Michigan Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act

ELLIOTT-LARSEN CIVIL RIGHTS ACT
Act 453 of 1976
AN ACT to define civil rights; to prohibit discriminatory practices, policies, and customs in the exercise of
those rights based upon religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, familial status, or
marital status; to preserve the confidentiality of records regarding arrest, detention, or other disposition in
which a conviction does not result; to prescribe the powers and duties of the civil rights commission and the
department of civil rights; to provide remedies and penalties; to provide for fees; and to repeal certain acts and
parts of acts.
History: 1976, Act 453, Eff. Mar. 31, 1977;Am. 1977, Act 162, Imd. Eff. Nov. 8, 1977;Am. 1979, Act 91, Imd. Eff. Aug. 1,
1979;Am. 1982, Act 45, Eff. Mar. 30, 1983;Am. 1992, Act 124, Imd. Eff. June 29, 1992;Am. 1992, Act 258, Imd. Eff. Dec. 7,
1992.
The People of the State of Michigan enact:
ARTICLE 1
37.2101 Short title.
Sec. 101. This act shall be known and may be cited as the “Elliott-Larsen civil rights act”.
History: 1976, Act 453, Eff. Mar. 31, 1977;Am. 1977, Act 162, Imd. Eff. Nov. 8, 1977.
37.2102 Recognition and declaration of civil right; action arising out of discrimination based
on sex or familial status.
Sec. 102. (1) The opportunity to obtain employment, housing and other real estate, and the full and equal
utilization of public accommodations, public service, and educational facilities without discrimination
because of religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, familial status, or marital status as
prohibited by this act, is recognized and declared to be a civil right.
(2) This section shall not be construed to prevent an individual from bringing or continuing an action
arising out of sex discrimination before July 18, 1980 which action is based on conduct similar to or identical
to harassment.
(3) This section shall not be construed to prevent an individual from bringing or continuing an action
arising out of discrimination based on familial status before the effective date of the amendatory act that
added this subsection which action is based on conduct similar to or identical to discrimination because of the
age of persons residing with the individual bringing or continuing the action.
History: 1976, Act 453, Eff. Mar. 31, 1977;Am. 1979, Act 91, Imd. Eff. Aug. 1, 1979;Am. 1980, Act 202, Imd. Eff. July 18,
1980;Am. 1982, Act 45, Eff. Mar. 30, 1983;Am. 1992, Act 124, Imd. Eff. June 29, 1992.
37.2103 Definitions.
Sec. 103. As used in this act:
(a) “Age” means chronological age except as otherwise provided by law.
(b) “Commission” means the civil rights commission established by section 29 of article V of the state
constitution of 1963.
(c) “Commissioner” means a member of the commission.
(d) “Department” means the department of civil rights or its employees.
(e) “Familial status” means 1 or more individuals under the age of 18 residing with a parent or other person
having custody or in the process of securing legal custody of the individual or individuals or residing with the
designee of the parent or other person having or securing custody, with the written permission of the parent or
other person. For purposes of this definition, “parent” includes a person who is pregnant.
(f) “National origin” includes the national origin of an ancestor.
(g) “Person” means an individual, agent, association, corporation, joint apprenticeship committee, joint
stock company, labor organization, legal representative, mutual company, partnership, receiver, trust, trustee
in bankruptcy, unincorporated organization, the state or a political subdivision of the state or an agency of the
state, or any other legal or commercial entity.
(h) “Political subdivision” means a county, city, village, township, school district, or special district or
authority of the state.
(i) Discrimination because of sex includes sexual harassment. Sexual harassment means unwelcome sexual
advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct or communication of a sexual
nature under the following conditions:
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(i) Submission to the conduct or communication is made a term or condition either explicitly or implicitly
to obtain employment, public accommodations or public services, education, or housing.
(ii) Submission to or rejection of the conduct or communication by an individual is used as a factor in
decisions affecting the individual’s employment, public accommodations or public services, education, or
housing.
(iii) The conduct or communication has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an
individual’s employment, public accommodations or public services, education, or housing, or creating an
intimidating, hostile, or offensive employment, public accommodations, public services, educational, or
housing environment.
History: 1976, Act 453, Eff. Mar. 31, 1977;Am. 1980, Act 202, Imd. Eff. July 18, 1980;Am. 1992, Act 124, Imd. Eff. June 29,
1992;Am. 1999, Act 202, Eff. Mar. 10, 2000.
Compiler’s note: Enacting section 1 of Act 202 of 1999 provides:
“Enacting section 1. This amendatory act is curative and intended to correct any misinterpretation of legislative intent in the court of
appeals decision Neal v Department of Corrections, 232 Mich App 730 (1998). This legislation further expresses the original intent of the
legislature that an individual serving a sentence of imprisonment in a state or county correctional facility is not within the purview of this
act. ”
ARTICLE 2
37.2201 Definitions.
Sec. 201. As used in this article:
(a) “Employer” means a person who has 1 or more employees, and includes an agent of that person.
(b) “Employment agency” means a person regularly undertaking with or without compensation to procure,
refer, recruit, or place an employee for an employer or to procure, refer, recruit, or place for an employer or
person the opportunity to work for an employer and includes an agent of that person.
(c) “Labor organization” includes:
(i) An organization of any kind, an agency or employee representation committee, group, association, or
plan in which employees participate and which exists for the purpose, in whole or in part, of dealing with
employers concerning grievances, labor disputes, wages, rates of pay, hours, or other terms or conditions of
employment.
(ii) A conference, general committee, joint or system board, or joint council which is subordinate to a
national or international labor organization.
(iii) An agent of a labor organization.
(d) “Sex” includes, but is not limited to, pregnancy, childbirth, or a medical condition related to pregnancy
or childbirth that does not include nontherapeutic abortion not intended to save the life of the mother.
History: 1976, Act 453, Eff. Mar. 31, 1977;Am. 1978, Act 153, Imd. Eff. May 22, 1978;Am. 1980, Act 202, Imd. Eff. July 18,
1980.
