Brown Borkowski & Morrow


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Michigan: Great Lakes. Great Times. Weird Laws.


Ever since its exploration and settlement by French voyageurs and coureurs des bois in the 17th century, the people of Michigan have been finding ways to structure society, maintain order, and promote commerce. That means lots of laws, and some have been stranger than others.

Chances are you are familiar with the idea of strange, dumb or just plain ridiculous laws. Numerous books have been published detailing odd laws from throughout the United States, and articles in the same vein frequently pop up on the Internet.

Our team has taken the time to pore through some of Michigan’s weirdest laws and detail them for you here. We hope they will keep you out of trouble, provide you with some good trivia ammunition or, at the very least, provide you with a good laugh.


Can One Really Be Free With A Ring In One’s Nose?

In the Motor City, it is illegal to allow your pig to run free unless it has a ring in its nose.

This is actually a very practical law for those with pet pigs, as well as people who are burgeoning urban pig farmers. Have you ever tried to catch up to a loose pig? Even if the pig is not greased, they can be very difficult to corral. The nose ring provides a safe place to grip and keep the pig subdued.

So, remember. If you’re taking Porky for a stroll down the Detroit Riverwalk, make sure you have a ring or a leash.

No Scowling On Sunday

That’s right, gentleman. It is illegal for a man to scowl at his wife on Sunday in Detroit.

“Well, stop walking in front of the TV during the game then…”


Love Is In The Air, But Not Too Far From Your Home

Couples in Detroit are banned from making love in an automobile unless the act takes place while the vehicle is parked on the couple’s own property.

No trips to “Lover’s Lane” at the top of the hill. The silver – or green – lining is that this law should reduce fuel costs for you and your lover.

Speaking Of Cars…

Cars may not be sold on Sundays in Michigan, with the exception of dealerships located in counties with a population lower than 130,000.

This law is not as uncommon as you may think. Other states that do not allow Sunday sales of automobiles:

  • Colorado
  • Oklahoma
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Minnesota
  • Wisconsin
  • Iowa
  • Missouri
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Pennsylvania
  • Maine
  • New Jersey
  • Delaware

“Did it hurt?” “Did what hurt?” “When you fell from the sky?”

You better not be tossing out that pickup line with hopes of winding up in a vehicle on your property.

According to Michigan law, no man may seduce and corrupt an unmarried girl. The punishment if convicted is five years in prison.

All Aboard The Train To Tipsy Town!

Scratch that.

Turns out it is illegal to be drunk on trains. Specifically, “no person shall while in an offensive state of intoxication enter or be on or remain upon any railway train or interurban car as a passenger.”

Anyone who has visited the lounge car on a train or witnessed someone stumbling out of a taxi at 2 a.m. knows this law is rarely, if ever, enforced.


Oh, Those Disappointing Lions

A winless season, early retirements of Barry Sanders and Calvin Johnson, and a seemingly never-ending parade of misfortunes can leave even the most diehard Lions fan ready to curse a Honolulu blue streak and throw the radio through the window.


We understand, but don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.


Let us explain.

As recently as 2002, it was illegal to swear in front of women and children. In Detroit it is still prohibited today to willfully destroy your old radio.

So do your best to relax and don’t let the Lions get to you too much. There’s always next year.

This Law Should Be Unnecessary

We’re not sure what the folks in Clawson were hoping to prevent here, but it is illegal for a farmer to sleep with his pigs, cows, horses, goats and chickens. Farmers will have to cover up with some hay to keep warm or, better yet, stick to a mattress indoors.

Last But Not Least, Another Reason To Donate Your Old Clothes

By donating your old clothes to a charitable organization, you can accumulate tax deductions and help those in need. You can also stay out of legal trouble if you happen to live in Grand Haven, where it is illegal to throw an abandoned hoop skirt into any street or sidewalk, under penalty of $5 per offense.