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Thread: Castle Doctrine in Michigan?

  1. #1
    Regular Member The Expert's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Castle Doctrine in Michigan?

    I listen to the NRA News podcast and for a while there they were making a big deal about Castle Doctrine being passed in PA. I thought their obsession with this was strange at first, but on further thought I realized I had somehow come up with the idea in my own head that Castle Doctrine was in all states.

    Then I started wondering if it is applicable in Michigan. Realized that I didn't know.

    So what's is the rules on protecting yourself in your own home or on your own property? Do you have a right to stand and fight or not? I assume so...but you know what they say about assuming...
    I always open carry one of my Kimber 1911 pistols everywhere I go. Usually in a paddle holster. Nothing fancy, but it works for me.

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    We do have a castle doctrine law, as long as you are not committing a crime, you have no duty to retreat. I'm sure someone will be along shortly with a proper cite.

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    DEADLY FORCE IN MICHIGAN
    The “CASTLE DOCTRINE” package of bills was signed into law on July 20, 2006.
    The law became effective on October 1, 2006.
    This law removes the duty to retreat from a violent attack. Individuals in Michigan, as in most states, have
    always had the right to stand their ground and defend themselves with no duty to retreat when attacked inside
    the four walls of their home. However, if attacked outside the four walls of their home, even if on their own
    property (such as the backyard, detached garage, or a pole building), individuals in Michigan were required to
    retreat from a violent attack if able to do so safely. As of October 1, 2006, there is no longer a “duty to retreat”
    from a violent attack as long as the individual is in a place where they have a legal right to be and as long as
    they are not engaged in illegal activity.
    The “Use of Deadly Force” continuum still applies. The escalating degrees of force still apply to all situations
    and the “Reasonable Man” standard is still used to evaluate an individual’s actions in a given circumstance.
    This means that the following three valid reasons to use deadly force still apply to all situations:
    1) Fear of Death.
    2) Fear of Serious Bodily Injury.
    3) Fear of Forcible Sexual Penetration.
    In addition to these three reasons for the use of deadly force, the following three conditions must exist in order
    for the use of deadly force to be justifiable:
    1. Imminent - One of the three above listed reasons for the use of deadly force must be about to happen; it
    cannot be something that will happen tomorrow or in a few weeks.
    2. Intent - The attacker has to have demonstrated some sort of intent. This can be verbal or non-verbal. The
    display of a weapon, verbal threats, or aggressive advances after being told to stay away are all indications of
    intent.
    3. Ability – The attacker has to have the ability to carry through with their intended attack. If someone says they
    are going to shoot you, but have no firearm, then they do not have the ability to shoot you at that moment.
    You still must act reasonably and apply the above principles of the use of deadly force.
    Here is what this law does change. This law removes the duty to retreat anywhere that an individual has a legal
    right to be provided that they are not engaged in illegal activity. If a person acts with reasonable force, up to and
    including deadly force, then the prosecuting attorney must prove that the person acted unlawfully in order to
    take the case to trial. This is a change from current procedure where a person who acts in self-defense must
    prove that they acted lawfully after being charged and possibly taken to court. In addition, if a person cannot be
    charged and convicted criminally, the new law provides that they cannot be prosecuted civilly. If for some
    reason a civil case is allowed to proceed, the person who used justifiable self-defense shall be awarded court
    and attorney’s fees.
    This all means that you must still act in a reasonable manner. Your firearm should still be your “tool of last
    resort” for self-defense. The emotional trauma and aftermath of shooting another human being will be
    absolutely devastating. It should be avoided if at all possible. This law mitigates the aftermath so that a decision
    made under the duress of defending oneself against a criminal does not destroy your life criminally or
    financially.
    You are encouraged to read these laws for yourself and evaluate them. For professional legal advice, you should
    consult a lawyer familiar with firearms law and the use of deadly force in Michigan. The new laws are 2006 PA
    309 and 2006 PA 313.
    Above modified From: http://www.southsidesportsmanclub.co...ur-ground.html
    SELF-DEFENSE ACT (EXCERPT)
    Act 309 of 2006
    780.972 Use of deadly force by individual not engaged in commission of crime; conditions.
    Sec. 2.
    (1) An individual who has not or is not engaged in the commission of a crime at the time he or she uses deadly
    force may use deadly force against another individual anywhere he or she has the legal right to be with no duty
    to retreat if either of the following applies:
    (a) The individual honestly and reasonably believes that the use of deadly force is necessary to prevent the
    imminent death of or imminent great bodily harm to himself or herself or to another individual.
    (b) The individual honestly and reasonably believes that the use of deadly force is necessary to prevent the
    imminent sexual assault of himself or herself or of another individual.
    (2) An individual who has not or is not engaged in the commission of a crime at the time he or she uses force
    other than deadly force may use force other than deadly force against another individual anywhere he or she has
    the legal right to be with no duty to retreat if he or she honestly and reasonably believes that the use of that
    force is necessary to defend himself or herself or another individual from the imminent unlawful use of force by
    another individual. 2006, Act 309, Eff. Oct. 1, 2006.

