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Office of the Revisor of Statutes

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

                            CHAPTER 255-S.F.No. 1440 
                  An act relating to appellate courts; providing for 
                  questions of law certified between the appellate 
                  courts of this state and other states and nations; 
                  enacting the 1997 Uniform Certification of Questions 
                  of Law Act; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota 
                  Statutes, chapter 480; repealing Minnesota Statutes 
                  1996, section 480.061. 
        BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
           Section 1.  [480.065] [UNIFORM CERTIFICATION OF QUESTIONS 
        OF LAW.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [DEFINITIONS.] In this section: 
           (1) "State" means a state of the United States, the 
        District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any 
        territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of 
        the United States. 
           (2) "Tribe" means a tribe, band, or village of native 
        Americans which is recognized by federal law or formally 
        acknowledged by a state. 
           Subd. 2.  [POWER TO CERTIFY.] The supreme court or the 
        court of appeals of this state, on the motion of a party to 
        pending litigation or its own motion, may certify a question of 
        law to the highest court of another state, of a tribe, of Canada 
        or a Canadian province or territory, or of Mexico or a Mexican 
        state if: 
           (1) the pending litigation involves a question to be 
        decided under the law of the other jurisdiction; 
           (2) the answer to the question may be determinative of an 
        issue in the pending litigation; and 
           (3) the question is one for which an answer is not provided 
        by a controlling appellate decision, constitutional provision, 
        or statute of the other jurisdiction. 
           Subd. 3.  [POWER TO ANSWER.] The supreme court of this 
        state may answer a question of law certified to it by a court of 
        the United States or by an appellate court of another state, of 
        a tribe, of Canada or a Canadian province or territory, or of 
        Mexico or a Mexican state, if the answer may be determinative of 
        an issue in pending litigation in the certifying court and there 
        is no controlling appellate decision, constitutional provision, 
        or statute of this state. 
           Subd. 4.  [POWER TO REFORMULATE QUESTION.] The supreme 
        court of this state may reformulate a question of law certified 
        to it. 
           Subd. 5.  [CERTIFICATION ORDER; RECORD.] The court 
        certifying a question of law to the supreme court of this state 
        shall issue a certification order and forward it to the supreme 
        court of this state.  Before responding to a certified question, 
        the supreme court of this state may require the certifying court 
        to deliver all or part of its record to the supreme court of 
        this state. 
           Subd. 6.  [CONTENTS OF CERTIFICATION ORDER.] (a) A 
        certification order must contain: 
           (1) the question of law to be answered; 
           (2) the facts relevant to the question, showing fully the 
        nature of the controversy out of which the question arose; 
           (3) a statement acknowledging that the supreme court of 
        this state, acting as the receiving court, may reformulate the 
        question; and 
           (4) the names and addresses of counsel of record and 
        parties appearing without counsel. 
           (b) If the parties cannot agree upon a statement of facts, 
        the certifying court shall determine the relevant facts and 
        state them as a part of its certification order. 
           Subd. 7.  [NOTICE; RESPONSE.] The supreme court of this 
        state, acting as a receiving court, shall notify the certifying 
        court of acceptance or rejection of the question and, in 
        accordance with notions of comity and fairness, respond to an 
        accepted certified question as soon as practicable. 
           Subd. 8.  [PROCEDURES.] After the supreme court of this 
        state has accepted a certified question, proceedings are 
        governed by the rules and statutes of this state.  Procedures 
        for certification from this state to a receiving court are those 
        provided in the rules and statutes of the receiving forum. 
           Subd. 9.  [OPINION.] The supreme court of this state shall 
        state in a written opinion the law answering the certified 
        question and send a copy of the opinion to the certifying court, 
        counsel of record, and parties appearing without counsel. 
           Subd. 10.  [COST OF CERTIFICATION.] Fees and costs are the 
        same as in civil appeals docketed before the supreme court of 
        this state and must be equally divided between the parties 
        unless otherwise ordered by the certifying court. 
           Subd. 11.  [SHORT TITLE.] This section may be cited as the 
        "Uniform Certification of Questions of Law Act (1997)."  
           Sec. 2.  [REPEALER.] 
           Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 480.061, is repealed. 
           Presented to the governor February 17, 1998 
           Signed by the governor February 19, 1998, 11:50 a.m.