CHAPTER 231. WAREHOUSES
Table of Sections
|231.02||Repealed, 1999 c 110 s 22
|231.03||Repealed, 1999 c 110 s 22
|231.04||DEPARTMENT TO ENFORCE WAREHOUSE LAW.|
|231.05||Repealed, 1999 c 110 s 22
|231.06||Repealed, 1999 c 110 s 22
|231.07||Repealed, 1999 c 110 s 22
|231.08||WAREHOUSE OPERATOR AND HOUSEHOLD GOODS WAREHOUSE OPERATOR REQUIREMENTS.|
|231.09||UNIFORM RECEIPT ISSUANCE.|
|231.10||Repealed, 1999 c 110 s 22
|231.11||SCHEDULE OF RATES; STORING HOUSEHOLD GOODS.|
|231.12||CHANGE OF RATES; STORING HOUSEHOLD GOODS.|
|231.13||CHARGING MORE OR LESS THAN THE PUBLISHED RATE; STORING HOUSEHOLD GOODS.|
|231.14||DISCRIMINATION IN RATES; STORING HOUSEHOLD GOODS.|
|231.15||RATES FOR STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS.|
|231.16||WAREHOUSE OPERATOR OR HOUSEHOLD GOODS WAREHOUSE OPERATOR LICENSE.|
|231.17||BONDS OF WAREHOUSE OPERATORS; LEGAL LIABILITY INSURANCE.|
|231.18||CLAIMS AGAINST A BOND.|
|231.19||Repealed, 1993 c 212 s 8
|231.20||Repealed, 1993 c 212 s 8
|231.21||Repealed, 1993 c 212 s 8
|231.22||Repealed, 1993 c 212 s 8
|231.23||Repealed, 1993 c 212 s 8
|231.24||COMPLAINT THAT RATE IS UNREASONABLE; DUTY OF DEPARTMENT.|
|231.25||Repealed, 1993 c 212 s 8
|231.26||Repealed, 1993 c 212 s 8
|231.27||Repealed, 1993 c 212 s 8
|231.28||FAILURE TO OBEY ORDER OR LAW.|
|231.29||Repealed, 1993 c 212 s 8
|231.30||Repealed, 1993 c 212 s 8
|231.31||Repealed, 1993 c 212 s 8
|231.32||PROCEEDINGS IN THE NAME OF THE STATE.|
|231.33||Repealed, 1993 c 212 s 8
|231.34||ACTION ON BOND IN THE NAME OF THE STATE.|
|231.35||Repealed, 1999 c 110 s 22
|231.36||FALSIFICATION OR DESTRUCTION OF ACCOUNTS.|
|231.37||PENALTY FOR DIVULGING INFORMATION.|
|231.375||OPENING OR ABANDONING WAREHOUSE BUILDING.|
|231.38||PENALTY FOR TRANSACTING BUSINESS WITHOUT A LICENSE.|
|231.39||PERSONS VIOLATING ACT OR ORDER; PENALTY.|
Subdivision 1. Scope.
The definitions in this section apply to this chapter.
Subd. 2. Commissioner.
"Commissioner" means the commissioner of agriculture.
Subd. 3. Compensation.
"Compensation" means any remuneration, recompense,
indemnification, requital, or satisfaction assessed, collected, or received for the storage or
warehousing of goods, wares, or merchandise of another by a warehouse operator.
Subd. 4. Corporation.
"Corporation" includes any corporation, company, association,
joint stock company, or association.
Subd. 5. Department.
"Department" means the Department of Agriculture.
Subd. 6. Household goods.
"Household goods" means:
(1) personal effects and property used or to be used in a dwelling if it is part of the equipment
or supply of the dwelling;
(2) furniture, fixtures, equipment, and the property of business places and institutions, public
or private, when a part of the stock, equipment, supplies, or property of such establishments. It
does not mean the storage of property of a business concern in the usual course of its business
(3) articles which, because of their unusual nature or value, require specialized handling and
equipment customarily employed in moving household goods.
Subd. 7. Household goods warehouse operator.
"Household goods warehouse operator"
means an individual, corporation, partnership, or any other business association or their trustees,
assignees, or receivers appointed by a court who control, operate, or manage, directly or indirectly,
a building or structure or any part of a building or structure in this state used for the storage or
warehousing of household goods for compensation. "Household goods warehouse operator" does
not include persons, corporations, or other parties operating storage facilities for storage on a
seasonal basis of boats, boating accessories, recreational vehicles, or recreational equipment, or
facilities in which the party storing goods rents and occupies space as a tenant and the entire risk
of loss is with the tenant pursuant to written contract between the landlord and tenant.
Subd. 8. Rate.
"Rate" includes every individual or joint rate, charge, or other compensation
of a household goods warehouse operator, either for storage or for any other service furnished in
connection with storage; any schedule or tariff of rates, charges, or compensation of a household
goods warehouse operator; and any rule, regulation, charge, practice, or contract relating to
the rates, charges, or compensation.
Subd. 9. Service.
"Service" is used in its broadest sense and includes not only the use
and occupancy of space for storage purposes, but also any labor expended, and the use of any
equipment, apparatus, and appliances or any drayage or other facilities employed, furnished, or
used in connection with the storage of goods, wares, and merchandise subject to this chapter.
Subd. 10. Warehouse operator.
"Warehouse operator" means a corporation, company,
association, joint stock company or association, firm, partnership, or individual and their trustees,
assignees, or receivers appointed by any court, that directly or indirectly controls, operates, or
manages within this state one or more buildings or structures, any part thereof of a building or
structure, or any other property which is used for the storage or warehousing of goods, wares,
business or other records, or merchandise for compensation, or who holds itself out as being in
the storage or warehouse business or as offering storage or warehouse facilities, or who advertises
for, solicits, or accepts goods, wares, business or other records, or merchandise for storage for
compensation. "Warehouse operator" does not include household goods warehouse operators or
persons, corporations, or other parties operating storage facilities containing minerals, ores,
or rock products such as, but not limited to, aggregates, clays, railroad ballast, iron ore, steel,
aluminum, copper ore, nickel ore, limestone, coal, and salt or operating grain warehouses,
or storing on a seasonal basis boats, boating accessories, recreational vehicles, or recreational
equipment or facilities in which the party storing goods rents and occupies space as a tenant and
the entire risk of loss is with the tenant pursuant to written contract between the landlord and
tenant or provided by a railroad or common carrier.
History: (5173) 1915 c 210 s 2; 1941 c 139 s 2; 1947 c 497 s 1,2; 1971 c 25 s 67; 1973 c
123 art 5 s 7; 1975 c 313 s 20; 1979 c 178 s 1; 1979 c 332 art 1 s 70,71; 1980 c 442 s 4; 1986 c
444; 1993 c 212 s 1; 1996 c 377 s 8; 1997 c 131 s 4; 1999 c 110 s 1
231.035 INSPECTION AUTHORITY.
The commissioner or the commissioner's designee may, upon presentation of appropriate
credentials and during regular working hours or at other reasonable times, inspect premises
including equipment and stored goods subject to and for reasons relating to the commissioner's
enforcement and licensing authority; request information from persons with information relevant
to an inspection; and inspect relevant papers and records relating to the storage of goods.
History: 1999 c 110 s 2
231.04 DEPARTMENT TO ENFORCE WAREHOUSE LAW.
The department shall see that the provisions of the Constitution and the statutes of this state
affecting warehouse operators or household goods warehouse operators, the enforcement of
which is not specifically vested in some other officer or tribunal, are enforced and obeyed, that
violations thereof are promptly prosecuted, and that penalties due the state therefor are recovered
and collected; and, to this end, it may sue in the name of the state.
History: (5176) 1915 c 210 s 5; 1971 c 25 s 67; 1986 c 444; 1999 c 110 s 3
231.08 WAREHOUSE OPERATOR AND HOUSEHOLD GOODS WAREHOUSE
Subdivision 1. To furnish information.
Every warehouse operator and household goods
warehouse operator shall furnish all information required by the department to administer this
chapter and make specific answers to all questions submitted by the department, under oath. A
warehouse operator or household goods warehouse operator which is a corporation shall answer
under the oath of one of its duly authorized officers.
