2nd Engrossment - 82nd Legislature (2001 - 2002) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am
1.1 A bill for an act 1.2 relating to support; clarifying and modifying the 1.3 crime of nonsupport of a spouse or child; providing 1.4 notice of criminal penalties for nonsupport of a 1.5 spouse or child; specifying spousal liability for 1.6 medical necessities; imposing criminal penalties; 1.7 amending Minnesota Statutes 2000, sections 518.68, 1.8 subdivision 2; 519.05; 609.095; 609.375, subdivisions 1.9 1, 2, 2a, by adding subdivisions; proposing coding for 1.10 new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 609. 1.11 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 1.12 Section 1. Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 518.68, 1.13 subdivision 2, is amended to read: 1.14 Subd. 2. [CONTENTS.] The required notices must be 1.15 substantially as follows: 1.16 IMPORTANT NOTICE 1.17 1. PAYMENTS TO PUBLIC AGENCY 1.18 According to Minnesota Statutes, section 518.551, 1.19 subdivision 1, payments ordered for maintenance and support 1.20 must be paid to the public agency responsible for child 1.21 support enforcement as long as the person entitled to 1.22 receive the payments is receiving or has applied for public 1.23 assistance or has applied for support and maintenance 1.24 collection services. MAIL PAYMENTS TO: 1.25 2. DEPRIVING ANOTHER OF CUSTODIAL OR PARENTAL RIGHTS -- A 1.26 FELONY 1.27 A person may be charged with a felony who conceals a minor 1.28 child or takes, obtains, retains, or fails to return a 2.1 minor child from or to the child's parent (or person with 2.2 custodial or visitation rights), according to Minnesota 2.3 Statutes, section 609.26. A copy of that section is 2.4 available from any district court clerk. 2.5 3. NONSUPPORT OF A SPOUSE OR CHILD -- CRIMINAL PENALTIES 2.6 A person who fails to pay court-ordered child support or 2.7 maintenance may be charged with a crime, which may include 2.8 misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor, or felony charges, 2.9 according to Minnesota Statutes, section 609.375. A copy 2.10 of that section is available from any district court clerk. 2.11
3.4. RULES OF SUPPORT, MAINTENANCE, PARENTING TIME 2.12 (a) Payment of support or spousal maintenance is to be as 2.13 ordered, and the giving of gifts or making purchases of 2.14 food, clothing, and the like will not fulfill the 2.15 obligation. 2.16 (b) Payment of support must be made as it becomes due, and 2.17 failure to secure or denial of parenting time is NOT an 2.18 excuse for nonpayment, but the aggrieved party must seek 2.19 relief through a proper motion filed with the court. 2.20 (c) Nonpayment of support is not grounds to deny parenting 2.21 time. The party entitled to receive support may apply for 2.22 support and collection services, file a contempt motion, or 2.23 obtain a judgment as provided in Minnesota Statutes, 2.24 section 548.091. 2.25 (d) The payment of support or spousal maintenance takes 2.26 priority over payment of debts and other obligations. 2.27 (e) A party who accepts additional obligations of support 2.28 does so with the full knowledge of the party's prior 2.29 obligation under this proceeding. 2.30 (f) Child support or maintenance is based on annual income, 2.31 and it is the responsibility of a person with seasonal 2.32 employment to budget income so that payments are made 2.33 throughout the year as ordered. 2.34 (g) If the obligor is laid off from employment or receives 2.35 a pay reduction, support may be reduced, but only if a 2.36 motion to reduce the support is served and filed with the 3.1 court. Any reduction will take effect only if ordered by 3.2 the court and may only relate back to the time that the 3.3 motion is filed. If a motion is not filed, the support 3.4 obligation will continue at the current level. The court 3.5 is not permitted to reduce support retroactively, except as 3.6 provided in Minnesota Statutes, section 518.64, subdivision 3.7 2, paragraph (c). 3.8 (h) Reasonable parenting time guidelines are contained in 3.9 Appendix B, which is available from the court administrator. 