There are laws still on the books in many cities and states that were made decades ago
and have not been enforced, they just remained in writing. DeWitt has a law that was passed in
1929, a state-wide law, that makes it illegal for any vehicle to have a sticker or emblem of an
organization on their car that they themselves are not a member of. The punishment for this
infraction, classified as a misdemeanor, is not to exceed $100 in fines or 90 days in jail.
430.53 Prohibited display of emblem or insignia on motor vehicle.
It shall be unlawful for any person to display or permit to be displayed on his or her motor vehicle any emblem or insignia of any organization, association, fraternity, lodge, club or order, unless the owner of such motor vehicle be a member of the organization, association, fraternity, lodge, club or order, the emblem or insignia of which is so displayed: Provided, That the provisions of this act shall not apply to the owner or owners of any motor vehicles upon which such emblem or insignia is displayed solely for the purposes of participation in any public parade, or at any public fair, exhibit, or carnival.
Even though this law still exists no one in DeWitt is prosecuted for its violation. Officer
Walter Grysen will pull over someone for having a sticker of an organization of which they are
not a member but he does not give a ticket for the laws violation. “I never give a ticket to
someone who is in violation of this law [430.53]. I use it as a reason to get someone out of the
car. If someone has an emblem on their car and they are showing suspicious behavior I use that
law to detain them while I can search their car.”
“I have pulled people over for having an emblem of an organization of which they
weren’t a member of on their car as recently as a couple of months ago. However, if I were to
take the matter before a judge he wouldn’t take it seriously,” said Grysen.
Grysen has never written a ticket or taken someone to jail becaues of statute 430.53. If
he wanted to take a violator in to court and prosecute them he would be able to. “If someone had
an emblem on their car I could theoretically take them to jail,” said Grysen.
There are several other old laws that are still on the book but never are enforced. “If it’s
on the books I still enforce them,” said Officer Gordon Miller, jokingly and with a smile on his
The innocence of young women were thought to be very important in the early stages of
the 20th century so the State of Michigan put a law on the books to support this in 1931.
750.532 Seduction; punishment.
Punishment—Any man who shall seduce and debauch any unmarried woman shall be guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment in the state prison not more than 5 years or by fine of not more than 2,500 dollars; but no prosecution shall be commenced under this section after 1 year from the time of committing the offense.
Along similar lines of sexual misbehavior, another Michigan law that is still on the books
is that of faithfulness to your spouse. “Adultery is still a law, most judges deny to hear any cases
involving it though,” said Billingsly.
750.30 Adultery; punishment.
Punishment—Any person who shall commit adultery shall be guilty of a felony; and when the crime is committed between a married woman and a man who is unmarried, the man shall be guilty of adultery, and liable to the same punishment.
One last law that shows the religious nature of the state and of the country is the law
against the sale of a car on Sunday.
435.251 Motor vehicles; sale on Sunday unlawful, exception.
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to engage in the business of buying, selling, trading or exchanging new, used or second-hand motor vehicles or offering to buy, sell, trade or exchange, or participate in the negotiation thereof, or attempt to buy, sell, trade or exchange any motor vehicle or interest therein, or of any written instrument pertaining thereto, on the first day of the week, commonly called Sunday.