37.2202 Employer; prohibited practices; exceptions.
Sec. 202. (1) An employer shall not do any of the following:
(a) Fail or refuse to hire or recruit, discharge, or otherwise discriminate against an individual with respect
to employment, compensation, or a term, condition, or privilege of employment, because of religion, race,
color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, or marital status.
(b) Limit, segregate, or classify an employee or applicant for employment in a way that deprives or tends
to deprive the employee or applicant of an employment opportunity, or otherwise adversely affects the status
of an employee or applicant because of religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, or
marital status.
(c) Segregate, classify, or otherwise discriminate against a person on the basis of sex with respect to a
term, condition, or privilege of employment, including, but not limited to, a benefit plan or system.
(d) Treat an individual affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition differently for any
employment-related purpose from another individual who is not so affected but similar in ability or inability
to work, without regard to the source of any condition affecting the other individual’s ability or inability to
work. For purposes of this subdivision, a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth does not
include nontherapeutic abortion not intended to save the life of the mother.
(2) This section does not prohibit the establishment or implementation of a bona fide retirement policy or
system that is not a subterfuge to evade the purposes of this section.
(3) This section does not apply to the employment of an individual by his or her parent, spouse, or child.
History: 1976, Act 453, Eff. Mar. 31, 1977;Am. 1978, Act 153, Imd. Eff. May 22, 1978;Am. 1991, Act 11, Eff. May 1, 1991;
Am. 2009, Act 190, Imd. Eff. Dec. 22, 2009.
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37.2202a Designation of racial or ethnic classifications in writing developed by employer;
transmission of information to federal agency; “writing” defined.
Sec. 202a. (1) An employer shall do both of the following if that employer lists racial or ethnic
classifications in a writing developed or printed 90 or more days after the effective date of this section, and if
that employer requests that an individual select a classification to designate his or her race or ethnicity:
(a) Include in the writing the term “multiracial” as a classification, and a definition of that term that
substantially provides that “multiracial” means having parents of different races.
(b) Exclude from the writing the term “other” as a classification.
(2) If a federal agency requires an employer to transmit information obtained from an individual pursuant
to a writing described in subsection (1), but rejects the classification “multiracial”, the employer shall
redesignate the individuals identified as multiracial by allocating those individuals to racial or ethnic
classifications approved by the federal agency in the same ratio that those classifications occur within the
general population of the group from which the information was solicited.
(3) As used in this section, “writing” means that term as defined in section 2 of the freedom of information
act, Act No. 442 of the Public Acts of 1976, being section 15.232 of the Michigan Compiled Laws.
History: Add. 1995, Act 88, Imd. Eff. June 20, 1995.
37.2203 Employment agency; prohibited practices generally.
Sec. 203. An employment agency shall not fail or refuse to procure, refer, recruit, or place for employment,
or otherwise discriminate against, an individual because of religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex,
height, weight, or marital status; or classify or refer for employment an individual on the basis of religion,
race, color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, or marital status.
History: 1976, Act 453, Eff. Mar. 31, 1977.
37.2204 Labor organization; prohibited practices generally.
Sec. 204. A labor organization shall not:
(a) Exclude or expel from membership, or otherwise discriminate against, a member or applicant for
membership because of religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, or marital status.
(b) Limit, segregate, or classify membership or applicants for membership, or classify or fail or refuse to
refer for employment an individual in a way which would deprive or tend to deprive that individual of an
employment opportunity, or which would limit an employment opportunity, or which would adversely affect
wages, hours, or employment conditions, or otherwise adversely affect the status of an employee or an
applicant for employment, because of religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, or marital
status.
(c) Cause or attempt to cause an employer to violate this article.
(d) Fail to fairly and adequately represent a member in a grievance process because of religion, race, color,
national origin, age, sex, height, weight, or marital status.
History: 1976, Act 453, Eff. Mar. 31, 1977.
37.2205 Employer, labor organization, or joint labor-management committee; training
programs; prohibited practices.
Sec. 205. An employer, labor organization, or joint labor-management committee controlling an
apprenticeship, on the job, or other training or retraining program, shall not discriminate against an individual
because of religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, or marital status, in admission to, or
employment or continuation in, a program established to provide apprenticeship on the job, or other training
or retraining.
History: 1976, Act 453, Eff. Mar. 31, 1977.
37.2205a Employer, employment agency, or labor organization; record of information
regarding misdemeanor arrest, detention, or disposition; failure to recite or acknowledge
information; “law enforcement agency” defined.
Sec. 205a. (1) An employer, employment agency, or labor organization, other than a law enforcement
agency of this state or a political subdivision of this state, shall not in connection with an application for
employment or membership, or in connection with the terms, conditions, or privileges of employment or
membership request, make, or maintain a record of information regarding a misdemeanor arrest, detention, or
disposition where a conviction did not result. A person is not guilty of perjury or otherwise for giving a false
statement by failing to recite or acknowledge information the person has a civil right to withhold by this
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section. This section does not apply to information relative to a felony charge before conviction or dismissal.
(2) As used in this section, “law enforcement agency” includes the state department of corrections.
History: 1976, Act 453, Eff. Mar. 31, 1977;Am. 1978, Act 610, Eff. Mar. 30, 1979;Am. 1982, Act 45, Eff. Mar. 30, 1983;
Am. 1999, Act 202, Eff. Mar. 10, 2000.
Compiler’s note: Enacting section 1 of Act 202 of 1999 provides:
“Enacting section 1. This amendatory act is curative and intended to correct any misinterpretation of legislative intent in the court of
appeals decision Neal v Department of Corrections, 232 Mich App 730 (1998). This legislation further expresses the original intent of the
legislature that an individual serving a sentence of imprisonment in a state or county correctional facility is not within the purview of this
act. ”
37.2205b Repealed. 1982, Act 45, Eff. Mar. 30, 1983.
Compiler’s note: The repealed section pertained to announcing availability of polygraph examination.
37.2206 Employer, labor organization, or employment agency; prohibited practices.
Sec. 206. (1) An employer, labor organization, or employment agency shall not print, circulate, post, mail,
or otherwise cause to be published a statement, advertisement, notice, or sign relating to employment by the
employer, or relating to membership in or a classification or referral for employment by the labor
organization, or relating to a classification or referral for employment by the employment agency, which
indicates a preference, limitation, specification, or discrimination, based on religion, race, color, national
origin, age, sex, height, weight, or marital status.
