The law can be a funny thing. In several cities across the world, a number of outdated laws are still being enforced despite their senselessness and irrelevance in modern times. For instance, did you know that in Southington, Connecticut, you are not allowed to use silly string in public? Apparently, the harmless fun-in-a-can is only permitted for use in the privacy of your own home. Or how about in Illinois, where it’s illegal to fall asleep in a cheese shop?
The opposite case also exists, in which laws are lacking for activities and behaviors that should probably be illegal. To get an idea of what some of those laws are, read through this list rounded up from the internet. We guarantee that you’ll agree with outlawing at least a handful of them:
Don't forget to check the comment section below the article for more interesting stories!
#45 Local Instagram Celebrity
A good friend of mine lives in a major East Coast city. As a single woman, she is extra cautious. She was the victim of a known local “Instagram celebrity” over the weekend. Basically, this guy follows people and records them. When they get annoyed and ask him to stop, he gets more obnoxious in an attempt to get a bigger reaction. He then posts the inevitable freak out online. He is careful not to cross the legal line for stalking.
#44 Sniffing And Smiling
Smelling strangers. It's perfectly legal, but also incredibly creepy. Especially when people do it with eye contact.
#43 The Paps
Paparazzi. It's considered creepy for me to be taking pictures of my neighbor, but it’s totally fine if it’s a celebrity. This has always baffled me.
#42 Suspicious Purchases
Purchasing rope, condoms and nighttime sleep aids at the same time.
#41 Horsing Around
I saw a news story about a girl who found a dead horse, covered her nude self in its blood and took pictures. All charges were dropped because she didn't kill the horse, she just came across it.
#40 Peeping At The Pool
Looking at other people at the beach or local pool through binoculars.
#39 Blow Driving
I once saw somebody driving their car while pointing a hair dryer at passing traffic. It's not illegal, but it should be because 1) it's a distraction, and 2) it can cause other drivers to panic if they mistake the hair dryer for a weapon.
#38 Invasive Investigations
Did you know people can uncover your identity even if you delete your social media accounts? Well, they definitely can. I've done it once or twice, just to see if I could. I was able to find a random person's real-life name, address, phone number, and family members. And guess what? It's not illegal as long as you're not threatening the person.
#37 Making A Victim Pay
A male victim has to pay child support for a baby created via relations he did not consent to. He can also be punished with jail time for not paying.
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#36 Toddlers In Tiaras
Beauty pageants for little girls. Especially if there is a swimsuit competition.
#35 Purchasing The Right To Pursue
I buy the right to pursue you for the $300 you owed Capital One three years ago.
Ever wondered how someone can owe $5,000 for something but a debt collector settles for $1,000? You'd think, “Why would they take a $4,000 loss?” We don’t. We didn’t loan that person the money. I made $1,000 by simply knowing that the person owed the debt. The other $4,000 turns into ghost money.
I’ve still got 99 other people to call that owe just as much money. All I did was pay $1,750 to get my hands on that list.
#34 Hashtagging Before Helping
Instead of intervening in a physical altercation and rescuing a person from harm, people record the violence and post it on the internet for shock value and recognition.
#33 Annoying First Amendment Audits
There are many videos of people performing First Amendment audits. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for the First Amendment, but some auditors take it to far.
They go inside public buildings, filming customers without their permission and prancing around like they have some God-given authority. Anyone who says they wish not to be filmed is simply told they shouldn't complain because they're in a public space. They have no intention other than to stir trouble. It's completely legal but just plain weird in my book.
#32 Unusual Urinal Behavior
Using the urinal right next to someone else when another one further away is available. Weird.
Talking at the urinal. Weird.
Making eye contact in the bathroom between the cracks in the stall. Super weird.
#31 Cannibal Cookout
Consented cannibalism is absolutely terrifying.
There was a story I read a few years ago about a guy who got in a motorcycle crash. His foot was so damaged it had to be amputated. The surgery was successful and when the guy woke up, he asked what they were going to do with his foot. The doctor told him they would dispose of it unless he wanted to keep it.
The guy decided to take it home. He called his friends over for a BBQ. They found out what he had cooked for them and they still ate it. Turns out, it’s perfectly legal to eat a person, as long as that person gives you permission.
#30 The Creepy Caller
Some guy had been "harassing" my grandma. He would call her on the phone and just breathe heavily without saying anything. It was the creepiest thing ever. After the fourth incident, we called the cops and they said that there was nothing they could do other than block the number. Thankfully, he eventually stopped calling.
Considering the fact that my grandma is both hard of hearing and only speaks Farsi, we didn't actually know that he was just huffing into the phone. We only found out what he was doing when I personally picked up the phone and listened in.
