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Frequently Asked Questions about the Curfew

Below are questions and answers about Governor Tim Walz's Executive Order 20-71 extending the temporary nighttime Minneapolis and Saint Paul curfew through Friday morning (June 5) to provide safety for Minnesota residents from individuals who have engaged in unlawful and dangerous activity in recent days and threatened the security of lawful demonstrators and first responders.

Where does the curfew apply?

In the City of Minneapolis and the City of Saint Paul. Other cities and towns may implement their own curfews.

What does a curfew mean?

All persons must not travel on any public street or in any public place.

Is anyone exempt from the curfew?

During the curfew, no one may travel on Minneapolis and Saint Paul streets or public places, except for first responders, members of the media, people going back and forth to work, individuals seeking emergency care or fleeing danger, and people experiencing homelessness. Additionally, street outreach workers who assist people experiencing homelessness and community/faith leaders designated by DPS to assist in the de-escalation of civil unrest are also exempt.

If I am exempt from the Executive Order, do I need to comply with law enforcement’s instructions?

Yes. Even if you are exempt from the Executive Order (see response above for listing of people exempt), if a law enforcement officer or other public safety personnel gives you instructions, you must comply.

Will stores and other businesses be closed?

Stores and businesses are not required to close, but we expect most stores to be closed during curfew hours because customers cannot travel to them.

What if I need to report to work?

Those traveling to and from work are exempt from the curfew.

What if I need food, a prescription, or other supplies?

You should obtain these items outside of curfew hours. Those in Minneapolis and Saint Paul should not travel during the curfew.

Go to the hospital or doctor?

Individuals seeking emergency care are exempt from the order. Otherwise, those in Minneapolis and Saint Paul should not travel during the curfew.

Can I walk my dog?

If a pet must be let out, that is permissible. However, pets should be exercised outside of curfew hours.

Will the borders be closed?

No.

Will the airport close?

No.

Will I get arrested?

The Governor urges all Minnesotans to voluntarily comply with this Executive Order. Pursuant to Minnesota Statutes 2019, section 12.45, an individual who willfully violates this Executive Order is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction must be punished by a fine not to exceed $1,000 or by imprisonment for not more than 90 days.

Who is enforcing?

Peace officers.

Does this require martial law or something more than an Executive Order?

This is not martial law. The Governor’s authority under State law allows him to take this action.

If I am stopped by police, what will happen?

Peace officers will inquire about why you are in a public space during curfew hours. All Minnesotans in Minneapolis and Saint Paul are urged to voluntarily comply. Peace officers will enforce the curfew and arrest those who refuse to comply.

What state statute authorizes this action?

In Minnesota Statutes 2019, section 12.02, the Minnesota Legislature conferred upon the Governor emergency powers to “generally protect the public peace, health, and safety” and to “preserve the lives and property of the people of the state.” Pursuant to Minnesota Statutes 2019, section 12.21, subdivision 1, the Governor has general authority to control the state’s emergency management and to carry out the provisions of Minnesota’s Emergency Management Act.

Minnesota Statutes 2019, section 12.21, subdivision 3(7), authorizes the Governor to cooperate with federal and state agencies in “matters pertaining to the emergency management of the state and nation.” This includes “the direction or control of . . . the conduct of persons in the state, including entrance or exit from any stricken or threatened public place, occupancy of facilities, and the movement and cessation of movement of pedestrians, vehicular traffic, and all forms of private and public transportation during, prior, and subsequent to . . . actual emergencies.” This authority also extends to the direction and control of “public meetings or gatherings.”

Pursuant to Minnesota Statutes 2019, section 12.21, subdivision 3(1), the Governor may “make, amend, and rescind the necessary orders and rules to carry out the provisions” of Minnesota Statutes 2019, Chapter 12. When approved by the Executive Council and filed in the Office of the Secretary of State, such orders and rules have the force and effect of law during the peacetime emergency. Any inconsistent rules or ordinances of any agency or political subdivision of the state are suspended during the pendency of the emergency.

Under Minnesota Statutes 2019, section 12.45, the default penalty for violating an executive order is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000, or by imprisonment for not more than 90 days.

How long will this last?

The temporary curfew will be in place from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m., beginning tonight (June 3) through the morning of Friday, June 5.

Why is the state taking this action, isn’t this a local issue?

Mayors of Minneapolis and Saint Paul are collaborating with the Governor in this effort, and they have issued orders in each of their cities.

Why just Minneapolis and Saint Paul, there have been protests and incidents in other cities?

Although the Governor’s curfew is limited to Minneapolis and Saint Paul, curfews are not limited to Minneapolis and Saint Paul. Mayor and local governments across the state may have the authority to issue their own curfews.

What if there is an emergency?

All law enforcement, fire, medical personnel, and members of the news media, as well as other personnel authorized by the City of Minneapolis, City of Saint Paul, Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Minnesota State Patrol, or Minnesota National Guard, are exempt from the curfew. Individuals traveling directly to and from work, seeking emergency care, fleeing dangerous circumstances, or experiencing homelessness are also exempt.

Can I stop to get gas at a gas station?

Those in Minneapolis and Saint Paul should not travel during the curfew.

Can I go to a family member or friend’s home?

Those in Minneapolis and Saint Paul should not travel during the curfew.

Can I be outside my house (on my property) after 10 p.m. and before 4 a.m.?

Yes. You can be on your porch, yard, patio, etc., but if a law enforcement officer or other public safety official asks you to go inside, or take any other action, you must follow the instruction.

What does “travel” mean?

For the purposes of this Executive Order, “travel” includes, without limitation, travel on foot, bicycle, skateboard, scooter, motorcycle, automobile, public transit, or any other mode of transporting a person from one location to another.

Would you consider expanding the curfew to neighboring suburbs?

Although the Governor’s curfew is limited to Minneapolis and Saint Paul, curfews are not limited to Minneapolis and Saint Paul. Mayors and local governments across the state may have the authority to issue their own curfews.

Could the curfew end early if things have calmed down?

The temporary curfew will be in place from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m., beginning tonight (June 3) through the morning of Friday, June 5.

 

Are protests allowed before and after curfew times?

Yes.

Is law enforcement going to be actively dispersing crowds immediately?

From 10 p.m. to 4 a.m., the curfew will be enforced.


Updated June 3, 2020