(2) Except as permitted by rules promulgated by the commission or by applicable federal law, an employer
or employment agency shall not:
(a) Make or use a written or oral inquiry or form of application that elicits or attempts to elicit information
concerning the religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, or marital status of a prospective
employee.
(b) Make or keep a record of information described in subdivision (a) or to disclose that information.
(c) Make or use a written or oral inquiry or form of application that expresses a preference, limitation,
specification, or discrimination based on religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, or
marital status of a prospective employee.
History: 1976, Act 453, Eff. Mar. 31, 1977.
Administrative rules: R 37.1 et seq. of the Michigan Administrative Code.
37.2207 Individual seeking employment; prohibited practices.
Sec. 207. An individual seeking employment shall not publish or cause to be published a notice or
advertisement that specifies or indicates the individual’s religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, height,
weight, or marital status, or expresses a preference, specification, limitation, or discrimination as to the
religion, race, color, national origin, age, height, weight, sex, or marital status of a prospective employer.
History: 1976, Act 453, Eff. Mar. 31, 1977.
37.2208 Application for exemption; bona fide occupational qualification.
Sec. 208. A person subject to this article may apply to the commission for an exemption on the basis that
religion, national origin, age, height, weight, or sex is a bona fide occupational qualification reasonably
necessary to the normal operation of the business or enterprise. Upon sufficient showing, the commission may
grant an exemption to the appropriate section of this article. An employer may have a bona fide occupational
qualification on the basis of religion, national origin, sex, age, or marital status, height and weight without
obtaining prior exemption from the commission, provided that an employer who does not obtain an
exemption shall have the burden of establishing that the qualification is reasonably necessary to the normal
operation of the business.
History: 1976, Act 453, Eff. Mar. 31, 1977.
37.2209 Covenants.
Sec. 209. A contract to which the state, a political subdivision, or an agency thereof is a party shall contain
a covenant by the contractor and his subcontractors not to discriminate against an employee or applicant for
employment with respect to hire, tenure, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, or a matter directly
or indirectly related to employment, because of race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, height, weight,
or marital status. Breach of this covenant may be regarded as a material breach of the contract.
History: 1976, Act 453, Eff. Mar. 31, 1977.
37.2210 Plan.
Sec. 210. A person subject to this article may adopt and carry out a plan to eliminate present effects of past
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discriminatory practices or assure equal opportunity with respect to religion, race, color, national origin, or
sex if the plan is filed with the commission under rules of the commission and the commission approves the
plan.
History: 1976, Act 453, Eff. Mar. 31, 1977.
Administrative rules: R 37.27 et seq. of the Michigan Administrative Code.
37.2211 Different standards of compensation; different terms, conditions, or privileges of
employment.
Sec. 211. Notwithstanding any other provision of this article, it shall not be an unlawful employment
practice for an employer to apply different standards of compensation, or different terms, conditions or
privileges of employment pursuant to a bona fide seniority or merit system.
History: 1976, Act 453, Eff. Mar. 31, 1977.
ARTICLE 3
37.2301 Definitions.
Sec. 301. As used in this article:
(a) “Place of public accommodation” means a business, or an educational, refreshment, entertainment,
recreation, health, or transportation facility, or institution of any kind, whether licensed or not, whose goods,
services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations are extended, offered, sold, or otherwise made
available to the public. Place of public accommodation also includes the facilities of the following private
clubs:
(i) A country club or golf club.
(ii) A boating or yachting club.
(iii) A sports or athletic club.
(iv) A dining club, except a dining club that in good faith limits its membership to the members of a
particular religion for the purpose of furthering the teachings or principles of that religion and not for the
purpose of excluding individuals of a particular gender, race, or color.
(b) “Public service” means a public facility, department, agency, board, or commission, owned, operated,
or managed by or on behalf of the state, a political subdivision, or an agency thereof or a tax exempt private
agency established to provide service to the public, except that public service does not include a state or
county correctional facility with respect to actions and decisions regarding an individual serving a sentence of
imprisonment.
History: 1976, Act 453, Eff. Mar. 31, 1977;Am. 1992, Act 70, Imd. Eff. May 29, 1992;Am. 1999, Act 202, Eff. Mar. 10, 2000.
Compiler’s note: Enacting section 1 of Act 202 of 1999 provides:
“Enacting section 1. This amendatory act is curative and intended to correct any misinterpretation of legislative intent in the court of
appeals decision Neal v Department of Corrections, 232 Mich App 730 (1998). This legislation further expresses the original intent of the
legislature that an individual serving a sentence of imprisonment in a state or county correctional facility is not within the purview of this
act. ”
37.2302 Public accommodations or services; prohibited practices.
Sec. 302. Except where permitted by law, a person shall not:
(a) Deny an individual the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges,
advantages, or accommodations of a place of public accommodation or public service because of religion,
race, color, national origin, age, sex, or marital status.
(b) Print, circulate, post, mail, or otherwise cause to be published a statement, advertisement, notice, or
sign which indicates that the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages,
or accommodations of a place of public accommodation or public service will be refused, withheld from, or
denied an individual because of religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, or marital status, or that an
individual’s patronage of or presence at a place of public accommodation is objectionable, unwelcome,
unacceptable, or undesirable because of religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, or marital status.
History: 1976, Act 453, Eff. Mar. 31, 1977.
Constitutionality: The goal of the Civil Rights Act was to broaden the scope of equal protection rather than the standard of equal
protection developed by the courts in the course of interpreting the equal protection provisions of United States and Michigan
Constitutions. Civil Rights Department v Waterford, 425 Mich 173; 387 NW2d 821 (1986).
37.2302a Applicability to private club.
Sec. 302a. (1) This section applies to a private club that is defined as a place of public accommodation
pursuant to section 301(a).
(2) If a private club allows use of its facilities by 1 or more adults per membership, the use must be equally
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available to all adults entitled to use the facilities under the membership. All classes of membership shall be
available without regard to race, color, gender, religion, marital status, or national origin. Memberships that
permit use during restricted times may be allowed only if the restricted times apply to all adults using that
membership.
