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Calendar >  Strange and Weird Laws in California – Part I

Strange and Weird Laws in California – Part I

By   /  February 4, 2021  /  No Comments


TR Robertson –California is already a strange and unusual state which makes it somewhat easy to understand many of the very strange and weird laws that have been passed in many of the counties and cities in the state. When you look at many of these laws the first question you should ask is why in the world there needs to be a law like the one you are reading. Many of the laws still on the books today date back many, many years to a time vastly different than our world today. Historically, someone felt there needed to be such a law to stop some action that was being practiced or to protect people from an occurrence or injury or to protect people from frivolous lawsuits. Whatever the reason, hundreds of laws were passed, and many remain in many California cities, but most of these are not enforced. It is easier to get laws passed than it is to expunge laws, so as a result some very strange laws remain. At least these laws give us a chuckle or two and hopefully will not find the time of day legally. To give you a chuckle or two or three this article will list some of the cities of California, alphabetically, and the unusual laws still existing in these cities. Hopefully, you are not breaking any of these laws. Before breaking the laws down by city, several old, old laws that were once passed in California will be mentioned, the city they were enacted is unknown. Remember these laws were created for a specific reason.

Old California laws – city unknown

  • Cats and dogs are not allowed to have sex without a permit.
  • Old women must hide their faces when in the vicinity of virgins. The penalty for disobeying was 5 years in prison.
  • It is illegal to rob a bird’s nest from a public cemetery.
  • No more than 6 people can stay in a hotel room where payment has been paid for just 1 person.
  • If robbing a bank, shooting at the teller with a water gun is prohibited.
  • It is illegal to set a mousetrap without a hunting license.
  • It is an offense for residents to appear on reality T.V. shows.
  • On some beaches it is still illegal for females to surf.
  • A law from 1925 made it illegal to wiggle while dancing.
  • Women may not drive while wearing a house coat.
  • Animals are banned from mating publicly within 1,500 feet of a school, tavern, or place of worship.
  • Bathhouses are illegal
  • It is illegal to hunt any game while in a moving vehicle except whaling.
  • No vehicle without a driver may exceed 60 mph.
  • It is illegal to eat oranges in a bathtub.
  • Sunshine is guaranteed in California to the masses.

California laws by City – Part I will cover Alhambra to Glendale

Alhambra – You cannot leave your car on the street overnight without the proper permit.

Arcadia – Peacocks have the right of way to cross any street including driveways.

Baldwin Park – No one can ride a bicycle in a swimming pool.

Berkeley – It is illegal to whistle for a lost canary before 7 a.m.

Belvedere – No dog shall be in a public place without its master on a leash.

Blythe – You are not permitted to wear cowboy boots unless you already own at least two cows.

Burlingame – It is illegal to spit, except on baseball diamonds.

Calaveras – If a frog dies during a frog-jumping contest in California it cannot be eaten.

Carmel – Women are not allowed to wear high heels in the city limits unless they have a permit  for heels over 2 inches in height.

  Men cannot go outside while wearing a jacket and pants that do not match.

Cathedral City – It is illegal to sleep in a parked vehicle.

                     People may not ride their bicycles through the “Fountain of life”

                     You cannot bring your dog to school

Cerritos – All dog waste must be removed from any yard within seven days.

Chico – One must obtain a permit from the city to throw hay in a cesspool.

         It is illegal to own a green or smelly animal hide.

        Bowling on the sidewalk is illegal.

        Driving a herd of cattle down a street is against the law.

        Detonating a nuclear device within the city limits results in a $500 fine.

        Kids are not allowed to play on the sidewalk.

Dana Point – One may not use one’s own restroom if the window is open.

Downey – It is illegal to wash your car in the street.

El Monte – Sandboxes may not be used as ashtrays.

      Pinball machines are outlawed, as well as mock horse racing games.

     Waitresses are not allowed to consume drinks bought by their customers.

Eureka – One must seek written permission from the Director of Public Works before playing baseball in a city park.            

               Men who wear moustaches are forbidden from kissing women.

               It is illegal to fall asleep in public.

Fresno – Skipping rocks or disturbing rocks in a city park is not allowed

               No one may annoy a lizard in a city park.

               It is against the law to hold a private bingo game.

               It is illegal to play bingo drunk.

               Permanent markers may not be sold in the city limits.

               It is illegal to sell gasoline to a drunken person,

               Elementary schools may not host poker tournaments.

               Getting drunk on a playground is against the law.

Glendale – One may not take his dog on an elevator with him.

                   A person must be 18 years old to buy a wax container.

                   It is illegal to jump into or out of a car.

                   Cars may not be driven in reverse.

There’s the first set of wild and wacky laws in California. Again, many of these remain on the books from the various cities, amazing. Lots more next time as we begin with Hermosa Beach. After we finish with California, wait until you see some of the crazy laws in other states that are still around and could be enforced if authorities felt the need to do this.


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