609.7495 PHYSICAL INTERFERENCE WITH SAFE ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE.
Subdivision 1. Definitions.
For the purposes of this section, the following terms have the
meanings given them.
(a) "Facility" means any of the following:
(1) a hospital or other health institution licensed under sections
(2) a medical facility as defined in section
(3) an agency, clinic, or office operated under the direction of or under contract with the
commissioner of health or a community health board, as defined in section
(4) a facility providing counseling regarding options for medical services or recovery from
(5) a facility providing emergency shelter services for battered women, as defined in section
611A.31, subdivision 3
, or a facility providing transitional housing for battered women and
(6) a facility as defined in section
626.556, subdivision 2
, paragraph (f);
(7) a facility as defined in section
626.5572, subdivision 6
, where the services described in
that paragraph are provided;
(8) a place to or from which ambulance service, as defined in section
, is provided
or sought to be provided; and
(9) a hospice provider licensed under section
(b) "Aggrieved party" means a person whose access to or egress from a facility is obstructed
in violation of subdivision 2, or the facility.
Subd. 2. Obstructing access prohibited.
A person is guilty of a gross misdemeanor who
intentionally and physically obstructs any individual's access to or egress from a facility.
Subd. 3. Not applicable.
Nothing in this section shall be construed to impair the right of
any individual or group to engage in speech protected by the United States Constitution, the
Minnesota Constitution, or federal or state law, including but not limited to peaceful and lawful
handbilling and picketing.
Subd. 4. Civil remedies.
(a) A party who is aggrieved by an act prohibited by this section, or
by an attempt or conspiracy to commit an act prohibited by this section, may bring an action for
damages, injunctive or declaratory relief, as appropriate, in district court against any person or
entity who has violated or has conspired to violate this section.
(b) A party who prevails in a civil action under this subdivision is entitled to recover from
the violator damages, costs, attorney fees, and other relief as determined by the court. In addition
to all other damages, the court may award to the aggrieved party a civil penalty of up to $1,000
for each violation. If the aggrieved party is a facility and the political subdivision where the
violation occurred incurred law enforcement or prosecution expenses in connection with the same
violation, the court shall award any civil penalty it imposes to the political subdivision instead
of to the facility.
(c) The remedies provided by this subdivision are in addition to any other legal or equitable
remedies the aggrieved party may have and are not intended to diminish or substitute for those
remedies or to be exclusive.
History: 1993 c 284 s 2; 1995 c 229 art 4 s 19; 1997 c 199 s 14; 1998 c 254 art 1 s 102;
2002 c 252 s 22,24