  4. #4
    Regular Member Bronson's Avatar
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    http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(o41...aspx?page=home

    MCL 780.972

    MCL 780.951

    MCL 768.21c

    MCL 600.2922b

    There may be more, these are just the ones that I have bookmarked. That first link will let you do keyword searches of both MCLs and proposed bills.

    Bronson
    Those who expect to reap the benefits of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it. – Thomas Paine

  5. #5
    Regular Member autosurgeon's Avatar
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    Wow you carry a gun and don't know about the stand your ground legislation? Sorry I find that strange!

    Here are the MCL links read and learn!!

    http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(cdl...me=mcl-780-951

    http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(cdl...me=mcl-780-961

    http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(cdl...me=mcl-780-971

    http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(cdl...me=mcl-780-972

    http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(cdl...me=mcl-780-973

    http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(cdl...me=mcl-780-974

    haha while I was collecting links you guys beat me to it! Well I think we got it covered!
    Last edited by autosurgeon; 10-21-2010 at 12:01 AM.
    Anything I post may be my opinion and not the law... you are responsible to do your own verification.

    Blackstone (1753-1765) maintains that "the law holds that it is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer."

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    Regular Member The Expert's Avatar
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    Autosurgeon, I assumed that as the Michigan Constitution confirms the right of any citizen to bear arms "for the defense of himself" that this concept of Castle Doctrine is incorporated into our lives at a basic level.

    My thought would be that there would be no need for separate legislation "certifying" what is already in the State Constitution.

    In fact, I'm surprised to find out that our right to keep an bear arms could ever not have extend to my own "pole barn" if my life was in imminent danger.

    Either way, I do need to be in a constant state of learning, not just about this but a great many other things as well. For instance, much about my super-star wife still mystifies me even after 8 years of marriage.
    I always open carry one of my Kimber 1911 pistols everywhere I go. Usually in a paddle holster. Nothing fancy, but it works for me.

  7. #7
    Regular Member autosurgeon's Avatar
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    Unfortunately as common sense is absent in many people in power ... can I say prosecutors... we must have this type of legislation to explain what should be common sense.
    Anything I post may be my opinion and not the law... you are responsible to do your own verification.

    Blackstone (1753-1765) maintains that "the law holds that it is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer."

  8. #8
    Regular Member Bailenforcer's Avatar
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    We have a good Castle Doctrine law finally. I think it was passed in 2006?

    It could be better but it is pretty good...


    Quote Originally Posted by The Expert View Post
    I listen to the NRA News podcast and for a while there they were making a big deal about Castle Doctrine being passed in PA. I thought their obsession with this was strange at first, but on further thought I realized I had somehow come up with the idea in my own head that Castle Doctrine was in all states.

    Then I started wondering if it is applicable in Michigan. Realized that I didn't know.

    So what's is the rules on protecting yourself in your own home or on your own property? Do you have a right to stand and fight or not? I assume so...but you know what they say about assuming...
    Exo 22:2 "If anyone catches a thief breaking in and hits him so that he dies, he is not guilty of murder.
    Luke 22:36: "Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." Luk 11:21 "When a strong man, with all his weapons ready, guards his own house, all his belongings are safe.

