Strangest Laws in Michigan

The Mitten State’s Constitution has been approved by the people of Michigan four times. The first time was on October 5, 1835, just before the state was admitted to the Union in January 1837. Subsequent constitutions were ratified in 1850 and 1908. The current Constitution was approved by the voters in 1963, following a constitutional convention in 1961–1962.

Certain ordinances in the constitution are so weird you may wonder why they were ever made in the first place. For instance, selling a car on Sundays is illegal and men are not allowed to seduce unmarried women.

Below is a fascinating list of eight weird laws from ‘The Wolverine State’.

1. Men should not seduce or corrupt unmarried women

If a man seduces or debauches a woman who is not married, he’ll be guilty of a felony and can be fined not more than 2,500 dollars or be jailed for five years. This law, enacted in 1931, continues to state that prosecution shall commence one year from the time of committing the offense.

2. Don’t sell cars on Sundays

According to Chapter 435 Section 435.251 of Michigan law, “It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to engage in the business of buying, selling, trading or exchanging new, used or second-hand motor vehicles or offering to buy, sell, trade or exchange or participate in the negotiation thereof, or attempt to buy, sell, trade or exchange any motor vehicle or interest therein, or of any written instrument pertaining thereto on the first day of the week, commonly called Sunday.”

When starting a business in Michigan, you need to understand the rules that the state imposes on businesses. Perhaps these guides on how to start an LLC in Michigan and how to find a great registered agent in Michigan can help you avoid any legal issues when opening or doing business in the state.

3. Riding the train while drunk is illegal

It is an offense under Michigan law for a person to ride a railway train or inter-urban car while in a state of intoxication.

4. Dogs must be licensed

All dog owners must make sure their furry friends are registered at the county level. If a local sheriff comes across an unlicensed dog, he or she must consider it a ‘public nuisance’ and proceed to kill the animal. Refusal on the part of the sheriff to carry out the provisions of this law constitutes malfeasance in office. 

This law was enacted in 1919 and has not been followed for ages, but it’s still on the books. A recent bill is attempting to repeal it.

5. Don’t swear in front of women and children

This obscure law was repealed in 2002. Before that, it was illegal for any person to use any indecent, immoral, obscene, vulgar or insulting language in the presence of women or children. 

6. There was a bounty for every bounty for each starling and a 10 cent bounty for each crow killed in any village

Here is another old law that was repealed in 2006. It goes on to state “Every person applying for such bounty shall take such starlings, in lots of not less than 50, and crows in lots of 10 or more, to the clerk of the township, village or city within which such starlings or crows shall have been killed.”

7. Log cabins have a day

This is a truly bizarre ordinance. It has been mandated by Michigan law that the last Sunday in June of each year shall be known as “Log Cabin Day”.

8. Adultery is illegal

This Michigan law states that “Any person who shall commit adultery shall be guilty of a felony; and when the crime is committed between a married woman and a man who is unmarried, the man shall be guilty of adultery, and liable to the same punishment.”

Sources

MI Legislature – Chapter 436 Section 436.201 

MI Legislature – Chapter 750 Section 750.532

MI Legislature – Chapter 435 Section 435.251

MI Legislature – Chapter 436 Section 436.401

Stupid Laws

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