(3) A private club that has food or beverage facilities or services shall allow equal access to those facilities
and services for all adults in all membership categories at all times. This subsection shall not require service
or access to facilities to persons that would violate any law or ordinance regarding sale, consumption, or
regulation of alcoholic beverages.
(4) This section does not prohibit a private club from sponsoring or permitting sports schools or leagues for
children less than 18 years of age that are limited by age or to members of 1 sex, if comparable and equally
convenient access to the club’s facilities is made available to both sexes and if these activities are not used as a
subterfuge to evade the purposes of this article.
History: Add. 1992, Act 70, Imd. Eff. May 29, 1992.
37.2303 Exemptions.
Sec. 303. This article shall not apply to a private club, or other establishment not in fact open to the public,
except to the extent that the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of the
private club or establishment are made available to the customers or patrons of another establishment that is a
place of public accommodation or is licensed by the state under Act No. 8 of the Public Acts of the Extra
Session of 1933, being sections 436.1 through 436.58 of the Michigan Compiled Laws. This section shall not
apply to a private club that is otherwise defined as a place of public accommodation in this article.
History: 1976, Act 453, Eff. Mar. 31, 1977;Am. 1992, Act 70, Imd. Eff. May 29, 1992.
37.2304 Violation.
Sec. 304. Within 30 days after a determination by the commission that a place of public accommodation
that holds a license issued by the liquor control commission under the Michigan liquor control act, Act No. 8
of the Public Acts of the Extra Session of 1933, being sections 436.1 to 436.58 of the Michigan Compiled
Laws, has violated this article, the commission shall certify that determination to and shall file a complaint
alleging a violation of Act No. 8 of the Public Acts of the Extra Session of 1933 with the liquor control
commission.
History: Add. 1992, Act 70, Imd. Eff. May 29, 1992.
ARTICLE 4
37.2401 Definition.
Sec. 401. As used in this article, “educational institution” means a public or private institution, or a
separate school or department thereof, and includes an academy, college, elementary or secondary school,
extension course, kindergarten, nursery, local school system, university, or a business, nursing, professional,
secretarial, technical, or vocational school; and includes an agent of an educational institution.
History: 1976, Act 453, Eff. Mar. 31, 1977.
37.2402 Educational institution; prohibited practices.
Sec. 402. An educational institution shall not do any of the following:
(a) Discriminate against an individual in the full utilization of or benefit from the institution, or the
services, activities, or programs provided by the institution because of religion, race, color, national origin, or
sex.
(b) Exclude, expel, limit, or otherwise discriminate against an individual seeking admission as a student or
an individual enrolled as a student in the terms, conditions, or privileges of the institution, because of religion,
race, color, national origin, or sex.
(c) For purposes of admission only, make or use a written or oral inquiry or form of application that elicits
or attempts to elicit information concerning the religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, or marital status
of a person, except as permitted by rule of the commission or as required by federal law, rule, or regulation, or
pursuant to an affirmative action program.
(d) Print or publish or cause to be printed or published a catalog, notice, or advertisement indicating a
preference, limitation, specification, or discrimination based on the religion, race, color, national origin, or sex
of an applicant for admission to the educational institution.
(e) Announce or follow a policy of denial or limitation through a quota or otherwise of educational
opportunities of a group or its members because of religion, race, color, national origin, or sex.
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History: 1976, Act 453, Eff. Mar. 31, 1977;Am. 1982, Act 512, Eff. Mar. 30, 1983;Am. 1993, Act 216, Imd. Eff. Oct. 29, 1993.
Administrative rules: R 37.1 et seq. of the Michigan Administrative Code.
37.2402a Designation of racial or ethnic classification in writing developed by educational
institution; transmission of information to federal agency; “writing” defined.
Sec. 402a. (1) An educational institution shall do both of the following if that educational institution lists
racial or ethnic classifications in a writing developed or printed 90 or more days after the effective date of this
section, and if that educational institution requests that an individual select 1 of those classifications to
designate his or her race or ethnicity:
(a) Include in the writing the term “multiracial” as a classification, and a definition of that term that
substantially provides that “multiracial” means having parents of different races.
(b) Exclude from the writing the term “other” as a classification.
(2) If a federal agency requires an educational institution to transmit information obtained from an
individual pursuant to a writing described in subsection (1), but rejects the classification “multiracial”, the
educational institution shall redesignate the individuals identified as multiracial by allocating those
individuals to racial or ethnic classifications approved by the federal agency in the same ratio that those
classifications occur within the general population of the group from which the information was solicited.
(3) As used in this section, “writing” means that term as defined in section 2 of the freedom of information
act, Act No. 442 of the Public Acts of 1976, being section 15.232 of the Michigan Compiled Laws.
History: Add. 1995, Act 88, Imd. Eff. June 20, 1995.
37.2403 Religious educational institution; exemption.
Sec. 403. The provisions of section 402 related to religion shall not apply to a religious educational
institution or an educational institution operated, supervised, or controlled by a religious institution or
organization which limits admission or gives preference to an applicant of the same religion.
History: 1976, Act 453, Eff. Mar. 31, 1977.
37.2404 Private educational institution; exemption.
Sec. 404. The provisions of section 402 relating to sex shall not apply to a private educational institution
not exempt under section 403, which now or hereafter provides an education to persons of 1 sex.
History: 1976, Act 453, Eff. Mar. 31, 1977.
37.2404a Single-gender school, class, or program; definitions.
Sec. 404a. (1) This article does not prohibit the board of a school district or intermediate school district or
the board of directors of a public school academy from establishing and maintaining a single-gender school,
class, or program within a school as provided under sections 475 and 1146 of the revised school code, 1976
PA 451, MCL 380.475 and 380.1146.
(2) As used in this section, “school district”, “intermediate school district”, and “public school academy”
mean those terms as defined in the revised school code, 1976 PA 451, MCL 380.1 to 380.1852.
History: Add. 2006, Act 348, Imd. Eff. Sept. 1, 2006.