A warehouse operator or household goods warehouse operator shall obey and comply with
every order, decision, direction, or rule made or prescribed by the department in the matters
specified in this chapter; and do everything necessary or proper to secure the compliance with and
the observance of the same, by all its officers, agents, and employees.
Subd. 2. Rights not limited.
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as limiting the rights
of any warehouse operator or household goods warehouse operator to lease or let for any storage
purpose any portion of a building.
Subd. 3. Tender for storage.
At the time of or prior to tender of goods for storage by a
depositor, a storage order must be signed in writing by the depositor or the depositor's duly
authorized representative and must show the name and address of the warehouse operator in
whose custody the goods are to be deposited.
Subd. 4. Identification of goods.
A warehouse operator who receives a lot of goods must
identify each article or lot by tag or lot number, as recorded on the operator's books and on
the warehouse receipt or contract.
Subd. 5. Fire protection.
All warehouses must be protected against fire in accordance
with the State Fire Code.
Subd. 6. Floor load.
A warehouse floor or part of a floor must not at any time be loaded or
stored with a greater weight of goods or materials per square foot than the floor will sustain with
safety. If the department directs a warehouse operator to ascertain from a competent registered
architect or engineer or from the proper municipal authorities what may be the safe load capacity
in pounds per square foot of each floor of the operator's warehouse or warehouses, the operator
must do so without unnecessary delay and must post signs in several conspicuous places on each
floor stating the safe live load that floor will sustain.
Subd. 7. Storage conditions.
(a) On each floor where there is open storage of goods, wares,
or merchandise, there must be aisles wide enough to permit the free and unimpeded passage of
goods, wares, or merchandise. All aisles must be kept free from obstructions, dust, and litter.
(b) Pieces of overstuffed furniture, mattresses, rugs, carpets, and other goods not stored in
containers must be protected by wrapping before being placed in permanent storage.
History: (5174) 1915 c 210 s 3; 1971 c 25 s 67; 1985 c 248 s 70; 1986 c 444; 1999 c
110 s 4; 2005 c 92 s 1-5; 2005 c 136 art 9 s 2
231.09 UNIFORM RECEIPT ISSUANCE.
Subdivision 1. Receipts.
A warehouse operator receiving goods in store shall issue for the
goods a receipt embodying the terms of such receipts as authorized by article 7 of the Uniform
Commercial Code. Receipts or records of storage in electronic form are acceptable.
Subd. 2. Copy to department.
A copy of the form of receipt used by the warehouse operator
must be furnished to the department with the application for license.
Subd. 3. Insurance.
Receipts must show in conspicuous type whether or not the property for
which the receipt has been issued is insured for the benefit of the depositor against fire or any
Subd. 4. Lot number.
The property of each depositor must be specifically designated under
a lot number, which must appear on the receipt for the purpose of identification.
Subd. 5. Correctness of receipt.
Unless notice is given by the depositor to the warehouse
operator in writing within 30 days after the date of mailing or delivery to the depositor of the
warehouse receipt stating that there are errors or omissions in the list of goods and specifying
them, the operator is entitled to assume that the list of goods on the warehouse receipt is a complete
and correct list of goods tendered to the operator for storage under the terms and conditions of the
contract and that the depositor has accepted all terms and conditions of the contract.
Subd. 6. Storing additional goods.
If the depositor, subsequent to the original storing, places
other goods with the warehouse operator for storage, the additional goods may come in under the
same terms and conditions as if they were part of the original lot.
Subd. 7. Notices to depositor.
Notices by the warehouse operator to the depositor pertaining
to the goods, wares, or merchandise must be sent to the depositor at the address given at the time
of depositing the goods, wares, or merchandise with the operator, unless written notice of a
change of address is received by the operator from the depositor. Notices mailed by the operator
to the last address given by the depositor constitute effective notice for all purposes.
Subd. 8. Liability limitations; other than household goods.
Unless otherwise specified
by the depositor in writing, it is agreed and is prima facie proof that no piece, package, or
complete article with its contents enumerated in the list of goods in the warehouse receipt of
contract exceeds the sum of $50 in value. If the depositor declares in writing a higher valuation,
the warehouse operator may charge a higher rate for storing the pieces, packages, or complete
articles. Each operator must, upon the day of storage, clearly inform the depositor, in writing, that
the depositor may declare a higher valuation.
