His suit complained that fewer sections, thinner newspapers, and fewer newsroom staff are "changes that will substantially reduce the quality to what it is currently."
"I wanted to get the newspaper's attention," said Hempstead, "because I knew canceling my subscription wasn't going to hurt them."
The publisher of The News & Observer, Orage Quarles, dismissed the validity of the lawsuit.
"My response is pretty simple," Quarles said in an e-mail sent last year to ABC News. "We think it's a frivolous lawsuit and believe the judge will see it that way too."
A McClatchy blog posted an entry last year that Hempstead had dropped his lawsuit, saying his point had been made.
Scott Anthony Gomez apparently found it a little too easy to escape from the Pueblo County jail.
He escaped once in 2006. When he was caught, he warned prison officials that "there were many ways to get out of the facility," according to the Los Angeles Times.
When he set out to escape again, he fell as he tried to rappel down the side of the building using bedsheets.
He sued the local sheriff, saying authorities caused his injuries by making it too easy to escape.
"Defendants . . . did next to nothing to ensure that the jail was secure and the plaintiff could not escape," says Gomez's lawsuit, according to the Times.
Last year, a judge ordered him to pay $66,000 in restitution to Pueblo County for costs associated with his two escapes, according to the Pueblo Chieftan newspaper.
A New Jersey couple that was suing a doctor for medical malpractice added an unusual defendant: They sued the doctor's lawyer for asking what they call "inhumane" questions during a deposition.
Andrew and Phyllis Rabinowitz claimed in court papers filed in July 2007 Judith Wahrenberger caused them emotional distress by asking during a deposition if Phyllis could have been involved in the death of their infant daughter.
"This lawyer, out of nothing more than malice and a black-hearted attempt to hurt these people, had the inhumane desire to ask whether they were involved in the death of their child," said Bruce Nagel, the couple's lawyer in both their medical malpractice lawsuit and their suit against Wahrenberger. "There's got to be limits in everything. This was beyond indecent."
Wahenberger's attorney called the suit "frivolous" and said he would move to dismiss it. A leading legal ethics expert also said the case was unlikely to succeed.
Allen Heckard, of Portland, Ore., apparently found his resemblance to basketball superstar Michael Jordan a little "distressing."
Heckard sued Jordan and Nike co-founder Phil Knight in 2006 for $862 million "for defamation and permanent injury," because he found it "distressing" to look like and be confused with Jordan.
"I'm constantly being accused of looking like Michael, and it makes it very uncomfortable for me," Heckard said at the time, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Heckard, then 51, is 6 inches shorter than Jordan, who was 43 at the time the suit was filed.
Asked how he decided to sue for $862 million, Heckard reportedly said, "Well, you figure with my age and you multiply that times seven and, ah, then I turn around and, ah, I figure that's what it all boils down to."
He dropped the suit but won the 2006 "Stella Award" given by a Web site with the same name. The award is named after the McDonald's coffee case, for most ridiculous lawsuit that year.