The Case of Bear v. Goldilocks

Web Admin - Thursday, February 27, 2014

illinois criminal civil lawyerWhile people often see the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears as nothing more than a children’s story, it can also act as a simple overview of the legal system. After all, Goldilocks commits a variety of different offenses, both civil and criminal, throughout the story. 

The difference between a civil case and a criminal case is that a civil case involves a dispute between two private parties, the Bears and Goldilocks, while the criminal case involves the state pursuing Goldilocks for her illegal actions. Of course, many of Goldilocks’ actions can give rise to both civil liability and criminal charges.

The Civil Case: Bear v. Goldilocks

The Bears have three claims for which they may be able to sue Goldilocks: trespassing on their land, conversion of the porridge, and conversion of the chair. The Bears can easily show that Goldilocks trespassed on their land, but they will likely not receive any money for doing so, since her act of trespassing did not appear to cause any actual damage on its own. 

As for the claims of conversion, the Bears must show three things: that they owned the porridge and chair, that Goldilocks took some act inconsistent with that ownership, and that their property was damaged by Goldilocks’ acts. Since Goldilocks ate the porridge, and then sat in and broke the chair, the Bears can show that she converted those items and recover their value from Goldilocks.

The Criminal Case: The People v. Goldilocks

The state could also bring criminal charges against Goldilocks for all three of those same actions. These charges would be criminal trespass to land, petty theft of the porridge, and criminal damage to property for breaking the chair. However, the state would not have as easy a case as the Bears did suing for those same actions.

Trespassing is a crime in Illinois punishable by up to a $500 fine and six months in jail, but in order to be guilty of trespassing, a person must enter the land after being warned not to, or they must stay on the land after being told to leave. Unless the Bears had posted a sign warning trespassers, it would only be a civil offense. On the other hand, if Goldilocks had entered the house with a plan to commit a crime, she would be guilty of burglary, a class 2 felony punishable by up to 14 years in prison.

The petty theft of the porridge is an easier case. She clearly steals the porridge by eating it, and in Illinois the seriousness of the theft is determined by the value of the item. Since the porridge was probably worth less than $500, it would be petty theft, a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a $2500 fine and one year in prison.

The state could also press charges against her for criminal damage to property for her breaking the chair, but this would likely fail. In Illinois, a person must knowingly damage the property to be guilty of the criminal offense. Because Goldilocks did not know she would break the chair if she sat in it, that charge would probably fail.

If you have recently found yourself involved with criminal charges or civil litigation, contact an attorney today. A Rolling Meadows criminal defense or civil litigation attorney can put their knowledge and legal experience to work for you. Our team serves clients across the northwest suburbs, in areas such as Schaumburg, Palatine, Barrington, and Inverness.

About the Author: Founding partner of Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC, Colin Gilbert, received his J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of law in 2005. Colin argues cases across many practice areas including criminal defense, collections, real estate law, and corporate law. He is involved in his local Illinois community as an active member of the DuPage County Bar Association, Northwest Suburban Bar Association, and the Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce. In 2012, Colin was nominated for 2012 Business Leader of the Year by the Chamber.

