Pens and Pencils Banned At 36th District Court in Detroit

Guns, knifes, drugs, and alcohol. That's a list of things that are banned in every courthouse in the country, and for good reason. The 36th District Court in Detroit, Michigan however, is adding some far more innocent items to that list. Pens, pencils, and markers!

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Yes, pens and pencils and markers. While banning these writing utensils from schools would be even more ludicrous (though students may rejoice), banning them from courthouses seems counter productive. After all, so much paperwork is involved in going to court. From paying for parking tickets, to taking notes in hearings, to filling out court documents about landlord-tenant disputes, pens and pencils are a vital to 

Of course banning writing tools all together wouldn't be fruitful for carrying out business at the court house, which is why attorneys and credentialed press members will be allowed to carry writing instruments. As for the courthouse itself, each of the 26 courtrooms now stock clipboard with irremovable pens attached to them. 

While this ban may seems like a joke to those who are hearing about it for the first time, there is a legitimate reason behind it. The 36th District Court has several murals depicting Detroit's skyline, the city itself, and symbols of justice. The murals went up not even a week ago but have already been vandalized. Court Administrator Kelli Moore Owen told The Detroit News that "the wall coverings are the latest improvements to the five-story courthouse in the last couple of years. There’s fresh paint, new fencing and signage, and a power washing of the building’s exterior for the first time since 1985. We are trying to project a better image." 

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A look at the list of prohibited items on the court's website shows that pens, pencils, and markers will have plenty of company alongside other banned items such as, batteries, can openers, combs, dental floss, whistles, smart watches, and of course food and beverages. It's an eclectic list for sure, but safety is no laughing matter.

While some citizens may be disappointed that they won't be able to bring their curling iron or pet bedbugs with them to the 36th District Court, other citizens of Detroit will be thankful that because those items are banned, they can avoid burns and courthouse fires and skin-breaking itching.


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