Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

SF 2679

as introduced - 91st Legislature (2019 - 2020) Posted on 03/25/2019 04:39pm

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

Current Version - as introduced

Line numbers 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5
1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14
1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 2.1 2.2
2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23 2.24 2.25
2.26 2.27 2.28 2.29 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5
3.6 3.7 3.8
3.9 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.21 3.22 3.23 3.24 3.25 3.26 3.27 3.28 3.29 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13
4.14 4.15 4.16 4.17 4.18 4.19 4.20 4.21 4.22 4.23 4.24 4.25 4.26 4.27
4.28 4.29 4.30 4.31 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 5.9 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 5.15 5.16 5.17 5.18 5.19 5.20 5.21 5.22 5.23
5.24 5.25 5.26 5.27 5.28 5.29 5.30
6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 6.9 6.10 6.11 6.12
6.13 6.14 6.15
6.16 6.17 6.18

A bill for an act
relating to civil actions; regulating defamation actions; providing for requests for
corrections or clarifications; proposing coding for new law as Minnesota Statutes,
chapter 553A.

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

Section 1.

new text begin [553A.01] DEFINITIONS.
new text end

new text begin As used in sections 553A.01 to 553A.10:
new text end

new text begin (1) "defamatory" means tending to harm reputation;
new text end

new text begin (2) "economic loss" means special, pecuniary loss caused by a false and defamatory
publication;
new text end

new text begin (3) "person" means an individual, corporation, business trust, estate, trust, partnership,
association, joint venture, or other legal or commercial entity. The term does not include a
government or governmental subdivision, agency, or instrumentality; and
new text end

new text begin (4) "publish" means to communicate to another person.
new text end

Sec. 2.

new text begin [553A.02] SCOPE.
new text end

new text begin (a) Sections 553A.01 to 553A.10 apply to any claim for relief, however characterized,
for damages arising out of harm to personal reputation caused by the false content of a
publication that is published after the effective date of sections 553A.01 to 553A.10. Sections
553A.01 to 553A.10 do not create or recognize any new claim for relief, expand any existing
claim for relief, or change or abolish any existing defense.
new text end

new text begin (b) Sections 553A.01 to 553A.10 apply to all publications, including writings, broadcasts,
oral communications, electronic transmissions, or other forms of transmitting information.
new text end

Sec. 3.

new text begin [553A.03] REQUEST FOR CORRECTION OR CLARIFICATION.
new text end

new text begin (a) A person may maintain an action for defamation only after:
new text end

new text begin (1) the person has made a timely and adequate request for correction or clarification
from the defendant; or
new text end

new text begin (2) the defendant has made a correction or clarification.
new text end

new text begin (b) A request for correction or clarification is timely if made within the period of
limitation for commencement of an action for defamation. However, a person who, within
90 days after knowledge of the publication, fails to make a good-faith attempt to request a
correction or clarification may recover only provable economic loss.
new text end

new text begin (c) A request for correction or clarification is adequate if it:
new text end

new text begin (1) is made in writing and reasonably identifies the person making the request;
new text end

new text begin (2) specifies with particularity the statement alleged to be false and defamatory and, to
the extent known, the time and place of publication;
new text end

new text begin (3) alleges the defamatory meaning of the statement;
new text end

new text begin (4) specifies the circumstances giving rise to any defamatory meaning of the statement
which arises from other than the express language of the publication; and
new text end

new text begin (5) states that the alleged defamatory meaning of the statement is false.
new text end

new text begin (d) In the absence of a previous adequate request, service of a summons and complaint
stating a claim for relief for defamation and containing the information required in paragraph
(c) constitutes an adequate request for correction or clarification.
new text end

new text begin (e) The period of limitation for commencement of a defamation action is tolled during
the period allowed in section 553A.06, paragraph (a), for responding to a request for
correction or clarification.
new text end

Sec. 4.

new text begin [553A.04] DISCLOSURE OF EVIDENCE OF FALSITY.
new text end

new text begin (a) A person who has been requested to make a correction or clarification may ask the
requester to disclose reasonably available information material to the falsity of the alleged
defamatory statement.
new text end

new text begin (b) If a correction or clarification is not made, a person who unreasonably fails to disclose
the information after a request to do so may recover only provable economic loss.
new text end

new text begin (c) A correction or clarification is timely if published within 25 days after receipt of
information disclosed pursuant to paragraph (a) or 45 days after receipt of a request for
correction or clarification, whichever is later.
new text end

Sec. 5.

new text begin [553A.05] EFFECT OF CORRECTION OR CLARIFICATION.
new text end

new text begin If a timely and sufficient correction or clarification is made, a person may recover only
provable economic loss, as mitigated by the correction or clarification.
new text end

Sec. 6.

new text begin [553A.06] TIMELY AND SUFFICIENT CORRECTION OR
CLARIFICATION.
new text end

new text begin (a) A correction or clarification is timely if it is published before, or within 45 days after,
receipt of a request for correction or clarification, unless the period is extended under section
553A.04, paragraph (c).
new text end

new text begin (b) A correction or clarification is sufficient if:
new text end

new text begin (1) it is published with a prominence and in a manner and medium reasonably likely to
reach substantially the same audience as the publication complained of;
new text end

new text begin (2) it refers to the statement being corrected or clarified and:
new text end

new text begin (i) corrects or clarifies the statement;
new text end

new text begin (ii) in the case of defamatory meaning arising from other than the express language of
the publication, disclaims an intent to communicate that meaning or to assert its truth; or
new text end

new text begin (iii) in the case of a statement attributed to another person, identifies the person and
disclaims an intent to assert the truth of the statement; and
new text end

