An agency may not, under authority of rule, levy a total fine or penalty of more than $700 for a single violation unless the agency has specific statutory authority to levy a fine in excess of that amount.
An agency may not, by rule, establish a criminal penalty unless the agency has specific statutory authority to do so.
(a) If a statute or rule gives an agency discretion over the amount of a fine, the agency must take the following factors into account in determining the amount of the fine:
(1) the willfulness of the violation;
(2) the gravity of the violation, including damage to humans, animals, and the natural resources of the state;
(3) the history of past violations;
(4) the number of violations;
(5) the economic benefit gained by the person by allowing or committing the violation; and
(6) other factors that justice may require.
(b) For a violation after an initial violation, the following factors must be considered in addition to the factors in paragraph (a):
(1) similarity of previous violations to the current violation to be penalized;
(2) time elapsed since the last violation;
(3) number of previous violations; and
(4) response of the person to the most recent previous violation identified.
This section does not affect the right of an agency to deny a permit, revoke a license, or take similar action, other than the imposition of a fine, even if the cost of the denial, revocation, or other action to the affected party exceeds $700.
Subdivisions 1, 2, and 4 apply only to fines and penalties imposed under rules for which notice of intent to adopt rules is published after July 1, 1996.
Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes