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I want to know..... During a "Late Start or Early Out" on school days and no children are at school, is it still 15mph in a school zone? Does the same hold true for Holidays like Presidents Day when there is no school?

Minnesota State Statute (169.14 sub.5a) covers the laws regulating speed limits in school zones. The statute states that school speed limits shall be in effect when children are present, going to or leaving school during opening and closing hours or during school recess periods. There shall be signs designating the speed and indicating the beginning and end of the reduced speed zone.


I want to know..... Do car seats for children really expire?

Car seats expire after five years. A label should appear on the car seat with the manufactured date. If the label is removed or isn't on the car seat, I would recommend not using it.

If the car seat is involved in a motor vehicle accident, it should be replaced. The accident may have compromised the plastic.

Another thing to check on is to see if the car seat has a recall. Click Here to view the link to look for child seat recalls.

It is also recommended that when you buckle your child into the seat there isn't anything between the child and belts like a winter/light coat. The reasoning behind this is because the belts can't be pulled tight because of the cushioning of the coat. Also, any add-ons like padding or blankets behind the child aren't recommended either.


I want to know..... How is the reward dollars determined for different crimes? Where does the reward money come from and who actually authorizes where it goes?

The funds for the Police Department rewards are funded through the Marshall Area Crime Fund. This is a non-profit organization with a board of community members that raises money to support crime prevention efforts within the City of Marshall. The guidelines are that $500 may be awarded by police discretion and beyond that board approval is needed. Most reports to the Police Department are made for reasons other than financial gain. For those for whom money makes a difference, $500 is generally a lot of money and more than we regularly offer at least as a starting point. The reward level can and is raised if it is believed necessary, usually for specific reasons such as the quality of information a witness offers, their willingness to testify, or other case specific reasons which may include that there are extenuating circumstances for a witness or the seriousness of the crime. For the Baby Marshall case the reward offer ultimately reached $10,000. However although the Crime Fund does have a reserve fund, it annually raises about $4,000 which also supports other crime prevention efforts within Marshall beyond funding rewards. If within a reasonable time, generally week increments, it is believed that the reward level needs to be increase or there is a specific witness for whom a larger reward is necessary the reward amount is increased for that specific witness.

The decision on the reward amount that is offered is made either by investigators or senior Department staff such as myself.

The Marshall Area Crime Fund conducts an annual solicitation generally in April and completed by Law Enforcement Memorial Week in May. But if anyone in our community would be interested in making a tax deductable donation to the Crime Fund now to help support these efforts, they can send a check to: Marshall Area Crime Fund, c/o Marshall Police Department, 611 W. Main Street, Marshall, MN 56258. Click Here to read more information.


I want to know..... Do car seats for children really expire?

Car seats expire after five years. A label should appear on the car seat with the manufactured date. If the label is removed or isn't on the car seat, I would recommend not using it.

If the car seat is involved in a motor vehicle accident, it should be replaced. The accident may have compromised the plastic.

Another thing to check on is to see if the car seat has a recall. Click Here to view the link to look for child seat recalls.

It is also recommended that when you buckle your child into the seat there isn't anything between the child and belts like a winter/light coat. The reasoning behind this is because the belts can't be pulled tight because of the cushioning of the coat. Also, any add-ons like padding or blankets behind the child aren't recommended either.


I want to know..... Can you tell me what these "purple lights" are that are appearing at intersections around town?

The "purple" blue lights are to aid police officers in determining exactly when the stop light turns red and if a vehicle is entering the intersection after the light has changed. These lights are on all traffic signals located on Hwy.59.


I want to know..... Is it legal to park your car in your driveway so that you are also on top of the sidewalk? For example, there is a vehicle on a street I run on that never pulls all the way up into their driveway because they have so many vehicles. I have to leave the sidewalk and go behind the car on the street to get by. If this is illegal, do we notify the police department if this keeps happening?

It is illegal to stop, stand or park a vehicle on a sidewalk. The following state statute clearly lists this as a violation.

169.34 PROHIBITIONS; STOPPING, PARKING.

Subdivision 1.Prohibitions
(a) No person shall stop, stand, or park a vehicle, except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic or in compliance with the directions of a police officer or traffic-control device, in any of the following places:
(1) on a sidewalk;
(2) in front of a public or private driveway;
(3) within an intersection;
(4) within ten feet of a fire hydrant;
(5) on a crosswalk;
(6) within 20 feet of a crosswalk at an intersection;
(7) within 30 feet upon the approach to any flashing beacon, stop sign, or traffic-control signal located at the side
of a roadway;
(8) between a safety zone and the adjacent curb or within 30 feet of points on the curb immediately opposite the
ends of a safety zone, unless a different length is indicated by signs or markings;
(9) within 50 feet of the nearest rail of a railroad crossing;
(10) within 20 feet of the driveway entrance to any fire station and on the side of a street opposite the entrance to
any fire station within 75 feet of said entrance when properly signposted;
(11) alongside or opposite any street excavation or obstruction when such stopping, standing, or parking would
obstruct traffic;
(12) on the roadway side of any vehicle stopped or parked at the edge or curb of a street;
(13) upon any bridge or other elevated structure upon a highway or within a highway tunnel, except as otherwise
provided by ordinance;
(14) at any place where official signs prohibit stopping.

