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.