Utah’s legal system has been carefully crafted to protect its citizens and maintain order. There are numerous titles in the Utah code that address almost every possible situation that can arise. While most of these statutes are fairly known, there are some that are rather surprising. Here, we’ll look at some of the interesting, yet commonly unknown laws that Utah has on the books.
Detention in the Library
This section does not deal with school pupil detention, rather it uses the term “detention” in the law enforcement context. It’s no secret that some people think it’s OK to steal from a public library. Engaging in theft at the library robs other patrons of the chance to use a book or resource that they may need. In order to combat library theft, the Utah legislature enacted Section 76-6-803.60 of the Utah Code. This section gives librarians the authority to detain patrons who are suspected of committing theft.
A librarian must satisfy certain requirements in order to initiate the detention of a suspect. First, the librarian must have probable cause that a theft has occurred. Once this is satisfied, the librarian can detain the suspect for questioning. During the detention, the librarian can check identification, inquire into the theft and demand that the suspect return any items that have been unlawfully removed.
You might wonder, what happens if a library thief leaves the premises with stolen property? Well, the law has a solution for that as well. A librarian can follow a suspect in hot pursuit in order to carry out a detention. In order for this to be lawful, the librarian must act as the theft is occurring. If the time between the theft and the pursuit is too attenuated, the librarian may not have the right to detain the suspect.
You Are Free to Hunt Skunks
Most citizens are aware of the fact that you need a hunting license for most types of game. Yet, there is one intriguing exception to the rule: skunk hunting. Apparently, per Utah Code Section 23-18-6, you don’t need any type of license to hunt and kill a skunk. This section also applies to red foxes. If you are interested in hunting either of these animals, don’t worry about getting a license first!
Beavers might be cute, but they can also cause a lot of problems. These little, furry creatures are notorious for causing property damage. They can cut down trees, block waterways and flood plant life. Property owners who have experienced this situation often wonder what to do. Well, in Utah, you can get permission to trap, or kill the offending beavers.
More on Utah Law
We will follow up with some other interesting statutes later. For now, if you have any questions about any type of law, contact Spencer and Jensen, PLLC for assistance. Our law office helps clients with probate hearings, end of life law, personal injury, and child custody matters.