(b) No person shall move a vehicle not owned by such person into any prohibited area or away from a curb such distance as is unlawful.
(c) No person shall, for camping purposes, leave or park a travel trailer on or within the limits of any highway or on any highway right-of-way, except where signs are erected designating the place as a campsite.
(d) No person shall stop or park a vehicle on a street or highway when directed or ordered to proceed by any peace officer invested by law with authority to direct, control, or regulate traffic.


I purchased a set of led valve covers for my bike. This is to make me more visible when I ride at night. The color of the led is blue. I am wondering if they are legal?

Currently Minnesota law requires a bicycle ridden at night to have a WHITE light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front and have a red reflector visible from 100 feet to 600 feet to the rear. Minnesota law does not allow for the substitution of different colored lighting to be used in place of the WHITE lights or RED reflectors.

169.222 OPERATION OF BICYCLE.
Subd. 6.Bicycle equipment.
(a) No person shall operate a bicycle at nighttime unless the bicycle or its operator is equipped with a lamp which shall emit a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front and with a red reflector of a type approved by the Department of Public Safety which is visible from all distances from 100 feet to 600 feet to the rear when directly in front of lawful lower beams of headlamps on a motor vehicle. No person may operate a bicycle at any time when there is not sufficient light to render persons and vehicles on the highway clearly discernible at a distance of 500 feet ahead unless the bicycle or its operator is equipped with reflective surfaces that shall be visible during the hours of darkness from 600 feet when viewed in front of lawful lower beams of headlamps on a motor vehicle. The reflective surfaces shall include reflective materials on each side of each pedal to indicate their presence from the front or the rear and with a minimum of 20 square inches of reflective material on each side of the bicycle or its operator. Any bicycle equipped with side reflectors as required by regulations for new bicycles prescribed by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission shall be considered to meet the requirements for side reflectorization contained in this subdivision. A bicycle may be equipped with a rear lamp that emits a red flashing signal.

Subd. 7.Sale with reflectors and other equipment.
No person shall sell or offer for sale any new bicycle unless it is equipped with reflectors and other equipment as required by subdivision 6, clauses (a) and (b) and by the regulations for new bicycles prescribed by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission.


I want to know..... There's a sign in front of the post office that is handicap parking and 10 minute parking.

1. Can you only park there for 10 minutes if you have a handicap permit or
2. Can anyone without a handicap permit park there for 10 minutes?

All parking in front of the post office and library are 10 minutes. Where there are handicapped parking signs posted, they are reserved for handicapped persons, but they too have to abide by the 10 minute parking regulations.


I want to know..... Marshall has an ordinance restricting campers, boats etc from being left parked on city streets. Why is this ordinance not enforced? Does a person need to file a complaint first?

Yes, there is an ordinance which prohibits the parking of campers, boats, RVs etc on City streets and even on private property in certain cases. No, you don't need to file a complaint for an officer to investigate the violation.

Sec. 74-118. - Overnight parking in residential area.

It is unlawful for any person to leave or park between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. on or within the limits of any street in any residential area, any of the following:

  1. House trailer;
  2. Bus;
  3. Recreational vehicle;
  4. Trailer;
  5. Tractor or other farm equipment;
  6. Semitractor;
  7. Any truck over 84 inches in width..

    1. Purpose. The purpose of this section is to regulate the parking and storage of other recreational vehicles on residential areas. These regulations are intended for and in the best interest of the citizens of the city to provide easy access to these other recreational vehicles while promoting the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the city.

    2. Definitions. The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this section, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this subsection, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning: Boat means any device used or capable of being used for navigation on water. Boats, snowmobiles and their trailers means a vehicle which a boat or a snowmobile may be transported by and which is towable by a passenger car, station wagon, pickup truck or a recreational vehicle. A private boat or private snowmobile when removed from the trailer is termed an unmounted boat or snowmobile. Camper means a separate vehicle designed for human habitation and which can be attached directly onto or attached with a fifth wheel or other towing mechanism or detached from a light truck with the truck. When removed from the truck, campers are called unmounted campers. These campers are sometimes called truck campers. Camping trailer means a type of trailer or trailer coach, the walls of which are so constructed as to be collapsible and made out of either canvas or similar cloth, or some form of rigid material such as fiberglass or plastic or metal. The walls are collapsed while the recreational vehicle is being towed or stored and are raised or unfolded when the vehicle becomes temporary living quarters and is not being moved. Motor home means a structure constructed integrally with a truck or motor van chassis designed for human habitation and incapable of being separated there from. The truck or motor van chassis may have single or double rear wheels.

      Owner means a person other than a lien holder having a property interest in or title to a boat, trailer or recreational vehicle. The term includes a person entitled to the use or possession of a boat, trailer or recreational vehicle, subject to an interest reserved or created by agreement and securing payment or performance of an obligation. Recreational vehicle means a vehicular, portable structure built on a chassis, designed to be used as a temporary dwelling for travel, recreation and vacation uses and/or vehicles with RV license plates. A recreational vehicle shall include, but not be limited to, the following: travel trailers, pickup camper, motorized home, camping trailer. Trailer means every vehicle designed or utilized for the transportation of any boat, auto, hauling trailers, snowmobile, and the like, which does not have motive power but is designed to be drawn by another vehicle. Yard, front, means that part of a lot between the front lot line and the front of the principal building of the lot, and extended to both side lot lines. Yard, rear, means that part of a lot between the rear lot line and the back of the principal of the lot, and extended to both side lot lines. Yard, side, means that part of the lot not surrounded by buildings and not in the front or rear yard.

    3. General conditions.

      1. Dwelling use. No boat, trailer or recreational vehicle, camper, camper trailer or motor home shall be used as a permanent dwelling, storage or other accessory building.
      2. Flammable liquids. The owner of a boat, trailer or recreational vehicle shall not park, let stand or store such vehicle when the propane tank valve has not been closed. The owner of a boat, trailer or recreational vehicle shall also not park, let stand or store such vehicle when it contains fuels used for propulsion or heating which are stored in tanks other than permanent mounted tanks.
      3. Dangerous or unsafe storage. The owner of a boat, trailer or recreational vehicle shall not park, let stand or store such vehicle in such a manner as to create a dangerous or unsafe condition on the property where parked, permitted to stand or stored.
      4. Street parking. No boat, trailer or recreational vehicle shall be permitted to park on any street or parking lots between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. At no time shall a trailer be left on a city street or parking lot unattached from a motorized vehicle. Between May 1 and September 15 of each year, recreational vehicles shall be allowed to be left upon a city street for a continuous period of up to 24 hours without violating this section.
      5. Proof of ownership. A legal or beneficial owner of, or lessee of the property shall have, and display upon request of authorized city officials, proof of ownership of a parked, standing or stored boat, trailer or recreational vehicle.
      6. License required. All boats, trailers or recreation vehicles shall display current state license plates or other registration certificates.
      7. Waste dumping. Boats or recreational vehicles shall dump sewage only into approved sanitary facilities.

    4. Parking on residentially zoned lots. It is unlawful to park or store a boat, trailer, recreational vehicle, camper, camping trailer or motor home on a residentially zoned lot within the city except as provided as follows:

      1. Indoor storage. When the item is completely stored within the structure, garage or carport and there exists two off-street parking spaces.
      2. Front yard driveway temporary loading and parking. Parking is permitted for the above described items when they are being temporarily parked in the front yard driveway of any residential lot for a period of ten days per any calendar month to accommodate loading/unloading operations, out of town guests, and minor repairs and maintenance work.
      3. Side yard parking and storage.

        1. Side yard parking and storage is permitted if parking is not within the five-foot side yard setback, the front yard setback or back yard setback.
        2. Side yard parking and storage is permitted if parking is within the five-foot side yard setback and behind the front yard setback if the abutting neighbor is presently giving written permission.

      4. Rear yard parking and storage. Rear yard parking and storage is permitted if parking is not within the 15-foot yard setback. Rear yard parking and storage is permitted within the 15-foot yard setback, if the 15-foot yard setback abuts a platted alley

I want to know..... Is it legal to drive a golf cart on City Streets/roadways?

Yes, if you apply for a permit, and are granted a permit by City Council and the Director of Public Safety. Otherwise you are prohibited to drive your golf card on any City Street.This is not true.

It is unlawful to operate a motorized golf cart, a four-wheel all-terrain vehicle (as defined by section 74-241), or a Class II all-terrain vehicle (as regulated by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources) on roadways within the city without a permit issued by the council pursuant to this division. (Code 1976, § 8.42(1); Ord. No. 617 2nd series, § 3, 12-22-2009)

Sec. 74-262. - Applications.

(a)Filing; contents. Applications for a permit under this division shall be filed with the city clerk/finance director on a sworn application in writing on a form to be furnished by the city clerk/finance director. The application shall contain the following information:

(1)The name, address, phone number, date of birth, and social security number of the applicant.

(2)The names, date of birth, permanent home address, social security numbers, motor vehicle driver's license numbers and descriptions of all persons that will operate the proposed vehicle during the period of the license.

(3)The designated roadways that the applicant intends to operate the vehicle upon.

(4)Proof of insurance pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 65B.48, subd. 5.

(5)A release of information form signed by all individual operators of such vehicle as to the driver's license records of such operators.

(6)The hours and days of operation of such vehicle.

(7)A photograph of the vehicle.

(b)Receipt. Once the application is completed in full and filed with the city clerk/finance director, the city clerk/finance director shall stamp and date a copy of the application as being officially received and mail a copy back to the applicant.

(c)Review. After the application has been officially received by the city clerk/finance director, the city shall have a period of five days to review the application and to conduct an investigation as to the applicant.

(1)Upon such receipt of such application, the application shall be referred to the director of public safety, who shall conduct an investigation of the vehicle, proposed route, days and hours of operation, operator's licenses, and any other matters which would be of a nature as he deems necessary for the protection of the public.

