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Table of Sections

2010 Minnesota Statutes

This is a historical version of this statute chapter. Also view the most recent published version.

Chapter 18J. Inspection and Enforcement

Chapter Sections
Section Headnote
18J.01Definitions
18J.02Duties of Commissioner
18J.03Civil Liability
18J.04Inspection, Sampling, Analysis
18J.05Enforcement
18J.06False Statement or Record
18J.07Administrative Action
18J.08Appeals of Commissioner's Orders
18J.09Crediting of Penalties, Fees, and Costs
18J.10Civil Penalties
18J.11Criminal Penalties

18J.01 DEFINITIONS.

(a) The definitions in sections 18G.02 and 18H.02 apply to this chapter.

(b) For purposes of this chapter, "associated rules" means rules adopted under this chapter, chapter 18G or 18H, or sections 21.80 to 21.92.

18J.02 DUTIES OF COMMISSIONER.

The commissioner shall administer and enforce this chapter, chapters 18G and 18H, sections 21.80 to 21.92, and associated rules.

18J.03 CIVIL LIABILITY.

A person regulated by this chapter, chapter 18G or 18H, or sections 21.80 to 21.92, is civilly liable for any violation of one of those statutes or associated rules by the person's employee or agent.

18J.04 INSPECTION, SAMPLING, ANALYSIS.

Subdivision 1.Access and entry.

The commissioner, upon presentation of official department credentials, must be granted immediate access at reasonable times to sites where a person manufactures, distributes, uses, handles, disposes of, stores, or transports seeds, plants, or other living or nonliving products or other objects regulated under chapter 18G or 18H, sections 21.80 to 21.92, or associated rules.

Subd. 2.Purpose of entry.

(a) The commissioner may enter sites for:

(1) inspection of inventory and equipment for the manufacture, storage, handling, distribution, disposal, or any other process regulated under chapter 18G or 18H, sections 21.80 to 21.92, or associated rules;

(2) sampling of sites, seeds, plants, products, or other living or nonliving objects that are manufactured, stored, distributed, handled, or disposed of at those sites and regulated under chapter 18G or 18H, sections 21.80 to 21.92, or associated rules;

(3) inspection of records related to the manufacture, distribution, storage, handling, or disposal of seeds, plants, products, or other living or nonliving objects regulated under chapter 18G or 18H, sections 21.80 to 21.92, or associated rules;

(4) investigating compliance with chapter 18G or 18H, sections 21.80 to 21.92, or associated rules; or

(5) other purposes necessary to implement chapter 18G or 18H, sections 21.80 to 21.92, or associated rules.

(b) The commissioner may enter any public or private premises during or after regular business hours without notice of inspection when a suspected violation of chapter 18G or 18H, sections 21.80 to 21.92, or associated rules may threaten public health or the environment.

Subd. 3.Notice of inspection samples and analyses.

(a) The commissioner shall provide the owner, operator, or agent in charge with a receipt describing any samples obtained. If requested, the commissioner shall split any samples obtained and provide them to the owner, operator, or agent in charge. If an analysis is made of the samples, a copy of the results of the analysis must be furnished to the owner, operator, or agent in charge within 30 days after an analysis has been performed. If an analysis is not performed, the commissioner must notify the owner, operator, or agent in charge within 30 days of the decision not to perform the analysis.

(b) The sampling and analysis must be done according to methods provided for under applicable provisions of chapter 18G or 18H, sections 21.80 to 21.92, or associated rules. In cases not covered by those sections and methods or in cases where methods are available in which improved applicability has been demonstrated the commissioner may adopt appropriate methods from other sources.

Subd. 4.Inspection requests by others.

(a) A person who believes that a violation of chapter 18G or 18H, sections 21.80 to 21.92, or associated rules has occurred may request an inspection by giving notice to the commissioner of the violation. The notice must be in writing, state with reasonable particularity the grounds for the notice, and be signed by the person making the request.

(b) If after receiving a notice of violation the commissioner reasonably believes that a violation has occurred, the commissioner shall make a special inspection in accordance with the provisions of this section as soon as practicable, to determine if a violation has occurred.

