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Minnesota Session Laws - 2014, Regular Session

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

CHAPTER 269--H.F.No. 2925

An act

relating to public safety; compensating exonerated persons; appropriating money;

amending Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 609A.02, subdivision 3; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapters 590; 611.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

[590.11] ORDER DETERMINING ELIGIBILITY FOR COMPENSATION BASED ON EXONERATION.

Subdivision 1.

Definition.

For purposes of this section, "exonerated" means that:

(1) a court of this state:

(i) vacated or reversed a judgment of conviction on grounds consistent with innocence and the prosecutor dismissed the charges; or

(ii) ordered a new trial on grounds consistent with innocence and the prosecutor dismissed the charges or the petitioner was found not guilty at the new trial; and

(2) the time for appeal of the order resulting in exoneration has expired or the order has been affirmed and is final.

Subd. 2.

Procedure.

A petition for an order declaring eligibility for compensation based on exoneration under sections 611.362 to 611.368 must be brought before the district court where the original conviction was obtained. The state must be represented by the office of the prosecutor that obtained the conviction or the prosecutor's successor. Within 60 days after the filing of the petition, the prosecutor must respond to the petition. A petition must be brought within two years, but no less than 60 days after the petitioner is exonerated. Persons released from custody after being exonerated before the effective date of this section must commence an action under this section within two years of the effective date.

Subd. 3.

Compensation based on exoneration in the interests of justice.

(a) An individual who is exonerated is eligible for compensation in the interests of justice, if the prosecutor, within 60 days of filing the petition, joins the petition and indicates that it is likely that the original complaint or indictment would not have been filed or sought or would have been dismissed with the knowledge of all of the circumstances. Joinder and agreement to compensation based on the interests of justice by the prosecutor shall conclusively establish eligibility for compensation precluding any further proceedings under paragraph (b). Upon receipt of prosecutor's joinder and agreement, the court shall issue an order as described in subdivision 7, granting petitioner's eligibility for compensation under this subdivision.

(b) If the prosecutor does not join and agree as provided under paragraph (a), the court shall determine if an individual who is exonerated is eligible for compensation based on the establishment of innocence if the petitioner establishes that a crime was not committed or that the crime was not committed by the petitioner. The petitioner's burden of proof and the procedures set forth in section 590.04, subdivision 3, apply to this proceeding.

Subd. 4.

Evidence.

Court records related to the conviction and the exoneration are admissible in a proceeding under this section. A written statement filed in court or oral statement on the record by the office of the prosecutor that obtained the conviction is admissible to support or refute the petition. The prosecutor may address the prosecutor's decision to dismiss the charges or other information that may not be fully reflected in the proceedings resulting in exoneration. Both the petitioner and the prosecutor have the right to present additional evidence. The court may consider acts by the petitioner that may have contributed to bringing about the conviction and any other offenses that may have been committed by the petitioner in the same behavioral incident, except for those acts contained in subdivision 5, paragraph (c). The victim of the offense has a right to submit an oral or written statement before the court issues its order. The statement may summarize the harm suffered by the victim as a result of the crime and give the victim's recommendation on whether the petition should be granted or denied.

Subd. 5.

Elements.

(a) A claim for compensation arises if a person is eligible for compensation under subdivision 3 and:

(1) the person was convicted of a felony and served any part of the imposed sentence in prison;

(2) in cases where the person was convicted of multiple charges arising out of the same behavioral incident, the person was exonerated for all of those charges;

(3) the person did not commit or induce another person to commit perjury or fabricate evidence to cause or bring about the conviction; and

(4) the person was not serving a term of imprisonment for another crime at the same time, provided that if the person served additional time in prison due to the conviction that is the basis of the claim, the person may make a claim for that portion of time served in prison during which the person was serving no other sentence.

(b) A claimant may make a claim only for that portion of time served in prison during which the claimant was serving no other sentence.

(c) A confession or admission later found to be false or a guilty plea to a crime the claimant did not commit does not constitute bringing about the claimant's conviction for purposes of paragraph (a), clause (3).

Subd. 6.

Hearing.

Unless the petition and the files and records of the proceeding conclusively show that the petitioner is not eligible for compensation, the court shall set a hearing on the petition and response thereto.

Subd. 7.

Order.

