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North Carolina > Elections And Election Laws > Regulation of Election Campaigns - Corrupt Practices and Other Offenses Against the Elective Franchise (§ § 163-259 through 163-278.329) In General (§ § 163-278.5 through 163-278.38y) Article 22A. Regulating Contributions and Expenditures in Political Campaigns (§ § 163-1 through 163-7)

§ 163-278.28. Issuance of injunctions; special prosecutors named.

Overview of Statute

Section provides the superior courts of the State with jurisdiction over election matters and if no prosecution is initiated within 45 days upon filing, the appropriate district individual may petition the superior court for the appointment of a special prosecutor.


(a) The superior courts of this State shall have jurisdiction to issue injunctions or grant any other equitable relief appropriate to enforce the provisions of this Article upon application by any registered voter of the State.

(b) If the Board makes a report to a district attorney under G.S. 163-278.27 and no prosecution is initiated within 45 days after the report is made, any registered voter of the prosecutorial district to whose district attorney a report has been made, or any board of elections in that district, may, by verified affidavit, petition the superior court for that district for the appointment of a special prosecutor to prosecute the individuals or persons who have or who are believed to have violated any section of this Article. Upon receipt of a petition for the appointment of a special prosecutor, the superior court shall issue an order to show cause, directed at the individuals or persons alleged in the petition to be in violation of this Article, why a special prosecutor should not be appointed. If there is no answer to the order, the court shall appoint a special prosecutor. If there is an answer, the court shall hold a hearing on the order, at which both the petitioning and answering parties may be heard, to determine whether a prima facie case of a violation and failure to prosecute exists. If there is such a prima facie case, the court shall so find and shall thereupon appoint a special prosecutor to prosecute the alleged violators. The special prosecutor shall take the oath required of assistant district attorneys by G.S. 7A-63, shall serve as an assistant district attorney pro tem of the appropriate district, and shall prosecute the alleged violators.

(1973, c. 1272, s. 1; 1979, c. 500, s. 11; 2017-6, s. 3; 2018-146, s. 3.1(a), (b).)

Definition [board]

The term “board” means the State Board with respect to all candidates for State, legislative, and judicial offices and the county board of elections with respect to all candidates for county and municipal offices. The term means the State Board with respect to all statewide referenda and the county board of elections conducting all local referenda.

§ 163A-1411 (3). Definitions.





Definition [Board]

Board. – Any State board, commission, council, committee, task force,
authority, or similar public body, however denominated, created by statute or
executive order, as determined and designated by the State Board, except for
those public bodies that have only advisory authority.

§ 163A-152 (3). Definitions

Definition [State]

“State” means a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

§ 163A-1336 (5). Definitions.

Definition [person]

The term “person” means any business entity, corporation, insurance company, labor union, or professional association.

§ 163A-1411 (72). Definitions.

Definition [election]

The term “election” means any general or special election, a first or second primary, a run-off election, or an election to fill a vacancy. The term “election” shall not include any local or statewide referendum.

§ 163A-1411 (30). Definitions.

Definition [Election]

“Election” means the event in which voters cast votes in ballot items concerning proposals or candidates for office in this State or the United States. The term includes primaries, general elections, referenda, and special elections.

§ 163A-1095 (4). Definition


North Carolina Cases

Case Name: Fuller v. Easley

Citation: 553 S.E.2d 43

Year: 2001

Case PDF: Fuller v. Easley

Case Summary: Taxpayer, on challenge to state attorney general's filing of lawsuits and use of proceeds, in action against attorney general, state treasurer, and unknown boards of education, had standing to sue to enforce state election laws through injunctions or other equitable relief, where taxpayer alleged that he was registered voter of county in which suit was filed.

Out-of-State Cases

Federal Cases