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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

HF 211

2nd Engrossment - 87th Legislature (2011 - 2012) Posted on 05/10/2011 02:07pm

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Bill Text Versions

Engrossments
Introduction Posted on 01/24/2011
1st Engrossment Posted on 02/21/2011
2nd Engrossment Posted on 05/10/2011

Current Version - 2nd Engrossment

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A bill for an act
relating to civil actions; modifying liability limits for certain tort claims against
the state and political subdivisions; regulating certain conciliation court claims;
providing a right of appeal on certain class action orders; modifying the statute
of limitations on certain claims; modifying prejudgment interest; regulating
attorney fees; providing a cause of action for sex trafficking violations; amending
Minnesota Statutes 2010, sections 3.736, subdivision 4; 466.03, subdivision 6e,
by adding a subdivision; 466.04, subdivisions 1, 3; 491A.01, subdivision 3;
541.05, subdivision 1; 549.09, subdivision 1; proposing coding for new law in
Minnesota Statutes, chapters 540; 549; 609.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 3.736, subdivision 4, is amended to read:


Subd. 4.

Limits.

The total liability of the state and its employees acting within the
scope of their employment on any tort claim shall not exceed:

(a) $300,000 when the claim is one for death by wrongful act or omission and
$300,000 to any claimant in any other case, for claims arising before August 1, 2007;

(b) $400,000 when the claim is one for death by wrongful act or omission and
$400,000 to any claimant in any other case, for claims arising on or after August 1, 2007,
and before July 1, 2009;

(c) $500,000 when the claim is one for death by wrongful act or omission and
$500,000 to any claimant in any other case, for claims arising on or after July 1, 2009;

(d) $750,000 for any number of claims arising out of a single occurrence, for claims
arising on or after January 1, 1998, and before January 1, 2000;

(e) $1,000,000 for any number of claims arising out of a single occurrence, for
claims arising on or after January 1, 2000, and before January 1, 2008;

(f) $1,200,000 for any number of claims arising out of a single occurrence, for
claims arising on or after January 1, 2008, and before July 1, 2009; deleted text beginor
deleted text end

(g) $1,500,000 for any number of claims arising out of a single occurrence, for
claims arising on or after July 1, 2009new text begin; or
new text end

new text begin (h) $1,000,000 for any number of claims arising out of a single occurrence, if the
claim involves a nonprofit organization engaged in or administering outdoor recreational
activities funded in whole or in part by the state or operating under the authorization of
a permit issued by an agency or department of the state
new text end.

If the amount awarded to or settled upon multiple claimants exceeds the applicable
limit under clause (d), (e), (f), deleted text beginordeleted text end (g), new text beginor (h), new text endany party may apply to the district court to
apportion to each claimant a proper share of the amount available under the applicable
limit under clause (d), (e), (f), or (g). The share apportioned to each claimant shall be in
the proportion that the ratio of the award or settlement bears to the aggregate awards and
settlements for all claims arising out of the occurrence.

The limitation imposed by this subdivision on individual claimants includes damages
claimed for loss of services or loss of support arising out of the same tort.

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment
and applies to claims arising from acts or omissions that occur on or after that date.
new text end

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 466.03, subdivision 6e, is amended to read:


Subd. 6e.

Parks and recreation areas.

Any claim based upon the construction,
operation, or maintenance of any property owned or leased by the municipality that is
intended or permitted to be used as a park, as an open area for recreational purposes, or for
the provision of recreational services, or from any claim based on the clearing of land,
removal of refuse, and creation of trails or paths without artificial surfaces, if the claim
arises from a loss incurred by a user of park and recreation property or services. Nothing
in this subdivision limits the liability of a municipality for conduct that would entitle a
trespasser to damages against a private personnew text begin, except as provided in subdivision 23new text end.

