Posted in LJ / GJ on April 19, 2004... current up till Bathroom Reader #16.
This is an assortment of looney laws I've collected from my Bathroom Readers and my Ripley's Believe it or Not: Encyclopedia of the Bizarre.
An old law in the state of Connecticut makes it illegal for beavers to build dams.
It's against the law in Detroit, Michigan, to tie your crocodile to a fire hydrant.
In Cambridge, Massachusetts, it was once against the law to snore in a bedroom unless the windows were closed and doors were locked.
Bachelors in Liverpool, England, in the sixteenth century were required by law to stay indoors after 9 PM.
Croquet was banned in Boston, Massachusetts, in the 1890's.
During the fifteenth century, men in England, Scotland, and France who refused a woman's proposal of marriage during a leap year could be punished by law.
In Morrisville, Pennsylvania, it was once against the law for women to wear makeup (including rouge, lipstick, and eye shadow) without a special permit!
In Chicago, Illinois, it's against the law to eat in a restaurant that's on fire.
In Kentucky, it's against the law to throw eggs at a public speaker.
In Shawnee, Oklahoma, it's illegal for three or more dogs to "meet" on private property without the consent of the owner.
In Hartford, Connecticut, transporting a cadaver by taxi is punishable by a $5 fine.
In Michigan, it's illegal for a woman to cut her own hair without her husband's permission. (let's just say I'd have trouble with this one!)
You can ride your bike on main streets in Forgan, Oklahoma, but it's against the law to ride it backwards.
If you tie an elephant to a parking meter in Orlando, Florida, you have to feed the meter just as if the elephant were a car.
California law forbids sleeping in the kitchen, but allows cooking in the bedroom.
It's a felony in Montana for a wife to open a telegram addressed to her husband. (it's not a crime for the husband to open telegrams addressed to his wife)
You can gargle in Louisiana if you want to, but it's against the law to do it in public.
In Maryland, it's against the law for grandchildren to marry their grandparents.
It's against the law to anchor your boat to the train tracks in Jefferson City, Missouri.
In Columbus, Montana, it's a misdemeanor to pass the Mayor on the street without tipping your hat.
It's illegal to throw an onion in Princeton, Texas.
Kentucky law requires that every person in the state take a bath at least once a year.
It's against the law to pawn your wooden leg in Delaware.
In Tuscumbia, Alabama, it is against the law for more than eight rabbits to reside on the same block.
In Birmingham, Alabama, it is illegal to drive a car while blindfolded.
In Arizona, it is illegal to hunt or shoot a camel.
In Atlanta, it is illegal to make faces at schoolchildren while they are studying.
In Hawaii, no one may whistle in a drinking establishment.
A law in Zion, Illinois, prohibits teaching household pets to smoke cigars.
According to Kentucky law, women may not appear on the highway in bathing suits unless they carry clubs.
In Marblehead, Massachusetts, each fire company responding to an alarm must be provided a three-gallon jug of rum.
It is illegal to fish for whales in any stream, river, or lake in Ohio.
Undertakers are prohibited from giving away books of matches in Shreveport, LA.
In Minnesota, it is illegal to dry both men's and women's underwear on the same clothesline.
In Natchez, Mississippi, it is unlawful for elephants to drink beer.
It is illegal for barbers in Waterloo, Nebraska, to eat onions between 7 AM and 7 PM.
In Yukon, Oklahoma, it is illegal for a patient to pull a dentist's tooth.
In Portland, Oregon, it is illegal to shake a feather duster in someone's face.
A South Carolina statute states that butchers may not serve on a jury when a man is being tried for murder.
In Knoxville, Tennessee, it is illegal to lasso a fish.
In Macomb, Illinois, it's illegal for a car to impersonate a wolf.
In Rumford, Maine, it's against the law to bite your landlord.
An ordinance in San Francisco bans picking up used confetti to throw again.
It's against the law in Atlanta, Georgia, to tie a giraffe to a telephone pole or street lamp.
In International Falls, Minnesota, it's against the law for a cat to chase a dog up a telephone pole.
It's illegal to catch fish while on horseback in Washington, DC.
It's illegal to take a lion to the theater in Maryland.
It's against the law to drive more than 2000 sheep down Hollywood Boulevard.
Brawley, California, passed a resolution banning snow within the city limits.
In Tennessee, it's illegal to drive a car while you're asleep.
Anyone found underneath a sidewalk in Florida is guilty of disorderly conduct.
It's illegal in New Jersey to slurp your soup.