(c) An inspection conducted pursuant to a notice under this subdivision may cover an entire site and is not limited to the portion of the site specified in the notice. If the commissioner determines that reasonable grounds to believe that a violation occurred do not exist, the commissioner must notify the person making the request in writing of the determination.

Subd. 5.Order to enter after refusal.

After a refusal, or an anticipated refusal based on a prior refusal, to allow entrance on a prior occasion by an owner, operator, or agent in charge to allow entry as specified in this section, the commissioner may apply for an order in the district court in the county where a site is located, that compels a person with authority to allow the commissioner to enter and inspect the site.

Subd. 6.Violator liable for inspection costs.

(a) The cost of reinspection and reinvestigation may be assessed by the commissioner if the person subject to an order of the commissioner does not comply with the order in a reasonable time as provided in the order.

(b) The commissioner may enter an order for recovery of the inspection and investigation costs.

Subd. 7.Investigation authority.

(a) In making inspections under this chapter, the commissioner may administer oaths, certify official acts, issue subpoenas to take and cause to be taken depositions of witnesses, and compel the attendance of witnesses and production of papers, books, documents, records, and testimony.

(b) If a person fails to comply with a subpoena, or a witness refuses to produce evidence or to testify to a matter about which the person may be lawfully questioned, the district court shall, on application of the commissioner, compel obedience proceedings for contempt, as in the case of disobedience of the requirements of a subpoena issued by the court or a refusal to testify in court.

18J.05 ENFORCEMENT.

Subdivision 1.Enforcement required.

(a) A violation of chapter 18G or 18H, sections 21.80 to 21.92, or an associated rule is a violation of this chapter.

(b) Upon the request of the commissioner, county attorneys, sheriffs, and other officers having authority in the enforcement of the general criminal laws must take action to the extent of their authority necessary or proper for the enforcement of chapter 18G or 18H, sections 21.80 to 21.92, or associated rules or valid orders, standards, stipulations, and agreements of the commissioner.

Subd. 2.Commissioner's discretion.

If minor violations of chapter 18G or 18H, sections 21.80 to 21.92, or associated rules occur or the commissioner believes the public interest will be best served by a suitable notice of warning in writing, this section does not require the commissioner to:

(1) report the violation for prosecution;

(2) institute seizure proceedings; or

(3) issue a withdrawal from distribution, stop-sale, or other order.

Subd. 3.Civil actions.

Civil judicial enforcement actions may be brought by the attorney general in the name of the state on behalf of the commissioner. A county attorney may bring a civil judicial enforcement action upon the request of the commissioner and agreement by the attorney general.

Subd. 4.Injunction.

The commissioner may apply to a court with jurisdiction for a temporary or permanent injunction to prevent, restrain, or enjoin violations of this chapter.

Subd. 5.Criminal actions.

For a criminal action, the county attorney from the county where a criminal violation occurred is responsible for prosecuting a violation of this chapter. If the county attorney refuses to prosecute, the attorney general on request of the commissioner may prosecute.

Subd. 6.Agent for service of process.

All persons licensed, permitted, registered, or certified under chapter 18G or 18H, sections 21.80 to 21.92, or associated rules must appoint the commissioner as the agent upon whom all legal process may be served and service upon the commissioner is deemed to be service on the licensee, permittee, registrant, or certified person.

18J.06 FALSE STATEMENT OR RECORD.

A person must not knowingly make or offer a false statement, record, or other information as part of:

(1) an application for registration, license, certification, or permit under chapter 18G or 18H, sections 21.80 to 21.92, or associated rules;

(2) records or reports required under chapter 18G or 18H, sections 21.80 to 21.92, or associated rules; or

(3) an investigation of a violation of chapter 18G or 18H, sections 21.80 to 21.92, or associated rules.

18J.07 ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION.

Subdivision 1.Administrative remedies.

The commissioner may seek to remedy violations by a written warning, administrative meeting, cease and desist, stop-use, stop-sale, removal, correction order, or an order, seizure, stipulation, or agreement, if the commissioner determines that the remedy is in the public interest.

Subd. 2.Revocation and suspension.

The commissioner may, after written notice and hearing, revoke, suspend, or refuse to grant or renew a registration, permit, license, or certification if a person violates this chapter or has a history within the last three years of violation of this chapter.

Subd. 3.Cancellation of registration, permit, license, certification.