  9. #9
    Regular Member Bailenforcer's Avatar
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    My right to keep, bear arms and defense extends to anywhere I am...



    Quote Originally Posted by The Expert View Post
    Autosurgeon, I assumed that as the Michigan Constitution confirms the right of any citizen to bear arms "for the defense of himself" that this concept of Castle Doctrine is incorporated into our lives at a basic level.

    My thought would be that there would be no need for separate legislation "certifying" what is already in the State Constitution.

    In fact, I'm surprised to find out that our right to keep an bear arms could ever not have extend to my own "pole barn" if my life was in imminent danger.

    Either way, I do need to be in a constant state of learning, not just about this but a great many other things as well. For instance, much about my super-star wife still mystifies me even after 8 years of marriage.
    Exo 22:2 "If anyone catches a thief breaking in and hits him so that he dies, he is not guilty of murder.
    Luke 22:36: "Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." Luk 11:21 "When a strong man, with all his weapons ready, guards his own house, all his belongings are safe.

  10. #10
    Regular Member Bailenforcer's Avatar
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    PA 313 is subtle: “Sec. 21c. (1) In cases in which section 2 of the self-defense act does not apply, the common law of this state applies except that the duty to retreat before using deadly force is not required if an individual is in his or her own dwelling or within the curtilage of that dwelling.”

    The area, usually enclosed, encompassing the grounds and buildings immediately surrounding a home that is used in the daily activities of domestic life.

    A garage, barn, smokehouse, chicken house, and garden are curtilage if their locations are reasonably near to the home. The determination of what constitutes curtilage is important for purposes of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures of a person and of his or her home or property. Courts have construed the word home to include curtilage so that a person is protected against unlawful searches and seizures of his or her curtilage.


    Despite the Michigan State Police redefining curtilage as in your home only, the legal definition stands.
    http://www.michigan.gov/documents/Le...02_41800_7.PDF

    http://courts.michigan.gov/supremeco...fAppellant.pdf


    The court held there is a tradition of no retreat and there is no duty to retreat when on ones own property. Even though the stated case was a poor representation of a self defense, it stands the prosecutor argued in a wrong manner, and the court maintained the general assumption that there is no duty to retreat contrary to the MSP update which contradicts the courts by using yet another poor example.

    Historically curtilage is your property as a whole if you use it as a whole. And for me I do consider my property my home and I use it as such. And I will defend myself on my property without a duty to retreat as hold by many court decisions over the decades.



    Quote Originally Posted by The Expert View Post
    Autosurgeon, I assumed that as the Michigan Constitution confirms the right of any citizen to bear arms "for the defense of himself" that this concept of Castle Doctrine is incorporated into our lives at a basic level.

    My thought would be that there would be no need for separate legislation "certifying" what is already in the State Constitution.

    In fact, I'm surprised to find out that our right to keep an bear arms could ever not have extend to my own "pole barn" if my life was in imminent danger.

    Either way, I do need to be in a constant state of learning, not just about this but a great many other things as well. For instance, much about my super-star wife still mystifies me even after 8 years of marriage.
    Last edited by Bailenforcer; 10-21-2010 at 11:25 AM.
    Exo 22:2 "If anyone catches a thief breaking in and hits him so that he dies, he is not guilty of murder.
    Luke 22:36: "Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." Luk 11:21 "When a strong man, with all his weapons ready, guards his own house, all his belongings are safe.

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    This is a fine exsample of why our laws need to be stripped out, and rewritten. I turned 35 yesterday, and until this morning, I had never even heard of the word curtilage. That said, regular people really don't come to places like this to learn such things, and for that matter, neither do most gun owners.

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    Regular Member Bailenforcer's Avatar
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    It is an important legal term. It encompass's all property your home sits on. And it is in the castle doctrine laws.

    Just a point and side note this was brought to my attention by a Detroit Police Officer who is pro open carry.

