Birch Run, MI asked in Traffic Tickets, Civil Rights, Land Use & Zoning and Municipal Law for Michigan

Q: Is it legal for a cop to sit in an apartment complex parking lot posted private property and pull people over speeding

I live in an apartment complex in Michigan in a little village and a cop always sits in the parking lot and radars people and pulls them over because there's a big speed trap right were the apartment complex is goes from 55 to 25 mph

2 Lawyer Answers
Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: Likely yes. Cops may generally be parked anywhere open to the general public. An apartment complex parking area is really no different from that of a church or grocery store.

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Traffic Tickets Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In Michigan, law enforcement officers are generally allowed to enforce traffic laws on public roads, including areas adjacent to or near private property such as apartment complex parking lots, especially if they have a direct impact on public road safety. However, the legality of a police officer sitting on private property to monitor traffic and enforce speed limits typically requires the consent of the property owner or management. If the apartment complex management has allowed the police to use their parking lot for monitoring traffic, then the officer's presence there is likely lawful.

The change from a 55 mph to a 25 mph zone can indeed create a situation where drivers might unintentionally speed, making it a common spot for speed enforcement. Police use such locations to enforce speed limits with the aim of reducing accidents and encouraging safe driving habits.

If you have concerns about the officer's presence in the apartment complex parking lot, it might be helpful to discuss the issue with the apartment complex management. They can provide insight into any agreement they might have with the local police department regarding the use of the property for traffic enforcement. Additionally, engaging in a respectful conversation with your local police department can provide further clarity on their traffic enforcement strategies and any safety concerns they are addressing.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.