Courts and Evidence


Prepared by:
Melinda Hugdahl, Staff Attorney
Legal Services Advocacy Project

Chapter 86, Article 3, Section 6 (SF 671)
Adds Minn. Stat. § 357.021, subd 2b
Effective July 1, 2013, and applies to filings on or after that date
Sunsets June 30, 2018

A. New Fee
Creates an additional $2 court fee to be used for technology for the state courts and their justice partners. Permits the Judicial Council to appoint an advisory board - which may include civil legal services members - to make recommendations for the Council's disposition of funds generated from the technology fee. Provides that applicants for the funding may include qualified civil legal service agencies (defined in Minn. Stat. § 480.24) and applications may be submitted to: (1) the Judicial Council; and (2) if created, the advisory board.

B. Applicability of the Technology Fee
Applies the new fee to the list of filings listed under Minn. Stat. § 357.021, subd. 2, which include, among other things: (1) initial paper in every civil action or proceeding; (2) certified copies of any instrument from a civil or criminal proceeding; (3) issuance of a subpoenas, executions, writs, transcript of judgment; (4) filing a motion or response to a motion for modification of child support and in certain civil and other family cases; (5) filing and docketing a transcript of judgment from another court; (6) filing and entering any satisfaction or assignment of judgment; and (7) deposit of a will.

C. Report to the Legislature
Directs the Judicial Council to report to the Legislature by January 15, 2015 and again by January 15, 2017 on: (1) the amounts collected and expended in the previous biennium; (2) those who received funds; (3) the amount awarded to each recipient; and (4) the technology purpose for which funds were awarded.


Prepared by:
Ron Elwood, Supervising Attorney
Legal Services Advocacy Project

Chapter 7 (HF 278)
Adds Chapter 3E (Minn. Stat. §§ 3E.01 - .10)
Effective January 1, 2015

A uniform law adopted by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform
State Laws (NCCUSL) relating exclusively to use of the Minnesota's Constitution, Session Laws, Statutes, and Rules as record documents.

A. Definition of "Legal Material"
Defines "legal material" exclusively as: (1) the Minnesota Constitution; (2) Laws of Minnesota; (3) Minnesota Statutes; or (4) Minnesota Rules.
Adds Minn. Stat. § 3E.02, subd. 3

B. Publication

1. In Electronic Form Only
Requires the Revisor to designate the electronic record as official if the Revisor publishes legal material only in electronic form.
Adds Minn. Stat. § 3E.04, subd. 1

2. In Both Print and Electronic Form
Enables the Revisor to designate the electronic record as official if the Revisor publishes legal material in both print and electronic form.
Adds Minn. Stat. § 3E.04, subd. 2 (if both print and electronic record)

3. Requirements for Designation as Official Record
Requires the Revisor, regardless of what form the record is published, to: (1) authenticate the record; (2) preserve and secure the record; and (3) ensure the record's public availability.
Adds Minn. Stat. § 3E.05 (authentication of record)
Adds Minn. Stat. § 3E.07 (preservation/securitization of record)
Adds Minn. Stat. § 3E.08 (public availability of record)

C. Presumption of Accuracy
Presumes the authenticated electronic records to be accurate. Presumes legal material in electronic form from another state is accurate if the state has a substantially similar law. Imposes the burden of proof on the party contesting accuracy.
Adds Minn. Stat. § 3E.06, subd. 1 (presumption of accuracy)
Adds Minn. Stat. § 3E.06, subd. 2(presumption for other states' records)
Adds Minn. Stat. § 3E.06, subd. 3 (burden of proof)

Chapter 104 (HF 80)
Adds Minn. Stat. § 548.101
Effective September 1, 2013, and applies to requests, applications, and motions for default judgments and conciliation court cases filed on or after that date

A. Applicability
Applies to parties seeking default judgments in district or conciliation court on assigned and defaulted debt incurred primarily for personal, family, or household purposes.
Adds Minn. Stat. § 548.101(a)

B. Proofs
Requires parties seeking default judgments on assigned debt to offer specific proofs.

1. Admissible Evidence
Requires admissible evidence establishing: (1) that the defendant owes the debt; (2) that the amount claimed to be owed is accurate; and (3) a valid and complete chain of assignment of the debt from the original creditor to the party requesting judgment.

2. Original Contract
Requires plaintiffs to produce a copy of the original written contract or, if no written contract exists, other admissible evidence establishing the contract terms.

3. Debtor's Social Security Number
Requires plaintiffs to provide, if known, the last four numbers of the debtor's Social Security number.

4. Proof of Service and Failure to Answer
Requires plaintiffs to show that: (1) the summons and complaint were properly served; and (2) the debtor failed to timely answer or, in conciliation court cases, the party seeking the judgment used reasonable efforts to provide the court administrator with the debtor's correct address.

5. Mailing of Notice of Intent to Seek Judgment
Requires plaintiffs seeking judgment in district court, to prove that the notice of intent to seek a judgment was mailed.
Adds Minn. Stat. § 548.101 (a)(1) - (7)

C. Adjudication
Except in conciliation court cases or if a hearing is required under court rules, permits the court to either: (1) hold a hearing before entry of a default judgment; or (2) enter an administrative default judgment without a hearing if the court determines that the evidence submitted satisfies the evidentiary requirements of the statute.
Adds Minn. Stat. § 548.101(c)