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Durkin for U.S. Senate v. FEC


Plaintiff initially sought a declaratory judgment from the court that certain individuals associated with a "Defeat Durkin" effort constituted a "political committee" under the Act, which had failed to register and report with the FEC, and that one of the individuals had made excessive contributions to the "Defeat Durkin" effort. Plaintiff also sought a preliminary injunction to enjoin the "Defeat Durkin" effort from: spending any additional funds until it registers with the FEC or spending any funds which consist of contributions in excess of the limits. Finally, plaintiff asked the court to order the FEC to expedite review of a complaint plaintiff had filed three days earlier, on October 24, against the same individuals and the "Defeat Durkin" effort.

On October 31, 1980, the district court denied plaintiff's request for declaratory and injunctive relief and dismissed the suit. The court maintained that it had no jurisdiction over the suit because the Act stipulates the time frame in which the Commission must resolve complaints. The court said, "The FECA explicitly requires...that the party accused of a violation be given 15 days to 'demonstrate, in writing...that no action should be taken against such person on the basis of the complaint.' .... By the terms of the statute, the Commission cannot act until they [the accused parties] have responded or until 15 days have passed."

(U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire, Docket No. C80-503D, October 27, 1980)

Source:   FEC Record— December 1980. Durkin for U.S. Senate Committee v. FEC, 2 Fed. Elec. Camp. Fin. Guide (CCH) 9147 (D.N.H. 1980).