Subd. 9. Liability limitations; household goods.
(a) From and after the date of storage, the
warehouse operator storing household goods must, on behalf of the depositor, cause the stored
goods of the depositor to be insured at least in the amount of $1.25 per pound per article against
loss from any peril covered by standard fire and extended coverage policies. The depositor must
pay to the operator the cost of the insurance in addition to other warehousing charges; provided,
however, that the depositor may declare in writing that the value of the stored goods does not
exceed 60 cents per pound per article, in which case the depositor is limited to that amount in
the recovery of any damages against the warehouse operator.
(b) Warehouse operators whose charges for storage are not based upon actual weight,
and who may not have available an actual weight figure, may use a weight figure obtained by
application of the constructive weight rule in effect in the operator's tariff.
(c) Each warehouse operator must, on the day of storage, clearly inform the depositor in
writing of the substance of paragraph (a). If the depositor's goods are delivered to the operator
for storage by another person, the operator must inform that person of the depositor's rights
and obligations under paragraph (a).
(d) Nothing in this section imposes liability upon a warehouse operator for damages where
the liability would not otherwise be imposed under the provisions of the Uniform Commercial
Code, chapter 336, and specifically section
History: (5182) 1915 c 210 s 11; 1965 c 812 s 6; 1986 c 444; 1999 c 110 s 5; 2005 c 92 s 6
231.11 SCHEDULE OF RATES; STORING HOUSEHOLD GOODS.
Subdivision 1. Filing; inspection.
A household goods warehouse operator must file with the
department and keep open for public inspection a printed schedule of rates and charges complying
with subdivision 2. All tariffs of rates and charges must contain terms and conditions under which
the rates and charges are assessed.
Subd. 2. Rate-making procedure.
In order to ensure nondiscriminatory rates and charges
for all depositors of household goods, the commissioner shall establish a collective rate-making
procedure which will ensure the publication and maintenance of just and reasonable rates and
charges under uniform, reasonably related rate structures. These procedures must provide for
the joint consideration, initiation, and establishment of rates and charges and ensure that the
respective revenues and expenses of household goods warehouse operators are ascertained. Any
participating household goods warehouse operator party to a collectively mandated rate or charge
has the right to petition the commissioner for the establishment of a rate or charge which deviates
from the collectively set rate. Upon receiving the commissioner's approval, that household
goods warehouse operator may proceed to establish the requested rate or charge. All household
goods warehouse operators subject to rate regulation under this chapter must comply with the
commissioner's rate-making procedures. No household goods warehouse operator shall undertake
to perform any service or store any household goods until a schedule of rates has been filed and
published in accordance with this chapter. In case of emergency, however, a service or storage not
specifically covered by the schedules filed, may be performed or furnished at a reasonable rate,
which must then be promptly filed, and which is subject to review in accordance with this chapter.
History: (5184) 1915 c 210 s 13; 1971 c 25 s 67; 1983 c 300 s 24; 1986 c 444; 1993 c 212
s 2; 1999 c 110 s 6; 2005 c 92 s 7
231.12 CHANGE OF RATES; STORING HOUSEHOLD GOODS.
Unless the department otherwise orders, no household goods warehouse operator may
change any rate except after ten days' notice to the department and to the public pursuant to
this section. Notice must be given by filing with the department and keeping open for public
inspection new schedules or supplements stating plainly the changes to be made in the schedules
then in force and the time when the changes will go into effect. The department for good cause
shown, may, after hearing, allow changes without requiring the ten days' notice by an order
specifying the changes to be made, the time when they shall take effect, and the manner in which
they shall be filed and published.
History: (5185) 1915 c 210 s 14; 1971 c 25 s 67; 1983 c 300 s 25; 1986 c 444; 1993 c 212
s 3; 1999 c 110 s 7
231.13 CHARGING MORE OR LESS THAN THE PUBLISHED RATE; STORING
Except as specified in sections
, no household goods warehouse operator
shall have, demand, collect, or receive, a different compensation for any service rendered or for
storing any household goods than the rates applicable to that service or storage, as specified in the
schedules of rates on file with the commissioner and in effect at the time.