    Quote Originally Posted by stainless1911 View Post
    This is a fine example of why our laws need to be stripped out, and rewritten. I turned 35 yesterday, and until this morning, I had never even heard of the word curtilage. That said, regular people really don't come to places like this to learn such things, and for that matter, neither do most gun owners.
    Exo 22:2 "If anyone catches a thief breaking in and hits him so that he dies, he is not guilty of murder.
    Luke 22:36: "Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." Luk 11:21 "When a strong man, with all his weapons ready, guards his own house, all his belongings are safe.

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    Regular Member autosurgeon's Avatar
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    Just BC the average person does not understand the term does not mean it should be changed.

    Use a Dictionary!
    Anything I post may be my opinion and not the law... you are responsible to do your own verification.

    Blackstone (1753-1765) maintains that "the law holds that it is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer."

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    Regular Member PDinDetroit's Avatar
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    One of the better parts of the MI Self-Defense Act, was the protection for Civil Actions against someone acting in Self-Defense (when it was proven as "Justified").

    The recent car-jacking in Detroit, I had heard that the perp's family was possibly going to sue the victim. If it is a "justified act of self-defense", the perp's family will not be able to proceed with that action.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PDinDetroit View Post
    One of the better parts of the MI Self-Defense Act, was the protection for Civil Actions against someone acting in Self-Defense (when it was proven as "Justified").

    The recent car-jacking in Detroit, I had heard that the perp's family was possibly going to sue the victim. If it is a "justified act of self-defense", the perp's family will not be able to proceed with that action.
    +1 to this. MI is one of the few states that have this, and it's huge. Many a self-defense shooter have been sued into bankruptcy by the family of the "victim". If they aren't sued, it is very common for shooters to have personal protection orders issued against them by the family of the perp. Those familiar with gun laws know why this is bad: someone with a current PPO cannot own guns. This effectively allows the family of the perp to disarm the defense shooter. I know of no cases of the following happening, but the thug culture would see the shooter disarmed and possibly attempt to exact revenge knowing they are now disarmed. This cannot happen in MI.

    Another interesting side effect of this is that the perp becomes criminally and civilly liable for any ill-effects of their illegal action. For instance, if two guys break into a house and the homeowner shoots and kills one in self defense, the other living perp is charged with murder since his illegal actions resulted in the death of someone else. We have yet to see the effects of injury to an innocent third party (say a guy breaks into a house, homeowner defends with a rifle, misses one of the shots and that shot penetrates and strikes the house across the street), but hopefully case law will be built that says that as long as the shooter does not act negligently (ie: firing warning shots) that the criminal will be liable for the injury to the innocent third party.

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    Anti-Saldana Freedom Fighter Venator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bailenforcer View Post
    My right to keep, bear arms and defense extends to anywhere I am...
    Yes now, but a few years ago you had the duty to retreat if possible, outside your home.

    So if you killed someone in self-defense in a parking lot and you could have run away you were in violation of the law.
    An Amazon best seller "MY PARENTS OPEN CARRY" http://www.myparentsopencarry.com/

    *The information contained above is not meant to be legal advice, but is solely intended as a starting point for further research. These are my opinions, if you have further questions it is advisable to seek out an attorney that is well versed in firearm law.

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    Regular Member detroit_fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sefner View Post
    +1 to this. MI is one of the few states that have this, and it's huge. .
    Are you sure there is only a few states that have this? I thought most castle doctrine states had this?

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    Regular Member autosurgeon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PDinDetroit View Post
    One of the better parts of the MI Self-Defense Act, was the protection for Civil Actions against someone acting in Self-Defense (when it was proven as "Justified").

    The recent car-jacking in Detroit, I had heard that the perp's family was possibly going to sue the victim. If it is a "justified act of self-defense", the perp's family will not be able to proceed with that action.

    Actually they can still sue you BUT if the reason is for a justified Homicide then the Judge will throw it out and award you legal fees from them... now whether they pay or not is another thing entirely.
    Anything I post may be my opinion and not the law... you are responsible to do your own verification.