(2)If as a result of such investigation the director of public safety finds the application unsatisfactory, the director of public safety shall endorse on such his disapproval and his reasons for the disapproval, and return the application to the clerk/finance director, who shall then send a copy to applicant.

(3)If as a result of such investigation the director of public safety finds the application satisfactory, he shall endorse on the application his approval, return the application to the clerk/finance director, along with any comments he may have thereon, which clerk/finance director shall send a copy of to the applicant.

(4)During the review period a copy of the application shall be posted in the city hall by the city clerk/finance director.

(Code 1976, § 8.42(3))


Sec. 74-263.
- Issuance and denial.

(a)After the review period, the city clerk/finance director shall then cause such application to be placed on the agenda of the next regular scheduled city council meeting.

(b)The council shall approve or deny such permit, by a majority vote. If the permit is denied, there shall be a finding by the council setting forth the reasons the issuance of a permit would endanger the health, safety or welfare of the public.

(Code 1976, § 8.42(4))

Sec. 74-264. - Fee; period of validity; transfer; display.

After the application has been officially received and the city council has approved the application, the applicant shall pay the permit fee that shall be set from time to time by council resolution. This permit shall be valid only for the calendar year specified therein, and no permit fee may extend beyond December 31 of the year in which it was granted. All permits shall be nontransferable. All licenses shall be attached to the vehicle, and displayed thereon. No person shall operate such vehicle that has not been described in the application.
(Code 1976, § 8.42(5))
State law reference— Permit term, Minn. Stat. § 169.045, subd. 2.

Sec. 74-265. - Duty of police to enforce division.

It shall be the duties of any police officer of this municipality to require any person operating a motorized golf cart, or a four-wheel all-terrain vehicle, to produce their permit and to enforce the provisions of this division against any person found to be violating this division.
(Code 1976, § 8.42(8))

Sec. 74-266. - Revocation.
The permits issued under the provisions of this division may be revoked by the city clerk/finance director for any of the causes set forth as follows:
(1)Fraud, misrepresentation or false statement contained in the application for the permit.
(2)Operating the vehicle contrary to permit.
(Code 1976, § 8.42(6)(A))
State law reference— Additional ground for permit revocation, Minn. Stat. § 169.045, subd. 2.

Sec. 74-267. - Appeal.

Any person who is aggrieved by the actions of the city clerk/finance director, director of public safety or city council in the denial of the permit or in a revocation of a permit shall have the right to appeal such action to the district court in the county. Such appeal shall be taken by filing with such court within 14 days of the date of the action complained of, a written statement setting forth fully the grounds for the appeal.

 


I want to know..... I know that littering is illegal, but someone told me throwing out biodegradable stuff is not illegal and is not considered littering. Is that really true?

This is not true. Even biodegradable garbage is still garbage and it is illegal to throw it on the streets. It falls under the section below.

169.421 CIVIL LIABILITY FOR LITTERING.

Subdivision 1.Finding.

The legislature finds that the cost of removal and disposal of solid waste, including litter, from vehicles is an onerous burden upon the public, and that the criminal law is not always adequate in dealing with the problem. This requires the imposition of civil liability as provided in this section.

Subd. 2.Definition.

For purposes of this section, "owner" as to a vehicle means the owner of the vehicle, but in the case of a leased vehicle means the lessee.

Subd. 3.Civil liability imposed.

If any solid waste, including litter, glass, nails, tacks, wire, cans, bottles, garbage, papers, refuse, trash, cigarette filters, debris from fireworks, or any form of offensive matter is thrown, deposited, placed, or dumped from a vehicle upon any street or highway, public land, or upon private land without the consent of the owner of the land, a violation of this subdivision occurs and civil liability is imposed upon the owner of the vehicle. The driver and passengers riding in a vehicle are constituted as the agents of the owner of the vehicle for purposes of this subdivision. It is a defense to any action brought pursuant to this section that the vehicle was stolen. This section is not applicable to the owner of a vehicle transporting persons for hire or transporting school children.

Subd. 4.Civil penalty; damages.

A person who violates this section is subject to the civil penalties for littering and an action for damages as specified in section 115A.99.

Subd. 5.Procedures.

A civil action may be commenced as is any civil action or by the issuance of a citation to the owner of the vehicle by any law enforcement officer who has reason to believe that a violation has occurred. Actions commenced by the issuance of a citation by a law enforcement officer shall be tried by the prosecuting authority responsible for misdemeanor prosecutions in the jurisdiction where a violation occurs. Any damages recovered in an action brought by a public agency shall be deposited in the treasury of the jurisdiction trying the action and distributed as provided in section 484.90. Any district court may establish a separate civil calendar for cases brought under this section.

Subd. 6.Relationship to criminal law; election of remedy.

If an act is a violation of this section and of a statute or ordinance providing a criminal penalty, a public agency elects its remedy by commencing either an action under this section or a criminal prosecution, and the commencement of one type of action by a public agency is a bar to its bringing of the other.

Subd. 7.Payment.

Any district court may establish a schedule of costs and civil damages, and procedures for payment, in cases brought by a public agency under which the defendant may consent to default judgment and make payment according to the schedule without making a personal appearance in court.