If a household goods warehouse operator has had household goods in store so long that the
storage charges accumulated on them are more than the household goods would bring at a forced
sale, the department, upon written application and proof thereof, may authorize the household
goods warehouse operator to compromise the charges for a sum not less than the amount which
the household goods would bring at a forced sale.
History: (5186) 1915 c 210 s 15; 1971 c 25 s 67; 1986 c 444; 1993 c 212 s 4; 1999 c 110 s 8
231.14 DISCRIMINATION IN RATES; STORING HOUSEHOLD GOODS.
Except as herein otherwise specified, no household goods warehouse operator, or any officer,
agent, or employee thereof, shall, directly or indirectly, by remittance, rebate, or any device,
inducement, or other means, permit any corporation or person to obtain any service or the
storage of any household goods at less than the rates then established and in force as shown by
the schedule of rates filed and in effect at the time. No person or corporation shall, directly or
indirectly, by any device, inducement, or means, either with or without the consent or connivance
of a household goods warehouse operator, or any of the officers, agents, or employees thereof,
obtain, or seek to obtain, any service, or the storage of any household goods at less than the rates
then established and in force therefor. Any household goods warehouse operator, or the officers,
agents, or employees thereof, or any person acting for or employed by it or transacting business
with it, or any other person, who violates this section, is guilty of a gross misdemeanor and is,
upon conviction, subject to imprisonment not exceeding one year or to a fine not exceeding
$3,000, or both.
History: (5187) 1915 c 210 s 16; 1965 c 412 s 1; 1984 c 628 art 3 s 11; 1986 c 444; 1993
c 212 s 5; 1999 c 110 s 9
231.15 RATES FOR STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS.
If the department after a hearing upon its own motion, or upon complaint finds that the rates
demanded, observed, charged, or collected by a household goods warehouse operator for or in
connection with any service or storage of goods, wares, or merchandise are unjust, unreasonable,
discriminatory, preferential, or otherwise illegal, the department shall determine the just and
reasonable rates to be thereafter effective and in force for that household goods warehouse
operator and fix the rates by an order, which shall determine when the rates go into effect. Before
an order is issued under this section, the household goods warehouse operator shall have an
opportunity to be heard upon reasonable notice to be determined by the department.
History: (5188) 1915 c 210 s 17; 1971 c 25 s 67; 1985 c 248 s 70; 1986 c 444; 1999 c 110 s
10,22; 2000 c 260 s 84,85
231.16 WAREHOUSE OPERATOR OR HOUSEHOLD GOODS WAREHOUSE
A warehouse operator or household goods warehouse operator must be licensed annually
by the department. The department shall prescribe the form of the written application. If the
department approves the license application and the applicant files with the department the
necessary bond, in the case of household goods warehouse operators, or proof of warehouse
operators legal liability insurance coverage in an amount of $50,000 or more, as provided for in
this chapter, the department shall issue the license upon payment of the license fee required in
this section. A warehouse operator or household goods warehouse operator to whom a license
is issued shall pay a fee as follows:
Building square footage used for public storage
|5,000 or less
|5,001 to 10,000
|10,001 to 20,000
|20,001 to 100,000
|100,001 to 200,000
A penalty amount not to exceed ten percent of the fees due may be imposed by the
commissioner for each month for which the fees are delinquent.
Fees collected under this chapter must be paid into the grain buyers and storage account
established in section
The license must be renewed annually on or before July 1, and always upon payment of the
full license fee required in this section. No license shall be issued for any portion of a year for less
than the full amount of the license fee required in this section. Each license obtained under this
chapter must be publicly displayed in the main office of the place of business of the warehouse
operator or household goods warehouse operator to whom it is issued. The license authorizes
the warehouse operator or household goods warehouse operator to carry on the business of
warehousing only in the one city or town named in the application and in the buildings therein
described. The department, without requiring an additional bond and license, may issue permits
from time to time to any warehouse operator already duly licensed under the provisions of this
chapter to operate an additional warehouse in the same city or town for which the original
license was issued during the term thereof, upon the filing an application for a permit in the
form prescribed by the department.
A license may be refused for good cause shown and revoked by the department for violation
of law or of any rule adopted by the department, upon notice and after hearing.
History: (5189) 1915 c 210 s 18; 1939 c 159; 1943 c 495 s 1; 1947 c 497 s 3; 1969 c 1148 s
37; 1971 c 25 s 67; 1973 c 123 art 5 s 7; 1975 c 313 s 22; 1977 c 364 s 7; 1981 c 356 s 331; 1982
c 508 s 7; 1983 c 300 s 26; 1985 c 248 s 70; 1986 c 444; 1999 c 110 s 11; 1999 c 231 s 170;
1Sp2001 c 2 s 143; 1Sp2005 c 1 art 1 s 86
231.17 BONDS OF WAREHOUSE OPERATORS; LEGAL LIABILITY INSURANCE.
Every warehouse operator applying for and receiving a license from the department under
this chapter shall file with the department, acceptable to the department, a surety bond to the state
of Minnesota. Bonds must be in the amount of $10,000.
The bond must be conditioned for the faithful discharge of all duties as a household goods
warehouse operator operating under this chapter and full compliance with the laws of the state and
rules and orders of the department. Failure to maintain the bond as required shall void the license.
The bond must be continuous until canceled. To cancel a bond, the surety must provide 90
days' written notice of the bond's termination date to the licensee and the department.
In lieu of the bond required by this section, the applicant may deposit with the commissioner
of finance cash; a certified check; a cashier's check; a postal, bank, or express money order;
assignable bonds or notes of the United States; or an assignment of bank savings account or
investment certificate or an irrevocable bank letter of credit as defined in section
, in the
same amount as would be required for a bond.
In lieu of the bond required by this section, a warehouse operator that does not provide for
the storage of household goods may provide proof of legal liability insurance coverage in the
amount of $50,000 or more. A warehouse operator must notify the department with written notice
of the cancellation of the policy. If the policy is terminated without notification to the department,
the warehouse operator is subject to penalties under section
History: (5190) 1915 c 210 s 19; 1927 c 360 s 1; 1971 c 25 s 67; 1971 c 75 s 1; 1985 c 248 s
70; 1986 c 444; 1993 c 212 s 6; 1999 c 110 s 12; 2003 c 112 art 2 s 50
231.18 CLAIMS AGAINST A BOND.
Subdivision 1. Filing a claim.
A depositor claiming to be damaged by the breach of an
agreement to store household goods must file a claim with the department within 180 days of the
date of breach.
Subd. 2. Form of claim.
All claims must be in writing, must state the facts upon which the
claim is based, must include any supporting evidence, and must be signed by the claimant. The
supporting evidence may consist of, but is not limited to, a bill of lading, a warehouse receipt, a
contract form, correspondence, or photographs.
Subd. 3. Where to file.
All claims must be filed with the Minnesota Department of
Agriculture, Grain Licensing and Auditing Section.
Subd. 4. Bond limitations.
The bonds are not cumulative from one year to the next. A claim
against the bond may only be made against the bond in effect at the time the agreement is breached.
A bond is not liable for claims filed after 180 days from the date of the breach of the bond.
Subd. 5. Public notice of a claim.
Upon determining that a depositor has filed a valid claim,
the department shall publish notice of the claim in the official county newspaper of the county in
which the licensee's primary place of business is located.
The notice must state that a claim against the bond of a licensee has been filed with the
department, the name and address of the licensee, that any additional claims should be filed with
the department, the date by which claims must be filed, and where the claims should be filed.
The public notice of the claim must appear for three consecutive days in newspapers with a
daily circulation and for two consecutive publications in newspapers published less than daily.
Subd. 6. Bond disbursement.
(a) Upon expiration of the claim filing period, the department
shall promptly determine the validity of all claims filed and notify the claimants of the
determination. An aggrieved party may appeal the department's determination by requesting,
within 15 days, that the department initiate a contested case proceeding. In the absence of such a
request, or following the issuance of a final order in a contested case, the surety company shall
issue payment promptly to those claimants entitled to payment.
(b) If a household goods warehouse operator has become liable to more than one depositor
by reason of breaches of the conditions of the bond and the amount of the bond is insufficient
to pay the entire liability to all depositors entitled to the protection of the bond, the proceeds of
the bond shall be apportioned among the bona fide claimants.
History: (5192) 1915 c 210 s 21; 1971 c 25 s 67; 1986 c 444; 1993 c 212 s 7; 1999 c
110 s 13,14; 2005 c 92 s 8,9
231.24 COMPLAINT THAT RATE IS UNREASONABLE; DUTY OF DEPARTMENT.
Upon verified complaint of any person or of any corporation that any rates of a household
goods warehouse operator are unjust, unreasonable, discriminatory, preferential, or in any way
in violation of law, the department shall proceed to investigate the matters alleged in such
complaint; and, for the purposes of such investigation, they may require the attendance of
witnesses and the production of books, papers, and documents. If, upon the hearing, such rates
are found to be unjust, unreasonable, discriminatory, preferential, or in any way in violation of
law, the department shall make an order, stating wherein the same are so unjust, unreasonable,
discriminatory, preferential, or in any way in violation of law, and make rates which shall be
substituted for those as to which complaint is made. Rates so made by the department shall be
deemed prima facie reasonable in all courts, and shall be in full force during the pendency of any
appeal or other proceedings to review the action of the department in establishing the same.
History: (5198) 1915 c 210 s 27; 1971 c 25 s 67; 1999 c 110 s 15
231.28 FAILURE TO OBEY ORDER OR LAW.
If a warehouse operator or household goods warehouse operator fails to obey any law of
this state or any order of the department, the department may, upon verified petition alleging
such failure, apply to the district court of the county in which the operator's principal place of
business is located for the enforcement of such law or order or other appropriate relief. The
court, upon such notice as it may direct, shall hear such matter as in case of an appeal from an
order. On the hearing, the findings of fact upon which the order is based shall be prima facie
evidence of the merits therein stated, and the court may grant any provisional or other relief,
ordinary or extraordinary, legal or equitable, which the nature of the case may require, and may
impose a fine of not more than $50 for each day's failure to obey any writ, process, or order of the
court, in addition to all other penalties or forfeitures provided by law. A temporary mandatory
or restraining order may be made in such proceedings, notwithstanding any undetermined issue
of fact, upon such terms as to security as the court may direct.
History: (5202) 1915 c 210 s 31; 1971 c 25 s 67; 1986 c 444; 1999 c 110 s 16
231.32 PROCEEDINGS IN THE NAME OF THE STATE.
All acts or proceedings instituted by the department under this chapter shall be brought in the
name of the state and be prosecuted by the attorney general.
History: (5205) 1915 c 210 s 34; 1971 c 25 s 67
231.34 ACTION ON BOND IN THE NAME OF THE STATE.
If a licensed household goods warehouse operator fails to perform a duty or violates this
chapter, any person or corporation injured by such failure or violation may, with the consent of the
department and the attorney general, bring an action in the name of the state, but to the person's or
corporation's own use, in any court of competent jurisdiction on the bond of the household goods
warehouse operator. In such action the person or corporation in whose behalf the action is brought
shall file with the court a satisfactory bond for costs, and the state shall not be liable for any costs.
History: (5206) 1915 c 210 s 35; 1971 c 25 s 67; 1986 c 444; 1999 c 110 s 17
231.36 FALSIFICATION OR DESTRUCTION OF ACCOUNTS.
Any person who shall willfully make any false entry in the account or in any record or
memorandum kept by a warehouse operator or household goods warehouse operator, or who shall
willfully destroy, mutilate, alter, or by any other means or device, falsify a record of any such
account, record, or memorandum, or who shall willfully neglect or fail to make full, true, and
correct entries in such accounts, records, or memoranda, of all facts and transactions appertaining
to the business of the warehouse operator or household goods warehouse operator, or shall keep
any accounts or records with the intent to evade the provisions of this chapter, is guilty of a gross
misdemeanor and, upon conviction, is subject to imprisonment not exceeding one year or to a
fine not exceeding $3,000, or both.
