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Minnesota Legislature

Civil commitment signature changes (new law)

Published (4/8/2010)
By Mike Cook
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Civil commitment documents will no longer need to be notarized.

Sponsored by Rep. Karla Bigham (DFL-Cottage Grove) and Sen. Don Betzold (DFL-Fridley), a new law permits documents to be officially made under oath or affirmation if a statement is included that the signer attests the document is true and correct, and is being signed under penalty of perjury. A telephone number and address where the signer can be contacted must be included.

The law also clarifies that electronically signed documents, as part of an electronic record system now used by most hospitals, will be allowed as evidence in civil commitment cases.

Bigham said the state hospital association, county attorneys association, Minnesota Disability Law Center and the Department of Human Services are all comfortable with the change.

Signed April 6 by Gov. Tim Pawlenty, the law is effective Aug. 1, 2010.

HF3187*/ SF2328/CH220

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