new text begin (3) reasonable efforts have been made to communicate it to the person who has made
the request for correction or clarification.
new text end

new text begin (c) A correction or clarification is published in a medium reasonably likely to reach
substantially the same audience as the publication complained of if it is published in a later
issue, edition, or broadcast of the original publication.
new text end

new text begin (d) If a later issue, edition, or broadcast of the original publication will not be published
within the time limits established for a timely correction or clarification, a correction or
clarification is published in a manner and medium reasonably likely to reach substantially
the same audience as the publication complained of if:
new text end

new text begin (1) it is timely published in a reasonably prominent manner:
new text end

new text begin (i) in another medium likely to reach an audience reasonably equivalent to the original
publication; or
new text end

new text begin (ii) if the parties cannot agree on another medium, in the newspaper with the largest
general circulation in the region in which the original publication was distributed;
new text end

new text begin (2) reasonable steps are taken to correct undistributed copies of the original publication,
if any; and
new text end

new text begin (3) it is published in the next practicable issue, edition, or broadcast, if any, of the original
publication.
new text end

new text begin (e) A correction or clarification is timely and sufficient if the parties agree in writing
that is timely and sufficient.
new text end

Sec. 7.

new text begin [553A.07] CHALLENGE TO CORRECTION OR CLARIFICATION OR
REQUEST FOR CORRECTION OR CLARIFICATION.
new text end

new text begin (a) If a defendant in an action governed by sections 553A.01 to 553A.10 intends to rely
on a timely and sufficient correction or clarification, the defendant's intention to do so, and
the correction or clarification relied upon, must be set forth in a notice served on the plaintiff
within 60 days after service of the summons and complaint or ten days after the correction
or clarification is made, whichever is later. A correction or clarification is deemed to be
timely and sufficient unless the plaintiff challenges its timeliness or sufficiency within 20
days after the notice is served.
new text end

new text begin (b) If a defendant in an action governed by sections 553A.01 to 553A.10 intends to
challenge the adequacy or timeliness of a request for correction or clarification, the defendant
must set forth the challenge in a motion to declare the request inadequate or untimely served
within 60 days after service of the summons and complaint. The court shall rule on the
motion at the earliest appropriate time before the trial.
new text end

Sec. 8.

new text begin [553A.08] OFFER TO CORRECT OR CLARIFY.
new text end

new text begin (a) If a timely correction or clarification is no longer possible, the publisher of an alleged
defamatory statement may offer, at any time before trial, to make a correction or clarification.
The offer must be made in writing to the person allegedly defamed by the publication, and:
new text end

new text begin (1) contain the publisher's offer to:
new text end

new text begin (i) publish, at the person's request, a sufficient correction or clarification; and
new text end

new text begin (ii) pay the person's reasonable expenses of litigation, including attorney fees, incurred
before publication of the correction or clarification; and
new text end

new text begin (2) be accompanied by a copy of the proposed correction or clarification and the plan
for its publication.
new text end

new text begin (b) If the person accepts in writing an offer to correct or clarify made pursuant to
paragraph (a):
new text end

new text begin (1) the person is barred from commencing an action against the publisher based on the
statement; or
new text end

new text begin (2) if an action has been commenced, the court shall dismiss the action against the
defendant with prejudice after the defendant complies with the terms of the offer.
new text end

new text begin (c) A person who does not accept an offer made in conformance with paragraph (a) may
recover in an action based on the statement only:
new text end

new text begin (1) damages for provable economic loss; and
new text end

new text begin (2) reasonable expenses of litigation, including attorney fees, incurred before the offer,
unless the person failed to make a good-faith attempt to request a correction or clarification
according to section 553A.03, paragraph (b), or failed to disclose information according to
section 553A.04.
new text end

new text begin (d) On request of either party, a court shall promptly determine the sufficiency of the
offered correction or clarification.
new text end

new text begin (e) The court shall determine the amount of reasonable expenses of litigation, including
attorney fees, specified in paragraphs (a), clause (1), item (ii), and (c), clause (2).
new text end

Sec. 9.

new text begin [553A.09] SCOPE OF PROTECTION.
new text end

new text begin A timely and sufficient correction or clarification made by a person responsible for a
publication constitutes a correction or clarification made by all persons responsible for that
publication other than a republisher. However, a correction or clarification that is sufficient
only because of the operation of section 553A.06, paragraph (b), clause (2), item (iii), does
not constitute a correction or clarification made by the person to whom the statement is
attributed.
new text end

Sec. 10.

new text begin [553A.10] ADMISSIBILITY OF EVIDENCE OF CORRECTION OR
CLARIFICATION.
new text end

new text begin (a) The fact of a request for correction or clarification under sections 553A.01 to 553A.10,
the contents of the request, and its acceptance or refusal are not admissible in evidence at
trial.
new text end

new text begin (b) The fact that a correction or clarification under sections 553A.01 to 553A.10 was
made and the contents of the correction or clarification are not admissible in evidence at
trial except in mitigation of damages pursuant to section 553A.05. If the fact that a correction
or clarification was made or the contents of the correction or clarification are received in
evidence, the fact of the request may also be received.
new text end

new text begin (c) The fact of an offer of correction or clarification, or the fact of its refusal, and the
contents of the offer are not admissible in evidence at trial.
new text end

Sec. 11.

new text begin [553A.11] SHORT TITLE.
new text end

new text begin Sections 553A.01 to 553A.10 may be cited as the "Correction or Clarification of
Defamation Act."
new text end

Sec. 12. new text beginEFFECTIVE DATE.
new text end

new text begin Sections 1 to 11 are effective August 1, 2019, and apply to statements published on or
after that date.
new text end