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Michigan

Michigan Compiled Laws Annotated. Chapter 750. Michigan Penal Code. The Michigan Penal Code. Chapter IX. Animals. 750.50a. Conduct directed toward dogs assisting or serving blind, deaf, audibly impaired, or physically limited individuals; misdemeanor, penalties; evidence of initiated or continued conduct, rebuttable presumption; conviction and imposition of sentence; definitions

Statute Details
Printable Version
Citation: M.C.L.A. 750.50a

Citation: MI ST 750.50a


Last Checked by Web Center Staff: 01/2014

Summary:   This statute sets out the penalty for willful and malicious interference with guide dogs used by individuals defined by statute as blind, deaf, or physically limited.  Under the statute, a first offense results in a misdemeanor conviction with penalty enhancement for subsequent convictions.


Statute in Full:

750.50a. Conduct directed toward dogs assisting or serving blind, deaf, audibly impaired, or physically limited individuals; misdemeanor, penalties; evidence of initiated or continued conduct, rebuttable presumption; conviction and imposition of sentence; 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.

CREDIT(S)

P.A.1931, No. 328, § 50a, added by P.A.1994, No. 42, § 1, Eff. June 1, 1994.

 



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