    Blackstone (1753-1765) maintains that "the law holds that it is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer."

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    Regular Member Bailenforcer's Avatar
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    Exactly!!!!

    It is important that curtilage remain as it has historic and historic legal meaning and case law that defends our rights.

    We do not change the color of traffic lights because someone is color blind, no more than we need to change words because people are stupid. And frankly the colorblind have a far greater argument.


    Quote Originally Posted by autosurgeon View Post
    Just BC the average person does not understand the term does not mean it should be changed.

    Use a Dictionary!
    Exo 22:2 "If anyone catches a thief breaking in and hits him so that he dies, he is not guilty of murder.
    Luke 22:36: "Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." Luk 11:21 "When a strong man, with all his weapons ready, guards his own house, all his belongings are safe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by detroit_fan View Post
    Are you sure there is only a few states that have this? I thought most castle doctrine states had this?
    I wasn't referring to Castle Law, I was referring to the Self Defense Act section that grants civil immunity to shooters whose homicide was ruled justifiable.

  21. #21
    Regular Member Bailenforcer's Avatar
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    They can try and sue, but Michigan law prevents such. Once the prosecutor calls it legally justified all bets are off.

    Quote Originally Posted by autosurgeon View Post
    Actually they can still sue you BUT if the reason is for a justified Homicide then the Judge will throw it out and award you legal fees from them... now whether they pay or not is another thing entirely.
    Exo 22:2 "If anyone catches a thief breaking in and hits him so that he dies, he is not guilty of murder.
    Luke 22:36: "Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." Luk 11:21 "When a strong man, with all his weapons ready, guards his own house, all his belongings are safe.

  22. #22
    Regular Member Bailenforcer's Avatar
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    yes I am aware of what you are referring to, but I always have operated under the Constitution and I refuse to validate illegal laws. Thus if someone wants to test my resolve they will soon find out the Supreme Law is the one I follow. Too bad more men didn't think this way we wouldn't have all these baby sitter imposed laws that restrict our rights as we do now. Frankly they can't arrest 100 to 300 Millions of citizens if we the people refuse to obey illegal laws. No matter the race or background we all loose when illegal laws are made by criminals we elect.


    Quote Originally Posted by Venator View Post
    Yes now, but a few years ago you had the duty to retreat if possible, outside your home.

    So if you killed someone in self-defense in a parking lot and you could have run away you were in violation of the law.
    Exo 22:2 "If anyone catches a thief breaking in and hits him so that he dies, he is not guilty of murder.
    Luke 22:36: "Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." Luk 11:21 "When a strong man, with all his weapons ready, guards his own house, all his belongings are safe.

  23. #23
    Regular Member G22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bailenforcer View Post
    They can try and sue, but Michigan law prevents such. Once the prosecutor calls it legally justified all bets are off.
    Actually, from the lawyers I've talked to, the castle doctrine and the stand your ground legislation sets up a defense for when/if you are sued (civil). Whether the case is heard or thrown out because of being justifiable is another story. It's not immunity. You can still be sued and may have to take the time to get it thrown out.

    <edit> removed info that was already posted above by Stainless1911.
    Last edited by G22; 10-21-2010 at 06:59 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by autosurgeon View Post
    Just BC the average person does not understand the term does not mean it should be changed.

    Use a Dictionary!
    I would, if I knew the word existed.

    The laws should be written in a way that the average person can both read and understand them. If the law can be applied to the uneducated, then the uneducated should be able to first understand the law.

    This came up in a conversation with my state rep, and she indicated there is a push in Lansing to do exactly that.

  25. #25
    Regular Member Bronson's Avatar
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    Yes, strive for mediocrity.

    Dumbing everything down leads us down the path to "Idiocracy."

    I almost always have Dictionary.com open in another tab so that whenever I encounter a new word I can just copy/paste it and learn something. I have no desire to see laws written in texting shorthand which is where this will all lead.

    Bronson
    Last edited by Bronson; 10-22-2010 at 01:42 AM.
    Those who expect to reap the benefits of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it. – Thomas Paine

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