Recent Posts


real estate zoning Illinois estate planning law firm texting and driving Crystal Lake employment attorney drug crimes Rolling Meadows marijuana attorney Barrington employment law attorney college kids pedestrian injuries, pedestrian fatality Palatine drug lawyer Schaumburg insurance lawyers Schaumburg real estate lawyer Schaumburg elder law lawyer drunk driving statistics Palatine real estate lawyer Crystal Lake pedestrian accident lawyer Buffalo Grove personal injury lawyer Illinois traffic accident lawyer commercial leasing Palatine trusts lawyer Illinois car accident attorney corporate law Barrington criminal defense lawyer Deer Park traffic lawyer real estate Buffalo Grove injury lawyer Palatine civil litigation lawyer car collision real estate lawyer Inverness real estate attorney advance healthcare directive digital assets, digital fiduciary, estate planning, digital content, Long Grove estate planning lawyers Inverness corporate attorney Deer Park workers compensation lawyer hit and run accident trench injuries social media after death Liquor Control Act vacation home Palatine corporate attorney Barrington estate planning attorney Attorney Ken Apicella irrevocable trust slip and fall accidents Crystal Lake tax lawyer DUI Crystal Lake employment lawyer Inverness DUI lawyer Schaumburg criminal law attorney Rolling Meadows Traffic Lawyer Illinois mortgages Palatine personal injury lawyer Deer Park DUI lawyer Schaumburg medical malpractice lawyer pay when paid contract Do Not Resuscitate living trust Illinois traffic laws wrongful termination, employment law, whistleblower protections, Illinois employment laws, discrimination in the workplace boating DUI FSLA sole proprietorship Inverness real estate lawyer Chicago car accident lawyer Schaumburg Attorney Joliet general practice lawyers Illinois insurance claim dispute lawyers civil litigation attorney condo association Barrington attorney startup company whistleblower protections probate jet ski accidents employment contract beneficiary complications Palatine insurance lawyer car accident lawyers natural gas Mount Prospect elder law attorney Illinois real estate loopholes overtime pay Illinois Transfer on Death Instrument crossover accidents premises liability Inverness civil lawyer Crystal Lake employment law attorney Palatine workers compensation lawyer Buffalo Grove criminal defense lawyer Colin Gilbert estate planning attorney Arlington Heights Traffic Lawyer employment law, meal breaks, rest breaks, hotel employees, Des Plaines employment law attorneys problem employees distracted driving accident victims Crystal Lake pet attorney Illinois workplace lawyer natural gas explosion drug crime life insurance claim denial, denial of life insurance claim Rolling Meadows insurance dispute lawyers, insurance dispute sexual harassment Deer Park medical malpractice attorney Illinois civil litigation lawyer Illinois estate planning attorney Des Plaines drug lawyer rollover car crashes Long Grove real estate attorney condo Des Plaines tax law firm estate planning for college students Illinois trucking safety insurance denials Barrington criminal lawyer DNR brain injury paid sick leave Arlington Heights traffic attorney Palatine criminal defense lawyer Rolling Meadows drug defense attorney modern family estate planning insurance claim dispute Kenilworth estate planning attorney pizza emoji boating under the influence Illinois medical malpractice attorney Crystal Lake injury attorney pet law digital information jet ski construction accidents, personal injury, wrongful death, Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys, workers' compensation insurance agent negligence pedestrian-automobile accident Legal Info Illinois injury lawyer Palatine employment attorney Illinois tax attorney Landlord Tenant Ordinance Chicago lawyer icy parking lots IRA trust transfer Mount Prospect wills and trusts lawyers foreclosed rental property denied insurance claim DGAA insurance dispute, insurance dispute lawyers, insurance claim denial, insurance claim delays, Rolling Meadows insurance dispute attorneys Des Plaines personal injury attorney most common reasons for life insurance claim denials Buffalo Grove traffic lawyers Inverness elder law lawyer Illinois attorney holiday statistics Arlington Heights trucking lawyer car accident lawyer Rolling Meadows corporate lawyer Schaumburg estate attorney vacation home fines Long Grove estate planning clemency Schaumburg personal injury lawyers trauma after an accident bad faith insurance claims special needs trust Illinois boating accident lawyer employment attorney tax attorney Schaumburg civil litigation attorney Illinois Smoke Detector Act Mt Prospect Attorney Chicago will attorney, social media platforms, Illinois estate planning lawyer, Illinois insurance claim attorney material misrepresentation landlord unauthorized overtime overtime violations medical malpractice, missed diagnosis, delayed diagnosis, medical mistake, Deer Creek medical malpractice lawyers Arlington Heights tax lawyer privacy traumatic brain injuries Inverness insurance attorney traffic violations speeding Schaumburg personal injury attorney Buffalo Grove corporate attorney Illinois employment attorneys liability claims Des Plaines pet law attorney employment contract, employment law, employment at-will, Deer Park employment law attorneys, contract, Rolling Meadows litigation lawyer Rolling Meadows Attorney health insurance dispute Illinois driving without license pedestrian accidents swimming pools Illinois traffic attorneys Barrington injury attorney manufacturing Rolling Meadows boating crash lawyer murder living wills estate tax living trust benefits unpaid assessment operating agreements Arlington Heights pedestrian accidents Illinois workers compensation attorney School Visitation Rights Act fiduciary rule Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission Crystal Lake accident attorney Palatine punch death Rolling Meadows insurance lawyer field sobriety test controlled substance Long Grove wills and trusts attorneys Barrington Illinois estate planning lawyer Crystal Lake traffic lawyer Rolling Meadows insurance dispute lawyers probate lawyer Inverness personal injury attorney Palatine employment law lawyer Chicago attorney Des Plaines claims law firm subcontractor Crystal Lake personal injury attorney Rolling Meadows personal injury lawyers Arlington Heights wills and trusts attorney Rolling Meadows insurance attorney ACA Des Plaines medical malpractice attorney Buffalo Grove law firm Crystal Lake car accident lawyer probate process accidental death benefits Fair Labor Standards Act capital gains tax Illinois employment law firm Palatine corporate law attorneys GM ignition switches taxes agent Barrington Traffic Lawyer Illinois personal injury caretaker rights Schaumburg criminal attorney employee discrimination work unions Crystal Lake will lawyer underfunded trust Rolling Meadows employment law attorney underage DUI elder law medical research driving PTSD denied insurance claims CAM sexual images healthcare distracted driving accidents Illinois criminal defense attorney Illinois Rolling Meadows business lawyer Chicago insurance law firm Illinois personal injury lawyers spinal cord injury insurance adjusters Crystal Lake medical malpractice law firm LLCs Palatine injury attorney Illinois Sales Representative Act fatal car accidents Barrington drug crime attorney Deer Park personal injury lawyer Illinois trusts attorney Arlington Heights insurance attorney Schaumburg drug defense lawyer insurance disputes, Illinois insurance disputes, Illinois insurance dispute attorneys, denied insurance claims, Arlington Heights insurance dispute attorneys loss of consortium estate planning trusts Kenilworth estate planning lawyer Illinois workplace discrimination attorney Des Plaines criminal attorney Food and Drug Administration's Food Safety Modernization Act Detainer Actions Arlington Heights estate planning attorney Colin H. Gilbert car accidents insufficient documentation healthcare claims no contest clauses Illinois lawyer Barrington workers compensation attorney South Barrington real estate attorney consent to a search Schaumburg life insurance attorney Kenilworth estate planning attorneys Arlington Heights medical malpractice lawyer traffic offenses disability benefits Rolling Meadows medical malpractice lawyers Illinois estate planning real estate closing defective products lawyer Arlington Heights car accident lawyer Illinois living will Barrington life insurance lawyer employees traffic violations defense Crystal Lake business law attorneys Class A misdemeanor Rolling Meadows criminal lawyer Crystal Lake personal injury lawyer Arlington Heights real estate lawyer Rolling Meadows tax attorney home inspection lawyer ObamaCare Des Plaines injury law firm liens Illinois business lawyer personal injury attorney first degree murder dog bites estate planning lawyer low-ball insurance settlement Palatine business attorney insurance negligence Deer Park motorcycle accident lawyer fiduciary rule delay pregnant women Illinois collections attorney employee rights Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act deed transfer criminal defense senior citizens Palatine estate planning lawyer rollover accidents filing a medical malpractice claim Illinois insurance claims lawyers in terrorem provision insurance claim Chicago life insurance attorney car accident Exclusions estate planning, digital assets, Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, Illinois digital assets, Illinois estate planning, Super Mario Illinois medical malpractice claim landlord tenant law golf accidents Rolling Meadows real estate