Serving Southeast Michigan For Over 30 Years.

Macomb Circuit Court Rules Municipalities May Regulate Sky Lanterns

By Donald P. DeNault, Jr.bio_donald_sm

On October 24, 2016, the Macomb County Circuit Court ruled that the Michigan Fireworks Safety Act does not govern sky lanterns. Therefore, the preemption provision of the Act does not impact local ordinances that regulate or prohibit the possession or sale of sky lanterns and similar “aerial candle” devices.

Macomb Circuit Judge Joseph Toia wrote: “[A] sky lantern does not fall within the definition of ‘fireworks’ as stated in the Act….[T]he Legislature intended ‘fireworks’ to consist only of items that fall within the scope of one of the five identified categories: consumer fireworks, low-impact fireworks, articles pyrotechnic, display fireworks, and special effects….[I]f the Legislature had intended to include sky lanterns within the provisions of the Act, it would have expressed this intention within the language of the Act just as it did with the other specified categories of fireworks.”

The result of Judge Toia’s decision is that our client’s sky lantern ordinance remains valid and enforceable. If your community is interested in regulating sky lanterns, our client’s ordinance, our firm’s ordinance drafting expertise, and the Circuit Court’s opinion will be valuable resources for moving forward.

Donald P. DeNault, Jr. is a shareholder of the firm and specializes in all areas of municipal and school law, including Freedom of Information Act issues, Open Meetings Act issues, zoning, police issues, student discipline, bidding and purchasing, historic preservation, appeals, litigation defense, civil service, civil rights, governmental immunity, government contracts, ordinance drafting and policy preparation.

Categories: Uncategorized

For More Information

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Press Room

O’Reilly Rancilio attorney Brian Grant will host “Estate Planning Mistakes and How to Avoid Them” on March 16, 2022, at 10 a.m. at the Sterling Heights Senior… Read More
Hayley Tomich, of Grosse Pointe Park, recently joined the O’Reilly Rancilio legal team as an associate. She joins the firm’s business law, litigation and dispute… Read More
Read More From Our Press Room


The Michigan Supreme Court’s changes to case evaluations, which went into effect on Jan. 1, allow litigants to avoid the case evaluation process by specifying anot… Read More
People develop and purchase real estate with ambitious ideas of how to develop it. But simply owning property doesn’t give the person unlimited freedoms to do what… Read More
Read More From Our Blog