different people, so it rules out the case of an individual.
This is a business which has your address but not your name. This is the interesting part because it rules out many possibilities of kind of business they can be. (I am still thinking on this part)
Another possibility here is that they sued the whole locality (they don't need your name) but there is no strong clue supporting this and it also doesn't sounds interesting :D

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  • $\begingroup$ No, but interesting guess. $\endgroup$ – Richard Roe Dec 18 '16 at 0:10
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Quite a long shot, but you are being sued for:

Creating puppet accounts?

Clues:

1. I think both accounts Richard Roe and John Doe are the same person, as is suggested by Roe's profile
2. The initials of the sender are J.D. (John Doe), presumably someone else pissed that his account is being used as a puppet
3. John Doe's 'answer' highlighted the discrepancy about socks ON the hand, which suggests hand-puppets

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  • $\begingroup$ I can confirm that it is a puppet account but that is not the answer. There is more $\endgroup$ – Richard Roe Dec 16 '16 at 3:00

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