Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature

House lawmakers OK bill to help people retrieve property from towed vehicles

At a minimum, having a vehicle towed is an inconvenience. However, for people without a permanent address, losing that access could also mean losing everything they own – winter coats, family photographs, homework, even a loved one’s ashes.

Nearly 15 years ago, Minnesota passed a law stating indigent people have the right to retrieve contents of an impounded vehicle without charge. However, there is no penalty for violating that right.

On a 122-0 vote Thursday, the House passed HF975 sponsored by Rep. Kelly Moller (DFL-Shoreview) which would alter some procedures lot operators must follow regarding the retrieval of private property from impounded vehicles. It would also offer a remedy when rights to retrieval are improperly denied.

It now goes to the Senate.

The bill would allow the state to enforce a law that is already on the books, so there is a consequence for towing companies destroying people’s property, said Rep. John Petersburg (R-Waseca).

It would apply to nonpublic lots or those with exclusive contracts. Reasons for denial would need to be specific and put in writing.

The proposed legislation would explicitly allow a vehicle owner to file a civil suit and, if successful, could provide injunctive relief, compensation for lost property, attorney’s fees and additional damages of $1,000. Any civil action would need to be taken within 12 months.

Any vehicle owner would be permitted to retrieve identifications, medicine and medical equipment.


Related Articles


Priority Dailies

Lawmakers return to St. Paul for 2024 session — what can Minnesotans expect?
House Speaker Melissa Hortman gavels out the 2023 Legislative Session May 22. (House Photography file photo) The DFL trifecta-led Legislature made myriad changes across a spectrum of state topics in 2023. Paid Family and Medical Leave. Abortion rights. Free breakfast and lunch for ...
Legislative leaders announce 2024 committee deadlines
(House Photography file photo) Legislators and the public officially know the timeline for getting bills through the House committee process during the upcoming 2024 session. Here are the two deadlines fo...

Minnesota House on Twitter