3.10 (i) The nonpayment of support may be enforced through the 3.11 denial of student grants; interception of state and federal 3.12 tax refunds; suspension of driver's, recreational, and 3.13 occupational licenses; referral to the department of 3.14 revenue or private collection agencies; seizure of assets, 3.15 including bank accounts and other assets held by financial 3.16 institutions; reporting to credit bureaus; interest 3.17 charging, income withholding, and contempt proceedings; and 3.18 other enforcement methods allowed by law. 3.19 4.5. PARENTAL RIGHTS FROM MINNESOTA STATUTES, SECTION 518.17, 3.20 SUBDIVISION 3 3.21 Unless otherwise provided by the Court: 3.22 (a) Each party has the right of access to, and to receive 3.23 copies of, school, medical, dental, religious training, and 3.24 other important records and information about the minor 3.25 children. Each party has the right of access to 3.26 information regarding health or dental insurance available 3.27 to the minor children. Presentation of a copy of this 3.28 order to the custodian of a record or other information 3.29 about the minor children constitutes sufficient 3.30 authorization for the release of the record or information 3.31 to the requesting party. 3.32 (b) Each party shall keep the other informed as to the name 3.33 and address of the school of attendance of the minor 3.34 children. Each party has the right to be informed by 3.35 school officials about the children's welfare, educational 3.36 progress and status, and to attend school and parent 4.1 teacher conferences. The school is not required to hold a 4.2 separate conference for each party. 4.3 (c) In case of an accident or serious illness of a minor 4.4 child, each party shall notify the other party of the 4.5 accident or illness, and the name of the health care 4.6 provider and the place of treatment. 4.7 (d) Each party has the right of reasonable access and 4.8 telephone contact with the minor children. 4.9 5.6. WAGE AND INCOME DEDUCTION OF SUPPORT AND MAINTENANCE 4.10 Child support and/or spousal maintenance may be withheld 4.11 from income, with or without notice to the person obligated 4.12 to pay, when the conditions of Minnesota Statutes, section 4.13 518.6111 have been met. A copy of those sections is 4.14 available from any district court clerk. 4.15 6.7. CHANGE OF ADDRESS OR RESIDENCE 4.16 Unless otherwise ordered, each party shall notify the other 4.17 party, the court, and the public authority responsible for 4.18 collection, if applicable, of the following information 4.19 within ten days of any change: the residential and mailing 4.20 address, telephone number, driver's license number, social 4.21 security number, and name, address, and telephone number of 4.22 the employer. 4.23 7.8. COST OF LIVING INCREASE OF SUPPORT AND MAINTENANCE 4.24 Child support and/or spousal maintenance may be adjusted 4.25 every two years based upon a change in the cost of living 4.26 (using Department of Labor Consumer Price Index .........., 4.27 unless otherwise specified in this order) when the 4.28 conditions of Minnesota Statutes, section 518.641, are met. 4.29 Cost of living increases are compounded. A copy of 4.30 Minnesota Statutes, section 518.641, and forms necessary to 4.31 request or contest a cost of living increase are available 4.32 from any district court clerk. 4.33 8.9. JUDGMENTS FOR UNPAID SUPPORT 4.34 If a person fails to make a child support payment, the 4.35 payment owed becomes a judgment against the person 4.36 responsible to make the payment by operation of law on or 5.1 after the date the payment is due, and the person entitled 5.2 to receive the payment or the public agency may obtain 5.3 entry and docketing of the judgment WITHOUT NOTICE to the 5.4 person responsible to make the payment under Minnesota 5.5 Statutes, section 548.091. Interest begins to accrue on a 5.6 payment or installment of child support whenever the unpaid 5.7 amount due is greater than the current support due, 5.8 according to Minnesota Statutes, section 548.091, 5.9 subdivision 1a. 5.10 9.10. JUDGMENTS FOR UNPAID MAINTENANCE 5.11 A judgment for unpaid spousal maintenance may be entered 5.12 when the conditions of Minnesota Statutes, section 548.091, 5.13 are met. A copy of that section is available from any 5.14 district court clerk. 5.15 10.11. ATTORNEY FEES AND COLLECTION COSTS FOR ENFORCEMENT OF 5.16 CHILD SUPPORT 5.17 A judgment for attorney fees and other collection costs 5.18 incurred in enforcing a child support order will be entered 5.19 against the person responsible to pay support when the 5.20 conditions of section 518.14, subdivision 2, are met. A 5.21 copy of section 518.14 and forms necessary to request or 5.22 contest these attorney fees and collection costs are 5.23 available from any district court clerk. 5.24 11.12. PARENTING TIME EXPEDITOR PROCESS 5.25 On request of either party or on its own motion, the court 5.26 may appoint a parenting time expeditor to resolve parenting 5.27 time disputes under Minnesota Statutes, section 518.1751. 5.28 A copy of that section and a description of the expeditor 5.29 process is available from any district court clerk. 