The ‘Pelican State’ is a melting pot of diverse cultures, from French, African, French-Canadian, to modern American. It’s also famous for its unique Cajun and Creole cultures, food, jazz music (New Orleans is sometimes called the “birthplace of jazz”) and the renowned Mardi Gras festival.
But what most people are not aware of are Louisiana’s weird laws. Some of them are old laws that are still on the books, even if they aren’t enforced and others have been enacted quite recently to deal with bizarre situations encountered by law enforcement in the state.
Below is a compilation of eight strange laws from the Bayou State.
1. No obscenities during phone calls
The city of Sulphur in Calcasieu Parish has made it illegal for anyone to use obscene, profane, vulgar, lewd, lascivious, or indecent language during a phone call. It is also illegal to make a telephone call and intentionally fail to hang up or disengage the connection.
2. No cash for second-hand goods
According to Louisiana House Bill 195, anyone selling or buying second-hand goods is not allowed to take or give cash payments. However, they can use a check or a cashier’s money order or electronic transfer.
When starting a business in Louisiana, you need to understand the rules that the state imposes on businesses. Perhaps these guides on how to start an LLC in Louisiana and how to find a great registered agent in Louisiana can help you avoid any legal issues when opening or closing a business in the state.
3. Only two people can picket on a sidewalk
This municipal ordinance from the city of Port Allen states that “it is unlawful for more than two people to picket on private property or on the streets and sidewalks of the city in front of a residence, a place of business, or public building. Such two pickets must stay five feet apart at all times and not obstruct the entrance of any residence, place of business, or public building by individuals or by automobiles.”
4. Reporters mustn’t throw candies at crowds
In New Orleans, anyone riding in a news media vehicle during a Mardi Gras parade is not allowed to throw or hand out trinkets or doubloons to the crowds. Anyone violating this code is subject to immediate removal from the parade.
5. Voodoo is prohibited
According to New Orleans municipal code Sec. 54-312, “it is unlawful for any person to engage in the business of (chronology, phrenology, astrology, palmistry) telling or pretending to tell fortunes, either with cards, hands, water, letters or other devices or methods, or to hold out inducements, either through the press or otherwise, or to set forth his power to settle lovers’ quarrels, to bring together the separated, to locate buried or hidden treasures, jewels, wills, bonds or other valuables, to remove evil influences, to give luck, to effect marriages, to heal sickness, to reveal secrets, to foretell the results of lawsuits, business transactions, investments of whatsoever nature, wills, deeds and/or mortgages, to locate lost or absent friends or relatives, to reveal, remove and avoid domestic troubles or to bring together the bitterest enemies converting them into staunchest friends. But nothing herein contained shall apply to any branch of medical science, or to any religious worship.”
6. Snakes are not allowed within 200 yards of Mardi Gras
New Orleans has a couple of laws governing the Mardi Gras carnival. Among them is one that prohibits people from bringing or having reptiles within 200 yards of the parade route not less than two hours before the published scheduled start of a parade, nor within 200 yards of the end of a parade for not less than one hour after the end of the parade.
7. Hogs must feed on cooked garbage
This one hails from Jefferson Parish. You are not allowed to feed raw garbage to swine. All garbage, refuse and offal must be cooked just prior to the feeding of the hogs.
8. Don’t make false promises
False swearing is illegal in Louisiana. The law describes false swearing as “the intentional making of a written or oral statement, known to be false, under sanction of an oath or an equivalent affirmation, where such oath or affirmation is required by law.” Those who violate this rule will be fined not more than five hundred dollars, or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.
- MuniCode – New Orleans Code Sec. 34-27. – Throwers restricted.
- MuniCode – New Orleans Code Sec. 54-312. – Fortunetelling.
- MuniCode – New Orleans Code Sec. 34-21. – Animals prohibited.
- MuniCode – Port Allen Code Sec. 54-11. – Limit on number of pickets.
- MuniCode – Jefferson Parish Code Sec. 7-187. – Preparation of garbage, etc., fed to hogs.
- Justia – 2011 Louisiana Laws Revised Statutes TITLE 14 — Criminal law RS 14:125 – False swearing
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