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment
and applies to causes of action arising on or after that date.
new text end

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 466.03, is amended by adding a subdivision
to read:


new text begin Subd. 23. new text end

new text begin Recreational use of school property and facilities. new text end

new text begin (a) Any claim for a
loss or injury arising from the use of school property or a school facility made available
for public recreational activity.
new text end

new text begin (b) Nothing in this subdivision:
new text end

new text begin (1) limits the liability of a school district for conduct that would entitle a trespasser
to damages against a private person; or
new text end

new text begin (2) reduces any existing duty owed by the school district.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment
and applies to causes of action arising on or after that date.
new text end

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 466.04, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Limits; punitive damages.

(a) Liability of any municipality on any
claim within the scope of sections 466.01 to 466.15 shall not exceed:

(1) $300,000 when the claim is one for death by wrongful act or omission and
$300,000 to any claimant in any other case, for claims arising before January 1, 2008;

(2) $400,000 when the claim is one for death by wrongful act or omission and
$400,000 to any claimant in any other case, for claims arising on or after January 1,
2008, and before July 1, 2009;

(3) $500,000 when the claim is one for death by wrongful act or omission and
$500,000 to any claimant in any other case, for claims arising on or after July 1, 2009;

(4) $750,000 for any number of claims arising out of a single occurrence, for claims
arising on or after January 1, 1998, and before January 1, 2000;

(5) $1,000,000 for any number of claims arising out of a single occurrence, for
claims arising on or after January 1, 2000, and before January 1, 2008;

(6) $1,200,000 for any number of claims arising out of a single occurrence, for
claims arising on or after January 1, 2008, and before July 1, 2009;

(7) $1,500,000 for any number of claims arising out of a single occurrence, for
claims arising on or after July 1, 2009; deleted text beginor
deleted text end

(8) twice the limits provided in clauses (1) to (7) when the claim arises out of the
release or threatened release of a hazardous substance, whether the claim is brought under
sections 115B.01 to 115B.15 or under any other lawnew text begin; or
new text end

new text begin (9) $1,000,000 for any number of claims arising out of a single occurrence, if the
claim involves a nonprofit organization engaged in or administering outdoor recreational
activities funded in whole or in part by a municipality or operating under the authorization
of a permit issued by a municipality
new text end.

(b) No award for damages on any such claim shall include punitive damages.

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment
and applies to claims arising from acts or omissions that occur on or after that date.
new text end

Sec. 5.

Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 466.04, subdivision 3, is amended to read:


Subd. 3.

Disposition of multiple claims.

Where the amount awarded to or settled
upon multiple claimants exceeds the applicable limit under subdivision 1, paragraph
(a), clauses deleted text begin(2) todeleted text end (4)new text begin to (9)new text end, any party may apply to any district court to apportion to
each claimant a proper share of the total amount limited by subdivision 1. The share
apportioned each claimant shall be in the proportion that the ratio of the award or
settlement made to each bears to the aggregate awards and settlements for all claims
arising out of the occurrence.

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment.
new text end

Sec. 6.

Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 491A.01, subdivision 3, is amended to read:


Subd. 3.

Jurisdiction; general.

(a) Except as provided in subdivisions 4 and 5, the
conciliation court has jurisdiction to hear, conciliate, try, and determine civil claims if the
amount of money or property that is the subject matter of the claim does not exceed: (1)
deleted text begin $7,500; (2) $4,000,deleted text end new text begin$10,000 or $5,000 new text endif the claim involves a consumer credit transaction;
or deleted text begin(3)deleted text endnew text begin (2)new text end $15,000, if the claim involves money or personal property subject to forfeiture
under section 609.5311, 609.5312, 609.5314, or 609.5318. "Consumer credit transaction"
means a sale of personal property, or a loan arranged to facilitate the purchase of personal
property, in which:

(1) credit is granted by a seller or a lender who regularly engages as a seller or
lender in credit transactions of the same kind;

(2) the buyer is a natural person;

(3) the claimant is the seller or lender in the transaction; and

(4) the personal property is purchased primarily for a personal, family, or household
purpose and not for a commercial, agricultural, or business purpose.

