Legal Memorandum: License Revocation and Burden of Proof

Issue: Under Minnesota law, what is a department’s burden of proof when seeking to revoke a business license for failure to correct municipal code violations?

Area of Law: Administrative Law, Administrative Law & Regulation (Federal and State), Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: License revocation; Department's burden of proof; Violations of statute
Jurisdiction: Minnesota
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: Minn. R. 1400.7300 subp. 5
Date: 09/01/2014

The Department bears the burden of proof to show by a preponderance of the evidence that the alleged violations cited were not corrected and that the person cited committed repeated violations of statute and rules sufficient to justify the draconian penalty of license revocation.  Minn. R. 1400.7300 subp. 5.  To meet its burden the Department must show that its proposed action is (1) supported by the greater weight of the evidence; and (2) that it is based on a correct interpretation of the law.  See Hodgson v. State, 540 N.W.2d 515, 517-18 (Minn. 1995) (preponderance of evidence standard is not satisfied by mere speculation).


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