Subd. 8.Citation.

This section may be cited as the Civil Litter Act.


I want to know..... Is it illegal to park on the left side of the street and face oncoming traffic like in a residential area?

Whoever parks on the wrong side of the street is technically violating two separate laws. One is failure to keep to the right of the other is a parking violation.

74-119 Parallel parking.

Except where angle parking is specifically allowed and indicated by curb marking or signposting, or both, each vehicle stopped or parked upon a two-way road where there is an adjacent curb shall be stopped or parked with the righthand wheels of the vehicle parallel with, and within and within the distance required by Minn. Stat. § 169.35 of the righthand curb, and, where painted markings appear on the curb or the street, such vehicle shall be within such markings, front and rear, provided that upon a one-way roadway all vehicles shall be so parked, except that the lefthand wheels of the vehicle may be parallel with and within the distance required by Minn. Stat. § 169.35 of the lefthand curb, but the front of the vehicle in any event and with respect to the remainder of the vehicle, shall be in the direction of the flow of traffic upon such one-way street. It is unlawful to park in violation of this section.

169.18 DRIVING RULES.

Subdivision 1.Keep to the right.

Upon all roadways of sufficient width a vehicle shall be driven upon the right half of the roadway, except as follows:

(1) when overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction under the rules governing such movement;

(2) when the right half of a roadway is closed to traffic while under construction or repair;

(3) upon a roadway divided into three marked lanes for traffic under the rules applicable thereon;

(4) upon a roadway designated and signposted for one-way traffic as a one-way roadway;

(5) as necessary to comply with subdivision 11 when approaching an authorized emergency vehicle parked or stopped on the roadway; or

(6) as necessary to comply with subdivision 12 when approaching a road maintenance or construction vehicle parked or stopped on the roadway


I want to know..... I heard my child can legally drive a motorized scooter with a 49cc engine or smaller without a driver's license. Others we discussed this with disagree. If they need a license, do they need a motorcycle license?

Thank you for the question regarding the age limit restrictions for individuals operating a motorized bicycle (MOPED). I have included the Minnesota state statute below that outlines the requirements needed in order to be able to operate a "moped" legally. A childe needs to be at least 15 years old and has obtained the operator's permit or instruction permit. Anyone under the age of 16 needs to attend an approved safety course. Minnesota West Community and Technical College offers this course and can be contacted at (507) 537-7051 for date and times. Other regulations regarding the legal operation of a "moped" can be found under Minnesota state statute 169.974 sub. 2

Motorized bicycle.

(a) A motorized bicycle may not be operated on any public roadway by any person who does not possess a valid driver's license, unless the person has obtained a motorized bicycle operator's permit or motorized bicycle instruction permit from the commissioner of public safety. The operator's permit may be issued to any person who has attained the age of 15 years and who has passed the examination prescribed by the commissioner. The instruction permit may be issued to any person who has attained the age of 15 years and who has successfully completed an approved safety course and passed the written portion of the examination prescribed by the commissioner

(b) This course must consist of, but is not limited to, a basic understanding of:

(1) motorized bicycles and their limitations;

(2) motorized bicycle laws and rules;

(3) safe operating practices and basic operating techniques;

(4) helmets and protective clothing;

(5) motorized bicycle traffic strategies; and

(6) effects of alcohol and drugs on motorized bicycle operators.

(c) The commissioner may adopt rules prescribing the content of the safety course, examination, and the information to be contained on the permits. A person operating a motorized bicycle under a motorized bicycle permit is subject to the restrictions imposed by section 169.974, subdivision 2, on operation of a motorcycle under a two-wheel instruction permit.


I want to know..... Is it legal to keep animals such as chickens, ducks, rabbits, etc, in town.

Also, How many dogs and or cats may be in one household?

Sec. 14-3. - Prohibited animals.
No person, corporation, or business shall keep, maintain or harbor within the city, any of the following animals:

(6) Any farm animals including but not limited to cattle, oxen, buffalo, sheep, mules, goats, pigs, or other hoofed animals, chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, pheasants, or other fowl, except as permitted in the agricultural zoning district defined in chapter 86.

(9) Rabbits kept and maintained for breeding, production, or any other use excluding those recognized as domesticated pets.

(10) Any other animal that is not explicitly listed in this section which can be reasonable defined by the terms of this section.

The number of dogs & cats one household can have is not regulated by the City of Marshall.


When there is a city-wide snow emergency, where are residents who have street-parking ONLY supposed to park?

When a “Snow Emergency” (city ordinance 74-122) is declared between November 1st and April 1st, all vehicles shall be removed from city streets or streets in the city so designated in the declaration. By removing vehicles from the streets allows city employees to safely and effectively clean all streets.

All residents will be required to find a location where they can legally park. If a renter is uncertain what options are available to them, they need to discuss possible solutions with their landlord of where they can park legally. The public is asked to familiarize themselves of the local seasonal parking restrictions as designated by the city council and marked by posted signs. Any vehicle found in violation of city ordinance 74-122 “Snow Emergency Declaration” may be subject to being towed.


Can I legally drink non-alcoholic beer such as Sharp's or O' Douls while driving a car?