#29 Watching Children Play
When I was in the police academy learning the state laws, our instructors would write out scenarios. We’d have to decide if a crime was being committed and, if so, what the charge would be.
I recall one scenario where the police were dispatched to a call of a 60-year-old man sitting in his car watching children at a playground. They asked the man for his ID and he willingly handed it over. After running his information, everything came back clean—he was the true owner of the car and had no red flags in his record. But he was still sitting in his car, watching children play...
Very creepy, but not illegal.
#28 Cheerleader Carwashes
Cheerleader car washes.
The only people who show up are like, two moms who have daughters on the team, a couple of their boyfriends, and a lot of creepy guys.
A coworker of mine had her daughter participate in one and she went along to chaperone. A couple of the freshmen girls figured out they could get way more tips by wearing short shorts and small bikini tops. My coworker yelled at them, but what did she really expect?
#27 Pulled Over And Robbed
Cops in almost every state can take your money or property when they pull you over. They simply claim that "it's possible you could use the money or property to buy or sell drugs." They don't need evidence of this and there's really nothing you can do about it.
#26 Excessive Liking And Commenting
Liking, sharing, and commenting on every single thing on social media. I post a few things a day on Facebook, and the only people who react to every single thing are guys I've really only spoken to in person once or twice. The only reason I accepted their friend requests in the first place was that we had friends in common and I thought "Eh, why not." But now they won't leave me alone, and I'm afraid they'll get defensive if I ask them to let up a little... After all, they're not doing anything illegal.
I did unfriend one of them once. I put him on my "restricted" list, but he still liked every photo I had. He still hasn't taken the hint and continues to contact me on other apps and websites.
#25 Tracking Students' Screens
The high schools in my area are able to access the screens of students' phones if they really wanted to, as long as they’re on the school Wi-Fi. They also just recently installed cameras that “track” the faces of students.
#24 Tortured By Targeted Ads
Targeted advertising. It’s worse if you live in a shared apartment with roommates.
It's not fun to come home to unwind with some internet TV and be presented with ads for whatever obscure stuff they were searching for on our WiFi.
It does make for a great conversation starter, however.
#23 A Wrong Way Of Ranking
Video game ratings.
You can play a video game where you can hurt thousands of human beings in very violent, bloody ways, and everyone is okay with it. But if the game exposes one female body part it gets pulled from shelves.
How is it NOT creepy that fictionalized gore and violence is so accepted, but a part of the human anatomy we all have freaks people out?
#22 Easy To Find Homeowners
If you are a homeowner, anyone can find your street address via free public records, as long as the home is in your name and not owned by an entity you own or trust you created.
#21 Illegal Unless Videotaped
It's illegal to sell your body... unless you videotape it so others can watch.
#20 Getting Weird With Barbies
I used to work at a place that developed photos. We had to open the orders when we got them to verify that they came out okay. Well, one time, we received a bunch of photos showing nude Barbie dolls posed in disturbingly suggestive positions. It was so creepy. We called the police, thinking the guy might be a child molester or something, but they said there was nothing they could do about it.
#19 Something's Off With Squatter Rights
Squatter's rights: the idea that people can break into a house and stay there for up to six months. If you own a house but you do not stay there often, people can stay there, rent and eviction free, without consequences. You can get get a court order for a squatter to get removed, but that will most likely take longer than six months. I once had a friend who had to move to the other side of the city because of some legal issue, and his place got broken into within a month.
#18 More Room In The Gym
Going to the gym and picking a treadmill that is directly next to someone already using one when there are others available.
#17 Lots Of Money To Lock Someone Up
When you think about it, incarceration is crazy. We lock up criminals as if it will teach them to become better people. If you simply invested the money you would pay for a year of incarceration into a trade school degree for them, you would be miles ahead of achieving that same goal of bettering these people.
But then again, as the philosopher John Cougar Mellencamp said, "Some people ain't no damn good."
#16 Heel, Child
Kids on leashes... That weirds me out!
#15 Purity Balls And Forced Chastity
"Purity balls." They're events where fathers take their daughters to a formal dance and pledge their sexual purity. It's a public ceremony where the poor girls are made to think their only worth is the condition of their hymen. It's so creepy for fathers to be this interested in their daughter's sexuality. Teach them about sex and responsibility, rather than make a public display of forced chastity.
#14 Late-Night Lawn Maintenance
Silently standing in a spot and watering the same patch of grass for 20 to 30 minutes. My neighbor does this around 1 a.m. in the morning. It scares the heck out of me.
#13 Clowning The Neighbor
My neighbor was upset with my mom for ordering the construction of a boat ramp at our summer cabin. He complained that the workers were making too much noise, even though they had all the necessary noise permits approved.
