Ninth Circuit Holds That No Private Right of Action Exists to Enforce the Provisions of § 13(a) of the Investment Company Act of 1940

by charlesjung

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In a shareholder class action, Northstar Financial Advisors, Inc. v. Schwab Investments, et al., 2010 WL 3169400 (9th Cir. Aug. 12, 2010), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals addressed whether there is a private cause of action to enforce the provisions of § 13(a) of the Investment Company Act of 1940 (“ICA” or “1940 Act”), 15 U.S.C. § 80a-13(a).  That section generally requires an investment company to obtain shareholder approval before deviating from the investment policies contained in the company’s registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”).

The Court held that “nothing in § 13(a) as originally enacted or as subsequently amended either creates a private cause of action or recognizes one exists with the clarity and specificity required under Supreme Court precedent.”

Marc J. Gross argued for plaintiff-appellee Northstar Financial Advisors, Inc.

Darryl P. Rains argued for defendants-appellants Schwab Investments, et al.

The case was argued before Circuit Judges Mary M. Schroeder N. Randy Smith and Hon. James Maxwell Moody, the Senior United States District Judge for the District of Arkansas, who was sitting by designation.  Circuit Judge Schroeder wrote the opinion of the Court.

By CHARLES H. JUNG

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