History: (5180) 1915 c 210 s 9; 1965 c 412 s 2; 1984 c 628 art 3 s 11; 1986 c 444; 1999
c 110 s 18
231.37 PENALTY FOR DIVULGING INFORMATION.
Any officer or employee of the department who divulges to any person, other than a member
of the department, any fact or information coming to the knowledge of the officer or employee
during the course of an inspection, examination, or investigation of any accounts, records,
memoranda, books, or papers of a warehouse operator or household goods warehouse operator,
except insofar as may be authorized by the department, or by a court of competent jurisdiction, or
a judge thereof, is guilty of a gross misdemeanor and, upon conviction, is subject to imprisonment
not exceeding one year or to a fine not exceeding $3,000, or to both.
History: (5181) 1915 c 210 s 10; 1965 c 412 s 3; 1971 c 25 s 67; 1984 c 628 art 3 s 11;
1986 c 444; 1999 c 110 s 19
231.375 OPENING OR ABANDONING WAREHOUSE BUILDING.
No building or structure may be used as a warehouse or branch warehouse until it has been
inspected and approved for warehousing purposes by the department.
On ceasing to use a building or other structure, a warehouse operator must promptly notify
History: 2005 c 92 s 10
231.38 PENALTY FOR TRANSACTING BUSINESS WITHOUT A LICENSE.
Any person who shall transact the business of a warehouse operator or household goods
warehouse operator, except for the purpose of winding up the same under the supervision of the
department, without first procuring a license and giving a bond or providing proof of insurance as
provided for in this chapter and any licensed warehouse operator or household goods warehouse
operator who shall operate any warehouse without obtaining the permit herein provided for or who
shall continue to transact such business after such license has expired or the required insurance
has lapsed or such bond may have become void or found insufficient security for the penal sum in
which it is executed by the department approving the same is guilty of a gross misdemeanor and,
upon conviction, shall be fined in a sum not less than $100 nor more than $3,000 for each and
every day the business is carried on before the license or permit, as the case may be, is issued or
after the expiration of such license or permit or after receiving notice from the department that the
insurance has lapsed or bond has become void or has been found insufficient security; and the
operation of such warehouse operator or household goods warehouse operator may be enjoined
upon complaint of the department before a court of competent jurisdiction.
A warehouse operator or household goods warehouse operator has 30 days after a license or
permit has expired or insurance has lapsed or bond become void or been found insufficient before
the penalty in this section applies.
History: (5191) 1915 c 210 s 20; 1965 c 412 s 4; 1971 c 25 s 67; 1984 c 628 art 3 s 11;
1986 c 444; 1999 c 110 s 20
231.39 PERSONS VIOLATING ACT OR ORDER; PENALTY.
Any warehouse operator or household goods warehouse operator and each person who, either
individually or acting as an officer, agent, or employee of a warehouse operator or household
goods warehouse operator, violates or fails to comply with any provisions of this chapter, or fails
to observe, obey, or comply with any order, decision, rule, direction, or requirement or any
part or portion thereof of the department made or issued under authority of this chapter or who
procures, aids, or abets any warehouse operator or household goods warehouse operator in the
violation of this chapter or in the failure to observe, obey, or comply with this chapter or any
such order, decision, rule, direction, or requirement or any part or portion thereof in a case in
which a penalty is not otherwise provided for in this chapter is guilty of a gross misdemeanor
and, upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $3,000 or by imprisonment not
exceeding one year or both.
Each violation of this chapter, or of any order, decision, rule, direction, or requirement of
the department, or any part or portion thereof, by any warehouse operator or household goods
warehouse operator is a separate and distinct offense.
In construing and enforcing the provisions of this chapter relating to penalties, the act,
omission, or failure of any officer, agent, or employee of any warehouse operator or household
goods warehouse operator, acting within the scope of official duties or employment, shall in each
case be and be deemed to be the act, omission, or failure of such warehouse operator or household
goods warehouse operator.
History: (5207) 1915 c 210 s 36; 1965 c 412 s 5; 1971 c 25 s 67; 1984 c 628 art 3 s 11;
1985 c 248 s 70; 1986 c 444; 1999 c 110 s 21