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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

626A.13 CIVIL REMEDIES.

Subdivision 1.In general.

Except as provided in section 2511 (2)(a)(ii) of title 18 of the United States Code, a person whose wire, oral, or electronic communication is intercepted, disclosed, or intentionally used in violation of this chapter may in a civil action recover from the person or entity that engaged in that violation relief as may be appropriate.

Subd. 2.Relief.

In an action under this section, appropriate relief includes:

(1) temporary and other equitable or declaratory relief as may be appropriate;

(2) damages under subdivision 3 and punitive damages in appropriate cases; and

(3) a reasonable attorney's fee and other litigation costs reasonably incurred.

Subd. 3.Computation of damages.

(a) In an action under this section, if the conduct in violation of this chapter is the private viewing of a private satellite video communication that is not scrambled or encrypted or if the communication is a radio communication that is transmitted on frequencies allocated under subpart D of part 74 of title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations that is not scrambled or encrypted and the conduct is not for a tortious or illegal purpose or for purposes of direct or indirect commercial advantage or private commercial gain, then the court shall assess damages as follows:

(1) If the person who engaged in that conduct has not previously been enjoined under section 626A.02, subdivision 5, and has not been found liable in a prior civil action under this section, the court shall assess the greater of the sum of actual damages suffered by the plaintiff, or statutory damages of not less than $50 and not more than $500.

(2) If, on one prior occasion, the person who engaged in that conduct has been enjoined under section 626A.02, subdivision 5, or has been found liable in a civil action under this section, the court shall assess the greater of the sum of actual damages suffered by the plaintiff, or statutory damages of not less than $100 and not more than $1,000.

(b) In any other action under this section, the court may assess as damages whichever is the greater of:

(1) the sum of three times the actual damages suffered by the plaintiff and any profits made by the violator as a result of the violation; or

(2) statutory damages of whichever is the greater of $100 a day for each day of violation or $10,000.

Subd. 4.Defense.

A good faith reliance on:

(1) a court warrant or order, a grand jury subpoena, a legislative authorization, or a statutory authorization;

(2) a request of an investigative or law enforcement officer under United States Code, title 18, section 2518(7); or

(3) a good faith determination that section 626A.02, subdivision 3, permitted the conduct complained of;

is a complete defense against any civil or criminal action brought under this chapter or any other law.

Subd. 5.Limitation.

A civil action under this section may not be begun later than two years after the date upon which the claimant first has a reasonable opportunity to discover the violation.