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Michigan

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Michigan Department of Civil Rights
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Detroit, MI 48226
Tel: (313) 256-2663
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Act 260 of 1978

AN ACT to revise and codify the laws relating to blind persons and persons with a visual disability; to create a commission; to prescribe its powers and duties and those of other state agencies relative to blind persons; to provide services, education, training, and assistance to blind persons; to regulate concessions operated by blind persons; to transfer powers, duties, functions, and appropriations; and to repeal acts and parts of acts.


287.291 Guide, leader, hearing, or service dogs not subject to licensing fee; definitions.

Sec. 1.

(1) Notwithstanding any law or ordinance to the contrary, a dog is not subject to any fee for licensing if either of the following applies:

(a) The dog is used as a guide or leader dog for a blind person, a hearing dog for a deaf or audibly impaired person, or a service dog for a physically limited person.

(b) The dog is owned by a partnership, corporation, or other legal entity that trains dogs for use as guide or leader dogs for blind persons, hearing dogs for deaf or audibly impaired persons, or service dogs for physically limited persons.

(2) As used in this section:

(a) “Audibly impaired” means audibly impaired as defined in section 1 of 1981 PA 82, MCL 752.61.

(b) “Blind person” means a blind person as defined in section 1 of 1978 PA 260, MCL 393.351.

(c) “Deaf person” means a deaf person as defined in section 1 of 1981 PA 82, MCL 752.61.

(d) “Physically limited” means physically limited as defined in section 1 of 1966 PA 1, MCL 125.1351.


750.50a Guide or leader dog; prohibited conduct by individual; violation as misdemeanor; rebuttable presumption that conduct initiated or continued maliciously; conviction or sentence under other applicable law; definitions.

Sec. 50a.

(1) An individual shall not do either of the following:

(a) Willfully and maliciously assault, beat, harass, injure, or attempt to assault, beat, harass or injure a dog that he or she knows or has reason to believe is a guide or leader dog for a blind individual, a hearing dog for a deaf or audibly impaired individual, or a service dog for a physically limited individual.

(b) Willfully and maliciously impede or interfere with, or attempt to impede or interfere with duties performed by a dog that he or she knows or has reason to believe is a guide or leader dog for a blind individual, a hearing dog for a deaf or audibly impaired individual, or a service dog for a physically limited individual.

(2) An individual who violates subsection (1) is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 90 days or a fine of not more than $500.00, or both.

(3) In a prosecution for a violation of subsection (1), evidence that the defendant initiated or continued conduct directed toward a dog described in subsection (1) after being requested to avoid or discontinue that conduct or similar conduct by a blind, deaf, audibly impaired, or physically limited individual being served or assisted by the dog shall give rise to a rebuttable presumption that the conduct was initiated or continued maliciously.

(4) A conviction and imposition of a sentence under this section does not prevent a conviction and imposition of a sentence under any other applicable provision of law.

(5) As used in this section:

(a) “Audibly impaired” means the inability to hear air conduction thresholds at an average of 40 decibels or greater in the individual's better ear.

(b) “Blind” means having a visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the individual's better eye with correction, or having a limitation of the individual's field of vision such that the widest diameter of the visual field subtends an angular distance not greater than 20 degrees.

(c) “Deaf” means the individual's hearing is totally impaired or the individual's hearing, with or without amplification, is so seriously impaired that the primary means of receiving spoken language is through other sensory input, including, but not limited to, lip reading, sign language, finger spelling, or reading.

(d) “Harass” means to engage in any conduct directed toward a guide, leader, hearing, or service dog that is likely to impede or interfere with the dog's performance of its duties or that places the blind, deaf, audibly impaired, or physically limited individual being served or assisted by the dog in danger of injury.

(e) “Injure” means to cause any physical injury to a dog described in subsection (1).

(f) “Maliciously” means any of the following:

(i) With intent to assault, beat, harass or injure a dog described in subsection (1).

(ii) With intent to impede or interfere with duties performed by a dog described in subsection (1).

(iii) With intent to disturb, endanger, or cause emotional distress to a blind, deaf, audibly impaired, or physically limited individual being served or assisted by a dog described in subsection (1).

(iv) With knowledge that the individual's conduct will, or is likely to harass or injure a dog described in subsection (1).

(v) With knowledge that the individual's conduct will, or is likely to impede or interfere with duties performed by a dog described in subsection (1).

(vi) With knowledge that the individual's conduct will, or is likely to disturb, endanger, or cause emotional distress to a blind, deaf, audibly impaired, or physically limited individual being served or assisted by a dog described in subsection (1).

(g) “Physically limited” means having limited ambulatory abilities and includes but is not limited to having a temporary or permanent impairment or condition that does 1 or more of the following:

(i) Causes the individual to use a wheelchair or walk with difficulty or insecurity.

(ii) Affects sight or hearing to the extent that an individual is insecure or exposed to danger.

(iii) Causes faulty coordination.

(iv) Reduces mobility, flexibility, coordination, or perceptiveness.


750.502c Person with disabilities or trainer led by guide, leader, hearing, or service dog; refusing entry to or use of public or private accommodations as misdemeanor; conditions; identification card; list; definitions.

Sec. 502c.

(1) A person who is an owner, lessee, proprietor, manager, superintendent, agent, or employee of any place of public or private housing, accommodation, amusement, or recreation, including but not limited to any inn, hotel, motel, apartment building, trailer park, restaurant, barbershop, billiard parlor, store, public conveyance on land or water, theater, motion picture house, public or private educational institution, or elevator, who refuses to permit a person with disabilities to enter or use the place when the place is available because the person with disabilities is being led or accompanied by a guide or leader dog, hearing dog, or service dog is guilty of a misdemeanor if the guide or leader dog is wearing a harness or if the hearing dog or service dog is wearing a blaze orange leash and collar, hearing dog cape, or service dog backpack, and the person with disabilities being led or accompanied has in his or her possession a pictured identification card certifying that the dog was trained by a qualified organization or trainer. The department of labor shall maintain a list of organizations or trainers that train guide or leader dogs, hearing dogs, and service dogs.

(2) A person who is an owner, lessee, proprietor, manager, superintendent, agent, or employee of any place of public or private housing, accommodation, amusement, or recreation, including, but not limited to, the places listed in subsection (1), who refuses to permit a trainer of guide or leader dogs, hearing dogs, or service dogs to enter or use the place when the place is available because the trainer is being led or accompanied by a guide or leader dog, hearing dog, or service dog is guilty of a misdemeanor if the guide or leader dog is wearing a harness or if the hearing dog or service dog is wearing a hearing dog cape or service dog backpack, if the trainer is being led or accompanied by an adult dog for the purpose of training the dog, and if the trainer has in his or her possession picture identification and identification stating that he or she is a representative or employee of an organization or trainer, or is a trainer, included on the department of labor list of organizations or trainers that train guide or leader dogs, hearing dogs, or service dogs.

(3) As used in this section:

(a) “Adult dog” means a domestic dog of the species canis familiaris that is 12 months of age or older.

(b) “Audibly impaired” means audibly impaired as defined in section 1 of 1981 PA 82, MCL 752.61.

(c) “Blind person” means a blind person as defined in section 1 of 1978 PA 260, MCL 393.351.

(d) “Deaf person” means a deaf person as defined in section 1 of 1981 PA 82, MCL 752.61.

(e) “Person with disabilities” means a person who is audibly impaired, blind, deaf, or otherwise physically limited.

(f) “Physically limited” means physically limited as defined in section 1 of 1966 PA 1, MCL 125.1351.