attorney insurance dispute attorney probate claims suspended license Des Plaines collections attorney underinsured motorist workers comp insurance claims Illinois registered agent Illinois bicycle safety real estate contract preventable medical errors breach of contract estate planning appealing an insurance claim license reinstatement Crystal Lake bike accident lawyer meal breaks Des Plaines civil attorney Crystal Lake civil litigation lawyer Rolling Meadows personal injury lawyer Arlington Heights wills and trusts attorneys personal injury claim Buffalo Grove probate lawyer Illinois rollover accident lawyers South Barrington real estate lawyer Retaliatory Discharge Schaumburg corporate attorney Chicago biking tips Arlington Heights personal injury attorney preventing accidents unpaid overtime personal injury lawyer Chicago traffic lawyer denial of life insurance Illinois Trust Code Home Remodeling Repair Act minimum wage license revocation installment contracts Illinois insurance lawyer insurance disputes power of attorney probate fees Illinois employee rights attorney. compensatory time Buffalo Grove insurance claim dispute lawyers traffic crimes Rolling Meadows accident lawyer creditors Illinois LLC creation workers compensation benefits Self-Directed IRA Accounts Illinois employment law insurance denial appeals Barrington medical malpractice lawyers personal injury accidents products liability Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act slip and fall traffic laws privacy laws construction contracts Des Plaines Traffic Lawyer Des Plaines real estate attorney Palatine construction attorney Deer Park real estate law firm Barrington business law firm employment lawyer Palatine traffic lawyer Crystal Lake car accident attorney Illinois employment law attorneys boating accidents wills Policy Cancellation Palatine probate lawyer Buffalo Grove personal injury attorney Crystal Lake traffic attorney cell phone tower data DUI attorney Barrington estate planning lawyer Des Plaines insurance attorney Buffalo Grove car accident lawyer drugs Deer Park employment law attorney Whistleblower Claims construction accidents Arlington Heights employment attorney Illinois red light cameras Illinois probate lawyer Illinois law gift tax exemption, estate planning, estate planning strategies, Illinois estate planning, South Barrington estate planning attorneys forming a corporation in Illinois rest breaks DMV Illinois insurance disputes Jay Andrew spinal cord injuries motorcycle accident lawyer Illinois Human Rights Act back injuries digital media accounts, estate planning, Arlington Heights estate planning attorney, Crystal lake insurance dispute attorney fault based insurance wrongful death drug crimes lawyer commercial leases Rolling Meadows probate lawyer Arlington Heights criminal lawyer IRELA coronavirus Deer Park accident attorney Crystal Lake medical malpractice lawyer Des Plaines personal injury lawyers car crashes Palatine civil attorney deadly crashes Barrington employment attorney texting while driving medical malpractice Illinois small business Barrington personal injury lawyer rent to own real estate contracts Buffalo Grove real estate attorney blood alcohol content Palatine life insurance lawyer criminal record Rolling Meadows employment law attorneys Illinois motorcycle accident lawyer Schaumburg traffic lawyer Illinois insurance attorney civil litigation top life insurance claim denials residential real estate estate planning, death tax, succession plans, business estate plans, Barrington estate planning lawyers traumatic brain injury uninsured motorist Illinois corporate lawyer employment law, Illinois employment laws Long Grove estate planning attorneys Illinois construction accident attorney comp time Fourth of July how to avoid common denials of life insurance claims trust payments employee misclassification Illinois pedestrian accident attorney Illinois personal injury lawyer Schaumburg car accident attorney insurance claim delay Illinois elder law attorney Schaumburg employment law attorneys Barrington real estate lawyer anesthesia errors IRA benefits Arlington Heights wills and trusts lawyer llinois Real Estate Lawyers Association Inverness probate lawyer Illinois medical malpractice case commercial real estate auto accidents foreclosure Inverness traffic law firm new real estate form FMLA Illinois jet ski accident lawyer mass shooting Illinois personal injury attorney Forcible Entry BUI Schaumburg probate attorney Illinois medical malpractice lawyers Arlington Heights accident attorney wrongful termination digital evidence Illinois will lawyer revenge porn medication errors insurance dispute Mount Prospect real estate lawyer civil rights violation homestead rights Des Plaines motorcycle accident attorney hands free device involuntary manslaughter Chicago trucking accident attorney