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California Civil Code section 2080.1 for example

"the person saving or finding the property shall, if the property is of the value of one hundred dollars ($100) or more, within a reasonable time turn the property over to the police department of the city"


I'm sure that'll make for some great "well we can't get them on anything else" prosecutions in a few decades as inflation works its magic. Hard coding dollar amounts into law is beyond stupid. At least it's a civil infraction so you should only get a fine in most cases. (I'm making the charitable assumption that having the amount decrease over time was not intended).

Hardcoding dollar amounts into law isn't so bad because future laws can update them. For example, a future law might say "All dollar amounts put into law more than 10 years ago are hereby doubled".

The UK has a similar system for fines. Laws are written that if a particular offence occurs, a "Band A fine shall apply", and a separate bit of regulation says what each band of fine or punishment entails.

>Hardcoding dollar amounts into law isn't so bad because future laws can update them.

Sure, but we all know that never happens until a sufficient number of easy to feel sorry for people get screwed real hard. Those people are getting needlessly screwed because the legislators were lazy. For example, most states have felony charges as an option for vandalism over a certain dollar amount, in some states these dollar amounts are low. This results in teenagers getting threatened with felonies (and the charges inevitably stick sometimes) because cleaning up their mess cost a few hundred bucks. That is a level of draconian-ness that is not ok in a free society.

"Well, if we can't get them on anything else, we'll get them on theft" seems OK to me.

Writing catch-all laws especially ones that require law abiding people to go out of their way in order to follow them seems pretty darn dystopian but I see how one could turn a blind eye to it if it's used for something they want.

How do you have to "go out of your way" to follow a law which says "don't take stuff you don't own"?

Read the cited law. It says you are obligated to report anything you find over $100 to the police. If a bartender finds a wallet with $150 in it, sticks it behind the bar and doesn't report it and the patron comes back alleging it had $200 in it he/she could get screwed. I'm sure you could come up with other examples. The point is that using a specific dollar amount is stupid. Give it some time and $100 will be a lot more like $50. Sure, the law can be changed if the relative value gets too low but there will never be any will to do it unless a real sob story comes along because people don't find property that the owner subsequently wants back all that often.

Bartender could simply leave it alone

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