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

  

                         Laws of Minnesota 1991 

                        CHAPTER 288-S.F.No. 1284 
           An act relating to agriculture; changing the livestock 
          market agency and dealer licensing act; amending 
          Minnesota Statutes 1990, sections 17A.01; 17A.03, 
          subdivisions 1, 5, and 7; 17A.04, subdivision 1; 
          17A.14; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota 
          Statutes, chapter 17A. 
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
    Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1990, section 17A.01, is 
amended to read: 
    17A.01 [CITATION.] 
    Sections 17A.01 to 17A.15 This chapter may be cited as the 
Minnesota livestock market agency and dealer licensing act.  
    Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1990, section 17A.03, 
subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
    Subdivision 1.  [SCOPE.] As used in sections 17A.01 to 
17A.15 this chapter, the terms defined in this section have the 
meanings given them. 
    Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1990, section 17A.03, 
subdivision 5, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 5.  [LIVESTOCK.] "Livestock" means cattle, sheep, 
swine, horses intended for slaughter, mules, and goats. 
    Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1990, section 17A.03, 
subdivision 7, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 7.  [LIVESTOCK DEALER.] "Livestock dealer" means any 
person, including a packing company, engaged in the business of 
buying or selling livestock on a regular basis for the person's 
own account or for the account of others.  
    "Livestock dealer" does not include:  
    (a) persons licensed under section 28A.04 who are primarily 
engaged in the sale of meats at retail and persons operating as 
frozen food processing plants as defined in section 31.185; and 
    (b) persons engaged in the business of farming, when 
purchasing livestock for breeding or herd replacement purposes 
or feeding programs, and when selling the livestock they have 
owned and raised, fed out or fattened for slaughter in their 
specific farming program. 
    Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 1990, section 17A.04, 
subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
    Subdivision 1.  [LICENSING PROVISIONS.] Licenses shall be 
issued to livestock market agencies and public stockyards 
annually and shall expire on December 31 each year, renewable 
annually thereafter.  The license issued to a livestock market 
agency and public stockyard shall be conspicuously posted at the 
licensee's place of business.  Licenses shall be required for 
livestock dealers and their agents for the period beginning July 
1 each year and ending June 30.  The license issued to a 
livestock dealer or the agent of a livestock dealer shall be 
carried by the person so licensed.  The livestock dealer shall 
be responsible for the acts of the dealer's agents.  Licensed 
livestock market agencies, public stockyards, and livestock 
dealers shall be responsible for the faithful performance of 
duty of the public livestock weighers at their places of 
business.  The license issued to a livestock market agency, 
public stockyard or livestock dealer or agent of a livestock 
dealer is not transferable.  The operation of livestock market 
agencies, livestock dealers, agents and packers at a public 
stockyard are exempt from sections 17A.01 to 17A.09 17A.091, and 
17A.12 to 17A.15 17A.17. 
    Sec. 6.  Minnesota Statutes 1990, section 17A.14, is 
amended to read: 
    17A.14 [PENALTIES.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [CRIMINAL PENALTIES.] Any person, duly 
licensed or otherwise, who violates the provisions of sections 
17A.01 to 17A.15 this chapter, for which violation a penalty has 
not been specifically set out, is guilty of a misdemeanor.  Any 
subsequent violation is a gross misdemeanor. 
     Subd. 2.  [CIVIL PENALTIES.] (a) The commissioner, as an 
alternate to misdemeanor prosecution, may impose a civil penalty 
on a person who violates a statute or rule enforceable by the 
commissioner.  For a first violation, the commissioner may 
impose a civil penalty of not more than $500 for each 
violation.  For a second or succeeding violation, the 
commissioner may impose a penalty of not more than $1,000 for 
each violation. 
    (b) In determining the amount of the civil penalty, the 
commissioner may consider: 
    (1) the willfulness of the violation; 
    (2) the gravity of the violation; 
     (3) the person's history of past violations; 
     (4) the number of violations; 
     (5) the economic benefit from the violations; and 
     (6) other factors identified in the commissioner's citation.
     (c) For a second or succeeding violation, the commissioner 
shall determine the amount of a penalty by considering the 
factors in paragraph (b) and: 
     (1) similarity between the violations; 
     (2) time elapsed since the last violation; and 
     (3) the person's response to the most recent violation. 
    Sec. 7.  [17A.145] [CIVIL PENALTY PROCEDURES.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [CITATION.] If the commissioner believes 
that a person has violated this chapter or a rule or order 
adopted under this chapter, the commissioner shall issue a 
written citation to the person by personal service or by 
certified mail.  The citation must describe with particularity 
the nature of the violation, including a reference to the 
statute, rule, or order alleged to have been violated.  In 
addition, the citation must fix a reasonable time for the 
abatement of the violation and notify the person of the penalty, 
if any, proposed to be assessed.  The citation must also advise 
that the person has 30 working days within which to notify the 
commissioner in writing that the person wishes to contest the 
citation, proposed penalty assessment, or time allowed for 
correction.  The commissioner may issue notices instead of 
citations with respect to minor violations if the commissioner 
believes a notice will best serve the public interest.  
    Subd. 2.  [FINAL ORDER.] If within 30 working days after 
receiving the commissioner's notice or citation the person fails 
to notify the commissioner in writing that the person intends to 
contest the citation, proposed penalty, assessment, or time 
allowed for correction in the citation, the citation and 
assessment as proposed become a final order and are not subject 
to further review.  For good cause shown the commissioner may 
extend the time period for responding. 
    Subd. 3.  [APPEAL.] The time allowed for correcting a 
violation does not begin to run until the entry of a final order 
if the person has initiated review proceedings under this 
section in good faith.  If the commissioner has reason to 
believe that a person has failed to correct a violation for 
which a citation has been issued within the time allowed, the 
commissioner shall notify the person by certified mail of the 
failure.  The notification must state the penalty proposed to be 
assessed for the failure under section 17A.14 and must state 
that the person has 30 working days to notify the commissioner 
in writing that the person wishes to contest the notification or 
the proposed penalty assessment.  If within 30 working days 
after receiving the notification the person fails to notify the 
commissioner in writing that the person intends to contest the 
notification or proposed penalty assessment, the notification 
and assessment as proposed become a final order and are not 
subject to further review.  For good cause shown the 
commissioner may extend the time period for responding.  
    Subd. 4.  [CITATION CONTEST.] If a person who has received 
a citation or a proposed penalty assessment notifies the 
commissioner that the person intends to contest the citation or 
the proposed penalty assessment within the time limits in 
subdivisions 2 and 3, the commissioner shall file a complaint 
with the office of administrative hearings and serve a copy on 
the respondent by first class mail.  The complaint must be 
served and copies filed within 40 days of receiving the notice 
of contest.  The complaint must set forth all alleged violations 
and proposed penalties that are contested. 
    Subd. 5.  [CONTESTED CASE HEARING.] Notwithstanding chapter 
14, after an answer has been timely filed the case must be heard 
as a contested case except that the report of the administrative 
law judge is the final decision of the department of agriculture.
    Sec. 8.  [17A.151] [DUTY TO PROSECUTE.] 
    It is the duty of each county attorney or city attorney to 
whom the commissioner reports a violation of this chapter to 
cause appropriate proceedings to be instituted in the proper 
courts without delay and to be prosecuted in the manner required 
by law.  Before a violation of this chapter is reported to a 
county attorney or city attorney for the institution of a 
criminal proceeding, the person against whom the proceeding is 
contemplated must be given appropriate notice and an opportunity 
to present views before the commissioner or the commissioner's 
designated agent, either orally or in writing, in person, or by 
attorney, with regard to the contemplated proceeding. 
    Presented to the governor May 29, 1991 
    Signed by the governor June 1, 1991, 4:04 p.m.