Laws, Ordinances, and Policies in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and the U.S.

The purpose of this material is to familiarize you with certain University of Michigan policies, Ann Arbor ordinances, Michigan laws, and general procedures for dealing with law enforcement that you should know. These policies, ordinances and laws apply equally to both U.S. citizens and non-citizens, and the University is committed to providing a safe, respectful and supportive environment for all those attending, living, visiting and working here.

Violence, Sexual Harassment, and Sexual Assault

Everyone–all students, staff and faculty members–should realize that behaviors that hurt or threaten others will not be accepted or tolerated. These include actions that harm your own family members and anyone else in the community. Below are some, but not all, of the behaviors that would violate Michigan laws and/or University policies. All have serious penalties.

  • Pushing, shoving, hitting, punching, kicking, slapping, emotionally or sexually abusing your spouse, partner, child or family member. This is known as domestic or dating violence.This includes using a weapon or object (i.e. knife, gun, or chair) or threat of violence to control and harm a person against her or his will.
  • Repeatedly following someone to class, home, work, or around campus without her or his permission. This is known as stalking.
  • Causing a person to feel frightened or intimidated by repeatedly contacting the individual without permission through the telephone, mail and/or e-mail. This is also known as stalking.
  • Repeated unwanted physical contact of a sexual nature, such as touching, pinching, tickling, grabbing or brushing up against a person; asking someone for sexual favors; talking about a person in a sexual manner; displaying sexually explicit pictures, drawings or writings, which create an intimidating work or educational environment. These are all considered sexual harassment.
  • Forcing a person to engage in any form of sexual contact or to perform sexual acts against his or her will. This is known as sexual assault or rape.

Noise Ordinance

If any music or noise can be heard beyond your property line or the physical space of your property between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m., you are violating the City of Ann Arbor noise regulations. The maximum penalty for each offense is $500. All loud parties are subject to these penalties.

Clean Community Ordinance

This ordinance stipulates that all public and private properties are to be kept clean and free of litter. The ordinance applies to your property, the public sidewalk, and the extension to the curb. If found in violation, you will be given a warning, followed by a charge from the City for clean up. You will also be fined for littering.

Garbage containers must be kept covered and out of public view. For weekly pick-up, garbage containers should be brought to the curb no more than 24 hours before your weekly pick-up time and should be removed no more than 12 hours after pick-up. If found in violation, you will be issued a warning, followed by a ticket. Big, bulky trash, such as furniture and appliances, will NOT be picked up by the City of Ann Arbor; and, if you leave big trash for garbage collection, the property owner will be fined. You must call for bulky trash pick-up by the City of Ann Arbor's Solid Waste Department and pay for the service. The number is 734.994.2807.

Underage Drinking Law

For anyone under the age of 21, it is illegal to consume alcoholic beverages in the U.S. Michigan law also states that a person who knowingly supplies alcohol to someone under 21, or who fails to make diligent inquiry as to whether someone is under 21, is guilty of a misdemeanor. Penalties for violation are $1,000 and 60 days in jail for the first offense; $2,500 and 90 days in jail for the second offense.

Crime Prevention Tips

Procedures for Dealing with Law Enforcement: Crime Prevention & Crime Reporting

  • Take well-lit and well-traveled streets; do not take shortcuts through wooded areas, parking lots or alleys.
  • Don't show large amounts of cash, jewelry or expensive clothing.
  • Carry a purse close to your body; put a wallet in an inside coat or front pants pocket.
  • Have your car or house key in your hand before you reach the door.
  • If you are working late, ask someone to walk you to your car or bus stop.
  • Always roll up car windows and lock your car, even if you're coming right back!
  • Don't park in isolated areas. Be especially alert in underground parking garages.
  • Report all crimes to the police (see the Crime Reporting section below).
  • Telemarketing Fraud: If you receive phone calls from people offering free vacations or scholarships, or from people asking for donations, it is very possible that the calls are fraudulent and you should ignore them. If you are told to call a 1-900 number for information on these offers, please be aware that you will be charged for these calls.

Crime Reporting

You should report crimes and any suspicious activities that you see. Suspicious activity is an event that is out of the ordinary or should not be occurring.

How to Report Suspicious Activity

  • If you need to report suspicious activity, persons or vehicles, dial 911.
  • State if it is an emergency. If you say no, the 911 Operator might put you on hold in order to check other lines.
  • Stay on the phone and answer all questions. DO NOT hang up until the instructed to do so by the Operator. Follow the Operator's directions because she or he is trained for emergencies and will guide you through the entire process.
  • Give your location and the specific location of the suspicious activity.
  • Be sure to remain calm and speak clearly.

Contact Information for U-M Offices and City of Ann Arbor Offices

University of Michigan Offices

SAPAC (Sexual Assault and Prevention Awareness Center)
712 North University, Suite 202
24 hour Crisis Line: (7 days a week)
Business Line
U-M International Center 734.764.9310
CAPS (U-M Counseling and Psychological Services) 734.764.8312
Department of Public Safety (Campus Police) 734.763.1131
U-M Family Housing 734.647.2235
Emergencies (Police, Ambulance) 911

City of Ann Arbor Offices

Emergencies 911
Fire Department 734.994.2772
Non-Emergency Requests for Police Dispatch 734.994.2911
Non-Emergency Requests to Make Police Reports 734.994.2875
Crime Prevention 734.994.8775
Neighborhood Watch Program 734.994.8775
Anonymous Tips 734.996.3199
Parking Complaints 734.994.2908
Animal Control Complaints 734.994.2911
Recycling 734.662.6288
Solid Waste 734.994.2807