Attorney General Dana Nessel has sent guidance to local authorities in the wake of the Michigan Legislature failure to pass an extension of the state of emergency and state of disaster declared by Governor Whitmer,” causing confusion and frustration among law enforcement officials throughout the state.
Many of those law enforcement officials – along with members of the public – contacted the Department of Attorney General asking whether the Governor’s Stay Home, Stay Safe Order and places of public accommodation order are still enforceable.
After reviewing the issue, Attorney General Nessel issued a letter of guidance today to local law enforcement officials across the state. In her letter, Nessel finds the two orders to be valid under the Emergency Powers of the Governor Act and asks local law enforcement agencies to continue their enforcement efforts.
Recognizing the important work done by these local officials, Nessel noted that “COVID-19 has created a public health crisis of unprecedented gravity in our lifetime. To date, the most effective means to contain an infectious pandemic is to keep people away from each other. In promulgating Executive Order 2020-69 and Executive Order 2020-70, the Governor has done just that by placing restrictions on certain activities to limit social interactions.The absence of these restrictions would open gateways for the virus to reach every family and social network in every part of the State.”
Those who violate the orders could face fines and jail time.