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outdated laws
9 min read

10 Outdated Laws That You Might Have Broken

As society evolves, new laws are created in order for governments to adapt to the changing needs of their citizens. However, this means that many old laws become obsolete with these changes. While some get removed from the books or updated, some fly under the radar, staying active for years after their relevance has declined. Here are a few funny old laws that are still on the books today.

In Arkansas, it’s illegal to mispronounce the state’s name.

Nobody likes to have their name pronounced incorrectly, but Arkansas took it a step further by making it into law. If you’re not sure how to properly pronounce it, it’s best to do your research in the state’s official code before visiting.

In Connecticut, a pickle cannot be sold unless it bounces.

When’s the last time you checked to see if the pickle you’re about to eat bounces when dropped? In Connecticut, you just might be breaking this outdated law if you don’t check. This law was originally enacted in 1948 to prevent fraudulent salesmen from selling unfit pickles. Today, the law still exists, but of course isn’t actually enforced.

In Indiana, black cats are required to wear bells around their necks on Friday the 13th.

The small town of French Lick Springs takes superstition seriously! In 1939, the law was put into effect during the World War II era to ease public stress. It still exists today, so if you’re looking for a place to test your luck on the next Friday the 13th, Indiana might be a good place to be!

In Maryland, it’s illegal to swear while driving.

You might want to dial back the road rage if you’re driving through Rockville, MD. If you’re caught breaking this law, you can face a misdemeanor charge and a fine. So, be sure to keep it clean if you decide to visit this town.

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In New Jersey, it’s illegal to commit a violent crime while wearing a bulletproof vest.

Of course, violent crimes by themselves are always illegal, but New Jersey enforces an extra charge for wearing a bulletproof vest. Although there aren’t many cases where this has been enforced recently, the state reserves the right to add additional charges for anyone that violates this law.

In Oklahoma, it's illegal to wrestle a bear. 

You probably haven't broken this one, but it is interesting. In this state, people were wrestling bears so much that they had to make it illegal. If caught, a fine and potential jail sentence is at stake! 

In Rhode Island, it’s illegal to impersonate an auctioneer.

You won’t be able to test your speed-talking abilities if you’re in Rhode Island. Impersonating an auctioneer falls under the state’s “false-personification” laws. However, if you’re really passionate about pretending to be an auctioneer, the maximum fine for violating this law is only $100.

In Gainesville, Georgia, it’s illegal to eat fried chicken with a knife and fork. 

This law was passed in 1961 to get publicity for the town as the self-proclaimed 'Poultry Capital' of the world. A local paper stated that the law was never actually codified, though it is said that people have been (humorously) arrested for the offense. 

In the University Hill section of Boulder, Colorado, it’s illegal to put upholstered furniture on your porch. 

In this area - the home of the University of Colorado Boulder - there will be no couches, recliners, or any upholstered furniture on your porch. This law was an attempt to stop students from lighting couches and other pieces of furniture on fire.

Finally, if you’re a fan of dairy, in Wisconsin, butter and cheese are required to be “highly pleasing.”

Since this state is known for dairy farming, they take pride in protecting their reputation. The Wisconsin State Legislature contains several ordinances detailing these palatable requirements for both cheese and butter. So, if you’re looking for dairy that’s required to be delicious by law, you’ll find what you’re searching for in Wisconsin!

Don't let your contracts be like these outdated laws!

While these old laws are good for a laugh, outdated contracts unfortunately aren’t as comical - but are still quite common. Businesses are always evolving, just like local governments, and it’s important to ensure that existing contracts don’t contain any old or outdated clauses. The good news is that there’s an easy way to avoid this, and LinkSquares Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) solution can help (and deliver 352% ROI over 3 years.) For more information about how LinkSquares can help you manage and analyze your organization’s contracts, request a demo with our team.

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in April 2019 and has been updated with new laws and current LinkSquares information. 

Vishal Sunak is the co-founder and CEO of LinkSquares.