City Bylaws on Hallowe’en

My friend Oliver asked me “Do cities have ordinances about trick or treating?” So I looked to see what Charlottetown’s Bylaws say on the subject.

Hallowe’en is covered under the same Nuisance Bylaw that covers subjects like “injuring trees” and “trnasport of rubbish.” Section 2.20 of the Bylaw reads:

2.20 (a) Unless accompanied by a person over the age of 18 years, no person under the age of 16 years shall be in a public place within the City of Charlottetown between 8:00 p.m. October 31st and 7:00 a.m. November 1st.
(b) In a year that October 31st falls on a Sunday, the restrictions provided in paragraph (a) shall also apply from 8:00 p.m. October 30th to 7:00 a.m. October 31st.

The Summary Proceedings Bylaw weighs in on the consequences of “disobeying Halloween curfew”: a minimum fine of $100, a maximum fine is $500, or imprisonment of 90 days.

This is the same penalty you get for “maintaining an unsafe hatchway,” “moving a building without permission” or “injuring city trees.”

I’m especially intrigued by the penalty for “moving a building without permission:” it almost seems like an invitation to just up and move somebody’s house without telling them. I’d gladly pay $100 for that much fun.


oliver's picture
oliver on October 31, 2004 - 01:17 Permalink

So with trick or treating on the 31st as usual, which is to say the Lord’s Day to observers of the Julian calendar, there’d be legal limits on the mayhem you could perpetrate, whereas they couldn’t pin nothing on you for misbehaving the night of the 30th without a change in the bylaws. But perhaps that’s what the deliberations were about—a one-time temporary change to the bylaws or for ammending them with an exception, as in the definition of Easter, for when Halloween falls on a Sunday.

Katie's picture
Katie on October 31, 2004 - 13:24 Permalink

Ok, your comment on the temptation to up an move someone’s house reminded me of this movie some locals made. A guy comes home to find his house is gone…..moved…….unbeknownst to him. So of course the needed “road trip” follows in search of the house. Odd — but kind of funny in its own way.…