If a neighbor or community member signs a complaint to the police stating that your dog is participating in illegal behavior you may be summoned to a show cause hearing. At this hearing you are required to “show cause” why this is not true, or the dog may be put down or confined to your property. These forbidden activities include: running at large unaccompanied by owner, hunting out of control and without a license, destroying property or habitual damage by trespass to property not its owners, attacking or bitten a person, demonstrable vicious habits, or molesting a person who is lawfully on the public highway. Several local communities, such as Sterling Heights, aggressively prosecute these matters. The full text of the statute is below. If you have been summoned pursuant to MCL 287.286(a) an experienced attorney can help you prepare the items of your defense. It is important that you follow court procedures and adequately “show cause” why this is not the case to avoid a bad result. At Garmo & Kiste our attorneys have experience handling these matters and know what types of cause the court is looking for.
Charged with Dog at Large Michigan? To retain Garmo & Kiste, PLC, for assistance in these matters call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message. We are experienced Michigan attorneys with offices in Troy, MI.
287.286a Sworn complaint; contents; issuance of summons; hearing; order; penalty for disobedience; costs; audit and payment of claims.
(1) A district court magistrate or the district or common pleas court shall issue a summons similar to the summons provided for in section 20 to show cause why a dog should not be killed, upon a sworn complaint that any of the following exist:
After January 10 and before June 15 in each year a dog over 6 months old is running at large unaccompanied by its owner or is engaged in lawful hunting and is not under the reasonable control of its owner without a license attached to the collar of the dog.
A dog, licensed or unlicensed, has destroyed property or habitually causes damage by trespassing on the property of a person who is not the owner.
- A dog, licensed or unlicensed, has attacked or bitten a person.
- A dog has shown vicious habits or has molested a person when lawfully on the public highway.
- A dog duly licensed and wearing a license tag has run at large contrary to this act.
(2) After a hearing the district court magistrate or the district or common pleas court may either order the dog killed, or confined to the premises of the owner. If the owner disobeys this order the owner may be punished under section 26. Costs as in a civil case shall be taxed against the owner of the dog, and collected by the county. The county board of commissioners shall audit and pay claims for services of officers rendered pursuant to this section, unless the claims are paid by the owner of the dog.