International Pillow Fight Day is always on the first Saturday in April. Over 100 pillow fights will be taking place all over the world this year. Public pillow fights are lots of fun, but of course, there is always the question of whether they are legal.
Doesn’t a Pillow Fight Count as Assault and Battery?
Probably not. Most state laws regarding assault and battery require offensive touching or an imminent threat of offensive touching. Some laws require physical injury or at least intentionally touching someone with the intent to provoke or insult them. As long as you’re hitting other pillow fighters, you’re probably not committing assault and battery.
There was an incident at a pillow fight in New York a few years ago where a woman was arrested for hitting a cop with her pillow. Don’t do that.
Be sure to check your state laws for laws against fighting or mutual combat. It might be hiding in a catch-all law like disorderly conduct.
What If My Pillow Explodes?
I don’t think pillows explode. I think people cut their pillows so the feathers fly everywhere.
Regardless of the cause of your pillow’s explosion, clean it up. There are laws against littering. If the feathers from your pillow cause any damage, you might be responsible for that too. There was a pillow fight on a rainy Valentine’s Day in San Francisco in 2009. Wet feathers clogged drains and caused ~$20,000 in damage due to flooding and clean-up costs.
Where’s a Good Place to Hold a Public Pillow Fight?
If I were to organize a public pillow fight, I’d look for a big public park. If you’re not on private property (like a mall), it’s harder to be arrested for trespassing. I’d pick a place that does not interfering with other’s enjoyment of the park and wouldn’t block any sidewalks or thoroughfares.
What If the Cops Find Out about the Pillow Fight – Can They Stop It Before It Happens?
I don’t think so, but that doesn’t mean they won’t try. In 2009, the Detroit police confiscated pillows at a park before the fight was scheduled to occur. Carrying a pillow in public is not illegal, so I don’t think the cops had the authority to prevent the fight was happening. I think the better course of action was to warn people about what laws they might break if they strike someone with their pillows and to warn them that they would be cited or arrested if they broke any laws.
The laws that apply to public pillow fights are mainly state criminal laws so be sure to consult your state’s statutes before having a pillow fight. When in doubt, consult an attorney who specializes in flash mob law.