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Fair Campaign Practices

Administrative Law Judges at the Office of Administrative Hearings are authorized to hear and decide complaints alleging violations of the Fair Campaign Practices and Finance Acts (Minnesota Statutes, Chapters 211A and 211B). These complaints are heard by a panel of three Administrative Law Judges. The panel may dismiss the matter, issue a reprimand, impose a civil penalty of up to $5,000 and/or refer the complaint to a county attorney for criminal proceedings. Complaints filed with the Office of Administrative Hearings must proceed to a final order before the alleged violation may be prosecuted by a county attorney.

Please note that OAH may not consider and must dismiss claims alleging violations of Minn. Stat. § 211B.06 (false campaign material). The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit determined that statute was unconstitutional in 281 Care Committee v. Arneson.  

For more information, contact an OAH staff attorney at 651-361-7900.


Complaint Form
Notice of Appearance
Income Guidelines and Fee Waiver Form

Complaint filing

To file a Fair Campaign Practices Complaint:

  1. Complete the Campaign Complaint form.
  2. Complete a personal check, cashier's check, or money order for the $50 filing fee. Make it payable to Minnesota Office of Administrative Hearings. Electronic forms of payment are not accepted.
  3. Mail the form and the payment to PO Box 64620, Saint Paul, MN 55164 OR deliver them via personal delivery to 600 N Robert Street, Saint Paul, MN 55101.

The complaint is considered filed when OAH has received both the form and the $50 filing fee.

Possible Penalties

Every case is unique and each penalty will be selected to reflect the specific facts of the case. In order to assure some consistency from one case to the next, the three judge panel uses a presumptive penalty matrix as guidance. In any case, the three judge panel may depart from the presumptive penalty listed below and will explain the reasons for any departures.

Gravity of Violation
Minimal/no impact on voters, easily countered
Some impact on several voters, difficult to correct/counter
Many voters misled, process corrupted, unfair advantage created
Deliberate, multiple violations in complaint, history of violations, clear statute, unapologetic
$600 - 1,200
$1,200 – 2,400 and/or Refer to County Attorney
$2,400 – 5,000 and/or Refer to County Attorney
Negligent, ill-advised, ill-considered
$250 - 600
$600 - 1,200
$1,200 – 2,400 and/or Refer to County Attorney
Inadvertent, isolated, promptly corrected, vague statute, accepts responsibility 
$0 - 250
$600 - 1,200
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