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Statutes Text

Article - Election Law




§13–405.1.

    (a)    (1)    The State Administrator may investigate a potential violation of § 13–401 or § 13–405 of this subtitle by a purchaser of a qualifying paid digital communication.

        (2)    In furtherance of an investigation under paragraph (1) of this subsection, the State Administrator may issue a subpoena for the attendance of a witness to testify or the production of records.

        (3)    A subpoena issued under this subsection shall be served in accordance with the Maryland Rules.

        (4)    If a person fails to comply with a subpoena issued under this subsection, on petition of the State Administrator, a circuit court of competent jurisdiction may compel compliance with the subpoena.

    (b)    (1)    At the conclusion of an investigation under subsection (a)(1) of this section, subject to paragraph (2) of this subsection, the State Board may request that the Attorney General institute an action in a circuit court for injunctive relief in accordance with the Maryland Rules to:

            (i)    require a purchaser of a qualifying paid digital communication to comply with § 13–401 or § 13–405 of this subtitle; or

            (ii)    require an online platform to remove a qualified paid digital communication that does not comply with § 13–401 of this subtitle or if the purchaser of the communication does not comply with § 13–405 of this subtitle.

        (2)    Before requesting that the Attorney General seek an injunction under paragraph (1) of this subsection, the State Board shall:

            (i)    notify a purchaser of a qualifying paid digital communication who is the subject of an investigation of the circumstances that gave rise to the investigation; and

            (ii)    provide the person reasonable opportunity to be heard at a public meeting of the State Board.

        (3)    A circuit court may grant injunctive relief under this subsection only if the Attorney General shows by clear and convincing evidence that a violation of § 13–401 or § 13–405 of this subtitle is being committed.

        (4)    A person who violates an injunction issued under this subsection is subject to the penalties provided in § 13–605(b) of this title.