13.39 CIVIL INVESTIGATION.
Subdivision 1. Definitions.
A "pending civil legal action" includes but is not limited to
judicial, administrative or arbitration proceedings. Whether a civil legal action is pending shall be
determined by the chief attorney acting for the state agency, political subdivision or statewide
Subd. 2. Civil actions.
(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), data collected by state
agencies, political subdivisions, or statewide systems as part of an active investigation undertaken
for the purpose of the commencement or defense of a pending civil legal action, or which are
retained in anticipation of a pending civil legal action, are classified as protected nonpublic data
pursuant to section
13.02, subdivision 13
, in the case of data not on individuals and confidential
pursuant to section
13.02, subdivision 3
, in the case of data on individuals. Any agency, political
subdivision, or statewide system may make any data classified as confidential or protected
nonpublic pursuant to this subdivision accessible to any person, agency or the public if the agency,
political subdivision, or statewide system determines that the access will aid the law enforcement
process, promote public health or safety or dispel widespread rumor or unrest.
(b) A complainant has access to a statement provided by the complainant to a state agency,
statewide system, or political subdivision under paragraph (a).
Subd. 2a. Disclosure of data.
During the time when a civil legal action is determined to be
pending under subdivision 1, any person may bring an action in the district court in the county
where the data is maintained to obtain disclosure of data classified as confidential or protected
nonpublic under subdivision 2. The court may order that all or part of the data be released to the
public or to the person bringing the action. In making the determination whether data shall be
disclosed, the court shall consider whether the benefit to the person bringing the action or to the
public outweighs any harm to the public, the agency, or any person identified in the data. The data
in dispute shall be examined by the court in camera.
Subd. 3. Inactive investigative data.
Inactive civil investigative data are public, unless the
release of the data would jeopardize another pending civil legal action, and except for those
portions of a civil investigative file that are classified as not public data by this chapter or other
law. Any civil investigative data presented as evidence in court or made part of a court record
shall be public. Civil investigative data become inactive upon the occurrence of any of the
(1) a decision by the state agency, political subdivision, or statewide system or by the chief
attorney acting for the state agency, political subdivision, or statewide system not to pursue
the civil action;
(2) expiration of the time to file a complaint under the statute of limitations or agreement
applicable to the civil action; or
(3) exhaustion of or expiration of rights of appeal by either party to the civil action.
Data determined to be inactive under clause (1) may become active if the state agency,
political subdivision, statewide system, or its attorney decides to renew the civil action.
History: 1981 c 311 s 22,39; 1982 c 545 s 11,24; 1985 c 298 s 11; 1987 c 351 s 5; 1994 c
618 art 1 s 6,7