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Office of the Revisor of Statutes

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

                            CHAPTER 412-H.F.No. 1186 
                  An act relating to the environment; adding cross 
                  references for existing civil penalties for littering; 
                  amending Minnesota Statutes 1992, sections 85.20, 
                  subdivision 6; 115A.99; 169.421; 375.18, subdivision 
                  14; and 412.221, subdivision 22. 
        BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
           Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1992, section 85.20, 
        subdivision 6, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 6.  [LITTERING; PENALTY.] (a) No person shall drain, 
        throw, or deposit upon the lands and waters within a state park 
        any substance that would mar the appearance, create a stench, 
        destroy the cleanliness or safety of the land, or would be 
        likely to injure any animal, vehicle, or person traveling upon 
        those lands and waters.  The operator of a vehicle or 
        watercraft, except a school bus or a vehicle transporting 
        passengers for hire and regulated by the interstate commerce 
        commission, shall not permit articles to be thrown or discarded 
        from the vehicle upon any lands or waters within a state park.  
        A person violating the provisions 
           (b) Violation of this subdivision shall be guilty of is a 
        misdemeanor.  Any person sentenced under this subdivision shall 
        in lieu of the sentence imposed be permitted, under terms 
        established by the court, to work under the direction of the 
        department of natural resources at clearing rubbish, trash, and 
        debris from any state park.  The court may for any violation of 
        this subdivision order the offender to perform such work under 
        terms established by the court with the option of a jail 
        sentence being imposed.  
           (c) In lieu of enforcement under paragraph (b), this 
        subdivision may be enforced by imposition of a civil penalty and 
        an action for damages for littering under section 115A.99. 
           Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1992, section 115A.99, is 
        amended to read: 
           115A.99 [LITTER PENALTIES AND DAMAGES.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [CIVIL PENALTY.] (a) A person who 
        unlawfully places any portion of solid waste in or on public or 
        private lands, shorelands, roadways, or waters is subject to a 
        civil penalty of not less than twice nor more than five times 
        the amount of cost costs incurred by a state agency or political 
        subdivision to remove, process, and dispose of the waste.  
           (b) A state agency or political subdivision that incurs 
        cost costs as described in this section may bring an action to 
        recover the civil penalty, related legal, administrative, and 
        court costs, and damages for injury to or pollution of the 
        lands, shorelands, roadways, or waters where the waste was 
        placed if owned or managed by the entity bringing the action. 
           Subd. 2.  [DEPOSIT OF PENALTIES AND DAMAGES.] Civil 
        penalties and damages collected under this section subdivision 1 
        must be deposited in the general fund of the jurisdiction 
        enforcing the penalties collected and distributed as required in 
        section 487.33. 
           Subd. 3.  [JOINDER; PRIVATE ACTION FOR DAMAGES.] A private 
        person may join an action by the state or a political 
        subdivision to recover a civil penalty under subdivision 1 to 
        allow the person to recover damages for waste unlawfully placed 
        on the person's property.  
           Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1992, section 169.421, is 
        amended to read: 
           169.421 [CIVIL LIABILITY FOR LITTERING.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [FINDING.] The legislature finds that the 
        cost of removal and disposal of solid waste, including litter, 
        from vehicles is an onerous burden upon the public, and that the 
        criminal law is not always adequate in dealing with the 
        problem.  This requires the imposition of civil liability as 
        provided in this section.  
           Subd. 2.  [DEFINITION.] For purposes of this section, 
        "owner" as to a vehicle means the owner of the vehicle, but in 
        the case of a leased vehicle means the lessee.  
           Subd. 3.  [CIVIL LIABILITY IMPOSED.] If any solid waste, 
        including litter, including glass, nails, tacks, wire, cans, 
        bottles, garbage, papers, refuse, trash, or any form of 
        offensive matter is thrown, deposited, placed, or dumped from a 
        vehicle upon any street or highway, public land, or upon private 
        land without the consent of the owner of the land, a violation 
        of this subdivision occurs and civil liability is imposed upon 
        the owner of the vehicle.  The driver and passengers riding in a 
        vehicle are constituted as the agents of the owner of the 
        vehicle for purposes of this subdivision.  It is a defense to 
        any action brought pursuant to this section that the vehicle was 
        stolen.  This section is not applicable to the owner of a 
        vehicle transporting persons for hire or transporting school 
        children.  