ARTICLE 5
37.2501 Definitions.
Sec. 501. As used in this article:
(a) “Real property” includes a building, structure, mobile home, real estate, land, mobile home park, trailer
park, tenement, leasehold, or an interest in a real estate cooperative or condominium.
(b) “Real estate transaction” means the sale, exchange, rental, or lease of real property, or an interest
therein.
(c) “Housing accommodation” includes improved or unimproved real property, or a part thereof, which is
used or occupied, or is intended, arranged, or designed to be used or occupied, as the home or residence of 1
or more persons.
(d) “Real estate broker or salesman” means a person, whether licensed or not, who, for or with the
expectation of receiving a consideration, lists, sells, purchases, exchanges, rents, or leases real property; who
negotiates or attempts to negotiate any of those activities; who holds himself out as engaged in those
activities; who negotiates or attempts to negotiate a loan secured or to be secured by a mortgage or other
encumbrance upon real property; who is engaged in the business of listing real property in a publication; or a
person employed by or acting on behalf of a real estate broker or salesman.
History: 1976, Act 453, Eff. Mar. 31, 1977.
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37.2502 Persons engaging in real estate transactions, real estate brokers, or real estate
salesmen; prohibited practices; section subject to MCL 37.2503.
Sec. 502. (1) A person engaging in a real estate transaction, or a real estate broker or salesman, shall not on
the basis of religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, familial status, or marital status of a person or a
person residing with that person:
(a) Refuse to engage in a real estate transaction with a person.
(b) Discriminate against a person in the terms, conditions, or privileges of a real estate transaction or in the
furnishing of facilities or services in connection with a real estate transaction.
(c) Refuse to receive from a person or transmit to a person a bona fide offer to engage in a real estate
transaction.
(d) Refuse to negotiate for a real estate transaction with a person.
(e) Represent to a person that real property is not available for inspection, sale, rental, or lease when in fact
it is so available, or knowingly fail to bring a property listing to a person’s attention, or refuse to permit a
person to inspect real property, or otherwise make unavailable or deny real property to a person.
(f) Make, print, circulate, post, mail, or otherwise cause to be made or published a statement,
advertisement, notice, or sign, or use a form of application for a real estate transaction, or make a record of
inquiry in connection with a prospective real estate transaction, which indicates, directly or indirectly, an
intent to make a preference, limitation, specification, or discrimination with respect to the real estate
transaction.
(g) Offer, solicit, accept, use, or retain a listing of real property with the understanding that a person may
be discriminated against in a real estate transaction or in the furnishing of facilities or services in connection
therewith.
(h) Discriminate against a person in the brokering or appraising of real property.
(2) A person shall not deny a person access to, or membership or participation in, a multiple listing service,
real estate brokers’ organization or other service, organization, or facility relating to the business of selling or
renting real property or to discriminate against him or her in the terms or conditions of that access,
membership, or participation because of religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, familial status, or
marital status.
(3) This section is subject to section 503.
History: 1976, Act 453, Eff. Mar. 31, 1977;Am. 1992, Act 124, Imd. Eff. June 29, 1992.
37.2503 Nonapplicability of MCL 37.2502; “immediate family” defined; information relative to
marital status.
Sec. 503. (1) Section 502 does not apply to any of the following:
(a) The rental of a housing accommodation in a building that contains housing accommodations for not
more than 2 families living independently of each other if the owner or a member of the owner’s immediate
family resides in 1 of the housing accommodations, or to the rental of a room or rooms in a single family
dwelling by a person if the lessor or a member of the lessor’s immediate family resides in the dwelling.
(b) The rental of a housing accommodation for not more than 12 months by the owner or lessor if it was
occupied by him or her and maintained as his or her home for at least 3 months immediately preceding
occupancy by the tenant and is maintained as the owner’s or lessor’s legal residence.
(c) With respect to the age provision and the familial status provision only, the sale, rental, or lease of
housing accommodations meeting the requirements of federal, state, or local housing programs for senior
citizens, or accommodations otherwise intended, advertised, designed or operated, bona fide, for the purpose
of providing housing accommodations for persons 50 years of age or older.
(2) As used in subsection (1), “immediate family” means a spouse, parent, child, or sibling.
(3) Information relative to the marital status of an individual may be obtained when necessary for the
preparation of a deed or other instrument of conveyance.
History: 1976, Act 453, Eff. Mar. 31, 1977;Am. 1992, Act 124, Imd. Eff. June 29, 1992.
37.2504 Application for financial assistance or financing; prohibited practices;
nonapplicability of MCL 37.2504(1)(b).
Sec. 504. (1) A person to whom application is made for financial assistance or financing in connection
with a real estate transaction or in connection with the construction, rehabilitation, repair, maintenance, or
improvement of real property, or a representative of that person, shall not:
(a) Discriminate against the applicant because of the religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, familial
status, or marital status of the applicant or a person residing with the applicant.
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(b) Use a form of application for financial assistance or financing or make or keep a record or inquiry in
connection with an application for financial assistance or financing which indicates, directly or indirectly, a
preference, limitation, specification, or discrimination as to the religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex,
familial status, or marital status of the applicant or a person residing with the applicant.
(2) A person whose business includes engaging in real estate transactions shall not discriminate against a
person because of religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, familial status, or marital status, in the
purchasing of loans for acquiring, constructing, improving, repairing, or maintaining a dwelling or the making
or purchasing of loans or the provision of other financial assistance secured by residential real estate.
(3) Subsection (1)(b) does not apply to a form of application for financial assistance prescribed for the use
of a lender regulated as a mortgagee under the national housing act, chapter 847, 48 Stat. 1246, or by a
regulatory board or officer acting under the statutory authority of this state or the United States.
History: 1976, Act 453, Eff. Mar. 31, 1977;Am. 1992, Act 124, Imd. Eff. June 29, 1992.
37.2505 Condition, restriction, or prohibition limiting use or occupancy of real property;
exceptions; inserting or honoring void provision.
