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Office of the Revisor of Statutes

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

  
    
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     underscored = new language to be added
    
                            CHAPTER 401-H.F.No. 2478 
                  An act relating to consumer protection; restricting 
                  the provision of immigration services; regulating 
                  notaries public; providing penalties; proposing coding 
                  for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapters 325E; and 
                  359. 
        BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
           Section 1.  [325E.031] [IMMIGRATION SERVICES.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [DEFINITIONS.] (a) For the purpose of this 
        section, the terms in this subdivision have the meanings given. 
           (b) "Immigration matter" means any proceeding, filing, or 
        action affecting the nonimmigrant, immigrant, or citizenship 
        status of any person that arises under immigration and 
        naturalization law, executive order, or presidential 
        proclamation of the United States or any foreign country, or 
        that arises under action of the United States Immigration and 
        Naturalization Service, the United States Department of Labor, 
        or the United States Department of State. 
           (c) "Immigration assistance service" means any advice, 
        guidance, information, or action provided or offered to 
        customers or prospective customers relating to any immigration 
        matter and for which a fee is charged. 
           Subd. 2.  [NOTICE.] (a) Any person who provides or offers 
        immigration assistance services in this state shall post a 
        notice at that person's place of business, setting forth 
        information in English and in every other language in which the 
        person provides or offers to provide immigration assistance 
        services.  Each language must be on a separate sign and posted 
        in a location visible to customers.  Each sign must be at least 
        11 inches by 17 inches and must contain the following statements:
           (1) "I AM NOT AN ATTORNEY LICENSED TO PRACTICE LAW AND MAY 
        NOT GIVE LEGAL ADVICE OR ACCEPT FEES FOR LEGAL ADVICE." 
           (2) "I AM NOT ACCREDITED TO REPRESENT YOU BEFORE THE UNITED 
        STATES IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE AND THE 
        IMMIGRATION BOARD OF APPEALS." 
           (b) Any person who advertises immigration assistance 
        services in a language other than English, whether by radio, 
        television, signs, pamphlets, newspapers, or other written 
        communication, with the exception of a single desk plaque, shall 
        post or otherwise include with the advertisement a notice in 
        English and the language in which the advertisement appears that 
        contains the language in paragraph (a), clause (1). 
           Subd. 3.  [PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES.] Any person who provides 
        or offers to provide immigration assistance services may not do 
        any of the following: 
           (1) give any legal advice concerning an immigration matter 
        or perform an act constituting the practice of immigration law 
        as defined in Code of Federal Regulations, title 8, section 1.1 
        (i), (j), (k), or (m); 
           (2) represent, hold out or advertise, in connection with 
        the provision of assistance in immigration matters, other titles 
        or credentials in any language, including, but not limited to, 
        "notary public" or "immigration consultant," that could cause a 
        customer to believe that the person possesses special 
        professional skills or is authorized to provide advice on an 
        immigration matter; 
           (3) make any misrepresentation or false statement, directly 
        or indirectly, to influence, persuade, or induce patronage; 
           (4) retain any compensation for service not performed; or 
           (5) refuse to return documents supplied by, prepared on 
        behalf of, or paid for by the customer upon the request of the 
        customer even if subject to a fee dispute. 
           Subd. 4.  [WRITTEN CONTRACT.] Except as otherwise provided 
        in this section, before providing an immigration assistance 
        service a person shall provide the customer with a written 
        contract that includes the following: 
           (1) an explanation of the services to be performed; 
           (2) identification of all compensation and costs to be 
        charged to the customer for the services to be performed; and 
           (3) a statement that documents submitted in support of an 
        application for nonimmigrant, immigrant, or naturalization 
        status may not be retained by the person for any purpose, 
        including payment of compensation or costs. 
           The written contract must be in both English and in the 
        language of the customer.  A copy of the contract must be 
        provided to the customer upon the customer's execution of the 
        contract.  A customer has the right to rescind a contract within 
        72 hours after signing the contract.  Any documents prepared on 
        behalf of, or paid for by the customer, must be returned upon 
        demand of the customer. 
           This subdivision does not apply to a not-for-profit 
        organization that provides advice or assistance in immigration 
        matters to clients without charge beyond a reasonable fee to 
        reimburse the organization's or clinic's reasonable costs 
        relating to providing immigration services to that client. 
           Subd. 5.  [EXEMPTIONS.] This section does not apply to: 
           (1) an attorney licensed to practice law in any state or 
        territory of the United States, or in any foreign country when 
        authorized by the Minnesota supreme court, to the extent the 
        attorney renders immigration assistance service in the course of 
        practicing as an attorney; 
           (2) a nonlawyer assistant, as described by the rules of the 
        Minnesota supreme court, employed by and under the direct 
        supervision of a licensed attorney and rendering immigration 
        assistance service in the course of the assistant's employment; 
           (3) a not-for-profit organization recognized by the Board 
        of Immigration Appeals under Code of Federal Regulations, title 
        8, section 292.2(a), and employees of those organizations 
        accredited under Code of Federal Regulations, title 8, section 
        292.2(d), and designated entities as defined under Code of 
        Federal Regulations, title 8, section 245a.1; and 
           (4) an organization employing or desiring to employ an 
        alien or nonimmigrant alien, where the organization, its 
        employees or its agents provide advice or assistance in 
        immigration matters to alien or nonimmigrant alien employees or 
        potential employees without compensation from the individuals to 
        whom the advice or assistance is provided. 
           Subd. 6.  [PENALTY AND REMEDIES.] A person who violates 
        this section is guilty of a misdemeanor.  The penalties and 
        remedies of section 8.31 apply to violations of this section, 
        including a private cause of action. 
           Sec. 2.  [359.062] [NOTICE; LANGUAGES OTHER THAN ENGLISH.] 
           (a) A notary public who is not an attorney who advertises 
        the services of a notary public in a language other than 
        English, whether by radio, television, signs, pamphlets, 
        newspapers, or other written communication, with the exception 
        of a single desk plaque, shall post or otherwise include with 
        the advertisement a notice in English and the language in which 
        the advertisement appears.  This notice must be of a conspicuous 
        size, if in writing, and must state:  "I AM NOT AN ATTORNEY 
        LICENSED TO PRACTICE LAW IN MINNESOTA AND MAY NOT GIVE LEGAL 
        ADVICE OR ACCEPT FEES FOR LEGAL ADVICE."  If the advertisement 
        is by radio or television, the statement may be modified but 
        must include substantially the same message. 
           (b) A notary public who violates this section is guilty of 
        a misdemeanor. 
           Presented to the governor March 29, 1996 
           Signed by the governor April 2, 1996, 10:16 a.m.