The Long Islander, who is now legally known as Santa Claus but originally went by Frank Pascuzzi, was summoned to Suffolk County Criminal Court last week and caused quite a stir when he showed up to do his civic duty.
Fortunately for Santa, he did not need to decide whether the accused was on the naughty list or the nice list because the case was quickly dismissed.
Claus, who spends every winter working as St. Nick and also maintains a day job at a sprinkler company, legally changed his name in 2012 and has a license to prove it.
His appearance at the courtroom caused a commotion among the authorities.
“When I got there, the police were like, ‘Am I on the naughty or nice list?’ ” Claus, 54, told The New York Post.
“My reply was, ‘If you have to ask, you already know.’ ”
The jolly New Yorker maintains that he did not get any special treatment in court because of his unusual moniker.
“It wasn’t just because I was Santa Claus I got off — everyone else got off, too,” he said.
Claus, who had to undergo a background check before a Supreme Court justice in Suffolk County would approve the name change, lives with his wife Betty in Copiague, New York.
The couple have four children including one who was born on Christmas day, earning him the middle name Yule.
Unsurprisingly, the former construction worker is a big fan of Christmas.
‘It’s tons of fun!’ he told the Post. ‘Everyone wants to talk to me. Everybody wants to be my friend.’