5.30 12.13. PARENTING TIME REMEDIES AND PENALTIES 5.31 Remedies and penalties for the wrongful denial of parenting 5.32 time are available under Minnesota Statutes, section 5.33 518.175, subdivision 6. These include compensatory 5.34 parenting time; civil penalties; bond requirements; 5.35 contempt; and reversal of custody. A copy of that 5.36 subdivision and forms for requesting relief are available 6.1 from any district court clerk. 6.2 Sec. 2. Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 519.05, is 6.3 amended to read: 6.4 519.05 [LIABILITY OF HUSBAND AND WIFE.] 6.5 (a) A spouse is not liable to a creditor for any debts of 6.6 the other spouse. Where husband and wife are living together, 6.7 they shall be jointly and severally liable for allnecessary 6.8 medical services that have been furnished to either spouse, and 6.9 necessary household articles and supplies furnished to and used 6.10 by the family. Notwithstanding this paragraph, in a proceeding 6.11 under chapter 518 the court may apportion such debt between the 6.12 spouses. 6.13 (b) Either spouse may close a credit card account or other 6.14 unsecured consumer line of credit on which both spouses are 6.15 contractually liable, by giving written notice to the creditor. 6.16 Sec. 3. Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 609.095, is 6.17 amended to read: 6.18 609.095 [LIMITS OF SENTENCES.] 6.19 (a) The legislature has the exclusive authority to define 6.20 crimes and offenses and the range of the sentences or 6.21 punishments for their violation. No other or different sentence 6.22 or punishment shall be imposed for the commission of a crime 6.23 than is authorized by this chapter or other applicable law. 6.24 (b) Except as provided in section 152.18 or 609.375, or 6.25 upon agreement of the parties, a court may not refuse to 6.26 adjudicate the guilt of a defendant who tenders a guilty plea in 6.27 accordance with Minnesota Rules of Criminal Procedure, rule 15, 6.28 or who has been found guilty by a court or jury following a 6.29 trial. 6.30 (c) Paragraph (b) does not supersede Minnesota Rules of 6.31 Criminal Procedure, rule 26.04. 6.32 Sec. 4. Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 609.375, 6.33 subdivision 1, is amended to read: 6.34 Subdivision 1. [CRIME DEFINED.] Whoever is legally 6.35 obligated to provide care and support to a spouse or child, 6.36 whether or not itsthe child's custody has been granted to 7.1 another, and knowingly omits and fails without lawful excuseto 7.2 do so is guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction may be 7.3 sentenced to imprisonment for not more than 90 days or to 7.4 payment of a fine of not more than $700, or both. 7.5 Sec. 5. Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 609.375, 7.6 subdivision 2, is amended to read: 7.7 Subd. 2. [GROSS MISDEMEANOR VIOLATION.] If the violation7.8 of subdivision 1 continues for a period in excess of 90 days but7.9 not more than 180 days, theA person who violates subdivision 1 7.10 is guilty of a gross misdemeanor and may be sentenced to 7.11 imprisonment for not more than one year or to payment of a fine 7.12 of not more than $3,000, or both, if: 7.13 (1) the violation continues for a period in excess of 90 7.14 days but not more than 180 days; or 7.15 (2) the person is in arrears in court-ordered child support 7.16 or maintenance payments, or both, in an amount equal to or 7.17 greater than six times but less than nine times the person's 7.18 total monthly support and maintenance payments. 7.19 Sec. 6. Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 609.375, 7.20 subdivision 2a, is amended to read: 7.21 Subd. 2a. [FELONY VIOLATION.] If the violation of7.22 subdivision 1 continues for a period in excess of 180 days, the7.23 A person who violates subdivision 1 is guilty of a felony and 7.24 upon conviction may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more 7.25 than two years or to payment of a fine of not more than $5,000, 7.26 or both, if: 7.27 (1) the violation continues for a period in excess of 180 7.28 days; or 7.29 (2) the person is in arrears in court-ordered child support 7.30 or maintenance payments, or both, in an amount equal to or 7.31 greater than nine times the person's total monthly support and 7.32 maintenance payments. 7.33 Sec. 7. Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 609.375, is 7.34 amended by adding a subdivision to read: 7.35 Subd. 2b. [ATTEMPT TO OBTAIN CONTEMPT ORDER AS 7.36 PREREQUISITE TO PROSECUTION.] A person may not be charged with 8.1 violating this section unless there has been an attempt to 8.2 obtain a court order holding the person in contempt for failing 8.3 to pay support or maintenance under chapter 518. This 8.4 requirement is satisfied by a showing that reasonable attempts 8.5 have been made at service of the order. 