If, after considering all the files and records admitted and any evidence admitted at a hearing held pursuant to subdivision 4, the court determines that the petitioner is eligible for compensation, the court shall issue an order containing its findings and, if applicable, indicate the portion of the term of imprisonment for which the petitioner is entitled to make a claim. The court shall notify the petitioner of the right to file a claim for compensation under sections 611.362 to 611.368 and provide the petitioner with a copy of those sections. The petitioner must acknowledge receipt of the notice and a copy of those sections in writing or on the record before the court.

Subd. 8.

Appeal.

An order issued pursuant to subdivision 3, paragraph (b), may be appealed as provided for under section 590.06. The petitioner may not appeal an order granting eligibility pursuant to subdivision 3, paragraph (a).

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 609A.02, subdivision 3, is amended to read:

Subd. 3.

Certain criminal proceedings not resulting in conviction resolved in favor of defendant.

(a) A petition may be filed under section 609A.03 to seal all records relating to an arrest, indictment or information, trial, or verdict if the records are not subject to section 299C.11, subdivision 1, paragraph (b), and if all pending actions or proceedings were resolved in favor of the petitioner. For purposes of this chapter, a verdict of not guilty by reason of mental illness is not a resolution in favor of the petitioner.

(b) For the purposes of this chapter, an action or proceeding is resolved in favor of the petitioner, if the petitioner received an order under section 590.11 determining that the petitioner is eligible for compensation based on exoneration.

Sec. 3.

[611.362] CLAIM FOR COMPENSATION BASED ON EXONERATION.

Subdivision 1.

General.

A person who receives an order under section 590.11 determining that the person is entitled to compensation based on exoneration may bring a claim for an award under sections 611.362 to 611.368.

Subd. 2.

Respondent; filing requirement.

The state must be named as the respondent. A claimant shall serve the claim and all documents on the state through the commissioner of management and budget and file the claim with the Supreme Court. The claim must include a copy of the order from the district court under section 590.11, subdivision 7. The state shall respond to the claim within 60 days after service. In all matters under sections 611.362 to 611.368, legal representation for the state shall be provided by either the attorney general or legal counsel for the Department of Management and Budget.

Subd. 3.

Agent for claimant.

If the person entitled to file a claim is incapacitated and incapable of filing the claim or is a minor or nonresident of the state, the claim may be filed on behalf of the claimant by a court-appointed guardian, the parent or guardian of a minor, or an authorized agent.

Subd. 4.

Statute of limitations.

A claimant must commence a claim under this section within 60 days after the date the order was issued under section 590.11, subdivision 7, provided that if the person did not receive the notice required under section 590.11, subdivision 7, the person may commence a claim within three years of that date. An action by the state challenging or appealing the order under section 590.11 tolls the time in which a claim must be commenced.

Sec. 4.

[611.363] COMPENSATION PANEL.

Subdivision 1.

Appointment.

Within 30 business days after the claim is filed with the Supreme Court, the chief justice of the Supreme Court shall appoint a compensation panel of three attorneys or judges who are responsible for determining the amount of damages to be awarded. Members of the panel must have experience in legal issues involving the settlement of tort claims and the determination of damages.

Subd. 2.

Compensation of panel members.

(a) Members of the panel are entitled to the compensation authorized for members of boards under section 15.0575, subdivision 3.

(b) Consistent with sections 611.362 to 611.368, the panel may establish procedures, rules, and forms for considering claims and awarding damages.

Subd. 3.

Payment of expenses.

The state court administrator shall forward documentation of expenses and administrative costs of the panel to the commissioner of management and budget for payment of those amounts from appropriations available for this purpose.

Sec. 5.

[611.364] PREHEARING SETTLEMENTS AND HEARING.

Subdivision 1.

Prehearing settlements.

The panel may set a prehearing settlement conference date. At this conference, the parties must make a good faith attempt to reach a settlement in the case. If the parties agree, they may present the panel with a joint motion for summary disposition and no further hearings are required. If a settlement document is approved by the panel, it has the same effect as an award under section 611.365, for all purposes of that section.

Subd. 2.

Hearing.

(a) If the parties are unable to reach a settlement, the panel must hold an evidentiary hearing to determine the amount of damages to be awarded to the claimant. The panel may consider any evidence and argument submitted by the parties, including affidavits, documentation, and oral and written arguments. The panel is bound by any fact or damage amount established by the stipulation of the parties.

(b) Hearings and records relating to the hearing are open to the public, except where, in the interest of justice, the panel orders a hearing closed or a record sealed.

Sec. 6.

[611.365] DAMAGES.

Subdivision 1.

