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                            CHAPTER 468-H.F.No. 1648 
                  An act relating to civil actions; providing for 
                  recovery of damages and injunctive relief for victims 
                  of bias offenses; imposing parental liability; 
                  proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, 
                  chapter 611A. 
        BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
           Section 1.  [611A.79] [CIVIL DAMAGES FOR BIAS OFFENSES.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [DEFINITION.] For purposes of this section, 
        "bias offense" means conduct that would constitute a crime and 
        was committed because of the victim's or another's actual or 
        perceived race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, 
        disability as defined in section 363.01, age, or national origin.
           Subd. 2.  [CAUSE OF ACTION; DAMAGES AND FEES INJUNCTION.] A 
        person who is damaged by a bias offense has a civil cause of 
        action against the person who committed the offense.  The 
        plaintiff is entitled to recover the greater of:  (i) $500; or 
        (ii) actual general and special damages, including damages for 
        emotional distress. 
           A plaintiff also may obtain punitive damages as provided in 
        sections 549.191 and 549.20 or an injunction or other 
        appropriate relief. 
           Subd. 3.  [RELATION TO CRIMINAL PROCEEDING; BURDEN OF 
        PROOF.] A person may bring an action under this section 
        regardless of the existence or outcome of criminal proceedings 
        involving the bias offense that is the basis for the action.  
        The burden of proof in an action under this section is 
        preponderance of the evidence. 
           Subd. 4.  [PARENTAL LIABILITY.] Section 540.18 applies to 
        actions under this section, except that: 
           (1) the parent or guardian is liable for all types of 
        damages awarded under this section in an amount not exceeding 
        $5,000; and 
           (2) the parent or guardian is not liable if the parent or 
        guardian made reasonable efforts to exercise control over the 
        minor's behavior. 
           Subd. 5.  [TRIAL; LIMITATION PERIOD.] (a) The right to 
        trial by jury is preserved in an action brought under this 
        section. 
           (b) An action under this section must be commenced not 
        later than six years after the cause of action arises. 
           Subd. 6.  [OTHER RIGHTS PRESERVED.] The remedies under this 
        section do not affect any rights or remedies of the plaintiff 
        under other law. 
           Sec. 2.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
           Section 1 is effective August 1, 1996, and applies to bias 
        offenses committed on or after that date. 
           Presented to the governor April 4, 1996 
           Signed by the governor April 11, 1996, 12:15 p.m.

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