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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

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

  

                         Laws of Minnesota 1989 

                        CHAPTER 298-S.F.No. 299 
           An act relating to game and fish; providing for 
          restitution for wild animals that are illegally killed 
          or injured; restricting expenditures from restitution 
          to replacement and propagation of wild animals 
          illegally killed or injured; amending Minnesota 
          Statutes 1988, section 97A.065, by adding a 
          subdivision; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota 
          Statutes, chapter 97A. 
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
     Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 97A.065, is 
amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
    Subd. 5.  [RESTITUTION FOR WILD ANIMALS.] Money collected 
from restitution under section 2 for wild animals killed, 
injured, or possessed in violation of the game and fish laws 
must be used by the commissioner for replacement, propagation, 
or protection of wild animals.  
    Sec. 2.  [97A.341] [RESTITUTION FOR WILD ANIMALS ILLEGALLY 
TAKEN.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [LIABILITY FOR RESTITUTION.] A person who 
kills, injures, or possesses a wild animal in violation of the 
game and fish laws is liable to the state for the value of the 
wild animal as provided in this section.  Species afforded 
protection include members of the following groups as defined by 
statute or rule:  game fish, game birds, big game, small game, 
fur-bearing animals, minnows, and threatened and endangered 
animal species.  Other animal species may be added by order of 
the commissioner as determined after public meetings and 
notification of the chairs of the environment and natural 
resources committees in the senate and house of representatives. 
    Subd. 2.  [ARREST AND CHARGING PROCEDURE.] (a) An 
enforcement officer who arrests a person for killing, injuring, 
or possessing a wild animal in violation of the game and fish 
laws must describe the number, species, and restitution value of 
wild animals illegally killed, injured, or possessed on the 
warrant or the notice to appear in court.  
    (b) As part of the charge against a person arrested for 
killing, injuring, or possessing a wild animal in violation of 
the game and fish laws, the prosecuting attorney must include a 
demand that restitution be made to the state for the value of 
the wild animal killed, injured, or possessed.  The demand for 
restitution is in addition to the criminal penalties otherwise 
provided for the violation.  
    Subd. 3.  [SENTENCING PROCEDURE.] If a person is convicted 
of or pleads guilty to killing, injuring, or possessing a wild 
animal in violation of the game and fish laws, the court must 
require the person to pay restitution to the state for 
replacement of the wild animal as part of the sentence or state 
in writing why restitution was not imposed.  The court may 
consider the economic circumstances of the person and, in lieu 
of monetary restitution, order the person to perform 
conservation work representing the amount of restitution that 
will aid the propagation of wild animals.  If the court does not 
order a person to pay restitution, the court administrator must 
send a copy of the court order to the commissioner.  
    Subd. 4.  [AMOUNT OF RESTITUTION.] The amount of 
restitution shall be determined by the court by a preponderance 
of the evidence.  In determining the amount of restitution, the 
court must consider the value of the wild animal under section 3.
    Subd. 5.  [RESTITUTION CREDITED TO GAME AND FISH FUND.] The 
court administrator shall forward restitution collected under 
this section to the commissioner of finance and the commissioner 
shall credit all money forwarded to the game and fish fund in 
the state treasury.  
    Sec. 3.  [97A.345] [RESTITUTION VALUE OF WILD ANIMALS.] 
    (a) The commissioner may, by rules adopted under chapter 
14, prescribe the dollar value to the state of species of wild 
animals.  The value may reflect the value to other persons to 
legally take the wild animal, the replacement cost, or the 
intrinsic value to the state of the wild animals.  Species of 
wild animals with similar values may be grouped together. 
    (b) The value of a wild animal under the rules adopted by 
the commissioner is prima facie evidence of a wild animal's 
value under section 2. 
    (c) The commissioner shall report annually to the 
legislature the amount of restitution collected under section 2 
and the manner in which the funds were expended. 
    Sec. 4.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
    Sections 1 and 2 are effective November 1, 1989, and apply 
to game and fish law violations committed on or after that 
date.  Section 3 is effective the day after final enactment. 
    Presented to the governor May 26, 1989 
    Signed by the governor May 26, 1989, 5:47 p.m.