Here is the response from Officer Wenker:

What most people don’t know or realize is that Non Alcoholic beer DOES contain alcohol, about .5 percent of one percent of alcohol by volume. I would strongly advise anyone AGAINST consuming non alcoholic beer while driving. However,In order to answer this question we have to go back to how the State defines an alcoholic beverage. The State defines an alcoholic beverage as “any beverage containing MORE than one-half of one percent alcohol by volume.”
Non alcoholic beer contains .5 of one percent of alcohol by volume, which under the definition it is NOT an alcoholic beverage.


I thought it was illegal to have dark tinted windows in vehicles. What is the real law?

The window tint statute exempts Limos, vans, SUVs, Station wagons, and pickups from needing to abide by the statue unless it is the front side windows or the front windshield.

Here is the actual State Statue:
169.71 (4a)

169.71 WINDSHIELD.
Subdivision 1. Prohibitions generally; exceptions. (a) A person shall not drive or operate
any motor vehicle with:

  • (1) a windshield cracked or discolored to an extent to limit or obstruct proper vision;
  • (2) any objects suspended between the driver and the windshield, other than sun visors and rearview mirrors and electronic toll collection devices; or
  • (3) any sign, poster, or other nontransparent material upon the front windshield, sidewings, or side or rear windows of the vehicle, other than a certificate or other paper required to be so displayed by law or authorized by the state director of the Division of Emergency Management or the commissioner of public safety.
    • (b) Paragraph (a), clauses (2) and (3), do not apply to law enforcement vehicles.
    • (c) Paragraph (a), clause (2), does not apply to authorized emergency vehicles.
      • Subd. 2. Windshield wiper. The windshield on every motor vehicle shall be equipped with a device for cleaning rain, snow or other moisture from the windshield, which device shall be so constructed as to be controlled or operated by the driver of the vehicle.
      • Subd. 3. Defrosting requirement. No person shall drive any motor vehicle with the windshield or front side windows covered with steam or frost to such an extent as to prevent proper vision.
      • Subd. 4. Glazing material; prohibitions and exceptions. (a) No person shall drive or operate any motor vehicle required to be registered in the state of Minnesota upon any street or highway under the following conditions:
  • (1) when the windshield is composed of, covered by, or treated with any material which has the effect of making the windshield more reflective or in any other way reducing light transmittance through the windshield;
  • (2) when any window on the vehicle is composed of, covered by, or treated with any material that has a highly reflective or mirrored appearance;
  • (3) when any side window or rear window is composed of or treated with any material so as to obstruct or substantially reduce the driver's clear view through the window or has a light transmittance of less than 50 percent plus or minus three percent in the visible light range or a luminous reflectance of more than 20 percent plus or minus three percent; or
  • (4) when any material has been applied after August 1, 1985, to any motor vehicle window without an accompanying permanent marking which indicates the percent of transmittance and the percent of reflectance afforded by the material. The marking must be in a manner so as not to obscure vision and be readable when installed on the vehicle.
    • (b) This subdivision does not apply to glazing materials which:
      • (1) have not been modified since the original installation, nor to original replacement windows and windshields, that were originally installed or replaced in conformance with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 205;
      • (2) are required to satisfy prescription or medical needs of the driver of the vehicle or a passenger if the driver or passenger is in possession of the prescription or a physician's statement of medical need; or
      • (3) are applied to:
        • (i) the rear windows of a pickup truck as defined in section 168.011, subdivision 29;
        • (ii) the rear windows or the side windows on either side behind the driver's seat of a van as defined in section 168.011, subdivision 28;
        • (iii) the side and rear windows of a vehicle used to transport human remains by a funeral establishment holding a license under section 149A.50; or
        • (iv) the side and rear windows of a limousine as defined in section

Is it legal to come off the side road (Saratoga) and wait in the intersection of a divided highway (23) until the other side is clear and if so do you wait on the right or left?

Yes, this is actually the way this intersection and others like it was designed. You cross one section of the highway, staying to the furthest right hand side, stopping in the center of the two lanes of traffic, then proceed across the second section of the highway once you can do so safely.

Two obvious problems with this is if more than one vehicle attempts to do this at the same time causing confusion and congestion in the center of the highway. If there is a vehicle ahead of you waiting in the center portion of the intersection, you need to wait until they have safely moved out of the center. Also one should not stop in the center of the intersection if they are pulling a large trailer to where the trailer would be blocking traffic.


Does Marshall have a reverse 911 system?

Yes, the Lyon County Dispatch Center does have reverse 911 Capabilities which allows them to be able to locate an address if they have a phone number. This is a very helpful tool and is used on numerous occasions and in many different types of emergencies.


Is there a curfew for minors, and at what age does it start?

Yes, the City of Marshall does have a Curfew. It basically regulates children under the age of 16. All children under the age of 16 cannot be loitering on the City streets between 10:30 PM and 6:00 AM, unless the child is coming and going from a school function, or is accompanied by the child’s parent or guardian.

For specific language see Marshall Ordinance, Sec. 42-87. Curfew for minors.

