The House has taken another stab at stopping so-called “drive-by lawsuits” filed under statutes meant to protect the rights of people with disabilities.
The House passed the bill, as amended, 110-22 Thursday. It now moves to the Senate, where Sen. Jerry Relph (R-St. Cloud) is the sponsor.
Current law requires attorneys representing clients with disability-based complaints to first send a notice to the property owner where an architectural barrier is alleged. The notice must allow a reasonable response in no less than 30 days, and it must not demand money.
The House adopted a delete-all amendment offered by Smith, which would also include persons not represented by attorneys in the notice requirement. The minimum notice period would increase to 60 days.
Two amendments offered by Rep. Dave Pinto (DFL-St. Paul) failed to win adoption. One would have removed the requirement to file a notice for people not represented by attorneys. Another would have removed a provision allowing a 30-day extension in the notice period if weather conditions prevent the property owner from removing an architectural barrier.
Pinto deemed the bill “a big exception to the usual process we have for people to assert their rights.”
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