General law vs Charter Governments authority — jurisdiction

January 18, 2019

Dear Editor,

The Michigan Constitution of 1963 created local units of government.
Article VII. Sec. 1 is a general law county.
Article VII. Sec. 2 is for a charter county.
Article VII. Sec. 17 is for general law townships.
Article VII. Sec. 21 is the general law cities and villages.
Article VII. Sec. 22 is the chartered city and villages and states.
Article IV Sec. 29 approval by Legislature & electorate.
Article X Sec. 2 as private property.

General Law government agencies lack authority to enact ordinances (local law) by the action of the local board.
Local units of government in Michigan were created by the 1963 Constitution.  Let first look at Counties.

Article VII. Sec. 1 is a general law county body corporate or General Law County.

Article VII. Sec. 2 is for a charter county and the charter, states “a county charter may authorize the county through its regularly constituted authority to adopt resolutions and ordinances relating to its concerns.”

Article VII. Sec 17 is the general law townships the constitution has no section or provision for a township to charter.  Let’s note that the legislature cannot authorize a township to charter such that would be a delegation of legislative authority, which was delegated to them by the people.

Article VII. Sec 21 is the general law cities and villages’, Sec. 22, Chartered city and villages and states  “Each such city and village shall have power to adopt resolutions and ordinances relating to its municipal concerns, property and government, subject to the constitution and law.”  Note, the charter allows ordinances relating to is property.

Charters are necessary for the local unit of government to enact ordinances affecting private property.

It is a common maxim of statutory construction that “expressio unius est exclusio alterius,” [express mention in a statute of one thing implies the exclusion of other similar things.]  The constitution specifically gives counties, cities and villages the opportunity to charter, but not townships.  This case verifies the above statement Sebewaing Industries, Inc v Village of Sebewaing, 337 Mich 530; 60 NW2d 444 (1953).

If a general law public body has a need for a local law [ORDINANCE] This public body must first submit it to the state legislature for approval and then to their local electorate before public body say Township can have the ordinance or enforce it (see 1963 Michigan Constitution Article IV sec. 29) “reasonable control of their public places”

Now look closely at Article X Sec. 2 “Eminent domain” as private property is being taken without establishing the “public use” therefore jurisdiction is lost by not putting the “public use” affirmatively upon the record.

You may also say that the local unit of government has perpetuated a fraud by stating that the local unit of government has civil authority against a private man, without producing a contract.

“Ordinances must conform to the charter” if there is no charter there is nothing to conform to and therefore nothing authorizing it.  The Principles of the Law of Public Corporations, By Charles Burke Elliott.

Attorney General, GRANT FELLOWS made an opinion in May of 1914 and stated “It is one of the fundamental principles of the law of public offices, that the person elected or appointed to exercise the functions thereof, should be a bonafide resident of the municipality over which the jurisdiction of said office ex-tends and to which, as an officer, his official services are to be rendered. This principle is embedded in the constitutional system of this country and cannot be overwritten by an ignorant congress!

Questions; Does your local unit of government appoint or contract with a resident of the governmental unit?  Do your local enforcement officials live in the district?  Do all official of the local unit of government have an Oath of Office?

Has your local unit of government acted without authority?  Could your local unit of government be liable for damages?

Under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, they local government officials have no immunity for their wrongful actions.

If there is an Ordinance say prohibiting (land usage or restrictions) maybe someone within the district would encourage the local unit of government who issued the order to immediately order a cease and desist thus possibly minimizing their damages.

The above could have implication of possible violation of the 1963 Michigan Constitution Article 1 sections 10, 11, 14, and 23 for starters, then possibly violations of the constitution for the united States of America Amendments 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9.

There is also a possible constitutional violation as to the individuals or firms who enforce these ordinances, most do not meet the qualification to hold public office within the local unit of government or do not live in the district they want to represent and most do not have an oath.

Governmental units like to quote the ZONING ENABLING ACT;  [“AN ACT to codify the laws regarding local units of government regulating the development and use of land;”] as the authority relied upon to enforce ordinances when it just codifies the Michigan Constitution regarding charters of counties etc.

Furthermore if one does a bit of research they will find that Attorney General Opinions #7294 & #7150 will enforce the above statements.

In conclusion, since when is privately owned land where governmental units have no right, title or interest of record, fall within the “Public Domain” land owned and controlled by the state?

Just one more thing for us to think about.  Whenever the State enacts a statutory scheme to limit OUR Substantive rights and or overtly seize OUR Rights to Property, by moving first, such an action is legalistically recognized as Inverse Condemnation, which by enactment of the State Legislature when targeting the Private Standing of Citizens, moves above the scope of Constitutional authority.

Tom Dunn

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