8.6 Sec. 8. Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 609.375, is 8.7 amended by adding a subdivision to read: 8.8 Subd. 8. [DEFENSE.] It is an affirmative defense to 8.9 criminal liability under this section if the defendant proves by 8.10 a preponderance of the evidence that the omission and failure to 8.11 provide care and support were with lawful excuse. 8.12 Sec. 9. [609.3751] [DISCHARGE AND DISMISSAL.] 8.13 Subdivision 1. [APPLICABILITY.] A person is eligible for a 8.14 discharge and dismissal under this section, if the person: 8.15 (1) has not been previously convicted of a felony under the 8.16 laws of this state or elsewhere; 8.17 (2) has not been previously convicted of a violation of 8.18 section 609.375 or of a similar offense in this state or 8.19 elsewhere; 8.20 (3) has not previously participated in or completed a 8.21 diversion program relating to a charge of violating section 8.22 609.375; and 8.23 (4) has not previously been placed on probation without a 8.24 judgment of guilty for violation of section 609.375. 8.25 Subd. 2. [PROCEDURE.] For a person eligible under 8.26 subdivision 1 who is charged with violating section 609.375, the 8.27 court may after trial or upon a plea of guilty, without entering 8.28 a judgment of guilty and with the consent of the person, defer 8.29 further proceedings and place the person on probation upon such 8.30 reasonable conditions as it may require and for a period not to 8.31 exceed the maximum sentence provided for the violation. At a 8.32 minimum, the conditions must require the defendant to: 8.33 (1) provide the public authority responsible for child 8.34 support enforcement with an affidavit attesting to the 8.35 defendant's present address, occupation, employer, current 8.36 income, assets, and account information, as defined in section 9.1 13B.06; and 9.2 (2) execute a written payment agreement regarding both 9.3 current support and arrearages that is approved by the court. 9.4 In determining whether to approve a payment agreement under 9.5 clause (2), the court shall apply the provisions of chapter 518 9.6 consistent with the obligor's ability to pay. 9.7 Subd. 3. [VIOLATION.] Upon violation of a condition of the 9.8 probation, including a failure to comply with the written 9.9 payment agreement approved by the court under subdivision 2, 9.10 clause (2), the court may enter an adjudication of guilt and 9.11 proceed as otherwise provided in law. 9.12 Subd. 4. [EARLY DISMISSAL.] The court may, in its 9.13 discretion, dismiss the proceedings against the person and 9.14 discharge the person from probation before the expiration of the 9.15 maximum period prescribed for the person's probation but may do 9.16 so only if the full amount of any arrearages has been brought 9.17 current. 9.18 Subd. 5. [DISMISSAL; RECORD.] (a) For purposes of this 9.19 subdivision, "not public" has the meaning given in section 9.20 13.02, subdivision 8a. 9.21 (b) If during the period of probation the person does not 9.22 violate any of the conditions of the probation, then upon 9.23 expiration of the period the court shall discharge the person 9.24 and dismiss the proceedings against that person. Discharge and 9.25 dismissal under this subdivision shall be without court 9.26 adjudication of guilt, but a not public record of it shall be 9.27 retained by the bureau of criminal apprehension for the purpose 9.28 of use by the courts in determining the merits of subsequent 9.29 proceedings against the person. The not public record may also 9.30 be opened only upon court order for purposes of a criminal 9.31 investigation, prosecution, or sentencing. Upon request by law 9.32 enforcement, prosecution, or corrections authorities, the bureau 9.33 shall notify the requesting party of the existence of the not 9.34 public record and the right to seek a court order to open it 9.35 pursuant to this section. The court shall forward a record of 9.36 any discharge and dismissal under this section to the bureau 10.1 which shall make and maintain the not public record of it as 10.2 provided under this section. The discharge or dismissal shall 10.3 not be deemed a conviction for purposes of disqualifications or 10.4 disabilities imposed by law upon conviction of a crime or for 10.5 any other purpose. 10.6 Sec. 10. [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 10.7 Sections 3 to 9 are effective August 1, 2001, and apply to 10.8 all crimes committed on or after that date.