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Subdivision 1.Definition.

For purposes of this section, "bias offense" means conduct that would constitute a crime and was committed because of the victim's or another's actual or perceived race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability as defined in section 363A.03, age, or national origin.

Subd. 2.Cause of action; damages and fees injunction.

A person who is damaged by a bias offense has a civil cause of action against the person who committed the offense. The plaintiff is entitled to recover the greater of:

(1) $500; or

(2) actual general and special damages, including damages for emotional distress.

A plaintiff also may obtain punitive damages as provided in sections 549.191 and 549.20 or an injunction or other appropriate relief.

Subd. 3.Relation to criminal proceeding; burden of proof.

A person may bring an action under this section regardless of the existence or outcome of criminal proceedings involving the bias offense that is the basis for the action. The burden of proof in an action under this section is preponderance of the evidence.

Subd. 4.Parental liability.

Section 540.18 applies to actions under this section, except that:

(1) the parent or guardian is liable for all types of damages awarded under this section in an amount not exceeding $5,000; and

(2) the parent or guardian is not liable if the parent or guardian made reasonable efforts to exercise control over the minor's behavior.

Subd. 5.Trial; limitation period.

(a) The right to trial by jury is preserved in an action brought under this section.

(b) An action under this section must be commenced not later than six years after the cause of action arises.

Subd. 6.Other rights preserved.

The remedies under this section do not affect any rights or remedies of the plaintiff under other law.


1996 c 468 s 1

Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes