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299F.06 Testimonial powers.

Subdivision 1. Summon witnesses; produce documentary evidence. (a) In order to establish if reasonable grounds exist to believe that a violation of sections 609.561 to 609.576, has occurred, or to determine compliance with the Uniform Fire Code or corrective orders issued thereunder, the state fire marshal and the staff designated by the state fire marshal shall have the power in any county of the state to summon and compel the attendance of witnesses to testify before the state fire marshal, chief assistant fire marshal, or deputy state fire marshals, and may require the production of any book, paper, or document deemed pertinent. The state fire marshal may also designate certain individuals from fire departments in cities of the first class and cities of the second class as having the powers set forth in this paragraph. These designated individuals may only exercise their powers in a manner prescribed by the state fire marshal. "Fire department" has the meaning given in section 299F.092, subdivision 6. "Cities of the first class" and "cities of the second class" have the meanings given in section 410.01.

(b) A summons issued under this subdivision shall be served in the same manner and have the same effect as subpoenas from district courts. All witnesses shall receive the same compensation as is paid to witnesses in district courts, which shall be paid out of the fire marshal fund upon vouchers signed by the state fire marshal, chief assistant fire marshal, or deputy fire marshal before whom any witnesses shall have attended and this officer shall, at the close of the investigation wherein the witness was subpoenaed, certify to the attendance and mileage of the witness, which certificate shall be filed in the Office of the State Fire Marshal. All investigations held by or under the direction of the state fire marshal, or any subordinate, may in the state fire marshal's discretion be private and persons other than those required to be present by the provisions of this chapter may be excluded from the place where the investigation is held, and witnesses may be kept separate and apart from each other and not allowed to communicate with each other until they have been examined.

Subd. 2. Oath administered. The state fire marshal, chief assistant state fire marshal, and deputy state fire marshals are each hereby authorized and empowered to administer oaths and affirmations to any persons appearing as witnesses before them; and false swearing in any matter or proceeding aforesaid shall be deemed perjury and punished as such.

Subd. 3. Penalty for refusal to testify or produce evidence. Any witness who refuses to be sworn, or who refuses to testify, or who disobeys any lawful order of the state fire marshal, chief assistant fire marshal, or deputy state fire marshal in relation to the investigation, or who fails or refuses to produce any paper, book, or document touching any matter under examination, or who is guilty of any contemptuous conduct, after being summoned to appear before them to give testimony in relation to any matter or subject under examination or investigation may be punished by any district court in the same manner as if the proceedings were pending in that court, subject to the provisions of section 588.01.

HIST: (5957) 1913 c 564 s 8; 1978 c 777 s 6; 1986 c 444; 1997 c 239 art 8 s 22,23

Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes