Prepared by:
Ron Elwood, Staff Attorney
Legal Services Advocacy Project
651-222-3749, ext. 109

Chapter 249 (SF 2722)
Adds Minn. Stat. § 549.09, subd.12
Effective for judgments and awards finally entered on or after April 17, 2010

Exempts the State of Minnesota or political Subd.s from the 10% judgment interest rate for awards exceeding $50,000.

Chapter 264 (HF 1692)
Adds Chapter 572B, specifically Minn. Stat. §§ 572B.01 - .31
Amends Minn. Stat. §§ 80C.146, subd. 2; 122A.40, subd. 15; 122A.41, subd. 13; 179.09; 325E.37, subd. 5; 325F.665, subd. 6; 469.1762; and 572A.02, subd. 1 (conforming amendments)
Repeals Minn. Stat. §§ 572.08 - .30
Effective August 1, 2011

Revises and updates the uniform law governing arbitration, which was enacted in 1957. Among the key changes:

  • Provides that the new sections govern arbitration agreements entered into after August 1, 2011 or agreements entered into before August 1, 2011 if all the parties agree to be governed by the new sections.

    Adds Minn. Stat. § 572B.03
  • Provides that the new sections govern arbitrations taking place after August 1, 2011 even if the agreement was entered into prior to August 1, 2011.

    Adds Minn. Stat. § 572B.03
  • Establishes standards for what constitutes sufficient notice.

    Adds Minn. Stat. § 572B.02
  • Permits, with certain exceptions, parties to waive or vary the requirements of the Act, and prohibits parties from waiving certain rights and requirements before a controversy arises that is subject to the arbitration agreement.

    Adds Minn. Stat. § 572B.04
  • Codifies the majority common law rule that, in the absence of an agreement to the contrary, the court decides questions of substantive arbitrability and the arbitrator decides questions of procedural arbitrability.

    Adds Minn. Stat. § 572B.06
  • Provides for provisional remedies (i.e., those that may be required prior to an appointment of an arbitrator) to be ordered by the court.

    Adds Minn. Stat. § 572B.08
  • Permits consolidation of separate arbitration proceedings.

    Adds Minn. Stat. § 572B.10
  • Provides express immunity of arbitrators, to the same extent as judges acting their official capacities, from: (1) civil liability; or (2) the requirement to testify or produce documents in a civil case.

    Adds Minn. Stat. § 572B.14

Chapter 263 (HF 776)
Adds Minn. Stats. §§ 548.54 - .63
Repeals Minn. Stat. § 548.35

Effective for all actions commenced on or after August 1, 2010 in which the issue of recognition of a foreign-country judgment is raised.

Revises and updates the uniform law governing recognition by Minnesota courts over certain money judgments issued in any foreign country, which was enacted in 1985. Preserves the preference in favor of recognition.

A. Applicability
Adds to the definition of "foreign country" any other government whose judgments "in this state" are subject to a full faith and credit analysis to determine recognition status (e.g., tribal governments). (Note: The purpose of the addition is to leave states free to use relevant law, whether statutory or decisional, to make the determination.)
Adds Minn. Stat. § 548.55

B. Judicial Discretion

1. Repugnancy to Federal Public Policy
Gives the court additional discretion over judgments or causes of action leading to the judgment that are repugnant to the public policy of the United States. (Note: The 1985 statute allows a court to deny recognition if the judgment or cause of action leading to the judgment is repugnant only to the public policy of the state, but not the federal government.)
Adds Minn. Stat. § 548.57(c)(3)

2. New Grounds for Discretion
Adds two new grounds under which the court may deny recognition: (i) if the judgment was rendered in circumstances that raise substantial doubt about the integrity of the rendering court with respect to the judgment; or (ii) the specific proceeding in the foreign court leading to the judgment was not compatible with the requirements of due process of law. (Note: Courts are prohibited from recognizing foreign-country money judgments if the foreign judicial system is not impartial or does not provide due process generally; this new ground allows the court discretion in specific cases where due process principles were not applied.)
Adds Minn. Stat. § 548.57(c)(7) and (8)

C. Burden of Proof
Clarifies that the party resisting recognition carries the burden of proof to show the judgment meets one or more of the criteria for mandatory or discretionary nonrecognition.
Adds Minn. Stat. § 548.57(d)

D. Procedure for Recognition
Requires the issue of recognition to be raised in a court proceeding by: (1) either the plaintiff seeking recognition as an original matter; or (2) the defendant resisting recognition as a counterclaim, cross-claim, or defense.
Adds Minn. Stat. § 548.59

E. Statute of Limitations
Requires an action seeking recognition to be commenced within the earlier of: (1) the effective period of the judgment in the foreign country in which it was issued; or (2) 15 years from date the judgment became effective in the foreign country.
Adds Minn. Stat. § 548.62