Articles Posted in Weird Laws

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You’ve never been a dog or cat person. No, you have always been drawn to purebred miniature Vietnamese potbellied pigs. But folks in so many places just don’t understand. Well, in Atlantic Beach, Florida, you’ll fit right in. Check out this portion of the municipal code on animals:

Sec. 4-7. Keeping or maintaining certain animals in the city.

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to keep or maintain horses, mules, cows, cattle, chickens, poultry, or goats in the city, except for in special events, as approved by the city manager.

(b) It shall be unlawful for any person to keep a hog or hogs upon any property or premises located within the limits of the city, with the sole exception of a bona fide, purebred miniature Vietnamese potbellied pig which is kept for the sole purpose of providing human companionship and which is in compliance with all other applicable provisions of this Code. Miniature Vietnamese potbellied pigs may be kept as household pets under the following conditions …

Welcome! (You can find the rest of this code section – and there is a lot – here.  Click on “Chapter 4 – Animals” then “Article 1″ then Sec. 4-7. )

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It’s a big country. And if you live in or near a major metropolitan area, you may forget about places like Newcastle, Wyoming. Now the folks there may be very nice, but if this is any indication, they’re not very open-minded. Check out this law:

Sec. 17-14. – Obscenity—Public appearance in nude; dress not belonging to sex of wearer; indecent exposure; lewd or indecent behavior.

It shall be unlawful for any person to appear in any public place in the city in a state of nudity or in dress not belonging to the sex of such person or in an indecent or lewd dress or to make any indecent exposure of his person or to commit any lewd or indecent act or behavior.

“… or in dress not belonging to the sex of such person …” Really? Yes, really. Here’s a link to the law.

 

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Yes, this is actually on the books in Michigan:

It shall be unlawful for any person to display or permit to be displayed on his or her motor vehicle any emblem or insignia of any organization, association, fraternity, lodge, club or order, unless the owner of such motor vehicle be a member of the organization, association, fraternity, lodge, club or order, the emblem or insignia of which is so displayed: Provided, That the provisions of this act shall not apply to the owner or owners of any motor vehicles upon which such emblem or insignia is displayed solely for the purposes of participation in any public parade, or at any public fair, exhibit, or carnival.

So, maybe it has been declared unconstitutional, and repealed by the House. But it’s still on the books, though not for long. You can read a lot more about the history of this law here.

HT: The Atlantic Cities

 

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Why are you trying to rain on my parade? The expression “rain on my [your] parade” is very common and used often, though obviously more so by geezers like The Juice than by the youngsters. Well, for years, Rapid City, South Dakota has had a law that takes a huge bite out of the fun of parades. Here’s the law:

12.20.100 Throwing items from vehicles prohibited.

No person participating in a parade or event shall throw or scatter candy, balloons, pamphlets or any other items from any vehicle, float or other unit onto the street or sidewalk. The items may be distributed by walking persons.

Say what? But before you go starting a Change.org petition, please note that happy days are right around the corner! Come Monday, this downer is going to be dead and buried.

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The Juice is confident you will agree that Canton, Ohio needs to loosen the reins a little bit. Check out this law, that is actually on the books:

539.07  PLAYING OF GAMES.

(a)  No person shall play any game in any park of the City except such as the Superintendent of Parks designates and upon such portion of the park as the Superintendent designates. (1964 Code §511.08)

(b) Whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.

Think it’s enforced often? Here’s the source.

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The source for today’s Juice? A Change.org petition that came The Juice’s way. No doubt this law will end homosexuality in Alabama… Clearly a class adhering to the requirements of this law cannot be called sex “education.” The law is Section 16-40A-2 of the Alabama Code:

MINIMUM CONTENTS TO BE INCLUDED IN SEX EDUCATION PROGRAM OR CURRICULUM

… (c) Course materials and instruction that relate to sexual education or sexually transmitted diseases should include all of the following elements:

… (8) An emphasis, in a factual manner and from a public health perspective, that homosexuality is not a lifestyle acceptable to the general public and that homosexual conduct is a criminal offense under the laws of the state.

This is just stupid and wrong on so many levels. Who is this “general public” referring to? Not the American public. And “homosexual conduct is a criminal offense”? Sure, some of it is (sodomy). But what about two men holding hands? You can read the full text of this small-minded, bigoted law here.

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There’s no shortage of laws out there that need updating. This Mississippi law, which not only outlaws polygamy, but outlaws even teaching about it, is ripe for tweaking.

SEC. 97-29-43. Polygamy; teaching of.

If any person shall teach another the doctrines, principles, or tenets, or any of them, of polygamy; or shall endeavor so to do; or shall induce or persuade another by words or acts, or otherwise, to embrace or adopt polygamy, or to emigrate to any other state, territory, district, or country for the purpose of embracing, adopting, or practicing polygamy, or shall endeavor so to do, he shall, on conviction, be fined not less than twenty-five dollars nor more than five hundred dollars, or be imprisoned in the county jail not less than one month nor more than six months, or both.

Suggestion: Delete the first clause!

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The chances that authorities would try to enforce this Massachusetts law? Squadoosh!

Section 36A. Whoever, having arrived at the age of sixteen years, directs any profane, obscene or impure language or slanderous statement at a participant or an official in a sporting event, shall be punished by a fine of not more than fifty dollars.

Here’s the source.

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The Juice is a personal injury lawyer, not a constitutional scholar. Still, this Alabama law just doesn’t pass the smell test. Judge for yourself.

Section 13A-14-4 – Fraudulently pretending to be clergyman.

Whoever, being in a public place, fraudulently pretends by garb or outward array to be a minister of any religion, or nun, priest, rabbi or other member of the clergy, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $500.00 or confinement in the county jail for not more than one year, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

Yeah, good luck with that one.

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It’s time for the Chilean lawmakers to do some housecleaning. As reported by ilovechile.cl:

A recent study by the School of Law of the Universidad Bernardo O’Higgins (UBO), listed several situations sanctioned by the Chilean Criminal Code which may appear a bit… outdated by today’s standards.

Like what?

If you are a woman who has been widowed recently, know that if you choose to rebuild your life and get remarried before 270 days (nine months) after the death of your husband, you can face criminal charges.

Zoinks. Unlikely that one’s enforced.

If you dissatisfied with the current social, economic, or political situation in the country, any decision to “ring the bells of the people” in order to encourage your countrymen to rise against the powers that be will be punished under Article 123.  Remember that this is not just for bells only, but of any other “instrument to excite the people to revolt for that same purpose”, such as speeches or printed manifestos.

A bit chilling, that one. As for dueling …

Article 404 indicates that you must face “imprisonment in its minimum degree” if you challenge your opponent to a duel.

The same penalty will apply if your opponent, in a “fit of cowardice or wisdom”, refuses to participate and you decide to publicly chastise him for his denial.  In addition, those who choose to participate as sponsors of the duelers are also punishable.

So, unless you just say no to a duel, you’re screwed. And finally …

Article 496 of the Penal Code punishes all those who profit from making “premonitions” or interpreting dreams. Although this practice dates back many years, is still very popular.