Lyndale needs lawyers to fight graffiti

Lyndale Neighborhood Association (LNA) staffers are seeking attorneys to help enforce the state's new graffiti law increasing punishment for the crime. The neighborhood association helped get the 2004 law passed.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty signed the law, Minnesota Statute 617.90, last April. It states that owners of public or private property damaged by graffiti may recover damages from the vandal for three times the cost of restoring the damaged property. If the vandal is a minor, his or her parents could be obligated to pay up to $1,000, which goes to the victims.

The law also says that the court can order offenders to restore the property themselves and pay the victim's legal fees.

LNA staffer Kristine Danzinger said her group needs attorneys to represent graffiti victims and help deter graffiti activity by using the law.

Danzinger credited Lyndale resident Jack Baker for making the new graffiti law a reality; she said he's now working with the Minneapolis Police Graffiti Task Force to help collect data on graffiti incidents. "The goal is to make it difficult or more expensive to be doing this graffiti," she said.

The Lyndale neighborhood's borders are Lake and 36th streets, Lyndale Avenue and I-35W.