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I have found that the answers to many of life's questions can be found by poring over the Indianapolis city code (found here, if you are interested). While, some might say it is a boring, confusing, and seemingly unending piece of writing - I find it wildly amusing and altogether helpful.

I've put together a few of my favorite and most helpful sections of the code - I hope you enjoy it as much as I. Plus, the next time you get in a tussle with your neighbor about who is responsible for the tree looming over your garage - you'll know where to turn!

What is the city anthem?

Of course, I wasn't even aware that the city had an anthem! I am obviously a better man for knowing...

Sec. 105-3. City anthem adopted; lyrics.

How many garage sales can I have this year?

I thought maybe I could make a full-time business of selling my crap... I guess not.


Sec. 987-202. Limitation on number and duration of garage sales.
(a) It shall be unlawful for a person to hold or allow to be held more than two (2) garage sales at the same location during the same calendar year.
(b) It shall be unlawful for a person to hold or allow to be held a garage sale with a duration of more than three (3) consecutive days.

Is it legal to have a fire pit in the back yard?

Only if I can find a responsible person to attend to it... Also, do ice-skating and bonfires always go hand-in-hand?


Sec. 511-703. Limited burning for special purposes.


The open burning of wood products which does not create a nuisance or a fire hazard and which is attended by a responsible person at all times until completely extinguished is allowed for the following purposes:
(1) Ceremonial fires and bonfires. A bonfire in connection with a religious ceremony, school pep rallies, scouting activities and similar purposes.
(2) Camp fires and fires for cookouts.
(3) Fire for personal comfort: a. Fires required for personal comfort; b. A bonfire in connection with recreational activities including, but not limited to, sledding and ice skating.

Can I raise chickens?

Sure, just not asses or llamas.


Sec. 531-104. Keeping swine.

It shall be unlawful for a person to keep swine on premises in the consolidated city and county, unless such premises are stockyards, slaughterhouses, or other premises where the keeping or raising of livestock is permitted by county zoning ordinances.

Sec. 531-105. Keeping horses, ponies, mules, donkeys, jackasses, and llamas.
It shall be unlawful for a person to own, keep, or breed a horse, pony, mule, donkey, jackass, or llama in the consolidated city and county on premises which measure less than eight thousand (8,000) square feet in a lot area per animal, unless such premises are registered as a stable under Chapter 836 of this Code.

What makes Indy stand out from cities in Nicaragua?



Sec. 431-505. Barbed wire along public way.

It shall be unlawful for any person to place or maintain any barbed wire upon or along the line of any street, alley, sidewalk or other public place in the city, whereby it may injure persons or damage property.

Can you tease my dog?

Only with my expressed consent, and that of the National Football League...

Sec. 531-406. Interference with another person's animal.
It shall be unlawful for a person to feed, tease, tantalize, molest, or provoke any animal in the city without the express consent of the animal's owner, if any, while the animal is on the owner's property or under the owner's control. A person who violates this section shall be punishable as provided in section 103-3 of this Code; provided, however, a fine imposed for any such violation shall not be less than fifty dollars ($50.00).

What if I want to hold a seance?

That's fine, just don't fail to reveal material facts.


Sec. 403-5. Spiritualism involving deception.

No person shall hold or give any public or private meeting, gathering, circle or seance of any kind in the name of spiritualism, or of any other religious body, society, cult or denomination, wherein such person makes false or misleading statements or fails to reveal material facts with intent to defraud or deceive another.

Did I break the law with the first picture of this blog post?

Quite possibly.

Sec. 105-1. City seal described; use.
It shall be unlawful for any person to fraudulently forge, corrupt or counterfeit the seal of the city, or to affix the city seal unlawfully for private use or for any purpose except the authorized official business of the city. No person other than the mayor, the clerk or his deputy, or a person who so acts by the authority and direction of any one of them, shall use or affix the city seal for any such public purpose.

And Finally...

Sorry Cousin Eddie.



Sec. 391-116. Disposal of matter from privies.

It shall be unlawful and a public nuisance for any person to convey, discharge or deposit the matter from any privy upon the streets or public places of the city or upon the property of another person, or to cause the same to be done by another, except where so authorized by this Code; but such matter may be discharged by any private sewer into any public sewer discharging into the city disposal plant or into a proper septic tank; or may be disposed of by a person licensed therefor by the city.

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