Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 24.2. Elections
Chapter 9.3. Campaign Finance Disclosure Act of 2006
12/3/2021

Article 8. Penalties.

§ 24.2-953. General provisions.

A. The procedures to enforce the provisions of this article are found in § 24.2-946.3.

B. Either the failure to file any statement or report or the late filing of any statement or report required by this chapter shall constitute a violation of this chapter subject to the penalties provided in this article.

C. Any person who violates, or aids, abets, or participates in the violation of, this chapter shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $100, unless a greater penalty is imposed by this article.

D. In the case of a willful violation, the violator shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. There shall be a rebuttable presumption that the violation of this chapter was willful if the violation is based on a person's failure to file a report required by this chapter and his failure to file continues for more than 60 days following his actual receipt of written notice of his failure to file sent to him by certified mail, return receipt requested, by the State Board or a general registrar. Such notice shall be sent to the most recent mailing address provided by the candidate or committee.

E. In the case of a failure to file a required statement or report by the specified deadline, the length of the delinquency shall be a factor in determining the amount of the civil penalty assessed.

F. The statute of limitations applicable to a violation of this chapter is stated in § 19.2-8.

G. The requirements of this chapter for the filing of timely and complete statements and reports by any candidate campaign committee or political committee shall at all times remain in full force and effect and shall not be vacated, suspended, or modified as the result of any pending or completed criminal or civil investigation of the candidate campaign committee, the political committee, or any individual participant in the committee.

1975, c. 515, § 24.1-262; 1990, c. 976; 1991, c. 709; 1993, c. 641, § 24.2-929; 1994, c. 752; 1995, c. 785; 2000, cc. 511, 555; 2001, cc. 620, 635, 648; 2004, cc. 457, 480; 2005, cc. 9, 371, 676, 745; 2006, cc. 787, 892; 2012, c. 298; 2015, cc. 644, 645.

§ 24.2-953.1. Failure to file the required reports.

A. In the case of a failure to file the statement of organization for a candidate campaign committee or political committee required by this chapter, there shall be a civil penalty not to exceed $500.

B. In the case of the failure to file a required report, the candidate campaign committee or political committee shall be assessed a civil penalty not to exceed $500. In the case of the failure to file a report required pursuant to subsection D of § 24.2-949.6, the political action committee shall be assessed a civil penalty not to exceed $500. In the case of a second or any subsequent such violation pertaining to one election cycle, the candidate campaign committee or political committee shall be assessed a civil penalty of $1,000 for each such failure to file.

C. In the case of a failure to file the report of any large pre-election contribution required by § 24.2-947.9 or a report required pursuant to subsection D of § 24.2-949.6, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the violation was willful.

2006, cc. 787, 892; 2008, c. 547; 2010, c. 696.

§ 24.2-953.2. Late filing of required reports.

A. In the case of the late filing of the statement of organization required by this chapter for a candidate campaign committee or political committee, there shall be a civil penalty not to exceed $500.

B. In the case of a late filing of a required report, the candidate campaign committee or political committee shall be assessed a civil penalty not to exceed $500. In the case of a second or any subsequent such violation pertaining to one election cycle, the candidate campaign committee or political committee shall be assessed a civil penalty of $1,000 for each such late filing.

2006, cc. 787, 892.

§ 24.2-953.3. Incomplete reports.

A. In the case of a violation of this chapter that relates to the filing of an incomplete report, the violator shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $500 unless a greater penalty is imposed pursuant to this section. However the civil penalty shall in no case exceed $500 unless the total of the filer's reportable contributions or the total of the filer's reportable expenditures is $10,000 or more.

B. Prior to assessing a penalty pursuant to this section for the filing of an incomplete report, the Commissioner of Elections or the general registrar shall notify, by certified mail, the candidate and treasurer, or person or political committee required to file a report with that board, that a filed report has not been completed, citing the omissions from the report. No penalty shall be assessed if the information required to complete the report is filed within 10 days of the date of mailing the written notice.

C. If the information required to complete the report is not filed within the 10-day period, the Commissioner of Elections or the general registrar shall then assess against the candidate and treasurer, who shall be jointly and severally liable, or person or political committee required to file a report, a civil penalty not to exceed $500. The Commissioner of Elections or the general registrar shall consider the following factors in determining the civil penalty assessed: the number of omissions, the amount of money involved, and the proportion of contributions or expenditures containing omissions.