(b) Except as otherwise provided in this subdivision and subdivisions 5 to 10, the
territorial jurisdiction of conciliation court is coextensive with the county in which the
court is established. The summons in a conciliation court action under subdivisions 6 to
10 may be served anywhere in the state, and the summons in a conciliation court action
under subdivision 7, paragraph (b), may be served outside the state in the manner provided
by law. The court administrator shall serve the summons in a conciliation court action
by first class mail, except that if the amount of money or property that is the subject of
the claim exceeds $2,500, the summons must be served by the plaintiff by certified mail,
and service on nonresident defendants must be made in accordance with applicable law
or rule. Subpoenas to secure the attendance of nonparty witnesses and the production of
documents at trial may be served anywhere within the state in the manner provided by law.

When a court administrator is required to summon the defendant by certified mail
under this paragraph, the summons may be made by personal service in the manner
provided in the Rules of Civil Procedure for personal service of a summons of the district
court as an alternative to service by certified mail.

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective August 1, 2011, and applies to claims
filed on or after that date.
new text end

Sec. 7.

new text begin [540.19] CLASS ACTIONS; INTERLOCUTORY APPEAL.
new text end

new text begin A court order certifying a class action, refusing to certify a class action, or denying a
motion to decertify a class action is appealable as a matter of right. While an appeal under
this subdivision is pending, all discovery and other proceedings in the district court are
automatically stayed, except that upon the motion of a party the district court may lift the
stay, in whole or in part, for good cause shown.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective July 1, 2011, and applies to orders
issued on or after that date.
new text end

Sec. 8.

Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 541.05, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

deleted text beginSix-yeardeleted text endnew text begin Four-yearnew text end limitationnew text begin; exceptionsnew text end.

new text begin(a) new text endExcept new text beginas provided
in paragraph (c) or (d), and
new text endwhere the Uniform Commercial Code otherwise prescribes,
the following actions shall be commenced within deleted text beginsixdeleted text endnew text begin fournew text end years:

deleted text begin (1) upon a contract or other obligation, express or implied, as to which no other
limitation is expressly prescribed;
deleted text end

deleted text begin (2)deleted text endnew text begin (1)new text end upon a liability created by statute, other than those arising upon a penalty or
forfeiture or where a shorter period is provided by section 541.07;

deleted text begin (3)deleted text endnew text begin (2)new text end for a trespass upon real estate;

deleted text begin (4)deleted text endnew text begin (3)new text end for taking, detaining, or injuring personal property, including actions for the
specific recovery thereof;

deleted text begin (5)deleted text endnew text begin (4)new text end for criminal conversation, or for any other injury to the person or rights of
another, not arising on contract, and not hereinafter enumerated;

deleted text begin (6)deleted text endnew text begin (5)new text end for relief on the ground of fraud, in which case the cause of action shall
not be deemed to have accrued until the discovery by the aggrieved party of the facts
constituting the fraud;

deleted text begin (7)deleted text endnew text begin (6)new text end to enforce a trust or compel a trustee to account, where the trustee has
neglected to discharge the trust, or claims to have fully performed it, or has repudiated the
trust relation;

deleted text begin (8)deleted text endnew text begin (7)new text end against sureties upon the official bond of any public officer, whether of the
state or of any county, town, school district, or a municipality therein; in which case
the limitation shall not begin to run until the term of such officer for which the bond
was given shall have expired;new text begin or
new text end

deleted text begin (9)deleted text endnew text begin (8)new text end for damages caused by a dam, used for commercial purposesdeleted text begin; ordeleted text endnew text begin.
new text end

new text begin (b) An action upon a contract or other obligation, express or implied, as to which no
other limitation is expressly prescribed shall be commenced within six years.
new text end

deleted text begin (10)deleted text end new text begin(c) An action new text endfor assault, battery, false imprisonment, or other tort resulting in
personal injurydeleted text begin,deleted text end new text beginshall be commenced within six years new text endif the conduct that gives rise to the
cause of action also constitutes domestic abuse as defined in section 518B.01.

