Case of the Illegal Hog Farm in Urban Irvine

“Court Case Friday”

I spent 10 years as a D.A. prosecuting criminal cases and over 30 years as a judge presiding over them. Most of the thousands of cases I dealt with are very routine, like shop lifting, DUI, and drugs.

So, I get excited when something new comes up.

One morning, during my misdemeanor arraignment calendar, I saw something totally new.  I was thrilled.

A woman in urban Irvine, California was charged with the misdemeanor of “Maintaining an Illegal Hog Farm.”  I was ecstatic. I could hardly curb my enthusiasm.

When the woman came forward, I went on and on about how excited I was to have a new and unique crime. “I have never even heard of ‘Maintaining an Illegal Hog Farm.”

Finally, the woman interrupted me.  “I don’t know what you are going on about.  I was cited for not having my dog on a leash.”

I looked at the charging statute on the complaint carefully.  I suddenly realized that the D.A. secretary hit the wrong subsection on her keyboard.  Their computer spit out a complaint for “Maintaining an Illegal Hog Farm” instead of “Dog Without a Leash.”

I was deflated.

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