A Texas law states that when two trains meet at a railroad crossing, each must come to a full stop, and neither shall proceed until the other has gone.
It's illegal in Hartford, Connecticut, to kiss your wife on a Sunday.
It's against the law in Kentucky to remarry the same man four times.
In Marshalltown, Iowa, it's illegal for a horse to eat a fire hydrant.
In Tennessee, it's against the law to shoot game other than whales from a moving car.
It's illegal in Fairbanks, Alaska, for two moose to have sex on city sidewalks.
It's illegal to ride an ugly horse down the street in Wilbur, Washington.
It's against the law to step out of an airplane while it's in the air over Maine.
If you don't like a statue in Star, Mississippi, hold your tongue. It's illegal to ridicule public architecture.
Ninth-grade boys can't grow moustaches in Brighamton, New York.
It's against the law to drink milk on a train passing through North Carolina.
Virginia law prohibits "corrupt practices or bribery by any person other than candidates."
You can't carry an ice cream cone in your pocket in Lexington, Kentucky.
It's illegal to spit against the wind in Sault Saint Marie, Michigan.
Goats can't legally wear trousers in Massachusetts.
In Lawrence, Kansas, it's against the law to carry bees around in your hat on city streets.
In Washington, DC, you're breaking the law if you paint lemons all over your car to let people know you were taken advantage of by a specific car dealer.
If you complain about the condition of the street in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, you can be forced to fix it yourself.
Oregon prohibits citizens from wiping their dishes. You must let them drip-dry.
It's illegal to swim on dry land in Santa Ana, California.
If you mispronounce "Arkansas" when you're in that state, you're breaking the law.
It's illegal in Hartford, Connecticut, to educate your dog.
You can't go barefoot in Austin, Texas, without a $5 permit.
It's illegal to play cards in the road in Somerset County, Maryland.
In Las Vegas, Nevada, it's against the law to pawn your dentures.
In Natoma, Kansas, it's illegal to throw knives at men wearing striped suits.
It's illegal to sleep with your boots on in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
If you're 88 years of age or older, it's illegal for you to ride your motorcycle in Idaho Falls, Idaho.
It's against the law (not to mention impossible) to whistle under water in Vermont.
In Alabama, it's illegal to play dominoes on Sunday.
It's illegal to eat snakes in Kansas.
In Barber, North Carolina, it's illegal for a cat to fight a dog (or vice versa).
It's illegal to sleep with chickens in Clawson City, Michigan... and illegal to walk your elephant without a leash in Wisconsin.
The law prohibits barbers in Omaha, Nebraska, from shaving the chests of customers.
In California, it's illegal to hunt whales from your automobile. It's also against the law to use your dirty underwear as a dust rag.
In St. Louis, Missouri, it's illegal for you to drink beer out of a bucket while you're sitting on a curb.
Cotton Valley, Louisiana, law forbids cows and horses from sleeping in a bakery.
The maximum penalty for double parking in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is working on a chain gang with nothing to eat but bread and water.
Paris law forbids spinning tops on sidewalks... and staring at the mayor.
19th century Scottish law required brides to be pregnant on their wedding day.
In England, it's against the law to sue the queen... or to name your daughter "Princess" without her permission.
The law in Teruel, Spain, forbids taking hot baths on Sunday. (cold baths are OK)
In Rio de Janeiro, it's illegal to dance the samba in a tunnel.
Gun control: In Switzerland, the law requires you to keep guns and ammunition in your home.
Swedish law prohibits trained seals from balancing balls on their noses.
If you're arrested for drunken driving in Malaysia, you go to jail. (so does your wife)
In Australia, it's illegal to hire a woman under the age of 45 to work as a chorus girl.
In Reykjavik, Iceland, it's illegal to keep a dog as a pet.
If you curse within earshot of a woman in Egypt, the law says you forfeit two days' pay.
In pre-Islamic Turkey, if a wife let the family coffeepot run dry, her husband was free to divorce her.
The opposite was true in Saudi Arabia, where a woman was free to divorce her husband if he didn't keep her supplied with coffee.
Horse in Mukden, China, are required to wear diapers; their owners are required "to empty them at regular intervals into specially-constructed receptacles."
Toronto, Canada, law requires pedestrians to give hand signals before turning.
English law forbids marrying your mother-in-law.
Red cars are outlawed in Shanghai, China.... and other automobile colors are assigned according to the owner's profession.
Tightrope walking is illegal in Winchester, Massachusetts.. unless you're in church.
It's against the law in Los Angeles to bathe two babies in the same tub at the same time.
In Margate City, New Jersey, it's illegal to surf in the nude or with a sock over the male genitalia.
If you live in Garfield County, Montana, you can't draw funny faces on window shades.. it's illegal.
In Fruithill, Kentucky, any man who comes face to face with a cow on a public road must remove his hat.
It's illegal to sleep in a garbage can in Lubbock, Texas.
You're breaking the law in South Dakota if you fall asleep in a cheese factory.
It's illegal in Roanoke, Virginia, to advertise on tombstones.
In Idaho, it's against the law to fish for trout while sitting on the back of a giraffe.
It's against the law to feed margarine instead of real butter to prisoners in Wisconsin.
In Hartford, Connecticut, it's illegal to walk across the street on your hands.
In Oxford, Ohio, a woman may not remove her clothing while standing in front of a picture of a man.
It's illegal in Oak Park, Illinois, to cook more than 100 doughnuts in one day.
It's against the law in South Bend, Indiana, to make a monkey smoke a cigarette.
It's illegal in California to peel an orange in your hotel room.
In Hawaii, it's against the law to put coins in your ears.
In Hillsboro, Oregon, it's illegal to let your horse ride in the backseat of your car.
In Carmel, California, it's against the law for a woman to take a bath in a business office.
An old law in Bristol, Tennessee, made it illegal for a woman to stop and adjust the line of her stockings in public.
A British law called the "Holy Days and Fasting Days Act of 1551" made it illegal for anyone to drive to church.
It's against the law in San Francisco, California, for anyone to walk an elephant down Market Street unless it's on a leash.
In Piqua, Ohio, it is illegal for anyone to take a bath before 10 PM.
At one time, men in Pine Island, Minnesota, had to remove their hats in the presence of a cow or risk arrest.
An old law in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, made it illegal for a housewife to hide dust and dirt under a rug.
In Chicago, Illinois, it's against the law to go fishing while wearing pajamas.
An old law in Nevada prevented anyone from riding a camel on a public highway.
An old law in Maine made it illegal for a police officer to arrest a dead man.
In Memphis, Tennessee, a city ordinance bars frogs from croaking after 11 PM.
A seventeenth-century law in Massachusetts made it illegal for juveniles to curse or physically attack their parents under penalty of death.
It was once against the law to sing out of tune in North Carolina.
It's against the law in Roderfield, West Virginia, to ride in a baby carriage unless you are an infant.
According to the Senchus Mor, a set of ancient Irish laws, it was once illegal for bees to trespass.
In 1685, the Japanese ruler Tokugawa Tsunayoshi, an animal lover, issued a code of 36 laws and punishments relating to animal care that included death to anyone who hit a biting dog.
John Mangefel, the first governor of the island of Yap, passed a law making it illegal to wear a tie.
Russian Czar Paul I made it a crime punishable by death by flogging for anyone to mention his baldness in his presence.
The village of Mackinac Island, Michigan, first banned the "horseless carriage" over 100 years ago, and still to this day does not allow cars on the island.
In Houston, Texas, it's against the law to make a noise while moving boxes.
An old law in North Carolina made it illegal to plow a field using an elephant.
The state of Wyoming banned photographing rabbits from January to April without written permission.
In the English town of York, it is still legal for citizens to use a bow and arrow to shoot any Scotsman discovered out and about after sunset.
It was once against the law for dentists to play checkers during their lunch hour.
In 1519, in Stelvio, Italy, moles accused of damaging crops were tried in a court of law and sentenced to exile.
Until 1819, it was against the law to cut down a tree in Britain.. those found guilty were sentenced to hang.
A law in Babylon circa 200 BC required ex-husbands to pay alimony.
In Carmel, New York, it's against the law for a man to go out wearing a jacket that doesn't match his pants.
In Berea, Ohio, dogs and cats out after dark were once required to wear tail lights.
Onions were banned in many places in ancient India, and people who ate them were required to do so outside city limits.
It's against the law in New York City to open an umbrella in front of a horse.
An ordinance passed in 1875 in the District of Columbia declared that owning an ailanthus, or "tree of heaven," was against the law.
A law in San Francisco made it illegal to dry a car in a car wash with rags made from old underwear.
Japan's Emperor Ichijo (986-1011) once exiled a dog and imprisoned its owner because the dog chased his favorite cat.
In Mobile, Alabama, it was once against the law for women to wear high heels on the streets.
In 1785, King Louis XVI of France issued a law stating that the lengths of handkerchiefs must equal their width.
A law in Gurnee, Illinois, made it illegal for women weighing over 200 pounds to ride a horse while wearing shorts.
In 1756, King Frederick I of Sweden issued a law forbidding the drinking of coffee.
In 1993, the mayor of Cebreros, Spain, officially banned humans and dogs from running in the city streets.
The city of Port Henry, New York, has passed a law forbidding anyone from disturbing the sea creature believed to live in Lake Champlain.
In Essex Falls, New Jersey, an old law stated that ducks could not quack after 10 PM.
The states of Illinois, Montana, and Minnesota all require by law that dentures have their owner's social security number on them.
King Amanullah of Afghanistan tried to pass a law requiring all of his subjects to wear bowler hats.
Paul I, Emperor of Russia (1754-1801), issued proclamations and orders dictating how his subjects should dress, and issued fines to people wearing pantaloons / trousers / tail coats / boots / waistcoats.
In Kansas, it's against the law to stack more than eight dishes.
At one time in South Foster, Rhode Island, if a dentist extracted the wrong tooth from a patient, he was ordered by law to have one of his own teeth extracted by the local blacksmith.
In ancient Greece, it was against the law for a person to be idle.
In was once against the law in Alaska to stick your tongue out at someone who caught a smaller fish than yours.
In 1511, the prince of Waldeck, Germany, offered a reward of ten thalers to anyone who reported someone illegally drinking coffee.
An old law in Brooklyn, New York, prevents a horse from sleeping in a bathtub inside its owner's home.
In Greece in 330 BC, a law called the "Stork's Law" (or Lex Ciconaria) was passed making it mandatory for children to care for their parents in old age.
Until recently, New York state law made it illegal to drive away after striking a horse, dog, or cow... but not a cat.
In medieval England, peasants were fined for sending their children to school instead of making them work in the fields.
England's Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658) issued a ban against pies, regarding them as an unnecessary extravagance.
In Newark, New Jersey, it was once against the law to sell ice cream to a customer unless he had a doctor's prescription.
In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, it was once against the law to leave a car parked on the street unless it was hitched to a horse.
In 1807, Czar Alexander I of Russia considered long trousers on men to be subversive. He ordered his troops to stop all carriages, and any man found wearing trousers had his legs immediately cut off at the knee.
An old law in Great Britain made it illegal for anyone to drive a car from the backseat.
In Brewton, Alabama, it's against the law to ride down the street in a motorboat.
Residents of Beijing, China, are forbidden by law to own dogs, but they can rent them as a rate of 23¢ for ten minutes.
All sturgeon fish caught in British waters are the sole property of the queen of England.
King Henry VIII of England outlawed bowling.
In ancient Greece, anyone caught killing a stork was tried for murder.
In Kansas, a doctor could legally prescribe beer to a patient, but could not join him in drinking any.
At one time in Minnesota, if a man hugged or kissed a young woman in front of her parents, it was considered a binding proposal of marriage.
In Orangeville, Ontario, it's against the law for a farmer, while he's around cattle, to wear socks with holes in the toes.
It was once illegal in Denver, Colorado, for acrobats to perform on the sidewalks any acrobatics that would frighten the horses.
A law in Green Bay, Wisconsin, states that owners of cars that drip oil on public roads be fined a dollar per drip.
In New York State, it's against the law to go fishing in your own backyard on Sundays.
A law in New York made it illegal for dogs to bark continually for more than 15 minutes. First-time offenders are fined $50, second time offenders $100, and third-time offenders were jailed for 15 days.
In Pu'uhonu O Honuahau, Hawaii, ancient laws called kapu forbade anyone from landing his canoe on a royal beach or letting his shadow fall on palace grounds.
"Cityspire," a skyscraper in New York City, was fined by the City Department of Environmental Protection for whistling!
It was once against the law in Schenectady, New York, to fill holes in the walls with putty on Sundays.
In Belt, Montana, it was once against the law to dance the "Angleworm Wiggle."
In ancient China, a suspect being questioned in court was forced to chew and spit out a handful of rice powder... if the powder was still dry, the suspect was considered guilty.
It was once against the law in Houston to buy goose liver, rye bread, or Limburger cheese on Sundays.
In 1610, a law was passed in Virginia making it illegal (and punishable by death) to miss church more than three times in a row.
In Waterville, Maine, it was once against the law to blow your nose in public.
In the ancient city of Amyclae, it was forbidden by law to spread rumors of any kind. Violators faced execution.
