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Key: (1) language to be deleted (2) new language

  

                         Laws of Minnesota 1987 

                        CHAPTER 366-H.F.No. 943 
           An act relating to the attorney general; creating a 
          consumer education account; providing for its 
          administration; appropriating money; amending 
          Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 8.31, subdivisions 
          2b, 3, and by adding subdivisions. 
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
    Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 8.31, 
subdivision 2b, is amended to read:  
    Subd. 2b.  [ASSURANCE OF DISCONTINUANCE.] The attorney 
general may accept an assurance of discontinuance of any act or 
practice the attorney general deems to be in violation of the 
laws referred to in subdivision 1 from any person the attorney 
general alleges is engaging in, or has engaged in, the act or 
practice.  The assurance may include a stipulation for the 
performance, provision or payment by the alleged violator of any 
remedies allowable under subdivision 3a this section.  Any 
assurance shall be in writing and shall be filed with and 
subject to the approval of the district court of the county in 
which the alleged violator resides or has a principal place of 
business or in Ramsey county.  An assurance shall not be 
considered an admission of a violation for any purpose.  Failure 
to comply with the assurance of discontinuance shall be 
punishable as contempt.  
    For the purposes of this subdivision the term "person" has 
the meaning specified in section 325F.68.  
    Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 8.31, is amended 
by adding a subdivision to read: 
     Subd. 2c.  [CONSUMER EDUCATION ACCOUNT.] If a court of 
competent jurisdiction finds that a sum recovered under this 
section for the benefit of injured persons cannot reasonably be 
distributed to the victims, because the victims cannot readily 
be located or identified, or because the cost of distributing 
the money would outweigh the benefit to the victims, then the 
court may order that the money be paid into a consumer education 
account.  All sums recovered must be deposited into the state 
treasury and credited to the consumer education account.  The 
money credited to the account may be expended only as 
appropriated by law for the following purposes: 
    (1) to prepare and distribute educational materials to 
inform the public regarding consumer protection laws and 
consumer rights; 
    (2) to underwrite educational seminars and other forms of 
educational projects for the benefit of consumers and businesses;
    (3) to contract for or conduct educational or research 
projects in the field of consumer protection, to further the 
purposes of the laws referred to in subdivision 1; and 
    (4) to assist the commissioner of education in establishing 
curriculum guidelines for elementary and secondary schools in 
the areas of consumer protection and consumer literacy. 
    Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 8.31, subdivision 
3, is amended to read:  
    Subd. 3.  [INJUNCTIVE RELIEF.] In addition to the penalties 
provided by law for violation of the laws referred to in 
subdivision 1, specifically and generally, whether or not 
injunctive relief is otherwise provided by law, the courts of 
this state are vested with jurisdiction to prevent and restrain 
violations of those laws and, to require the payment of civil 
penalties, to require payment into a consumer education account, 
and to appoint administrators as provided in section 4.  On 
becoming satisfied that any of those laws has been or is being 
violated, or is about to be violated, the attorney general shall 
be entitled, on behalf of the state; (a) to sue for and have 
injunctive relief in any court of competent jurisdiction against 
any such violation or threatened violation without abridging the 
penalties provided by law; and (b) to sue for and recover for 
the state, from any person who is found to have violated any of 
the laws referred to in subdivision 1, a civil penalty, in an 
amount to be determined by the court, not in excess of $25,000.  
All sums recovered by the attorney general under this section 
shall be deposited in the general fund of the state treasury, 
but sums recovered and deposited pursuant to section 2 must be 
credited to a consumer education account as provided in section 
2.  
     Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 8.31, is amended 
by adding a subdivision to read:  
    Subd. 3c.  [ADMINISTRATORS.] The courts of this state are 
vested with jurisdiction to appoint an administrator in actions 
brought by the attorney general under this section, for purposes 
of (1) monitoring, maintaining, or winding up the affairs of a 
business, or (2) collecting, administering, and distributing 
judgments obtained by the attorney general for the benefit of 
persons.  Upon the order of a court having jurisdiction over the 
matter, reasonable fees and expenses may be paid to the 
administrator out of any sums recovered under this section or 
administered by the administrator. 
     Sec. 5.  [APPROPRIATION.] 
    $20,000 is appropriated from the consumer education account 
for the purposes of this act to be available until June 30, 1989.
    Approved June 2, 1987

Official Publication of the State of Minnesota Revisor of Statutes