Sec. 505. (1) A condition, restriction, or prohibition, including a right of entry or possibility of reverter,
that directly or indirectly limits the use or occupancy of real property on the basis of religion, race, color,
national origin, age, sex, familial status, or marital status is void, except a limitation of use as provided in
section 503(1)(c) or on the basis of religion relating to real property held by a religious institution or
organization, or by a religious or charitable organization operated, supervised, or controlled by a religious
institution or organization, and used for religious or charitable purposes.
(2) A person shall not insert in a written instrument relating to real property a provision that is void under
this section or honor such a provision in the chain of title.
History: 1976, Act 453, Eff. Mar. 31, 1977;Am. 1980, Act 170, Imd. Eff. June 18, 1980;Am. 1992, Act 124, Imd. Eff. June 29,
1992.
37.2506 Real estate transactions; prohibited representations.
Sec. 506. A person shall not represent, for the purpose of inducing a real estate transaction from which the
person may benefit financially, that a change has occurred or will or may occur in the composition with
respect to religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, familial status, or marital status of the owners or
occupants in the block, neighborhood, or area in which the real property is located, or represent that this
change will or may result in the lowering of property values, an increase in criminal or antisocial behavior, or
a decline in the quality of schools in the block, neighborhood, or area in which the real property is located.
History: 1976, Act 453, Eff. Mar. 31, 1977;Am. 1992, Act 124, Imd. Eff. June 29, 1992.
37.2506a Use by landlord of reasonable accommodations.
Sec. 506a. This article does not preclude the use by a landlord of reasonable accommodations as required
by section 102(2) of the Michigan handicappers’ civil rights act, Act No. 220 of the Public Acts of 1976,
being section 37.1102 of the Michigan Compiled Laws.
History: Add. 1992, Act 124, Imd. Eff. June 29, 1992.
37.2507 Plan.
Sec. 507. A person subject to this article may adopt and carry out a plan to eliminate present effects of past
discriminatory practices or assure equal opportunity with respect to religion, race, color, national origin, or
sex if the plan is filed with the commission under rules of the commission and the commission approves the
plan.
History: 1976, Act 453, Eff. Mar. 31, 1977.
Administrative rules: R 37.27 et seq. of the Michigan Administrative Code.
ARTICLE 6
37.2601 Commission; powers and duties generally; quorum; vacancy; compensation and
expenses; conducting business at public meeting; notice; availability of certain writings to
public.
Sec. 601. (1) The commission shall:
(a) Maintain a principal office in the city of Lansing and other offices within the state as it considers
necessary.
(b) Meet and exercise its powers at any place within the state.
(c) Appoint an executive director who shall be the chief executive officer of the department and exempt
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from civil service, and appoint necessary hearing examiners.
(d) Accept public grants, private gifts, bequests, or other amounts or payments.
(e) Prepare annually a comprehensive written report to the governor. The report may contain
recommendations adopted by the commission for legislative or other action necessary to effectuate the
purposes and policies of this act.
(f) Promulgate, amend, or repeal rules to carry out this act pursuant to Act No. 306 of the Public Acts of
1969, as amended, being sections 24.201 to 24.315 of the Michigan Compiled Laws.
(g) Request the services of a department or agency of the state or a political subdivision of the state.
(h) Promote and cooperate with a public or governmental agency as in the commission’s judgment will aid
in effectuating the act and the state constitution of 1963.
(i) Establish and promulgate rules governing its relationship with local commissions, and establish criteria
for certifying local commissions for the deferring of complaints.
(2) The commission may hold hearings, administer oaths, issue preliminary notices to witnesses to appear,
compel through court authorization the attendance of witnesses and the production for examination of books,
papers, or other records relating to matters before the commission, take the testimony of a person under oath,
and issue appropriate orders. The commission may promulgate rules as to the issuance of preliminary notices
to appear.
(3) A majority of the members of the commission constitutes a quorum. A majority of the members is
required to take action on matters not of a ministerial nature, but a majority of a quorum may deal with
ministerial matters. A vacancy in the commission shall not impair the right of the remaining members to
exercise the powers of the commission. The members of the commission shall receive a per diem
compensation and shall be reimbursed for the actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of
their duties. The per diem compensation of the commission and the schedule for reimbursement of the
expenses shall be established annually by the legislature.
(4) The business which the commission may perform shall be conducted at a public meeting of the
commission held in compliance with Act No. 267 of the Public Acts of 1976, being sections 15.261 to 15.275
of the Michigan Compiled Laws. Public notice of the time, date, and place of the meeting shall be given in the
manner required by Act No. 267 of the Public Acts of 1976.
(5) A writing prepared, owned, used, in the possession of, or retained by the commission in the
performance of an official function shall be made available to the public in compliance with Act No. 442 of
the Public Acts of 1976, being sections 15.231 to 15.246 of the Michigan Compiled Laws.
History: 1976, Act 453, Eff. Mar. 31, 1977;Am. 1978, Act 446, Imd. Eff. Oct. 11, 1978.
Administrative rules: R 37.1 et seq. and R 37.101 of the Michigan Administrative Code.
37.2602 Department; powers and duties generally.
Sec. 602. The department shall:
(a) Be responsible to the executive director, who shall be the principal executive officer of the department
and shall be responsible for executing the policies of the commission.
(b) Appoint necessary employees and agents and fix their compensation in accordance with civil service
rules. The attorney general shall appear for and represent the department or the commission in a court having
jurisdiction of a matter under this act.
(c) Receive, initiate, investigate, conciliate, adjust, dispose of, issue charges, and hold hearings on
complaints alleging a violation of this act, and approve or disapprove plans to correct past discriminatory
practices which have caused or resulted in a denial of equal opportunity with respect to groups or persons
protected by this act.
(d) Require answers to interrogatories, order the submission of books, papers, records, and other materials
pertinent to a complaint, and require the attendance of witnesses, administer oaths, take testimony, and
compel, through court authorization, compliance with its orders or an order of the commission.
(e) Cooperate or contract with persons and state, local, and other agencies, both public and private,
including agencies of the federal government and of other states.
(f) Monitor the awarding and execution of contracts to ensure compliance by a contractor or a
subcontractor with a covenant entered into or to be entered into pursuant to section 209.