During the eighteenth century, the demand for linen was so great that a law was passed stating that only wool could be used to bury the dead.
A city ordinance in Fremont, California, forbids the repairing of spacecraft in family garages.
Horses are not allowed in the town of Fountain Inn, South Carolina, unless they are wearing pants.
In Normal, Oklahoma, people could be arrested, fined, or put in jail for making an ugly face to a dog.
In Sadieville, Kentucky, property owners are banned by law from mowing their lawns... but fishing in the nude is legal.
In ancient China, imperial law decreed that anyone who revealed the secret of making silk would be put to death.
A law in Tylertown, Missouri, made it illegal for a man to shave in the middle of Main Street.
A law in Idaho made it illegal to present someone with a box of candy that weighed over 50 pounds.
In 1986, California District Judge Samuel King issued an order for it to stop raining. The state endured five years of drought until the day in 1991 when he rescinded the order.
The Roman Emperor Caligula (AD 12-41) made it against the law for Roman citizens to bathe or laugh.
A sign posted on the Greenriver Bridge in Guiford, Vermont, warned of a $2 fine issued to anyone who passed through the bridge at a speed faster than a walk.
Until 1956, it was illegal in New York State for men to go out in public without a shirt.
It's against the law in Oklahoma to get fish drunk.
In Illinois, it's against the law for barbers to use their fingers to apply shaving cream to a customer's face.
An old law in Utah states that a height of a woman's high heels cannot be over one and a half inches.
In Bhutan, people can fish in streams and rivers, but by law must toss back all that they catch.
At one time in Owensboro, Kentucky, a woman could only buy a hat if her husband tried it on first.
In Nachidoches, Texas, people are prohibited by law from cracking pecan shells while attending church.
A California state law passed in 1872 makes it illegal to disturb any birds nesting in cemeteries, except for swallows.
A statute in Bibbenden, in Kent, England, states that "birds wishing to sing or crow at sunrise must be 200 yards away from human habitation."
It was once against the law in California to set of mousetrap without a hunting license.
A law in Colorado Springs, Colorado, states any dog is allowed to bite one person.
Sheila Corbin, of Huntsville, Texas, was arrested in a hospital emergency room on the charge of having overdue library books.
In Saskatchewan, Canada, marriage commissioners are required to keep all doors open during marriage ceremonies.
An old law in Saco, Missouri, prohibits women from wearing hats that might frighten timid persons, children, or animals.
A law in Blyth, California, made it illegal for people to wear cowboy boots unless they owned two cows.
In Alaska, it's against the law to look at a moose from a flying vehicle.
In ancient China, the punishment for public drunkenness was death by strangulation.
The mayor of Grand Lemps, France, a prohibitionist, issued an ordinance that any inhabitant may enter a saloon and drink his fill and then leave without paying.
On the island of Sark in the English Channel, women were granted the right to inherit property from their fathers in 1999... after the island's 400-year-old laws were struck down.
A law in Chicago, Illinois, made it illegal to take a French poodle to the opera.
In Illinois, it is against the law to fall asleep in a barber's chair.
In Detroit, Michigan, it's against the law to loiter at the city morgue.
It was once illegal in Wisconsin to serve apple pie without cheese.
In ancient Greece, it was illegal for an ordinary citizen to own an olive tree.
In 1993, Representative Robert Spear introduced a bill in the Maine Legislature to allow undersized lobsters that are caught to be kept as pets.
In Coral Gables, Florida, it is against the law to swim in a private pool near a church on a Sunday morning.
A city ordinance in Baltimore, Maryland, makes it against the law to mistreat an oyster.
A court in Germany made it illegal to name any hot dog product a "frankfurter" unless it was made in the region around Frankfurt, Germany.
In England during the fourteenth century, it was against the law for a man who earned fewer than twenty dollars a year to wear a silk nightcap to bed.
Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603) had an official uncorker of bottles.. it was illegal for anyone else to remove secret messages from bottles.
A Swedish court decided that the pet dog of a man sentenced to three months in jail should be cared for under the national welfare plan until the prisoner finished his sentence.
King John I did not sign the Magna Carta in 1215.
In 1951, crossword puzzles were banned by law in Burma.
A law in New Zealand requires dog owners to take their pets for a walk at least once every 24 hours.
An old law in Boston, Massachusetts, made it illegal for a man to serenade a woman at a window late at night unless he had a license.
An ancient law stated that all residents of Brussels, Belgium, who allowed rainwater to drain into public sewers would have to pay a special tax.
