Sterling Heights, MI asked in Civil Rights for Michigan

Q: Can a city ordinance officer walk on my lawn and look over my privacy fence into the back yard to give me tickets?

Ordinance officer has been consistently giving us tickets for any little thing he can find. When other homes in the area are in worse condition with no ticketing. He recently entered my yard, looked over the fence, and when I came out to see who was walking around my home, he began acting very rude towards me and my mother, acting like we were dumb, and stated rudely “well you’ll be getting three tickets in the mail, have a nice day.” And left. I don’t feel comfortable with him walking around my house, walking on my porch, etc. I feel like he’s harassing us and I don’t know what to do.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: Your first call should be to the city's housing or code enforcement office, or whatever it's called where you live. Generally, I think a court would determine this officer's actions permissible. I doubt you'll get out of all this with a bare claim that he's trespassing.

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