Laws Not Enforced?

Here is a website that lists some dumb laws that are still on the books in some states.

For example: In Alabama dominoes may not be played on Sunday.

Is there any law that says that if a law has not been enforced it is no longer a law?

There is a modern concept of “sunset laws” where the laws must be re-legislated to remain in effect after a certain period of time. However, most of these old laws are just on the books because nobody bothers to clean house.

Let’s say that there was a law which clearly has not been enforced for a hundred years. If a policeman wanted to be a dick, could he charge me with breaking this law.

I’ve run accross an example of this, that I found quite useful.

Cycling down a steep incline in Montreal, a driver throws open her door after parking on the right hand side of the street and takes me right out.

Once the police arrived (I was pretty banged up) the driver tries to explain how somehow it was my fault.

The cop shut her up by pointing out that by law, she is not even supposed to get out on the drivers side when parking on the side of the street!

Never knew this, and I’ve never heard of anyone being ticketed for it, but as far as settling a dispute like this I was glad it was still on the books.

These “dumb law” sites are ridiculous!! Half of these have just passed from word of mouth, to one spam email after another, and now to their own website. They change around things to make them seem ridiculous.
In a previous thread, someone used a humorous example:
"If there is a law forbidding animals from peeing on a fire hydrant, the Dumb Law site will say ‘It is illegal in Arizona for an alligator to pee on a fire hydrant’ " [or something about an alligator… anyway, same point]
That’s what they do for most of them. The others, I think are divided between ones that are total nonsense and others that are total lies! You would think a site making such ridiculous claims would give more sites, but NO!

They did give one site on the Dumb Laws of Florida page.
They said: “It is illegal to block any traveled wagon road”
They backed it up with their version of the statute:
“861.07 Obstructing wagon roads.–Whenever any tie cutter or log cutter cutting ties for a railroad. . .”

The actual statute is titled “861.07 Obstructing roads.
This statute makes it illegal for people who cut down trees that block the ANY road. Since ANY road includes “wagon roads”, they mention wagon roads. This makes the entire site suspect.

Here’s a few more:

“Having sexual relations with a porcupine is illegal.”
Could this be because it is illegal to have sex with any animal???

It is illegal to skateboard without a license.
No it’s not. I would like to see where they got this from. SS. 316.0085 even specifically encourages cities or schools to open skateboarding facilities. They give a list of requirements for the participants like “Skate withing your limits” and such, and there is no mention of skaters needing a license.

*A special law prohibits unmarried women from parachuting on Sunday or she shall risk arrest, fine, and/or jailing. *
Please!! Every dumb law list has this one. I am begining to think that they just write it down after reading it on the last list without ever really checking the validity. I challenge any person to find this one!!

*When having sex, only the missionary position is legal. *…well ok, technically. But that’s “case law” not statutory law.

*Oral sex is illegal. *
See above.

*You may not kiss your wife’s breasts. *
I’m not sure if this is even ‘case law’, but I know it’s not on the books.

*You may not fart in a public place after 6 P.M. on Thursdays. *

When I found the following, the site completely lost what little credibility it had left.

Not only is there no such law, there is no such f*cking city!!! There is no city of ‘Tampa Bay’. Furthermore, there is no book of ordinances for ‘Tampa Bay’. There is no governing body in charge of ‘Tampa Bay’ to even make or enforce laws.

Talk about spreading ignorance like the plague!!!


Ah, poor girl…C’mere, let’s break some laws. :wink: has been talked about here so many times that Im surprised you didn’t search first TexasSpur.

Usually, I let spelling errors pass (I mayk enuf uv thim mysilf), but this one is common, and leads to confusion when trying to parse sentences concerning web sites backing up their arguments. It’s “cite”, derived from “citation”, not “site”. Your dictionary may have an entry for it only as a verb, but usage of it as a noun has become well established. Of course, on a web page the “cite” you “cite” might be a link to a “site”.

Nice rant, and probably accurate. But it does beg the question, “If a law is on the books but unenforced for a long period of time, is there a legal standard which makes it obsolete?”

Let’s say that thirty years ago, my municipality passes a law saying “In order to assure that drivers come to a complete stop at a stop sign, the transmission must be placed into park or the parking brake activated before entering the intersection. The transmission/brake can then be restored to driving position and the car may continue after yielding to traffic and pedestrians as appropriate.”

Naturally, the cops don’t bother enforcing this law since they have enough trouble with people speeding, not stopping at all, or rolling through stop signs.

Then one day, I am driving. I come to a complete stop at the stop sign before continuing. For whatever reason, a cop decides to write me up for not putting the car in park.

Clearly, I have common sense on my side. Most judges would dismiss the charges on those grounds.

But, barring common sense, is there a legal standard which declares a law to be obsolete.

No… all laws on the books are enforceable. If the law makers of the state/city/county or whatever wanted to reppeal the thing, they could.
In Florida Statutes, all Old English Common Laws (which aren’t even on the books, and is VERY old) are strictly reppealed by other statute. For example:

From SS. 794.02
Common-law presumption relating to age abolished. –
The common-law rule “that a boy under 14 years of age is conclusively presumed to be incapable of committing the crime of rape” shall not be in force in this state. 4964, 1901; GS 3222; RGS 5052; CGL 7154; s.

So if it’s still on the books somewhere, it is enforceable. Laws are updated every single year so anything unecessary would be taken out. That’s what those freaks at the Capital get paid for.

As far as city or county ordinances, I am not sure how often those books are revised, but I know of no law anywhere that says “all law which have not been violated for over 100 years shall be void.” I guess it is possible, but I have never heard of such a thing.