China's Ming emperors (1368-1644) decreed that the color green was a royal color, and anyone other than the emperor who was caught wearing anything green would be put to death.
An old law in Halethorpe, Maryland, made it illegal to kiss someone for longer than a minute.
In Melbourne, Australia, there is an 8 PM curfew for cats... and dogs are kept under house arrest at all times.
In 1536, England's King Henry VIII made it illegal to bake mincemeat pies on Christmas Day.. a law that still stands today.
Dry for over 140 years! In 1992, residents of Ephraim, Wisconsin, voted to retain a ban on liquor in the town that dates back to the 1850's.
It's against the law in Connecticut to sell pickles that fall apart when dropped from a height of twelve inches.
A 1937 law made spring cleaning compulsory for all citizens of Hungary.
In 1992, the government of Singapore banned chewing gum, imposing a $1200 fine for selling it, and a year in jail for importing it.
A law in Kentucky made it illegal to shoot an unloaded gun.
The House of Representatives, a restaurant in Washington, DC, is required by a federal law passed in 1904 to serve bean soup every day.
At one time in Germany, the punishment for damaging a tree was death.
On a street in Savoy Court, London, England, motorists are required by law to drive on the wrong side of the road.
In Ashland, Wisconsin, it is against the law to play marbles for keeps.
In medieval Europe, butchers were not allowed to serve on juries.
Louis XIV of France (1643-1715) decreed that only he could sit in a chair with arms.
In Paoli, Indiana, it's against the law to keep a noisy rooster.. the penalty is a $500 fine.
In the United States in 1919, it was illegal for people to play radios in private homes.
It's against the law to eat peanuts in church in Massachusetts.
In the fifteenth century, women in Florence, Italy, were forbidden by law to wear buttons.
In Hanford, California, it's against the law to stop a child from jumping in mud puddles.
It's against the law in Miriam, South Dakota, to "smoke" candy cigarettes while at school.
In Arkansas, it's against the law to blindfold a bull and lead the animal down a public road.
A law in Britain makes it illegal for trucks to get stuck under bridges that are too low for them to go under.
Until 1994, owners of carrier pigeons in France had to register their birds with the Department of National Defense.
A law in New Orleans stated that biting someone with natural teeth was "simple assault," but biting someone with false teeth was "aggravated assault."
An old law in Hammond, Indiana, made it illegal to throw watermelon seeds into the streets.
It's against the law to store snowballs in a refrigerator in Scottsbluff, Nebraska.
It was once illegal in the state of Alabama to call anyone a skunk, or by the name Adolf Hitler.
A law in Cleveland, Ohio, made it illegal to catch mice without a hunting license.
A 1975 city ordinance in Council Bluffs, Iowa, made it illegal to "worry" black squirrels.
In England, in 1865, a law was passed setting the speed limit for steam-driven coaches at four miles per hour.
An old law in Norfolk, Virginia, made it illegal for a woman to appear in public without a corset.
It was once against the law for anyone to bathe more than once a month in the state of Pennsylvania.
Donald Duck comics were once banned in Finland because the character doesn't wear pants.
In the first century BC, during the reign of Julius Caesar in Rome, matters relating to property / marriage / criminal guilt were often decided by the flip of a coin.
In 1451, in Lausanne, Switzerland, a handful of leeches were brought before a court and ordered to leave the area.
In 1991, an appeals court in New York State declared a house in Nyack, New York, to be officially haunted.
A ruling by the United States Supreme Court in 1993 determined that the tomato was a vegetable and not a fruit.
In 1992, a judge in Newark, New Jersey, sentenced a landlord to live in his own rundown apartment building.
In 1992, a judge in Los Osos, California, ordered the owners of three basset hounds to restrict the dogs' barking to once an hour, and no more than two minutes at a time.
"Burglarizing the burglar": In 1992, Judge Brown, of Memphis, Tennessee, allowed robbery victims to take anything they wanted from the home of the thief who robbed them.
In 1709, in Maranhao, Brazil, a nest of termites was put on trial and later given a conditional discharge binding them to keep the peace.
In 1474 in Basel, Switzerland, a rooster that laid an egg was put on trial and burned at the stake.
In Oviedo, Spain, a clothes moth was brought before a judge and charged with damaging a tapestry... the moth was sentenced to death and all its offspring were to be banished.
In Munster, Germany, in 1670 after a plague of fleas, the high court summoned the insects to appear before it. All the fleas disobeyed but one... and were therefore disfranchised and banished for 10 years.
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