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What's your most obscure charge?

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  • What's your most obscure charge?

    Not the made up ones (I used to threaten drunks that if they did not leave, they would be charged with "Mopery with intent to Gawk, and being in a public place without a permit." I sometimes added "Ugly in Public with a prior").

    But what is the most obscure charge you ever placed against a person?

    For example, I was a Customs officer, and while we had some really strange ones, I did arrest a guy smuggling Cactus ribs (the remains of dead cactus)for violation of CITES. (Convention on the International Traffic in Endangered Species). Cactus is the only plant covered.

    I also charge a gal with "Illegal Importation of a Non-human Primate" - a monkey.

    Last night, as a volunteer fire fighter, I was called to a scene where a lady was charged with "Illegal Towing". (Towed a big trailer with a small SUV - lost control, rolled the trailer, no one hurt.)

    No fair unless you have actually charged someone with the crime.

    Let the games begin!
    "A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself."
    John Stuart Mill

  • #2
    Fuel piracy. Arrrrrrrrr...
    It is not the critic who counts...

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    • #3
      Great - were they wearing eye patches and brandishing swords?
      "A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself."
      John Stuart Mill

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      • #4
        Back in the early 1970's I worked in San Francisco and we had something called the Municipal Police Code. It had every obscure and nonsensical law you could think of. Among other things, it made it illegal to fly kites west of Divisadero Street. It also prohibited the sinking of arks east of Army Street and required whoever lives on the first floor of a flat to sweep the public sidewalk adjacent to the building.

        My partner at the time was a little on the nutso side (to put it mildly). When someone irritated him, he made no bones about using the most obscure sections of the Municipal Police Code to make his point. In one instance he arrested a transient for "displaying a deformity for profit" when the transient charged a kid 25 cents to see the stump of his amputated arm. In another incident he arrested someone literally for looking ugly in public. The relevant code made it a misdemeanor for "any unsightly person to make themselves visible to public view."

        The Municipal Police Code still exists, but the more "entertaining" sections have since been repealed.
        Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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        • #5
          L-1, San Fran has not changed that much, it's just the 'direction' of the laws. Must be P.C., you know.
          I know Marin County (just North of SF) has some rule about people who do not smell good (or smell too strongly) cannot attend county meetings. I guess they have county "Sniffers" at the door.

          BTW, is there any place to read the full code from the '70's?

          Where are our friends from around the world on this? There must be some 'odd' laws out there!
          Last edited by Sleuth; 06-24-2005, 04:47 PM.
          "A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself."
          John Stuart Mill

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by L-1
            In one instance he arrested a transient for "displaying a deformity for profit"
            Yup, we have have that one (Vagrancy Act 1824 s.4). It is also an offence to be drunk in charge of a pig. In addition, we can search a car for seal hunting equipment.
            I'm a little bit waayy, a little bit wooah, a little bit woosh, I'm a geezer.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Sleuth
              BTW, is there any place to read the full code from the '70's?
              Not that I know of. We used to have a copy in our office back then but I haven't worked in SF since 1976.
              Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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              • #8
                Used to be one in the Highway Traffic Act in Newfoundland (Canada) a few years back. You got a $25 fine for not having bells on a horse pulled sleigh.You could also get one for "racing a horse furiously on a Highway"

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                • #9
                  Heres a few british ones for you.....

                  It is illegal for a lady to eat chocolates on a public conveyance

                  Any boy under the age of 10 may not see a naked manequin

                  It is legal for a male to urinate in public, as long it is on the rear wheel of his motor vehicle and his right hand is on the vehicle.

                  Committing suicide is classified as a capital crime. (Repealed)

                  It is illegal to be a drunk in possession of a cow.

                  You are presumed guilty until proven innocent for some crimes

                  Destroying or defacing money is illegal.

                  Interfering with the mail or sleeping with the consort of the Queen is classed as treason, and as such, carries a maximum penalty of death.

                  Placing a postage stamp that bears the Queen (or King) upside down is considered treason.

                  Under the reign of Elizabeth I, any person found guilty of "harboring a Catholic priest" would be tortured or even hanged. Any priest of the Catholic faith that was caught would be hanged, drawn, and quartered.

                  Those wishing to purchase a television must also buy a license.

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                  • #10
                    Here is the 1945 version, probably has most of the funny laws in it.

                    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...sPageName=WDVW

                    [QUOTE=Sleuth]BTW, is there any place to read the full code from the '70's?

                    QUOTE]
                    "Respect for religion must be reestablished. Public debt should be reduced. The arrogance of public officials must be curtailed. Assistance to foreign lands must be stopped or we shall bankrupt ourselves. The people should be forced to work and not depend on government for subsistence." - Cicero, 60 B.C.

                    For California police academy notes go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CABasicPolice/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      atrades, do you have to prove the female eating chocolate is a lady?

                      And how much does a licence for a "telly" cost?
                      Last edited by Sleuth; 06-29-2005, 04:08 PM.
                      "A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself."
                      John Stuart Mill

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        TV Licence

                        I belive the cost of a TV licence is about

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          A Fpn

                          Fixed Penalty Notice of

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Section 400 of the California Penal Code-Charging an admission to view an exhibition of human deformaties. It was removed from the code several years back.

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                            • #15
                              In South Africa

                              Washing a motor vehicle in a demarcated parking bay or alongside a road open to public view

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