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10 Wacky Minnesota Laws

Every state has one. A law so outlandish it sounds like it must be made-up or, at the very least, from before its inception into the union.

Whether it’s that you have to attempt to salvage moose meat if you kill one in Alaska or you cannot have a picnic in a cemetery in New Hampshire, these odd rules have come from some place or time in a state’s history.

Below are 10 weird or funny laws that may, or may not, be in effect in Minnesota!

1.  Every man in Brainerd, Minn. is required to grow a beard.

While many a Minnesota gentleman often dons a beard anyway, it is not law. However, according to the Pioneer Press, it once was.

Several online lists of funny or odd laws do mention it, including a video from advocates for Sunday liquor sales back in 2015.

2. It is illegal to tease skunks.

This is another that is, sadly, just folklore.

In the same Pioneer Press article, journalist Rachel E. Stassen-Berger researched said law. She found that Minnesota statute does not explicitly state anything about teasing skunks. But, it does say it is illegal to import, or export, live skunks for sale, barter or exchange.

3. Anyone can keep their cow on Main Street downtown at the cost of 3 cents per day.

It’s unclear if this law is still in effect today, but it’s safe to say it perhaps was once a statute people followed.

According to an article by Dave Price published in the Session Weekly in 1991, the law comes from Wayland, Minn.

4. It is illegal to drive a car in neutral.

This was a law, but was thrown out in 2018 by Gov. Mark Dayton.

According to Bring Me the News, Dayton wanted to pass a law that overruled some of Minnesota’s outdated and silly laws. This was one such law, in particular because it’s impossible to drive a car in neutral.

5. All bathtubs must have feet.

From our research, this is not a law. It most likely came from a misreading of an older statute, or an exaggeration of one. Nevertheless, it is also one that can be found on many online lists.

6. It is illegal to sleep naked.

This is another one that is most likely false. Again, while several articles include it, no lists could find any such law on the books.

7. Hamburgers cannot be eaten on Sundays in St. Cloud.

This is yet another tall-tale.

8. In Minnetonka, it’s illegal to drive a vehicle with dirty tires.

This law is true!

According to the City of Minnetonka’s Public Ordinance 845.010, it is a public nuisance for a “truck or other vehicle whose wheels or tires deposit mud, dirt, sticky substances, litter or other material on any street or highway.” The city says they affect public peace, safety and general welfare. Violators are subject to citation or penalties.

9. In Cottage Grove, residents of even numbered addresses cannot water their plants on odd-numbered days.

This is also true!

In the City of Cottage Grove there is a lawn watering policy where residents can only water their lawns every other day, based on the last digit of their address. For example, if their address ends in an odd number they can water on odd days, and vice-versa for even.

Additionally, residents are only allowed to water their lawns before 12 p.m. or after 4 p.m. and there is no watering on the 31st of applicable months.

10. A person living illegally on a piece of property can apply for title if the original owner doesn’t evict them in 15 years.

This is also true!

In real estate law, people who have lived on a piece of property for a set amount of time, without facing any action by the original owner, can apply for title through the process of adverse possession.

Adverse possession is the process of occupying land that another person owns with the intent of taking it over as your own.

In Minnesota, under statute 541.02 15, the Recovery of Real Estate you not only have to have lived on the land for 15 years but have paid taxed for five consecutive years. Additionally, you must have lived on the property openly and must not have claims anywhere else.