Strange Legal Trivia
- Until the 1970s, Chicago and other large U.S. cities had laws prohibiting ugly, unsightly or disgusting people from appearing in public view
- In Finland, traffic fines are calculated according to a person’s income. Corporate mogul Anjssi Vanjoki drove 47 mph (75km) in a 31 mph (50km) zone and was issued a ticket for $103,00.00 (116,000 euros)
- English consumer protection law from the 1400s: "The herring shall be as good in the middle...as at the ends of the package."
- In the 1800s, Hoboken, New Jersey resident Elizabeth Schultze was convicted of being a common scold after interesting herself in everybody’s business. Mary Braden was sentenced for calling neighbor Winifred Doody a hag, and Julia Green was released from prison after promising the judge not to boss around the entire neighborhood. Accused scold Frances McCarthy had her finger bitten off
- Robots have crushed, spot-welded and even poured molten metal over fellow employees, but no legal claims have arisen from the use of over two million Roomba vacuum robots
- In the 1200s, an entire English town was punished for failing to wash the sheep
- In England, sturgeon and whales are Royal Fish and must be turned over to The Receiver of Wreck, although in Scotland the law only applies if the fish is too large to be pulled ashore by six oxen. In 2004, the Receiver of Wreck advised Buckingham Palace that a large sturgeon had been caught, but wrote in its annual report "...the queen did not wish to exercise her right to the sturgeon."
- The United States Supreme Court has ruled that a tomato is a vegetable, not a fruit
- Speaking to women lawyers, famed attorney Clarence Darrow said, "You can’t be shining lights at the Bar...You have not a high grade of intellect. I doubt you can ever make a living."
- Captain Kemble was put in the stocks by the Puritans when he kissed his wife in public after three years at sea