History: 1976, Act 453, Eff. Mar. 31, 1977;Am. 1992, Act 258, Imd. Eff. Dec. 7, 1992.
37.2602a Repealed. 1992, Act 258, Eff. Dec. 8, 1994.
Compiler’s note: The repealed section pertained to business conducted with the state or an agency, requests for review of equal
employment opportunity practices, and creation of civil rights contract monitoring fund.
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37.2603 Complaint; petition for temporary relief or restraining order; notice of pendency of
action.
Sec. 603. At any time after a complaint is filed, the department may file a petition in the circuit court for
the county in which the subject of the complaint occurs, or for the county in which a respondent resides or
transacts business, seeking appropriate temporary relief against the respondent, pending final determination of
proceedings under this section, including an order or decree restraining the respondent from doing or
procuring an act tending to render ineffectual an order the commission may enter with respect to the
complaint. If the complaint alleges a violation of article 5, upon the filing of the petition the department shall
file for the record a notice of pendency of the action. The court may grant temporary relief or a restraining
order as it deems just and proper, but the relief or order shall not extend beyond 5 days except by consent of
the respondent, or after hearing upon notice to the respondent and a finding by the court that there is
reasonable cause to believe that the respondent has engaged in a discriminatory practice.
History: 1976, Act 453, Eff. Mar. 31, 1977.
37.2604 Findings of fact and conclusions of law; final order dismissing complaint; copies of
order.
Sec. 604. If the commission, after a hearing on a charge issued by the department, determines that the
respondent has not engaged in a discriminatory practice prohibited by this act, the commission shall state its
findings of fact and conclusions of law and shall issue a final order dismissing the complaint. The commission
shall furnish a copy of the order to the claimant, the respondent, the attorney general, and other public officers
and persons as the commission deems proper.
History: 1976, Act 453, Eff. Mar. 31, 1977.
37.2605 Findings of fact and conclusions of law; cease and desist order; amendment of
pleadings; findings and order based thereon; copies of order; scope of action ordered;
certification of violation to licensing or contracting agency.
Sec. 605. (1) If the commission, after a hearing on a charge issued by the department, determines that the
respondent has violated this act or the handicappers’ civil rights act, Act No. 220 of the Public Acts of 1976,
being sections 37.1101 to 37.1607 of the Michigan Compiled Laws, the commission shall state its findings of
fact and conclusions of law and shall issue a final order requiring the respondent to cease and desist from the
discriminatory practice and to take such other action as it deems necessary to secure equal enjoyment and
protection of civil rights. If at a hearing on a charge, a pattern or practice of discrimination prohibited by this
act or Act No. 220 of the Public Acts of 1976 appears in the evidence, the commission may, upon its own
motion or on motion of the claimant, amend the pleadings to conform to the proofs, make findings, and issue
an order based on those findings. A copy of the order shall be delivered to the respondent, the claimant, the
attorney general, and to other public officers and persons as the commission deems proper.
(2) Action ordered under this section may include, but is not limited to:
(a) Hiring, reinstatement, or upgrading of employees with or without back pay.
(b) Admission or restoration of individuals to labor organization membership, admission to or participation
in a guidance program, apprenticeship training program, on the job training program, or other occupational
training or retraining program, with the utilization of objective criteria in the admission of persons to those
programs.
(c) Admission of persons to a public accommodation or an educational institution.
(d) Sale, exchange, lease, rental, assignment, or sublease of real property to a person.
(e) Extension to all persons of the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges,
advantages, or accommodations of the respondent.
(f) Reporting as to the manner of compliance.
(g) Requiring the posting of notices in a conspicuous place which the commission may publish or cause to
be published setting forth requirements for compliance with civil rights law or other relevant information
which the commission determines necessary to explain those laws.
(h) Payment to an injured party of profits obtained by the respondent through a violation of section 506 of
this act or of Act No. 220 of the Public Acts of 1976.
(i) Payment to the complainant of damages for an injury or loss caused by a violation of this act, including
a reasonable attorney’s fee.
(j) Payment to the complainant of all or a portion of the costs of maintaining the action before the
commission, including reasonable attorney fees and expert witness fees, if the commission determines that
award to be appropriate.
(k) Payment of a civil fine for a violation of article 5 of this act, an amount directly related to the cost to
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the state for enforcing this statute not to exceed:
(i) $10,000.00 for the first violation.
(ii) $25,000.00 for the second violation within a 5-year period.
(iii) $50,000.00 for 2 or more violations within a 7-year period.
(l) Other relief the commission deems appropriate.
(3) In the case of a respondent operating by virtue of a license issued by the state, a political subdivision, or
an agency of the state or political subdivision, if the commission, upon notice and hearing, determines that the
respondent has violated this act and that the violation was authorized, requested, commanded, performed, or
knowingly permitted by the board of directors of the respondent or by an officer or executive agent acting
within the scope of his or her employment, the commission shall so certify to the licensing agency. Unless the
commission’s finding is reversed in the course of judicial review, the finding of the commission may be
grounds for revocation of the respondent’s license.
(4) In the case of a respondent who violates this act in the course of performing under a contract or
subcontract with the state, a political subdivision, or an agency of the state or political subdivision, where the
violation was authorized, requested, commanded, performed, or knowingly permitted by the board of
directors of the respondent or by an officer or executive agent acting within the scope of his or her
employment, the commission shall so certify to the contracting agency. Unless the commission’s finding is
reversed in the course of judicial review, the finding is binding on the contracting agency.
History: 1976, Act 453, Eff. Mar. 31, 1977;Am. 1992, Act 124, Imd. Eff. June 29, 1992.
37.2606 Appeals.
Sec. 606. (1) A complainant and a respondent shall have a right of appeal from a final order of the
commission, including cease and desist orders and refusals to issue charges, before the circuit court for the
county of Ingham, or the circuit court for the county in which the alleged violation occurred or where the
person against whom the complaint is filed, resides, or has his or her principal place of business. An appeal
before the circuit court shall be reviewed de novo. If an appeal is not taken within 30 days after the service of
an appealable order of the commission, the commission may obtain a decree for the enforcement of the order
from the circuit court which has jurisdiction of the appeal. If the appellant files for appeal in the circuit court
for the county of Ingham, the appellee, upon application, shall be granted a change of venue to hear the matter
on appeal in the circuit court for the county in which the alleged violation occurred or where the person
against whom the complaint is filed, resides, or has his or her principal place of business or where the
claimant resides.