new text begin (d) Except for actions commenced pursuant to paragraph (a), clause (5), and
paragraph (b), the limitation period for actions contained in this subdivision shall not
begin to run until the time at which a reasonable person in the plaintiff's position would
know the fact of the injury, and that the injury was caused by the alleged conduct of
the defendant. There is an absolute limit of six years from the date the cause of action
accrued in which to commence an action.
new text end

new text begin (e) Except for actions commenced pursuant to paragraph (a), clause (5), no cause
of action may in any extent be commenced after six years from the date the cause of
action accrues.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective August 1, 2011, and applies to causes
of action arising from incidents occurring on or after that date.
new text end

Sec. 9.

Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 549.09, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

When owed; rate.

(a) When a judgment or award is for the recovery
of money, including a judgment for the recovery of taxes, interest from the time of
the verdict, award, or report until judgment is finally entered shall be computed by the
court administrator or arbitrator as provided in paragraph (c) and added to the judgment
or award.

(b) Except as otherwise provided by contract or allowed by law, preverdict,
preaward, or prereport interest on pecuniary damages shall be computed as provided
in paragraph (c) from the time of the commencement of the action or a demand for
arbitration, or the time of a written notice of claim, whichever occurs first, except as
provided herein. The action must be commenced within two years of a written notice of
claim for interest to begin to accrue from the time of the notice of claim. If either party
serves a written offer of settlement, the other party may serve a written acceptance or a
written counteroffer within 30 days. After that time, interest on the judgment or award
shall be calculated by the judge or arbitrator in the following manner. The prevailing
party shall receive interest on any judgment or award from the time of commencement
of the action or a demand for arbitration, or the time of a written notice of claim, or as
to special damages from the time when special damages were incurred, if later, until the
time of verdict, award, or report only if the amount of its offer is closer to the judgment or
award than the amount of the opposing party's offer. If the amount of the losing party's
offer was closer to the judgment or award than the prevailing party's offer, the prevailing
party shall receive interest only on the amount of the settlement offer or the judgment or
award, whichever is less, and only from the time of commencement of the action or a
demand for arbitration, or the time of a written notice of claim, or as to special damages
from when the special damages were incurred, if later, until the time the settlement offer
was made. Subsequent offers and counteroffers supersede the legal effect of earlier offers
and counteroffers. For the purposes of clause (2), the amount of settlement offer must
be allocated between past and future damages in the same proportion as determined by
the trier of fact. Except as otherwise provided by contract or allowed by law, preverdict,
preaward, or prereport interest shall not be awarded on the following:

(1) judgments, awards, or benefits in workers' compensation cases, but not including
third-party actions;

(2) judgments or awards for future damages;

(3) punitive damages, fines, or other damages that are noncompensatory in nature;

(4) judgments or awards not in excess of the amount specified in section 491A.01;
and

(5) that portion of any verdict, award, or report which is founded upon interest, or
costs, disbursements, attorney fees, or other similar items added by the court or arbitrator.

(c)(1) deleted text beginFor a judgment or award of $50,000 or less or a judgment or award for or
against the state or a political subdivision of the state, regardless of the amount,
deleted text end The
interest shall be computed as simple interest per annum. The rate of interest shall be based
on the secondary market yield of one year United States Treasury bills, calculated on a
bank discount basis as provided in this section.

