Georgia Law Review, Vol. 10, No. 1 (Fall 1975), pp. 153-168


In 1923, the General Assembly of Nod enacted the "Statute of Paul" (so designated because of the sponsoring legislator, Paul Perfect), which empowered municipalities of Nod (called "sleepy hollows") to issue licenses to individuals wishing to engage in legitimate private enterprises. One provision of the Paul Statute directed that applicants for such licenses "must make application in the mode prescribed by Code Section 23-112, dealing with county licesning [sic] of pickle processors" (popularly known as the "Peter Pickle Statute"). In 1923, Code Section 23-112 required that an applicant for a pickle processing license submit his application to county licensing authorities in 25 copies. In 1974, however, the Nod legislature amended this code section so as to reduce from 25 to 3 the required number of application copies. In 1975, Mary Marvel applied to the municipality of Dull, in the State of Nod, for a license to operate a commercial establishment to be known as Mary Marvel's Museum. Dull refused to issue the license on the ground that Mary had applied only in triplicate and (under the Statute of Paul) was thus 22 copies short in her application. Mary contends that she has met the applicable application requirements (under the 1974 amendment to the Peter Piper Statute), that Dull's refusal is thus invalid, and that she is entitled to a license. Which position is the correct one, and why--Or, when you borrow from Peter to pay Paul, what happens to Mary?