(2) A proceeding for review or enforcement of an appealable order is initiated by filing a petition in the
circuit court. Copies of the petition shall be served upon the parties of record. Within 30 days after the service
of the petition upon the commission or filing of the petition by the commission, or within further time as the
court may allow, the commission shall transmit to the court the original or a certified copy of the entire record
upon which the order is based, including a transcript of the testimony, which need not be printed. By
stipulation of the parties to the review proceeding, the record may be shortened. The court may grant
temporary relief as it considers just, or enter an order enforcing, modifying and enforcing as modified, or
setting aside in whole or in part the order of the commission, or may remand the case to the commission for
further proceedings. The commission’s copy of the testimony shall be available at reasonable times to all
parties for examination without cost.
(3) The final judgment or decree of the circuit court shall be subject to review by appeal in the same
manner and form as other appeals from that court.
(4) A proceeding under this section shall be initiated not more than 30 days after a copy of the order of the
commission is received, unless the commission is the petitioner or the petition is filed under subsection (3). If
a proceeding is not so initiated, the commission may obtain a court order for enforcement of its order upon
showing that a copy of the petition for enforcement was served on the respondent, that the respondent is
subject to the jurisdiction of the court, that the order sought to be enforced is an order of the commission,
regularly entered, and that the commission has jurisdiction over the subject matter and the respondent.
History: 1976, Act 453, Eff. Mar. 31, 1977;Am. 1980, Act 93, Imd. Eff. Apr. 16, 1980.
ARTICLE 7
37.2701 Prohibited conduct.
Sec. 701. Two or more persons shall not conspire to, or a person shall not:
(a) Retaliate or discriminate against a person because the person has opposed a violation of this act, or
because the person has made a charge, filed a complaint, testified, assisted, or participated in an investigation,
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proceeding, or hearing under this act.
(b) Aid, abet, incite, compel, or coerce a person to engage in a violation of this act.
(c) Attempt directly or indirectly to commit an act prohibited by this act.
(d) Willfully interfere with the performance of a duty or the exercise of a power by the commission or 1 of
its members or authorized representatives.
(e) Willfully obstruct or prevent a person from complying with this act or an order issued or rule
promulgated under this act.
(f) Coerce, intimidate, threaten, or interfere with a person in the exercise or enjoyment of, or on account of
his or her having aided or encouraged any other person in the exercise or enjoyment of, any right granted or
protected by this act.
History: 1976, Act 453, Eff. Mar. 31, 1977;Am. 1992, Act 124, Imd. Eff. June 29, 1992.
Administrative rules: R 37.1 et seq. of the Michigan Administrative Code.
37.2702 Violation of order prohibited.
Sec. 702. A person shall not violate the terms of an order or an adjustment order made under this act.
History: 1976, Act 453, Eff. Mar. 31, 1977.
37.2703 Revocation or suspension of license.
Sec. 703. If a certification is made pursuant to section 605(3), the licensing agency may take appropriate
action to revoke or suspend the license of the respondent.
History: 1976, Act 453, Eff. Mar. 31, 1977.
37.2704 Termination of contract.
Sec. 704. Upon receiving a certification made under section 605(4), a contracting agency shall take
appropriate action to terminate a contract or portion thereof previously entered into with the respondent, either
absolutely or on condition that the respondent carry out a program of compliance with this act, and shall
advise the state and all political subdivisions and agencies thereof to refrain from entering into further
contracts or extensions or other modifications of existing contracts with the respondent until the commission
is satisfied that the respondent carries out policies in compliance with this act.
History: 1976, Act 453, Eff. Mar. 31, 1977.
37.2705 Construction of act.
Sec. 705. (1) This act shall not be construed as preventing the commission from securing civil rights
guaranteed by law other than the civil rights set forth in this act.
(2) This act shall not be interpreted as restricting the implementation of approved plans, programs, or
services to eliminate discrimination and the effects thereof when appropriate.
(3) This act shall not be interpreted as invalidating any other act that provides programs or services for
persons covered by this act.
History: 1976, Act 453, Eff. Mar. 31, 1977.
ARTICLE 8
37.2801 Action for injunctive relief or damages; venue; “damages” defined.
Sec. 801. (1) A person alleging a violation of this act may bring a civil action for appropriate injunctive
relief or damages, or both.
(2) An action commenced pursuant to subsection (1) may be brought in the circuit court for the county
where the alleged violation occurred, or for the county where the person against whom the civil complaint is
filed resides or has his principal place of business.
(3) As used in subsection (1), “damages” means damages for injury or loss caused by each violation of this
act, including reasonable attorney’s fees.
History: 1976, Act 453, Eff. Mar. 31, 1977.
37.2802 Costs of litigation.
Sec. 802. A court, in rendering a judgment in an action brought pursuant to this article, may award all or a
portion of the costs of litigation, including reasonable attorney fees and witness fees, to the complainant in the
action if the court determines that the award is appropriate.
History: 1976, Act 453, Eff. Mar. 31, 1977.
37.2803 Legal or equitable remedies.
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Sec. 803. This act shall not be construed to diminish the right of a person to direct or immediate legal or
equitable remedies in the courts of the state.
History: 1976, Act 453, Eff. Mar. 31, 1977.
37.2804 Repeal of MCL 423.301 to 423.311, 37.1 to 37.9, and 564.101 to 564.704.
Sec. 804. Act No. 251 of the Public Acts of 1955, as amended, being sections 423.301 to 423.311 of the
Compiled Laws of 1970, Act No. 45 of the Public Acts of the Second Extra Session of 1963, as amended,
being sections 37.1 to 37.9 of the Compiled Laws of 1970, and Act No. 112 of the Public Acts of 1968, as
amended, being sections 564.101 to 564.704 of the Compiled Laws of 1970, are repealed.
History: 1976, Act 453, Eff. Mar. 31, 1977.

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