If you believe someone has violated the Michigan Campaign Finance Act (the MCFA),
you may file a written complaint with the Department of State (the Department).
The Complaint must
include all of the following:
Your name, address and telephone number.
The alleged violator's name and address.
A description in reasonable detail of the alleged violation, including the section
or sections of the MCFA you believe were violated, and explanation of how you believe
the MCFA was violated, and any other pertinent information.
Evidence which supports your allegations.
A certification that:
To the best of your knowledge, information, and belief, formed after a reasonable
inquiry under the circumstances, each factual contention of the complaint is supported
However, in addition, if after a reasonable inquiry under the circumstances, you
are unable to certify that certain specifically identified factual contentions of
the complaint are supported by evidence, you may also certify that:
To the best of your knowledge, information, or belief, there are grounds to conclude
that those specifically identified factual contentions are likely to be supported
by evidence after a reasonable opportunity for further inquiry.
Your signature immediately after the certification or certifications.
If you wish to have your complaint considered, it must include all of the above
information. The Department may dismiss your complaint if any item is not included,
or if the complaint is
determined to be frivolous, illegible, or indefinite. If the complaint is dismissed,
both you and the alleged violator will be notified.
A form for filing a complaint may be obtained from the Bureau of Elections, P.O.Box
20126, Lansing, MI 48901-0726, or on the Department's web site at http://www.,michigan.gov/sos/.
The completed form should be sent to the following address:
Michigan Department of State
Legal and Regulatory Service Administration
Richard H. Austin Building - 4th Floor
430 West Allegan Street
Lansing, MI 48918
Telephone: (517) 241 - 3463
If your complaint meets the above requirements, the Department will notify the alleged
violator that a complaint has been filed. The notification will include a copy of
your complaint. The
alleged violator will have an opportunity to file a response. You will have an opportunity
to file a rebuttal to any response. You and the alleged violator will receive periodic
reports about the
actions taken by the Department concerning your complaint.
If the Department finds no reason to believe that your allegations are true, your
complaint will be dismissed.
If the Department finds that there may be reason to believe your allegations are
true, the Department must attempt to correct the violation or prevent further violations
methods such as a conference, conciliation, or persuasion, and may enter into a
conciliation agreement with the alleged violator.
If the Department is unable to correct the violation or prevent further violations
informally, an administrative hearing may be held to determine whether a civil violation
of the MCFA has
occurred, or the matter may be referred to the Attorney General for the enforcement
of criminal penalties. An administrative hearing could result in the assessment
of a civil penalty. Such a
hearing would be conducted in accordance with the Michigan Administrative Procedures
Act. An order issued as a result of such a hearing may be appealed to the appropriate
WARNING: Section 15(8) of the MCFA (MCL 169.215) provides that a person who
files a complaint with a false certification is responsible for a civil violation
of the MCFA. Under section 15(14) of the MCFA (MCL 169.215), the Secretary of State
may require a person who files a complaint with a false certification to:
Pay the Department some or all of the expenses incurred by the Department as a direct
result of the filing of the complaint.
Pay the alleged violator some or all of the expenses, including, but not limited
to, reasonable attorney fees, incurred by that person as a direct result of the
filing of the complaint.
Pay a civil fine of up to $1,000.00.
If you have any question about the complaint process, please write or call the Legal
and Regulatory Service Administration.
2 Woodward Avenue, Suite 502, Coleman A. Young Municipal Center, Detroit, MI 48226 Phone: 313-224-2380 Fax: 313-224-6424