He decided to troll everyone by getting an old truck and placing a bloody clown in the passenger seat. He kept it there for the remainder of the summer, and it freaked everyone out. When people started to ignore it, he eventually took the clown out and put its head on a stake instead.
At that point, my mom called the police. They considered his little art piece a threat and took him in.
#12 Just Being Plain Creepy With Baby Photos
I knew a couple who had professional photography done of their newborn daughter, knowing that she would not survive long after being born. Another couple took the photos and reposted them to their own social media, posing the baby as their own late child. The real parents couldn't really do anything about it.
#11 Parking Wherever Feels Convenient
In the UK, you can park your car on someone else's driveway and leave it there. It's considered a civil offense, rather than a criminal offense.
That said, you'd have to register a complaint with the local community council under the trespass act. There's a lengthy court process and only at the end of it will the authorities order the car to be moved.
In the meantime, there is nothing anyone can do. Pay for the car to be towed away? Sure, but if it gets damaged in the process, you're liable to pay for the repairs.
#10 No Permission Needed For Pelvic Exams
I recently found out that in many places, it's legal for pelvic exams to be performed on women while they're anesthetized, without the need for their consent. The doctors don't even have to tell them that it ever happened. Imagine going in for surgery and not knowing who's touching you.
#9 Right To The Front Door
In America, you can film and photograph people's houses all the way up to their front doors. This is part of our First Amendment rights as the freedom of the press. Anybody can be a journalist.
They can call the cops all they want, but there is nothing the cops can really do unless the property is fenced with a no trespassing sign. Even then, it's insanely difficult to make an arrest.
#8 One Man's Trash...
One of my roommates caught a guy stealing our trash. Not illegal in our state, because trash doesn’t count as our property. I’ve had to shred everything with my name on it since.
#7 Bad Influences
In Australia, the legal age to buy certain products is 18. However, the law does not state that someone over this age can't supply such products to younger individuals.
#6 Not Permitted To Disclose HIV Status
In Massachusetts, it’s completely legal to keep your HIV status from your partner, or anyone really. Someone can be HIV positive and have relations with hundreds of people, and legally they do not have to tell any of them their status. This is why you NEED to wear protection and get tested every three to six months. I’ve been in the same monogamous relationship for ten years and I still get tested at least two to three times a year because you really never know.
I’m the last person to pass judgment. I was an IV user for ten years. I am incredibly lucky that I never contracted Hep C or HIV. Literally a miracle. It makes me sick to my stomach thinking there are people who just genuinely have no issue with ruining someone’s life.
#5 The Watcher
We have a guy in our area who likes to sit in his car and watch young teenage girls with binoculars. He's fully clothed and doesn't do "stuff" while he's sitting there. He's never really done anything. Heck, he doesn't even get out of his car... He just sits at parks or fast food places, watching them.
We get calls all the time about him. I'm a dispatcher for the local PD and officers have spoken to him multiple times, but nothing he is doing is really illegal. Besides asking him to move along, there's nothing the officers can do.
Citizens have confronted him a few times, and there are a few videos of people trying to prove he's doing something wrong, but they never really amount to anything criminal.
#4 Upskirt Photos
In some states, you're allowed to take upskirt photographs... Apparently, it's not part of the reasonable expectation for privacy or something.
#3 In The Bushes But Within The Law
I had a neighbor who self-medicated for his schizophrenia rather than follow his doctor's prescription. One night, I was walking my dogs in the dark and he was hiding in the bushes. As I walked past him, he started saying over and over again, "I'm going to knock this girl's head off." He was holding his hands as if he had a gun and was pretending to shoot me. I called the cops because I got really freaked out.
They said they couldn't do anything because he wasn't doing anything illegal. He wasn't following me, he didn't have a weapon, and he didn't approach me to threaten me. He was just staying in the bushes at the edge of an apartment complex, so he wasn't even trespassing. Apparently, there was absolutely nothing illegal with being an unmedicated, mentally ill adult hiding in the bushes at night and fantasizing about hurting anyone who passed by.
#2 Addiction Problems
There's no law preventing someone from indulging in as many addictive substances as he or she wants, so long as the person is not harming anybody. In many cases, those with addiction problems check themselves into rehab voluntarily or are forced to by family members, but there's no law that requires addicts to seek therapy if they aren't doing anything that puts other people's lives in danger.
#1 Mall Santas
Clowns, Mall Santas, Easter Bunnies, etc. I'm sorry, but why do you want small children to sit on your lap? Why do you want kids to either be obsessed with you or be terrified of you? What joy do you get out of it? Also, why is it so socially acceptable to force children to do these things when some of them are so obviously distressed by the event?