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Cannon v. FEC


On August 18, 2003, the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina, Columbia Division, granted the Commission's motion for summary judgment in this case.

The plaintiff had appealed a $5,500 civil money penalty the Commission imposed on the Joe Grimaud for Congress Committee and its treasurer Peter J. Cannon for failure to file the Committee's 2001 Year-End Report. Although the Committee filed the report on paper, they were required to file electronically. 11 CFR 104.18(a)(1)-(2). Mr. Cannon alleged that the Committee's computer system was infected with a virus, destroying their records and preventing them from filing electronically.

The district court adopted and incorporated the Report and Recommendation of a U.S. Magistrate Judge after Mr. Cannon failed to file an objection to the report with the district court. In the Report and Recommendation, the Magistrate Judge determined that Mr. Cannon waived all arguments by failing to file objections with the Commission during the Commission's administrative process. The Magistrate further concluded that the Commission imposed the proper penalty called for in its regulations, and Mr. Cannon's claim that he was unable to file electronically because of a computer virus was not an "extraordinary circumstance" under 11 CFR 111.35(b).

Source:   FEC RecordOctober 2003; December 2002