September 3, 2008, Introduced by Reps. Elsenheimer and Walker and referred to the Committee on Intergovernmental, Urban and Regional Affairs.
A bill to amend 2006 PA 110, entitled
"Michigan zoning enabling act,"
(MCL 125.3101 to 125.3702) by adding section 409.
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN ENACT:
SEC. 409. (1) A PUBLIC OFFICIAL OR ANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL MAY
RECOVER EITHER TREBLE DAMAGES, COSTS OF THE ACTION, AND REASONABLE
ATTORNEY FEES, OR THE SUM OF $5,000.00, WHICHEVER IS GREATER, IF
ALL OF THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS ARE MET:
(A) THE INDIVIDUAL IS A DEFENDANT IN A CIVIL ACTION ARISING
FROM THAT INDIVIDUAL'S COMMUNICATION WITH A LOCAL UNIT OF
GOVERNMENT, A PUBLIC OFFICIAL, OR OTHER PERSON.
(B) THE COMMUNICATION UNDER SUBDIVISION (A) WAS IN FURTHERANCE
OF THAT INDIVIDUAL'S CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO PETITION AND OTHERWISE
PARTICIPATE IN THE PROCESS OF GOVERNMENT OR, IF APPLICABLE, IN
FURTHERANCE OF THE EXERCISE OF HIS OR HER POWERS OR DUTIES AS A
(C) THE COMMUNICATION UNDER SUBDIVISION (A) WAS INTENDED TO
INFLUENCE GOVERNMENTAL OR ELECTORAL ACTION UNDER THIS ACT OR AN
ORDINANCE ADOPTED UNDER THIS ACT.
(D) THE COURT FINDS BY A PREPONDERANCE OF THE EVIDENCE THAT
THE CIVIL ACTION WAS INITIATED WITH THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF
HARASSING OR INTIMIDATING THE INDIVIDUAL OR OTHERWISE HINDERING
THAT INDIVIDUAL'S PARTICIPATION IN THE PROCESS OF GOVERNMENT.
(2) SUBSECTION (1) DOES NOT IMPAIR ANY RIGHTS OF THE DEFENDANT
UNDER COMMON OR STATUTORY LAW OR COURT RULE.
(3) AS USED IN THIS SECTION:
(A) "COMMUNICATION" MEANS AN ORAL STATEMENT, WRITING,
ELECTRONIC TRANSMISSION, PHOTOGRAPH, DEPICTION, PEACEFUL
DEMONSTRATION, OR OTHER EXPRESSION.
(B) "PUBLIC OFFICIAL" MEANS ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:
(i) AN INDIVIDUAL WHO IS ELECTED OR APPOINTED TO A PUBLIC
OFFICE OF A LOCAL UNIT OF GOVERNMENT.
(ii) A MEMBER OF A ZONING COMMISSION, OF A ZONING BOARD OR
PLANNING COMMISSION EXERCISING THE POWERS AND DUTIES OF A ZONING
COMMISSION UNDER SECTION 301, OR OF A ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS.
(iii) AN OFFICIAL DESIGNATED IN THE ZONING ORDINANCE TO
ADMINISTER AND ENFORCE THE ZONING ORDINANCE.
What does it mean?
Michigan has arguably the best state supreme court in the nation. It overturned a previous ruling that allowed municipalities to seize private property and give it to another private entity. That ruling is a gem of conservative, constitutional thinking.
This law, if it passed, would get shot down by the first state district court that hears it because these lower courts know that the state’s SC would not stand for it.
I read it twice. It doesn’t say a word about penalty for shooting the official