  • (a) It is unlawful for any minor person under the age of 16 years to be or loiter upon the streets or public places between the hours of 10:30 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.
  • (b) It is unlawful for any parent, guardian or other person having the legal care or custody of any minor person to allow or permit such minor person to be or loiter upon the streets or public places in violation of this section unless such minor is accompanied by a person of lawful age having such minor person in charge.
  • (c) It is unlawful for any person operating, or in charge of, any place of amusement, entertainment or refreshment, or other place of business, to allow or permit any minor person to be or loiter in such place in violation of this section unless such minor person is accompanied by a person of lawful age having such minor person in charge. This subsection shall not be construed to permit the presence, at any time, of any person underage in any place where his presence is otherwise prohibited by law.
  • (d) The provisions of subsections (a) and (c) of this section shall not apply when the minor is:
    • (1) Accompanied by such minor's parent, guardian or other adult person having the lawful care and custody of the minor.
    • (2) Upon an emergency errand directed by such minor's parent or guardian or other adult person having the lawful care and custody of such minor.
    • (3) Returning directly home from a school activity, entertainment, recreational activity or dance.
    • (4) Returning directly home from lawful employment that makes it necessary to be in the places referenced in this section during the proscribed period of time.
    • (5) Attending or traveling directly to or from an activity involving the exercise of First Amendment rights of free speech, freedom of assembly or free exercise of religion.
    • (6) Engaged in interstate travel with the consent of his parent or guardian.

(Code 1976, § 10.07)


I get a lot of questions about texting and driving. Some say you can't get pulled over for texting and some do. What is the real scoop on texting while driving. Some say 18 and over can text and drive. I know that's not true because I know I can't!

Texting and Driving
Minnesota State law states it is illegal for drivers under age 18 to use a cellular/wireless phone, whether hand-held or hands-free
— except to call 911 in an emergency. It is illegal for drivers of all ages to compose, read, or send text messages or access the Internet on a wireless device while on the road.


I see many people driving with their dog either on their laps or the dogs jumping around in the car. Today a huge dog went from the passenger’s side window to the driver’s side window to sniff the because it was down while the driver was smoking and on the cell phone. This huge dog was a distraction as the driver just let him stick his nose out the window. I followed them from SMSU to the Armory just waiting for something bad to happen. It seems to me there should be a law against that.

Distracted Driving:
Minnesota State law states it is illegal for a person to drive a vehicle when it is loaded with people or objects to obstruct the view of the driver to the front or sides of the vehicle or as to interfere with the driver's control over the driving mechanism of the vehicle. As for the driver talking on the cell phone while driving; there isn’t a law that states you can’t. However there is a law for inattentive driving if talking on a cell phone is distracting the driver.


If a car is waiting for oncoming traffic at an intersection to make a left turn, is it legal for other vehicles behind them to pass on the right? When two vehicles are each waiting to make a left, and several cars are passing in each direction, it can be difficult to see those other vehicles. I would think that 'passing on the right" is illegal but it happens all the time.

Passing on the Right

Passing on the right is dangerous, even in squad cars with the emergency lights and siren on! Passing on the right is especially dangerous because if a vehicle from the left lane may try to make a left turn and not see you passing on the right. It is legal to pass on the right under certain conditions:

  1. when the vehicle overtaken is making or about to make a left turn;
  2. upon a street or highway with unobstructed pavement not occupied by parked vehicles, of sufficient width for two or more lines of moving vehicles in each direction;
  3. upon a one-way street, or upon any roadway on which traffic is restricted to one direction of movement, where the roadway is free from obstructions and of sufficient width for two or more lines of moving vehicles;
  4. when the driver of a vehicle may overtake and pass another vehicle upon the right only under conditions permitting such movement in safety. In no event shall such movement be made by driving onto the shoulder, whether paved or unpaved, or off the pavement or main-traveled portion of the roadway. Remember to use your turn signal when passing, and merging back into the lane. Drive slowly as you are passing the vehicle on the right, and you cannot increase speed until you are completely passed the vehicle.

A couple of my neighbor's are always letting their dogs run loose in the neighborhood and letting the dogs go to the bathroom where ever they want. Frequently I am finding large piles of poop from these dogs in my yard. Is there anything I can do to get these people to stop letting their dogs run free? I don't like confrontations and so wanted to know if I can file an anonymous complaint or something.

Dogs running lose and defecating on neighbor’s property.
Make and anonymous complaint.

1st off the City of Marshall does NOT have a leash law except in the City Parks. (Sec.46-25) Pets. It is unlawful for a person to:(1) Bring a pet into the park, or posses and control a pet in the park unless kept on a leash not more than six feet in length. (Parks and Recreation) (Park means any land or water area and all facilities thereon, under the jurisdiction and control of the department.)
As for the rest of the city, as long as the animal is being watched or controlled by the person in custody, the animal is not at large. However, if the animal is not being controlled or monitored it is a violation. It is also a violation if the owner does not pick up the dog’s waste.