On or before the 20th day of December of each new text beginodd-numberednew text end year the state court
administrator shall determine the rate from the one-year constant maturity treasury yield
for the most recent calendar month, reported on a monthly basis in the latest statistical
release of the board of governors of the Federal Reserve System. This yield new text beginplus eight
percentage points if the judgment or award is over $50,000
new text end, rounded to the nearest
one percent, or four percent, whichever is greater, shall be the annual interest rate new text beginfor
verdicts entered
new text end during the succeeding deleted text begincalendar yeardeleted text endnew text begin two calendar yearsnew text end. The state court
administrator shall communicate the interest rates to the court administrators and sheriffs
for use in computing the interest on verdicts and shall make the interest rates available
to arbitrators.

deleted text begin This clause applies to any section that references section 549.09 by citation for the
purposes of computing an interest rate on any amount owed to or by the state or a political
subdivision of the state, regardless of the amount.
deleted text end

(2) deleted text beginFor a judgment or award over $50,000, other than a judgment or award for or
against the state or a political subdivision of the state, the interest rate shall be ten percent
per year until paid.
deleted text end

deleted text begin (3)deleted text end When a judgment creditor, or the judgment creditor's attorney or agent, has
received a payment after entry of judgment, whether the payment is made voluntarily by
or on behalf of the judgment debtor, or is collected by legal process other than execution
levy where a proper return has been filed with the court administrator, the judgment
creditor, or the judgment creditor's attorney, before applying to the court administrator
for an execution shall file with the court administrator an affidavit of partial satisfaction.
The affidavit must state the dates and amounts of payments made upon the judgment after
the most recent affidavit of partial satisfaction filed, if any; the part of each payment that
is applied to taxable disbursements and to accrued interest and to the unpaid principal
balance of the judgment; and the accrued, but the unpaid interest owing, if any, after
application of each payment.

(d) This section does not apply to arbitrations between employers and employees
under chapter 179 or 179A. An arbitrator is neither required to nor prohibited from
awarding interest under chapter 179 or under section 179A.16 for essential employees.

deleted text begin (e) For purposes of this subdivision:
deleted text end

deleted text begin (1) "state" includes a department, board, agency, commission, court, or other entity
in the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the state; and
deleted text end

deleted text begin (2) "political subdivision" includes a town, statutory or home rule charter city,
county, school district, or any other political subdivision of the state.
deleted text end

new text begin (e) This section does not apply to a judgment or award upon which interest is entitled
to be recovered under section 60A.0811.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective August 1, 2011, and applies to
judgments and awards entered on or after that date.
new text end

Sec. 10.

new text begin [549.255] ATTORNEY FEE AWARDS.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Reasonable relation of fees to damages. new text end

new text begin When a statute provides
for the award of attorney fees to a party that has recovered money damages, the court,
in setting the amount of attorney fees, must, in addition to other factors, take into
consideration the reasonableness of the attorney fees sought in relation to the amount of
damages awarded to the prevailing party.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Offer of judgment. new text end

new text begin If an offer of judgment is made by a party under Rule
68 of the Rules of Civil Procedure to a party who claims money damages pursuant, in
whole or in part, to a statute that provides for the award of attorney fees, and the party
claiming attorney fees does not obtain a verdict in excess of the offer, exclusive of attorney
fees, no attorney fees may be awarded for fees incurred after service of the offer of
judgment. The party that rejects an offer of judgment must disclose the attorney fees it
has incurred as of the date of the service of the offer of judgment within the time period
provided by Rule 68 for the acceptance of an offer of judgment.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective August 1, 2011, and applies to
actions commenced on or after that date.
new text end

Sec. 11.

new text begin [609.3244] CIVIL LIABILITY.
new text end

new text begin (a) A sex trafficking victim may bring a cause of action against a person who violates
section 609.322. The court may award damages, including punitive damages, reasonable
attorney fees, and other litigation costs reasonably incurred by the victim.
new text end

new text begin (b) The rules of evidence set out in section 611A.83 apply to a cause of action under
this section. The evidentiary protections provided by this paragraph do not apply to any
subsequent prosecution of a violent crime, as defined in section 609.1095, subdivision 1,
paragraph (d).
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective August 1, 2011, and applies to causes
of action commenced on or after that date.
new text end