D. The Commissioner of Elections or the general registrar may grant an additional period for compliance, not to exceed two weeks, to permit the completion of a filed report for good cause shown and in response to a request filed within the 10-day period. However, no additional period shall be granted thereafter for compliance.

E. The civil penalty assessed for filing an incomplete report shall be increased by $500 every 60 days following the date for compliance established pursuant to this section and until compliance is complete. If the failure to comply continues for more than 120 days following the date for compliances established pursuant to this section, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the violation was willful, and the matter shall be forwarded to the appropriate attorney for the Commonwealth.

F. The civil penalty assessed for filing any subsequent incomplete report (i) that is filed more than 20 days after notice has been given of a violation or (ii) that is filed during the 60 days prior to the elections for which the person is a candidate shall be $1,000.

G. The State Board shall notify the public through its official Internet website of a failure to file a complete report by a candidate for statewide office or the General Assembly and the identity of the violator following the date for compliance established pursuant to this section.

2006, cc. 787, 892; 2013, c. 542; 2015, cc. 644, 645.

§ 24.2-953.4. Additional civil penalties for late and incomplete filings for statewide campaigns.

A. In addition to the penalties provided in §§ 24.2-953.1, 24.2-953.2, and 24.2-953.3, any candidate for statewide office, and his campaign treasurer, who fails to file any report required in Article 3 (§ 24.2-947 et seq.) in a timely manner or files an incomplete report may be assessed a civil penalty by the Commissioner of Elections pursuant to this section.

B. Prior to assessing a penalty pursuant to this section, the Commissioner shall notify, within 14 days of the deadline for the required report, the candidate and treasurer in writing that a report has not been filed or that a filed report has not been completed, citing the omissions from the report. No penalty shall be assessed pursuant to this section if the report or information required to complete the report is filed within seven days of the date of mailing the written notice.

C. If the report or information required to complete the report is not filed within the seven-day period, the Commissioner shall assess against the candidate and treasurer, who shall be jointly and severally liable, a civil penalty of $500 for each day that the violation continues on and after the eighth day following the date of mailing the written notice. The Commissioner may grant an additional period for compliance, not to exceed two weeks, for good cause shown and in response to a request filed within the seven-day period. However, no additional period shall be granted for compliance with the requirement under subdivision A 8 of § 24.2-947.6 to file a report not later than the eighth day before the election. The State Board shall notify the public through its official Internet website of the violation and identity of the violator.

D. If requested by the Commissioner, the attorney for the Commonwealth of the City of Richmond shall assist the Commissioner in collecting the civil penalty.

E. Any candidate or treasurer aggrieved by the assessment pursuant to this section shall have a right to the direct review of the assessment by a court of competent jurisdiction as provided in the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.). The provisions of the Act shall not apply, however, to the assessment of civil penalties by the Commissioner pursuant to this section.

F. Civil penalties collected pursuant to this section shall be payable to the State Treasurer for deposit to the general fund.

1991, c. 548, § 24.1-263.1; 1993, c. 641, § 24.2-930; 2001, c. 620; 2005, c. 371; 2006, cc. 787, 892; 2013, c. 542.

§ 24.2-953.5. Additional penalties related to federal political action or out-of-state political committees.

A. Acceptance of contributions of $10,000 or more in the aggregate in any calendar year from an unregistered federal political action committee or out-of-state political committee shall result in a civil penalty equal to the amount of the contributions made to a candidate campaign committee or political committee.

B. The provisions of this subsection are applicable regardless of the assessment of a civil penalty pursuant to subsection A. The failure of any federal political action committee or out-of-state political committee to comply with the provisions of § 24.2-949.2, 24.2-949.10, 24.2-949.11, or 24.2-949.12 shall result in a civil penalty not to exceed the amount of the contribution made to a candidate campaign committee or political committee.

C. The State Board of Elections shall institute proceedings pursuant to § 24.2-104 against any committee that fails to comply with the provisions of § 24.2-947.3:1, 24.2-949.2, 24.2-949.10, 24.2-949.11, 24.2-949.12, or 24.2-949.13 and, after notice by the State Board, continues for more than five days to remain noncompliant.

2006, cc. 771, 805, § 24.2-930.1.