Yes, you can make an anonymous complaint about the incident. The trouble is without an identifiable complainant, who can positively testify they observed their neighbor’s dog defecate on their property, proving who’s dog defecated on the property is near impossible for the officer. Even if the complainant is willing to identify themselves and fill out a statement about the incident, the officer still cannot issue a citation to the owner without witnessing the violation first hand. The officer would have to collect statements from all individuals involved, send it to the City Attorney for their review and consideration of charges against the suspect. If the attorney decides to pursue charges, the complaint and suspect would have to appear in court and testy in front of the Judge, who would ultimately make the final decision of guilty or not guilty and impose a fine. Some good evidence would be photos or even video of the neighbor’s dog doing their business on your yard. That way this can be introduced into evidence to the court if necessary. See attached ordinance sections.

Sec. 14-2. General regulations.

  • (e) No person shall allow, permit or place any animal upon any public park, bike path or foot bridge, or upon any grass, turf, boulevard, city park, cemetery, garden or private property, without the specific permission from the owner. The restrictions of this subsection do not prohibit the appearance of any dog or cat upon streets or public property when the dog or cat is on a leash or under the control of the person charged with its care.
  • (f) No person shall allow or permit any animal to defecate upon any public park, bike path or foot bridge, or upon any grass, turf, boulevard, city park, cemetery, garden or private property, without specific permission from the owner, unless any and all excrement is immediately removed and disposed of in a sanitary manner by the person charged with the animal's care. Any person having custody or control of any animal when such animal is upon any of the places or areas described in this subsection to have in his possession a device or equipment for excrement removal.

Click here to view or download the City of Marshall's
"Pets and the Law" brochure


Is dumpster diving legal.

Yes, dumpster diving is legal unless the dumpster is on private property where it is not open to the public, then the individual is trespassing. Once items are placed in the garbage, the law considers those items abandoned belonging to nobody.


What is the difference between the DWI offenses? Some are 1st Degree and some are 4th Degree. Can you explain the differences?

  • A 4th degree DWI is the least severe charge of the four charges. It is a Misdemeanor. Typically this is an offender’s first DWI with no aggravating factors. (See aggravating factors)
  • A 3rd degree DWI is a Gross Misdemeanor charge. This usually is because the offender has one aggravated factor at the time of the offense.
  • A 2nd degree DWI is also a Gross Misdemeanor charge. This usually includes two aggravated factors present at the time of the offense.
  • A 1st degree DWI is a Felony. This is the most severe of all the DWI charges, and the offender usually has three or more aggravating factors present at the time of the offense.

AGGRAVATING FACTORS:

  • Each prior DWI conviction or implied consent revocation within last 10 years. (Cannot count both if arising from same incident.)
  • If the offender gives a test .20 or greater
  • Child Endangerment (Less than 16 years of age and greater than 36 months difference from offender.)


Is it illegal to drive without a license plate light?

Yes it is illegal in the state of MN to drive without a license plate light or faulty equipment. MN State statute states all Motor Vehicles shall have working lighting equipment. If your light is not working it is a violation and you can be stopped and cited for an equipment violation. This is a Petty Misdemeanor charge.

Yes you can be stopped for having an “obstructed license plate”. MN law requires both front and rear license plates be visible at all times. This includes, covers, dirt, grime, or SNOW.


When heading Southeast on Main Street crossing College is it acceptable to be in the right hand lane crossing College then merge to the left before you get to Casey's? If always seems like a gray area there.

This section of roadway is designed to be a multi lane roadway, however in order to be a legal multi-lane roadway it needs to be properly marked by having the lanes defined by painted divider lines, which this section of roadway is not. This makes it confusing to most drivers when they are in a properly marked divided lane roadway, (West of Hwy 19) then when they cross over Hwy 19 they suddenly find themselves on a non divided roadway which ends abruptly at 1st Street. The proper action a driver should take is one of two things. They should either turn south on First Street or slow down or even stop if necessary, signal and merge safely into the other lane to continue east. They should do this without failing to yield to vehicles in the left lane.

So to answer your question, Yes they should merge to the left lane safely. They should NOT speed up to get around the vehicle in the left lane cutting them off. Drivers who do this are guilty of UNSAFE CHANGE OF COURSE. See below.

Change of course. No person shall turn a vehicle at an intersection unless the vehicle is in proper position upon the roadway as required in this section, or turn a vehicle to enter a private road or driveway or otherwise turn a vehicle from a direct course or move right or left upon a highway unless and until the movement can be made with reasonable safety after giving an appropriate signal in the manner hereinafter provided.


When driving North or West on Lyon Street is it legal to turn left into a parking spot on the other side of the street and Vice Versa? I see this at least once a week at the Post Office and it drives me crazy. Especially when they take the spot I was going into!

U-turn. No vehicle shall be turned so as to proceed in the opposite direction upon any curve, or upon the approach to or near the crest of a grade, where such vehicle cannot be
seen by the driver of any other vehicle approaching from either direction within 1,000 feet, nor shall the driver of a vehicle turn the vehicle so as to proceed in the opposite direction unless the movement can be made safely and without interfering with other traffic.

So unless they are unsafe in making the turn, or they FAIL TO YIELD to oncoming traffic or there are signs prohibiting U-turns they can do it legally. I would however advise against it in this area because of the close quarters and congested nature of the location

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