Detroit, MI asked in Education Law and Land Use & Zoning for Michigan

Q: Am I allowed to be in a Michigan public high school parking lot in the summer?

I was watching the sunset, with my friend, in my school parking lot days after school had ended. A man who we assume lives next to the school approached us and started threatening to call the cops saying we looked suspicious. We were simply sitting in the back of her car watching the sunset. Would we have gotten into trouble with the law if he had called the cops? Both of us attend the school.

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

A: The police might have just told you to move along. Of course, a lot depends on what information they have at the time, including what the person who calls tells them, as well as whether there have been other reports of suspicious activity or crime in the area.

Generally, there are reasonable limitations of your right to be in a "public" place. Most notably, unless there is a particular reason for you to be in the parking lot at that time, you generally cannot just be there after dark. Same thing with public parks, which often are subject to ordinances saying that no one can be in a park from dusk to dawn.

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