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12/03/75 PEOPLE v. SAMUEL LEE PEOPLE V. BILLIE LEE

December 3, 1975

PEOPLE
v.
SAMUEL LEE; PEOPLE V. BILLIE LEE



Appeal from Genesee, Thomas C. Yeotis, J.

McGregor, P. J., and D. E. Holbrook, Jr. and M. J. Kelly, JJ. Judge D. E. Holbrook, Jr. concurred in result only.

SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

1. Statutes -- Statutory Construction -- Common Terms -- Ordinary Sense -- Residential Structure -- Driveway.

A common term, when used in a statute without further definition, is viewed in its ordinary sense; therefore where a statute used the term "residential structure" without further defining it, that term does not include a driveway because a driveway is not a "structure" used as a "residence" (MCLA 338.1502; MSA 18.86[102]).

2. Statutes -- Licenses -- Statutory Construction -- Residential Structure -- Driveways.

A legislative intent that buildings not used for residences and driveways not be included in the term "residential structure" is apparent where a statutory provision requires licenses of those who build and maintain residential structures and garages and lay concrete (MCLA 338.1502; MSA 18.86[102]).

3. Statutes -- Statutory Construction -- Exclusions -- Residential Contractors -- Licenses -- Concrete -- Asphalt.

Michigan recognizes the principle of expressio unius est exclusio alterious, that the express mention in a statute of one thing implies the exclusion of other similar things; therefore, a statute which specifically refers to the laying of concrete by a residential contractor and requires a license therefor excludes a requirement for the licensing of a contractor who lays asphalt (MCLA 388.1502; MSA 18.86[102]).

4. Statutes -- Licenses -- Contractors -- Residential Contractors -- Asphalt.

A party engaged in the laying of asphalt in a residential driveway prior to August 1, 1974, was not put on notice by a statute that he was a residential maintenance and alteration contractor for the purposes of the statute and required to obtain a license in order to avoid criminal prosecution (MCLA 338.1502, 338.1504[3]; MSA 18.86[102], 18.86[104][3]).

5. -- Statutes -- Punishment.

A person can not be punished for doing an act unless it clearly appears the act sought to be punished comes clearly within both the spirit and letter of the law prohibiting it.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kelly

Samuel Lee and Billie Lee were charged with acting in the capacity of a residential builder or maintenance and alteration contractor without having a license. The complaint and warrant were quashed in district court and that ruling was upheld by the circuit court. The people's application for leave to appeal was denied by the Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court sua ...


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