California real estate tax

Whether they’re old legal statutes or new federal statutes and regulations, you’re going to get punished if you break laws. Some laws are best left unbroken. Others are meant to be broken, like in the Civil Rights Movement. Then there are other legal statutes, that don’t even make sense.

Here are a few legal statutes seemingly devoid of any legislative intent that people have broken and gotten into trouble for.

For Adding Someone on Facebook.

You don’t have to do a whole ton of legislative history research to know that, as a juror, you’re supposed to remain impartial and unbiased. Yet, nobody told Jacob Jock, who decided to add the defendant of the auto negligence case he was on the jury for as his Facebook friend. The defendant told the judge, who then threw Jock off the jury and sentenced him to three days in jail.

For Overdue Library Books.

Who hasn’t let a library loan go overdue before? Certainly not Lori Teel, who in 2010 checked out a Twilight book and DVD and then immediately proceeded to forget about them for two years. Not only did she owe $36, but she was also taken away in handcuffs in front of her five children, and left in jail overnight.

For Stealing Rain Water.

What kind of place would honestly have a legal statute forbidding the collection of rainwater? Oregon, apparently. After being denied permits to collect rainwater in three barrels to use as fire protection (since his area is prone to wildfires), he decided to just let the rainwater fall into his barrels and collect it that way. Consequentially, he was sentenced to 30 days of jail, since that water that fell from the sky on to his home was the property of the Medford Water Commission, not his.

Some legal statutes make a lot of sense, and then again, some legal statutes don’t. If you have any questions or other stories, feel free to share in the comments. For more about this, go here.

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