           Subd. 4.  [CIVIL PENALTY; DAMAGES.] Any person or 
        governmental body injured by a violation of subdivision 3 may 
        bring a civil action and recover as damages the actual costs of 
        removal and disposal of the litter plus exemplary damages not to 
        exceed $400, together with costs and disbursements, including 
        reasonable attorney's fees, as determined by the court. A person 
        who violates this section is subject to the civil penalties for 
        littering and an action for damages as specified in section 
        115A.99. 
           Subd. 5.  [PROCEDURES.] A civil action may be commenced as 
        is any civil action or by the issuance of a citation to the 
        owner of the vehicle by any law enforcement officer who has 
        reason to believe that a violation has occurred.  Actions 
        commenced by the issuance of a citation by a law enforcement 
        officer shall be tried by the prosecuting authority responsible 
        for misdemeanor prosecutions in the jurisdiction where a 
        violation occurs.  Any damages recovered in an action brought by 
        a public agency shall be deposited in the treasury of the 
        jurisdiction trying the action and distributed as provided in 
        section 487.33.  Any county or county municipal court may 
        establish a separate civil calendar for cases brought under this 
        section.  
           Subd. 6.  [RELATIONSHIP TO CRIMINAL LAW; ELECTION OF 
        REMEDIES.] If an act is a violation of this section and of a 
        statute or ordinance providing a criminal penalty, a public 
        agency elects its remedy by commencing either an action under 
        this section or a criminal prosecution, and the commencement of 
        one type of action by a public agency is a bar to its bringing 
        of the other.  
           Subd. 7.  [PAYMENT.] Any county or county municipal court 
        may establish a schedule of costs and civil damages, and 
        procedures for payment, in cases brought by a public agency 
        under which the defendant may consent to default judgment and 
        make payment according to the schedule without making a personal 
        appearance in court.  
           Subd. 8.  [CITATION.] This section may be cited as the 
        civil litter act. 
           Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1992, section 375.18, 
        subdivision 14, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 14.  [UNAUTHORIZED DEPOSIT OF SOLID WASTE.] Each 
        county board may by ordinance:  
           (1) prohibit the deposit of solid waste within the county 
        not otherwise authorized by law; 
           (2) require the owners or occupants of property to remove 
        the unauthorized deposit of solid waste; 
           (3) if it is not removed, provide for removal of the solid 
        waste at the owner's or occupant's expense; and 
           (4) provide for the expense to be a lien on the property 
        and collected as a special assessment.  
           A county board may also seek civil penalties and damages 
        from persons responsible for unauthorized deposit of solid waste 
        under section 115A.99, which, if unpaid, may be imposed as a 
        lien on property owned by the responsible persons and collected 
        as a special assessment. 
           Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 1992, section 412.221, 
        subdivision 22, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 22.  [HEALTH.] (a) The council shall have power by 
        ordinance: 
           (1) to prohibit or regulate slaughterhouses; 
           (2) to prevent the bringing, depositing, or leaving within 
        the city of any unwholesome substance or deposit of solid waste 
        within the city not otherwise authorized by law, to require the 
        owners or occupants of lands to remove unwholesome substances or 
        the unauthorized deposit of solid waste and if it is not removed 
        to provide for its removal at the expense of the owner or 
        occupant, which expense shall be a lien upon the property and 
        may be collected as a special assessment; 
           (3) to provide for or regulate the disposal of sewage, 
        garbage, and other refuse; and 
           (4) to provide for the cleaning of, and removal of 
        obstructions from, any waters in the city and to prevent their 
        obstruction or pollution. 
           (b) The council may also seek civil penalties and damages 
        from persons responsible for unauthorized deposit of solid waste 
        under section 115A.99, which, if unpaid, may be imposed as a 
        lien on property owned by the responsible persons and collected 
        as a special assessment. 
           (c) The council may establish a board of health as defined 
        in section 145A.02, subdivision 2, with all the powers of such 
        boards under the general laws. 
           Presented to the governor April 8, 1994 
           Signed by the governor April 11, 1994, 2:22 p.m.