Legally Weird: Strangely Illegal Archives

Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

Recently in Strangely Illegal Category

All the kids are back to school, and many are leaving their favorite toys, clothes, and gadgets at home. Administrators and teachers are generally given a lot of leeway when it comes to policing schools and classrooms, meaning that, for the most part, what they say goes. And sometimes they say some weird things.

Hugs? Clapping? Here are ten of the weirdest things schools have banned.

Not if New York has anything to say about it. The state that brought you illegal stop-and-frisk polices, while at the same time trying (and failing) to make large sodas and fantasy football illegal, is now trying to criminalize playing Pokemon Go, at least for sex offender parolees.

"While children believe they are out to catch a Pokemon," wrote New York Senator Jeff Klein, "what might really be lurking could be a predator instead of a Pikachu."

Having your license suspended 15 times over a 15-year driving career is pretty impressive. Most of us could never come close to that suspension-a-year pace. But instead of rewarding Rahman Keith Idlett for his consistency and tenacity, a New Jersey judge has denied him a gun permit. All because he has an "atrocious" driving record.

So how bad was it? After all, this is America, where, last I checked, the Second Amendment was alive and well. So how could a couple tickets keep a man from his Founding Father-given right of gun ownership?

While there are no hard and fast rules to joyriding, there are some general parameters. The first is that is should involve something stolen; preferably the ride itself, but we'll also accept stolen cargo like a stuffed alligator or live great horned owl. Second, there should be some amount of freedom to the ride, i.e., you can go wherever you want. That freedom is part of what puts the "joy" in joyriding.

Which is why we're baffled by one woman's attempt to take a train for a joyride. Sure, the train would've been stolen, but those pesky tracks tend to limit your freedom of joyriding, no?

10 Odd Laws Travelers Abroad Must Know

We travel to different countries to have new experiences, wash our eyes and take in fresh sights. But every culture has its quirks, so if you prefer tasting the best local cuisine to learning a new legal system, follow the laws, however absurd they may seem to you as an outsider.

We're products of culture and conditioning, so what seems strange in one place may make perfect sense in another setting. You don't have to approve of everything you see abroad, but you do have to follow the rules in the places you visit. So take a minute to review this list of 10 laws, compiled by Smarter Travel, that might strike an American as strange and that you should be aware of if you're going abroad.

France Bans Too-Skinny Models -- Next in the US?

Feel free to eat all those Christmas cookies and cakes and pour yourself an extra cup of eggnog. There are more than just holidays to celebrate and no need to watch your weight. Next year, fashion models working in France will need to prove they weigh enough and this should, theoretically, help women who model themselves on those ideals of beauty presented in magazines and on the runways.

France -- following the passage of similar laws in Italy, Spain, and Israel -- is cracking down on excessively thin models by demanding that they show medical certificates proving overall good health and an appropriate Body Mass Index (BMI) of at least 18 or over, according to Hint Fashion Magazine.

Texas Man Criminally Charged for Freeway Marriage Proposal

Romance means different things to different people. Some people propose marriage on one knee at the beach with a diamond ring in hand, others pop the question in sky writing, or deliver it in a singing telegram.

For Vidal Valladares of Houston, Texas a romantic engagement means a freeway full of furiously honking cars. He now faces criminal charges for his marriage proposal to Michelle Wycoff on Interstate 25 last Sunday, according to The Associated Press.

How the 12 Days of Christmas Run A-Fowl of the Law (Part II)

Now we bring you Part II of our series on the painful illegalities of the beloved Twelve Days of Christmas.

As noted in Part I, at FindLaw, we have a minor tradition of discussing some of the legal issues that can crop up around cherished holiday traditions. So, without further a-do, we return to the terrible, terrible ways the Twelve Days of Christmas gifts, pear tree and all, run a-fowl (excuse the repeated and repeated pun) of modern law.

How the 12 Days of Christmas Run A-Fowl of the Law (Part I)

It's that time of year, when the world falls in love ... sadly, these days, with the best deals on Amazon. But still, there are traditions to be cherished. Mulled cider. Little white lights. Caroling.

Here at FindLaw, we have a minor tradition of exposing some of the very interesting legal issues that can crop up around holiday traditions. Take, for instance, the Grinch. Pointing out all the ways that green gangsta broke the law is now a FindLaw holiday tradition in its own right. In keeping with this new tradition, let us now examine the terrible, terrible ways the Twelve Days of Christmas gifts, partridge and all, run a-fowl (excuse the repeated pun) of modern law.

Despite not being a selfie at all, so-called "ballot selfies" are now legal in New Hampshire. A federal judge struck down the state's ban on posting photographs of filled-out voting ballots, which are obviously not the face of the person taking the picture.

The judge overturned the law on free speech grounds, which apparently means everyone is free to call any old photo a "selfie" these days.