liability Illinois workers compensation lawyer Des Plaines pain and suffering digital assets drunk driving trustee Crystal Lake insurance lawyer Deer Park traffic accident attorney Employment Discrimination Law Thanksgiving Illinois business law atorneys estate attorney product liability trusts institutional trustee Barrington civil litigation attorney eluding a police officer Arlington Heights TBI attorney Affordable Care Act comparative negligence internet Des Plaines drug crimes lawyer right to work Rolling Meadows life insurance claim denial attorney head on collisions wage theft personal injury law firm Schaumburg employment attorney Illinois wills and trusts attorneys Illinois insurance claim dispute lawyer Schaumburg injury lawyer unfunded trust BAC personal injury cell phone accidents nursing home negligence BAIID Des Plaines accident attorney Palatine Attorney Arlington Heights personal injury lawyer Schaumburg construction accident lawyer Palatine traffic accidents elder abuse trucking accident lawyers medical malpractice claims life insurance rumble strips Chicago estate planning denial of insurance claim Chicago employment attorney income distribution deducation caregiver dram shop law wills and trusts marijuana crimes attorney bicycle accidents Rolling Meadows Illinois employment laws blended families marijuana pet bites Rolling Meadows estate planning attorney Illinois Probate Act of 1975 Illinois defective products attorney federal crimes real estate attorneys Illinois speeding lawyer Riverwoods estate planning lawyer expungement Crystal Lake law firm Arlington Heights employment law attorneys criminal cell phone traffic accidents Inverness accident lawyer bike accident lapse in policy ken apicella cause-of-death exclusions Illinois pet lawyer Deer Park criminal attorney Schaumburg estate planning lawyer Barrington employment law firm car crash injuries Chicago estate planning lawyer life insurance claims traffic deaths criminal law reckless homicide Rolling Meadows DUI lawyer Buffalo Grove traffic attorney life insurance lawyer medical malpractice compensation POA Buffalo Grove employment lawyer hiring employees bicycle dooring accidents attorney fees changes to mortgage law Schaumburg estate planning attorney Buffalo Grove life insurance attorney defective products Buffalo Grove medical malpractice lawyers estate plan Des Plaines DUI attorney job lawyers surgical mistakes Transfer on Death Instrument federal regulations for LLCs mortgage Illinois real estate lawyer independent contractor probate claims process motorcycle accident investment property license suspension Barrington litigation attorney Palatine elder law attorney Chicago employment lawyer DUI penalities Barrington personal injury attorney food poisoning dealing with problem employees real estate attorney drug possession Illinois traffic ticket lawyer Rolling Meadows traffic law firm living trust vs will Schaumburg wrongful death attorney dynasty trusts Des Plaines personal injury lawyer Palatine employment lawyer Schaumburg personal injury lawyer life insurance policy TBI power of attorney for healthcare Illinois wills and trusts truck collisions guardianship attorney Palatine law firm insurance claim denials contracts Des Plaines real estate lawyer murder defense IRS breathalyzer test Inverness injury lawyer insurance claim dispute attorney insurance claim denial Rolling Meadows car accident lawyers DUI defense Arlington Heights Attorney Illinois traffic attorney Rolling Meadows employment attorney Barrington boating accident attorney Arlington Heights car crash attorneys real estate leasing Rolling Meadows traffic attorney Rolling Meadows personal injury attorney financial advisors medical marijuana workers compensation business litigation Long Grove estate planning attorney Illinois DUI attorney license Crystal Lake estate planning lawyer automated cars Illinois home inspection Arlington Heights injury attorney personal injury, auto accident injuries, delayed injuries, serious injuries, Des Plaines personal injury attorneys pedestrian accident owner responsibility Illinois employment lawyer Chicago will attorney employment law Family Medical Leave Act car crash insurance attorney small business Arlington Heights lawyer personal injury claims workplace sexual harassment Crystal Lake medical malpractice attorneys murder charges traffic tickets Rolling Meadows criminal attorney Schaumburg Illinois employment law attorney Illinois job attorney Inverness estate planning lawyer gift taxes Chicago insurance claim attorneys severance agreements Home Sale Contingencies Crystal Lake criminal defense attorney trucking accidents child safety Arlington Heights wills and trusts lawyers Chicago corporate attorney Long Grove real estate lawyer Illinois insurance dispute lawyers Illinois wrongful termination lawyer insurance agents