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03/25/76 BROWNSTOWN TOWNSHIP v. WAYNE COUNTY

March 25, 1976

BROWNSTOWN TOWNSHIP
v.
WAYNE COUNTY



Appeal from Wayne, Thomas J. Foley, J.

Leave to appeal applied for.

McGregor, P. J., and Bashara and Allen, JJ.

SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

1. Counties -- Sheriffs and Constables -- Constitutional Law -- Statutes.

A county possesses only those powers that have been conferred upon it by the Constitution and statutes; the duty of law enforcement is constitutionally delegated to the counties by providing for the office of sheriff, and county charters are authorized to provide for the election of sheriffs (Const 1963, art 7, § 4; MCLA 45.514; MSA 5.302[14]).

2. Constitutional Law -- Legislature -- Officers -- Duties of Office.

The Legislature may vary the duties of a constitutional office, but may not change the duties so as to destroy the power to perform the duties of the office.

3. Sheriffs and Constables -- Statutes -- Reasonable Services -- Common Law Duties -- Statutory Duties.

A statute which requires a sheriff to perform all "reasonable services" within the jurisdiction of the office means that the sheriff must perform the duties of the office of sheriff as recognized at common law as well as those statutory duties which do not destroy the sheriff's power to perform the duties of the office at common law (MCLA 45.407; MSA 5.917).

4. Sheriffs and Constables -- Duties -- Common Law Duties -- Statutory Duties -- Road Patrol.

The duties of sheriff at common law relate to the execution of the orders, judgments, and process of the courts, the preservation of the peace, the arrest and detention of persons charged with the commission of a public offense, the service of papers in actions, and the like; Michigan has codified the common law duties of the sheriff with little variance, and there is no statutory requirement that the sheriff provide a road patrol.

5. Sheriffs and Constables -- Duties -- Road Patrol.

A sheriff is not required by either the common law or by statute to supply a full-time road patrol on all county roads and highways; what is minimally required is that the sheriff exercise reasonable diligence to (1) keep abreast of those areas inadequately policed which may require limited vigilance, (2) monitor criminal activity or unusual conditions ...


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