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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

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

  

                         Laws of Minnesota 1992 

                        CHAPTER 533-S.F.No. 1938 
           An act relating to landlords and tenants; providing 
          for assignment to the county attorney of the 
          landlord's right to evict for breach of the covenant 
          not to sell drugs or permit their sale; clarifying the 
          law on forfeiture of real estate interests related to 
          contraband or controlled substance seizures; amending 
          Minnesota Statutes 1990, sections 504.181, subdivision 
          2; 609.5311, subdivision 3; and 609.5317, subdivision 
          1. 
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
    Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1990, section 504.181, 
subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 2.  [BREACH VOIDS RIGHT TO POSSESSION.] A breach of 
the covenant created by subdivision 1 voids the lessee's or 
licensee's right to possession of the residential premises.  All 
other provisions of the lease or license, including but not 
limited to the obligation to pay rent, remain in effect until 
the lease is terminated by the terms of the lease or operation 
of law. 
    If the lessor or licensee breaches the covenant created by 
subdivision 1, the landlord may bring, or assign to the county 
attorney of the county in which the residential premises are 
located, the right to bring an unlawful detainer action against 
the lessee or licensee.  The assignment must be in writing on a 
form provided by the county attorney, and the county attorney 
may determine whether to accept the assignment.  If the county 
attorney accepts the assignment of the landlord's right to bring 
an unlawful detainer action: 
    (1) any court filing fee that would otherwise be required 
in an unlawful detainer action is waived; and 
    (2) the landlord retains all the rights and duties, 
including removal of the lessee's or licensee's personal 
property, following issuance of the writ of restitution and 
delivery of the writ to the sheriff for execution. 
    Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1990, section 609.5311, 
subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 3.  [LIMITATIONS ON FORFEITURE OF CERTAIN PROPERTY 
ASSOCIATED WITH CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES.] (a) A conveyance device 
is subject to forfeiture under this section only if the retail 
value of the controlled substance is $25 or more and the 
conveyance device is associated with a felony-level controlled 
substance crime. 
    (b) Real property is subject to forfeiture under this 
section only if the retail value of the controlled substance or 
contraband is $1,000 or more. 
    (c) Property used by any person as a common carrier in the 
transaction of business as a common carrier is subject to 
forfeiture under this section only if the owner of the property 
is a consenting party to, or is privy to, the use or intended 
use of the property as described in subdivision 2. 
    (d) Property is subject to forfeiture under this section 
only if its owner was privy to the use or intended use described 
in subdivision 2, or the unlawful use or intended use of the 
property otherwise occurred with the owner's knowledge or 
consent. 
    (e) Forfeiture under this section of a conveyance device or 
real property encumbered by a bona fide security interest is 
subject to the interest of the secured party unless the secured 
party had knowledge of or consented to the act or omission upon 
which the forfeiture is based.  A person claiming a security 
interest bears the burden of establishing that interest by clear 
and convincing evidence.  
    (f) Notwithstanding paragraphs (d) and (e), property is not 
subject to forfeiture based solely on the owner's or secured 
party's knowledge of the unlawful use or intended use of the 
property:  (1) if the owner or secured party took reasonable 
steps to terminate use of the property by the offender; or (2) 
the property is real property owned by the parent of the 
offender, unless the parent actively participated in, or 
knowingly acquiesced to, a violation of chapter 152, or the real 
property constitutes proceeds derived from or traceable to a use 
described in subdivision 2. 
    Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1990, section 609.5317, 
subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
    Subdivision 1.  [RENTAL PROPERTY.] (a) When contraband or a 
controlled substance manufactured, distributed, or acquired in 
violation of chapter 152 is seized on residential rental 
property incident to a lawful search or arrest, the county 
attorney shall give the notice required by this subdivision to 
(1) the landlord of the property or the fee owner identified in 
the records of the county assessor, and (2) the agent authorized 
by the owner to accept service pursuant to section 504.22.  The 
notice is not required during an ongoing investigation.  The 
notice shall state what has been seized and specify the 
applicable duties and penalties under this subdivision.  The 
notice shall state that the landlord who chooses to assign the 
right to bring an unlawful detainer action retains all rights 
and duties, including removal of a tenant's personal property 
following issuance of the writ of restitution and delivery of 
the writ to the sheriff for execution.  The notice shall also 
state that the landlord may contact the county attorney if 
threatened by the tenant.  Notice shall be sent by certified 
letter, return receipt requested, within 30 days of the 
seizure.  If receipt is not returned, notice shall be given in 
the manner provided by law for service of summons in a civil 
action. 
    (b) Within 15 days after notice of the first occurrence, 
the landlord shall bring, or assign to the county attorney of 
the county in which the real property is located, the right to 
bring an unlawful detainer action against the tenant.  The 
assignment must be in writing on a form prepared by the county 
attorney.  Should the landlord choose to assign the right to 
bring an unlawful detainer action, the assignment shall be 
limited to those rights and duties up to and including delivery 
of the writ of restitution to the sheriff for execution. 
    (c) Upon notice of a second occurrence on any residential 
rental property owned by the same landlord in the same county 
and involving the same tenant, and within one year after notice 
of the first occurrence, the property is subject to forfeiture 
under sections 609.531, 609.5311, 609.5313, and 609.5315, unless 
an unlawful detainer action has been commenced as provided in 
paragraph (b) or the right to bring an unlawful detainer action 
was assigned to the county attorney as provided in paragraph 
(b).  If the right has been assigned and not previously 
exercised, or if the county attorney requests an assignment and 
the landlord makes an assignment, the county attorney may bring 
an unlawful detainer action rather than an action for forfeiture.
    Sec. 4.  [EFFECTIVE DATE; APPLICATION.] 
    Section 1 is effective August 1, 1992, and applies to 
breaches of the covenant occurring on or after that date. 
    Section 2 is effective the day after final enactment and 
applies to forfeiture proceedings commenced or pending on or 
after that date.  Section 3 is effective August 1, 1992, and 
applies to second occurrences on or after that date. 
    Presented to the governor April 17, 1992 
    Signed by the governor April 27, 1992, 1:53 p.m.