Vail Daily column: Santa is a lawbreaker |

Vail Daily column: Santa is a lawbreaker

Santa is a scofflaw. Who’d a thunk it?

If The People chose to prosecute, what a mess St. Nick would soon find himself in. Jolly or not, it would hardly make a difference.

His crimes are legion.

First, there is the matter of those reindeer which he likely keeps without a license.

There’s … eh em … their droppings, too; what health code violations do you think that they portend? Do you really think he stops to pick up after them?


And thinking of Rudolph and his brethren, what about animal cruelty? Certainly it is inhumane to drive those poor reindeer at breakneck speed around the globe without a moment’s rest!

I suppose — but cannot know for sure — that there are workplace violations too. Is OSHA complied with strictly in Santa’s workshop? Do the elves get overtime? Do they have the right to unionize? Are appropriate ADA accommodations made in consideration of their stature? Is it discriminatory and actionable that he eschews all but the elfin? As a workplace of over 50 employees, how will Obamacare be implemented?

Flying Without a License

Then there is the matter of operating that sled of his without a pilot’s license or proper tags. I presume, too, that Santa fails, year after woeful year to file a flight plan or abide by FAA rules and regulations. Does he violate secure airspace? What about treaty violations? Does Santa patronize nations under sanction?


I am concerned about his illegal border crossings. To my knowledge, not once has Santa presented his documentation before entering this nation or, in fact, any other. Does he hold a valid passport? If he did present his papers — considering the bureaucracy involved — could he make his appointed rounds before first light breaks on Christmas morn?

It is without a doubt that Santa commits egregious acts of trespass; one after the other, after the other. At the dizzying speed he operates, surely there are motor vehicle violations, too! And if he’s ticketed by an alert constable now and then, does he simply scoff and disregard the fine? Are there warrants issued and ignored?

And what about that sled of his? Is it equipped with all appropriate safety equipment? I do not recall it even having headlights! Have you ever seen a seatbelt or an airbag?

Perhaps more grievously, there is the issue of breaking and entering. And the means by which he enters surely violates the fire code.

I suspect, owing to his girth, there is property damage as well for which he should well be rightly held accountable. Do you not think it likely that he at least dislodges a wobbly brick or two when sliding down a chimney or, in his haste, breaks a shingle or a roofing tile?


With his incessant ho-ho-hoing, there are without a doubt noise violations. And when he clunks down on a roof, does that not amount to disturbing the peace, to say nothing of unauthorized parking? The jingling of the reindeer riggings only compounds the problem.

I suspect, too, there are Food and Drug Administration issues. Don’t think for a minute that all the cookies he consumes have been manufactured under proper federal scrutiny.

Then, sadly there is the matter of tax evasion. Has he paid taxes — to say nothing of tariffs — on all those goods? I think most likely not.

I am concerned about the example he is setting. Is this a proper role model for our children? And he simply laughs off his indiscretions. Have you seen him? There is no remorse at all.

And what about his lavish furs? Do they violate the Endangered Species Act, do you think? I’m guessing yes.


That pipe of his — you’ve read the “Night Before Christmas” — there are ordinances you know. Isn’t he in violation of our smoke-free regulations?

I suspect all that weight he carries could be the product of too much soda and, in New York at least, mightn’t that not run afoul of Mayor Bloomberg knows best?


Oh, he has us all distracted what with all that laying a finger aside of his nose nonsense, that whistling at Rudolph and Dancer and Prancer, et al, that droll little mouth of his drawn up like a bow and all that eye-winking stuff.

Even with all the sugar plums dancing in our heads distraction, he ain’t fooling me at least.

I’m warning you, Santa is an outlaw. Mothers, fathers be on guard, it’s our children we’re protecting!

It makes you wonder who’s really naughty and who’s nice now, doesn’t it?

In any event …

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Rohn K. Robbins is an attorney licensed before the bars of Colorado and California who practices in the Vail Valley with the law firm of Stevens, Littman, Biddision, Tharp and Weinberg LLC. His practice areas include business and commercial transactions, real estate and development, family law, custody, divorce and civil litigation. He may be heard on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. on KZYR radio (97.7 FM) and seen on ECOTV 18 as host of “Community Focus.” Robbins may be reached at 970-926-4461 or at either of his email addresses, and

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