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Empower Denial

Empower Denial

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Published by northdecoder

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Categories:Types, Legal forms
Published by: northdecoder on Apr 13, 2012
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04/13/2012

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STATEOFNORTHDAKOTAINDISTRICTCOURTCOUNTYOFBURLEIGHSOUTHCENTRALJUDICIALDISTRICTCIVILNO.08-2012-CV-00309EmpowertheTaxpayer,etaI.,)
)
Plaintiffs,)
)
vs.)ORDERDENYINGINJUNCTIVERELIEF)ANDORDERDISMISSINGCASECoryFong,etaI.,)))Defendants.)
)
LAWANDANALYSISEmpowerseeksaninjunctiontoenforcetheprovisionsoftheCorruptPracticesActinchapter16.1-10,N.D.C.C.TheDefendantsargueEmpowerdoesnothavestandingtobringaclaimundertheCorruptPracticesActbecauseitisacriminallaw.AhearingwasheldonApril2,2012.Mr.BougheyappearedforPlaintiffsandMs.FranzenfortheStatedefendantsandMr.Bakkeforthecountydefendants.Thiscasestartedwitha45-pagecomplaint,whichcouldmoreeasilybedescribedasEmpower'smanifestoadvocatingtheirpoliticalpositionratherthanalegalcomplaintsettingoutasuccinctrequestforrelieffromtheCourt.EmpowerbringsthisactionallegingDefendantsviolatedNDCC16.1-10intwoways:First,theDefendantsallegedlypublishedfalseinformationinpoliticaladvertisementsinviolationofN.D.C.C.16.1-10-04;second,theyallegethenamedDefendantsusedstateresourcesforpoliticalpurposesinviolationofN.D.C.C.16.1-10-02.TheDefendantsrangedfromtheStateTax
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Commissioner,CoryFong,totheNorthDakotaWeedControlAssociation.TheinitialfilingrequestedaninjunctionwithoutprovidingtheCourtanaffidavitasrequired.ThisrequestwasdeniedbytheCourtforthisdeficiency.Empowerthenrenewedtherequestfilinganaffidavit,whichwassimplyacutandpasteofEmpower'soriginalallegationssetoutinitscomplaintwithCharleneNelsonbeingtheaffiant.TheCountyandStateDefendantsfiledresponsestotherequestforaninjunctionandmovedtohavethematterdismissed.
I.
Standing"Standingisathresholdissuetodeterminewhetherapartyisentitledtohaveacourtdecidethemeritsofadispute."
State
v,
Leingang,
2009NO38,
en
17,763N.W.2d769.TheNorthDakotaSupremeCourthasexplained:Thequestionofstandingfocusesuponwhetherthelitigantisentitledtohavethecourtdecidethemeritsofthedispute.Itisfoundedinconcernabouttheproper-andproperlylimited-roleofthecourtsinademocraticsociety.Withoutthelimitationofthestandingrequirements,thecourtswouldbecalledupontodecide.purelyabstract.questions.Asanaspectofjusticiability,thestandingrequirementfocusesuponwhethertheplaintiffhasallegedsuchapersonalstakeintheoutcomeofthecontroversyastojustifyexerciseofthecourt'sremedialpowersonhisbehalf.Theinquiryistwo-fold.First,theplaintiffmusthavesufferedsomethreatenedoractualinjuryresultingfromtheputativelyillegalaction.Secondly,theassertedharmmustnotbeageneralizedgrievancesharedbyalloralargeclassofcitizens;theplaintiffgenerallymustasserthisownlegalrightsandinterests,andcannotresthisclaimtoreliefonthelegalrightsandinterestsofthirdparties.Whenapersonissubjecttoacriminalprosecution,orisfacedwithitsimminentprospect,thatpersonhasclearlyestablishedthestandingrequirementstoopposetheprosecutionbyassertinghisrelevantconstitutionalrights.
Id.
(quoting
Stat~
v,
Carpenter,
301N.W.2d106,107(N.D.1980)).CivilandcriminalactionsaretheonlytwotypesofactionsinNorthDakota.N.D.C.C.
§
32-01~03."Acriminalactionisoneprosecutedbythestateasapartyagainst2
 
apersonchargedwithapublicoffenseforthepunishmentthereof."N.D.C.C.
§
32-01-05.Section16.1-10:-08,N.D.C.C.,provides,"Anypersonviolatinganyprovisionof[theCorruptPracticesAct],forwhichanotherpenaltyisnotspecificallyprovided,isguiltyofaclassAmisdemeanor."N.D.C.C.
§
16.1-10-08.Theterm"publicoffense"includesmisdemeanors.SeeState
v.Bergeron,
326N.W.2d684,685(N.D.1982)."Itiswellsettledthatequityhasnojurisdictiontorestrainthecommissionofcrimes,andthatinjunctionmaynotissueforthepreventionofcriminalactsunconnectedwithaviolationoflegalrights."Richmond
v.Miller,
292N.W.2d633,633(N.D.1940).Courtsusetheirequitablepowertoissueinjunctions.See
FargoWomen
s
HealthOrg.,Inc.v.Lambs
of
Christ,
488N.W.2d401,407(N.D.1992).Thus,thisCourtmustdecidewhethertheDefendants'allegedcriminalactsareaviolationofEmpower'slegalrights.A"legalright"isa"rightcreatedorrecognizedbylaw"ora"[rlighthistoricallyrecognizedbycommon-lawcourts."RIGHT,Black'sLawDictionary(9thed.2009).Empowerdidnotidentifyalegalrightthatwasviolated,andIamunabletoidentifyanyofEmpower'scommonlawrightsthatwereviolated.Therefore,theCourt'sequitablepowerscannotenjointheDefendants'actions,andEmpowerdoesnothavestandingtobringaclaimundertheCorruptPracticesAct.EmpowerarguesthattheCorruptPracticesActprovidesanimpliedprivaterightofaction.TheDefendantsarguethattheCorruptPracticesActdoesnotprovideanimpliedprivaterightofaction.Whendeterminingwhetheraprivaterightofactionexists,theNorthDakotaSupremeCourthasappliedthefirstthree
Cort
factors:First,istheplaintiffoneoftheclassforwhose
especial
benefitthestatutewasenacted,...-thatis,doesthestatutecreateafederalrightinfavoroftheplaintiff?Second,isthereanyindicationoflegislativeintent,explicitor
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