language to be deleted (2) new language
Laws of Minnesota 1991 CHAPTER 316-S.F.No. 928 An act relating to agriculture; providing for enforcement of agricultural laws; imposing penalties; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 17. BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: Section 1. [17.981] [DEFINITION.] As used in sections 1 to 4, "person" means an individual, corporation, association, cooperative, or partnership. Sec. 2. [17.982] [CRIMINAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE PENALTIES.] Subdivision 1. [CRIMINAL PENALTIES.] A person who violates chapter 29, 31, 31A, or 34 for which a penalty has not been prescribed is guilty of a misdemeanor. Subd. 2. [ADMINISTRATIVE PENALTIES.] (a) The commissioner may, as an alternative to misdemeanor prosecution, impose an administrative penalty on a person who violates a statute or rule enforceable by the commissioner. For a first violation, the commissioner may impose an administrative penalty of not more than $1,000 for each violation. For a second or succeeding violation, the commissioner may impose an administrative penalty of not more than $1,500 for each violation. Each day a violation continues is a separate violation. (b) In determining the amount of the administrative 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 violation; 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. 3. [17.983] [ADMINISTRATIVE PENALTIES AND ENFORCEMENT.] Subdivision 1. [ADMINISTRATIVE PENALTIES; CITATION.] If a person has violated chapter 29, 31, 31A, or 34, the commissioner may issue a written citation to the person by personal service or by certified mail. The citation shall describe the nature of the violation and the statute or rule alleged to have been violated; state the time for correction; and the amount of any proposed fine. The citation must advise the person to notify the commissioner in writing within 30 days if the person wishes to appeal the citation. If the person fails to appeal the citation, the citation is the final order and not subject to further review. Subd. 2. [FAILURE TO CORRECT.] If a person fails to correct a violation within the time prescribed by the commissioner, the commissioner shall notify the person by certified mail of the failure to correct and the penalty amount assessed. The notice must state that the person must notify the commissioner in writing within 30 days if the person wishes to appeal the penalty. If the person fails to appeal the penalty in writing within 30 days of receipt of the notice, the penalty is a final order and not subject to further review. Subd. 3. [CONTESTED CASE.] If a person appeals a citation or a penalty assessment within the time limits in subdivisions 1 and 2, the commissioner, within 40 days after receiving the appeal, shall initiate a contested proceeding under chapter 14. The report of the administrative law judge is the final decision of the commissioner of agriculture. Sec. 4. [17.984] [INVESTIGATION.] Subdivision 1. [AUTHORITY.] To carry out the commissioner's enforcement duties under chapter 29, 31, 31A, or 34, the commissioner may, upon presenting appropriate credentials, during regular working hours and at other reasonable times, inspect premises subject to the commissioner's enforcement and licensing authority for reasons related to the commissioner's enforcement and licensing authority; request information from persons with information relevant to an inspection; and inspect relevant papers and records, including business records. The commissioner may issue notices in lieu of citations for minor violations if a notice is in the public interest. Subd. 2. [FAILURE TO COMPLY.] The commissioner may administer oaths, take and cause to be taken depositions of witnesses, and issue subpoenas, and may petition the district court in the county in which the premises is located to compel compliance with subpoenas or to permit an inspection. Presented to the governor May 30, 1991 Signed by the governor June 3, 1991, 4:01 p.m.