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Santa's Christmas Criminal Liability

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It's Christmas Eve, and in a few hours a red-clad beast man will be flying through the skies, entering the homes of families around the world, and delivering toys to all the children, because Santa's Naughty/Nice curve is pretty lax. It's literally easier to fail a class at a T14 law school than to end up on Santa's naughty list.

With all these home entries going on, it seems like Santa is running the risk of committing all sorts of crimes, the most obvious is Trespass. That's an easy one, but what about Breaking and Entering?

Consider the typical Sandy Claws home entry:

Santa lands his sleigh on the roof of a house, gets out with a sack of toys slung over his shoulder, and then slips down the chimney. Do any of these situations constitute a break:

1) Entering through an open chimney and fire place

2) Turning a flue damper

3) Opening a fireplace grate (door style)

4) Moving a fireplace screen

If there is a break, do any of these situations give rise to a trespassory entry:

1) The family believes in Santa, and has left out cookies and milk in anticipation of his arrival

2) The parents do not believe in Santa, but the minor children do, and (with the permission of the parents) have left out milk and cookies

3) No one in the family believes in Santa, and no one has left out milk and cookies

4) The family believes in Santa, but is celebrating Christmas elsewhere

5) The family is Jewish

 

If there is a B&E, the next question is Burglary. Assuming the jurisdiction requires a B&E of the dwelling of another at night time for the purpose of committing a felony therein, will there be a Burglary?

We can assume all the elements except intent to commit a felony as a gimme. Are there any actions which Santa intends to take which would constitute a felony? Here's a few fact patterns to consider:

1) The parents do not believe in Santa, but the minor children do, and (with the permission of the parents) have left out milk and cookies. Santa consumes the milk and cookies.

2) The parents do not believe in Santa, but the minor children do, though no milk and cookies have been left out. Santa goes into the fridge and helps himself to milk and cookies.

3) Santa kisses Mommy with her informed consent.

4) Santa kisses Mommy, knowing that Mommy is under the mistaken belief that Santa is her husband in disguise.

 

Does the analysis in any of the above scenarios change if rather than Santa Claus entering the home, Santa has been kidnapped and replaced by Jack Skellington wearing a Santa Costume?


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