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2013 Minnesota Session Laws

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

CHAPTER 20--S.F.No. 1168

An act

relating to public safety; creating new crimes relating to 911 emergency calls; providing criminal penalties;

amending Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 609.78.

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

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 609.78, is amended to read:

609.78 EMERGENCY TELEPHONE CALLS AND COMMUNICATIONS.

Subdivision 1.

Misdemeanor offenses.

Whoever does the following is guilty of a misdemeanor:

(1) refuses to relinquish immediately a coin-operated telephone or a telephone line consisting of two or more stations when informed that the line is needed to make an emergency call;

(2) secures a relinquishment of a coin-operated telephone or a telephone line consisting of two or more stations by falsely stating that the line is needed for an emergency;

(3) publishes telephone directories to be used for telephones or telephone lines and the directories do not contain a copy of this section;

(4) makes a call for emergency police, fire, medical, or ambulance service, knowing that no police, fire, or medical emergency exists; or

(5) interrupts, disrupts, impedes, or otherwise interferes with the transmission of a citizen's band radio channel communication the purpose of which is to inform or inquire about a medical emergency or an emergency in which property is or is reasonably believed to be in imminent danger of damage or destruction.; or

(6) makes or initiates an emergency call, knowing that no emergency exists, and with the intent to disrupt, interfere with, or reduce the provision of emergency services or the emergency call center's resources, remains silent, or makes abusive or harassing statements to the call recipient.

Subd. 2.

Interference with emergency call; Gross misdemeanor offense offenses.

A person who Whoever does the following is guilty of a gross misdemeanor:

(1) intentionally interrupts, disrupts, impedes, or interferes with an emergency call or who intentionally prevents or hinders another from placing an emergency call, and whose conduct does not result in a violation of section 609.498, is guilty of a gross misdemeanor and may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than one year or to payment of a fine of not more than $3,000, or both.;

(2) places an emergency call and reports a fictitious emergency with the intent of prompting an emergency response by law enforcement, fire, or emergency medical services personnel; or

(3) violates subdivision 1, clause (6), after having been previously convicted or adjudicated delinquent for violating that clause.

Subd. 2a.

Felony offense; reporting fictitious emergency resulting in serious injury.

Whoever violates subdivision 2, clause (2), is guilty of a felony and may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than ten years or to payment of a fine of not more than $20,000, or both, if the call triggers an emergency response and, as a result of the response, someone suffers great bodily harm or death.

Subd. 2b.

Other felony offenses.

Whoever does the following is guilty of a felony and may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than five years or to payment of a fine of not more than $10,000, or both:

(1) violates subdivision 1, clause (6), after having been previously convicted or adjudicated delinquent for violating that clause on more than one occasion; or

(2) intentionally uses multiple communications devices or electronic means to block, interfere with, overload, or otherwise prevent the emergency call center's system from functioning properly, and these actions make the system unavailable to someone needing emergency assistance.

Subd. 3.

Definition.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), for purposes of this section, "emergency call" means:

(1) a 911 call;

(2) any call for emergency medical or ambulance service; or

(3) any call for assistance from a police or fire department or for other assistance needed in an emergency to avoid serious harm to person or property,

and an emergency exists.

(b) As used in subdivisions 1, clause (6); 2, clause (2); and 2a:

(1) "call" includes the use of any method of communication including, but not limited to: telephones, facsimiles, Voice over Internet Protocols, e-mail messages, text messages, and electronic transmissions of an image or video; and

(2) "emergency call" has the meaning given in paragraph (a) but does not require the existence of an emergency.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective August 1, 2013, and applies to crimes committed on or after that date.

Presented to the governor April 22, 2013

Signed by the governor April 24, 2013, 10:52 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