The commissioner may cancel or revoke a registration, permit, license, or certification provided for under chapter 18G or 18H, sections 21.80 to 21.92, or associated rules or refuse to register, permit, license, or certify under provisions of chapter 18G or 18H, sections 21.80 to 21.92, or associated rules if the registrant, permittee, licensee, or certified person has used fraudulent or deceptive practices in the evasion or attempted evasion of a provision of chapter 18G or 18H, sections 21.80 to 21.92, or associated rules.

Subd. 4.Service of order or notice.

(a) If a person is not available for service of an order, the commissioner may attach the order to the facility, site, seed or seed container, plant or other living or nonliving object regulated under chapter 18G or 18H, sections 21.80 to 21.92, or associated rules and notify the owner, custodian, other responsible party, or registrant.

(b) The seed, seed container, plant, or other living or nonliving object regulated under chapter 18G or 18H, sections 21.80 to 21.92, or associated rules may not be sold, used, tampered with, or removed until released under conditions specified by the commissioner, by an administrative law judge, or by a court.

Subd. 5.Unsatisfied judgments.

(a) An applicant for a license, permit, registration, or certification under provisions of this chapter, chapter 18G or 18H, sections 21.80 to 21.92, or associated rules may not allow a final judgment against the applicant for damages arising from a violation of those statutes or rules to remain unsatisfied for a period of more than 30 days.

(b) Failure to satisfy, within 30 days, a final judgment resulting from a violation of this chapter results in automatic suspension of the license, permit, registration, or certification.

18J.08 APPEALS OF COMMISSIONER'S ORDERS.

Subdivision 1.Notice of appeal.

(a) After service of an order, a person has 45 days from receipt of the order to notify the commissioner in writing that the person intends to contest the order.

(b) If the person fails to notify the commissioner that the person intends to contest the order, the order is a final order of the commissioner and not subject to further judicial or administrative review.

Subd. 2.Administrative review.

If a person notifies the commissioner that the person intends to contest an order issued under this section, the state Office of Administrative Hearings must conduct a hearing in accordance with the applicable provisions of chapter 14 for hearings in contested cases.

Subd. 3.Judicial review.

Judicial review of a final decision in a contested case is available as provided in chapter 14.

18J.09 CREDITING OF PENALTIES, FEES, AND COSTS.

Penalties, cost reimbursements, fees, and other money collected under this chapter must be deposited into the state treasury and credited to the appropriate nursery and phytosanitary or seed account.

18J.10 CIVIL PENALTIES.

Subdivision 1.General penalty.

Except as provided in subdivision 2, a person who violates this chapter or an order, standard, stipulation, agreement, or schedule of compliance of the commissioner is subject to a civil penalty of up to $7,500 per day of violation as determined by the court.

Subd. 2.Defense to civil remedies and damages.

As a defense to a civil penalty or claim for damages under subdivision 1, the defendant may prove that the violation was caused solely by an act of God, an act of war, or an act or failure to act that constitutes sabotage or vandalism, or any combination of these defenses.

Subd. 3.Actions to compel performance.

In an action to compel performance of an order of the commissioner to enforce a provision of this chapter, the court may require a defendant adjudged responsible to perform the acts within the person's power that are reasonably necessary to accomplish the purposes of the order.

Subd. 4.Recovery of penalties by civil action.

The civil penalties and payments provided for in this chapter may be recovered by a civil action brought by the county attorney or the attorney general in the name of the state.

18J.11 CRIMINAL PENALTIES.

Subdivision 1.General violation.

Except as provided in subdivisions 2 and 3, a person is guilty of a misdemeanor if the person violates this chapter or an order, standard, stipulation, agreement, or schedule of compliance of the commissioner.

Subd. 2.Violation endangering humans.

A person is guilty of a gross misdemeanor if the person violates this chapter or an order, standard, stipulation, agreement, or schedule of compliance of the commissioner, and the violation endangers humans.

Subd. 3.Violation with knowledge.

A person is guilty of a gross misdemeanor if the person knowingly violates this chapter or an order, standard, stipulation, agreement, or schedule of compliance of the commissioner.

700 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155 ♦ Phone: (651) 296-2868 ♦ TTY: 1-800-627-3529 ♦ Fax: (651) 296-0569