September 16, 2021

Great legal moments

 Lowering the Bar

In July, one member of the mob that stormed Congress turned out to be dumb enough that a judge agreed to let him out of jail pending trial. Noting that a widely shared video showed Douglas Jensen exclaiming amazement that he was “touching the f*#&ing White House” when he was in fact touching the Capitol building, Judge Timothy Kelly suggested this showed he was not a leader of the movement in any sense. It was hard to believe Jensen could have coordinated with others or helped plan the attack, the judge said, “when he had no basic understanding of where he even was that day.”

If you’ve been wondering whether it’s illegal to defraud an innkeeper, the answer in California is yes, according to this post by the firm of Greg Hill and Associates. The post explains that “defrauding an innkeeper” is the crime of obtaining something without paying for it. Now, you and I might just call this “theft,” but for whatever reason California has a statute specifically criminalizing the getting of “food, fuel, services, or accommodations” from a “hotel, inn, restaurant, boardinghouse, lodginghouse, apartment house, bungalow court, motel, marina, marine facility, autocamp, ski area, or public or private campground,” without paying for it, such as by absconding after the thing has been got. See Cal. Penal Code § 537. So if you “dine and dash,” or I guess flee from a bungalow court after staying the night there, this is the crime you just committed. Now you know.


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