General.

A claimant is entitled to the damages provided for in this section.

Subd. 2.

Reimbursement; monetary damages; attorney fees.

(a) The claimant is entitled to reimbursement for all restitution, assessments, fees, court costs, and other sums paid by the claimant as required by the judgment and sentence. In addition, the claimant is entitled to monetary damages of not less than $50,000 for each year of imprisonment, and not less than $25,000 for each year served on supervised release or as a registered predatory offender, to be prorated for partial years served. In calculating monetary damages, the panel shall consider:

(1) economic damages, including reasonable attorney fees, lost wages, reimbursement for costs associated with the claimant's criminal defense;

(2) reimbursement for medical and dental expenses that the claimant already incurred and future unpaid expenses expected to be incurred as a result of the claimant's imprisonment;

(3) noneconomic damages for personal physical injuries or sickness and any nonphysical injuries or sickness incurred as a result of imprisonment;

(4) reimbursement for any tuition and fees paid for each semester successfully completed by the claimant in an educational program or for employment skills and development training, up to the equivalent value of a four-year degree at a public university, and reasonable payment for future unpaid costs for education and training, not to exceed the anticipated cost of a four-year degree at a public university;

(5) reimbursement for paid or unpaid child support payments owed by the claimant that became due, and interest on child support arrearages that accrued, during the time served in prison provided that there shall be no reimbursement for any child support payments already owed before the claimant's incarceration; and

(6) reimbursement for reasonable costs of paid or unpaid reintegrative expenses for immediate services secured by the claimant upon exoneration and release, including housing, transportation and subsistence, reintegrative services, and medical and dental health care costs.

(b) The panel shall award the claimant reasonable attorney fees incurred in bringing a claim under sections 611.362 to 611.368 and in obtaining an order of eligibility for compensation based on exoneration under chapter 590.

Subd. 3.

Limits on damages.

There is no limit on the aggregate amount of damages that may be awarded under this section. Damages that may be awarded under subdivision 2, paragraph (a), clauses (1) and (4) to (6), are limited to $100,000 per year of imprisonment and $50,000 per year served on supervised release or as a registered predatory offender.

Subd. 4.

Notice and acceptance of award.

A claimant who is awarded damages under this section must be provided with a written notice of the award, which must include an itemization of the total damage award calculation. A claimant's acceptance of an award, compromise, or settlement must be in writing and is final and conclusive on the claimant.

Subd. 5.

Subsequent damage awards.

Any future damages awarded to the claimant resulting from an action by the claimant against the state or a political subdivision of this state based on the same subject must be offset by the damage award received under this section.

Subd. 6.

No offsets.

The damage award must not be offset by:

(1) any expenses incurred by the state or any political subdivision of the state, including expenses incurred to secure the claimant's custody or to feed, clothe, or provide medical services for the claimant; or

(2) the value of any services or reduction in fees for services, or the value of services to be provided to the claimant that may be awarded to the claimant under this section.

Subd. 7.

Survival of claim.

A pending order issued under section 590.11, subdivision 7, or claim under sections 611.362 to 611.368, survives the death of the petitioner or claimant and the personal representative of the person may be substituted as the claimant or bring a claim.

Sec. 7.

[611.366] JUDICIAL REVIEW.

A party aggrieved by an award of damages under section 611.365 is entitled to judicial review of the decision as provided in sections 14.63 to 14.69; however, proceedings on a complaint filed under this section are not a contested case within the meaning of chapter 14 and are not otherwise governed by chapter 14.

Sec. 8.

[611.367] COMPENSATING EXONERATED PERSONS; APPROPRIATIONS PROCESS.

The compensation panel established in section 611.363 shall forward a final award of damages under section 611.365 to the commissioner of management and budget. The commissioner shall submit the amount of the final award to the legislature for consideration during the next session of the legislature.

Sec. 9.

[611.368] SHORT TITLE.

Sections 611.362 to 611.368 shall be cited as the Imprisonment and Exoneration Remedies Act.

Sec. 10.

APPROPRIATION.

$3,000 is appropriated from the general fund for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2015, to the commissioner of management and budget for expenses incurred by the compensation panel described in Minnesota Statutes, section 611.363.

Presented to the governor May 14, 2014

Signed by the governor May 16, 2014, 10:28 a.m.

700 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155 ♦ Phone: (651) 296-2868 ♦ TTY: 1-800-627-3529 ♦ Fax: (651) 296-0569