Civil Rights Complaints

The City of East Lansing safeguards civil and human rights, empowers and defends, ensures justice amidst discrimination, intervenes to resolve disputes and mediates to bring parties to civility.

The Human Rights Commission ensures equal rights in housing, education and public accommodations/services, strives to mediate disagreements involving civil and human rights issues, enforces the aforementioned civil rights protections according to the City Code and within the City’s boundaries, advises the City Council on civil rights and related issues, educates the community to resolve or avoid tensions and discrimination, reviews the status of social services in East Lansing (e.g.: nature, effectiveness, quality, availability and accessibility), promotes human dignity and respect for the rights of all in East Lansing; and maintains jurisdiction over the city but not MSU’s campus (the Commission can provide a reference to the proper campus agency).

In accordance with Chapter 22 of the City Code, the City protects against discrimination or prejudice based on religion, race, color, national origin, age, height, weight, disability, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, student status or the use of adaptive devices or aides. The incident must have occurred within the City’s boundaries and must be within the context of housing, employment or public accommodations/services.

How Do I Make a Complaint?

If someone has been discriminated against, they should immediately record the facts of the incident, including the date, time, place and names, then immediately complete the Initial Inquiry Form (Online) or Initial Inquiry Form (PDF). A staff member will reach out to discuss the concerns and schedule an informal conference. Please keep in mind the following:

  • A sworn statement must be filed within 180 days of the incident.
  • A copy of the statement will be sent to the party against whom the complaint is made.
  • The commission will investigate the claim. Only those complaints that allege conduct that is found to be in violation of the City Code can be mediated.
  • If the Human Rights Commission finds probable cause that there was discriminatory behavior and a mediated settlement is not possible, it will take appropriate action.
  • Decisions may be referred to the Michigan Department of Civil Rights or the Ingham County Circuit Court.