Court Dismisses Case Against Mutual Fund's Distributor and Trustees Concerning 12b-1 Fees


On March 30, in Wiener v. Eaton Vance Distributors, Inc., the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts dismissed an Eaton Vance Municipals Trust shareholder derivative suit involving Eaton Vance Distributors, Inc. and the Trust's nine trustees, alleging that the asset-based Rule 12b-1 fees paid by the Trust to Distributors and selling broker-dealers who distribute Trust mutual fund shares violated the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 since neither Distributors nor the selling broker-dealers were registered under the Advisers Act. The plaintiff sought, among other things, the rescission of the distribution agreement between the Trust and Distributors under Section 47(b) of the Investment Company Act of 1940 (1940 Act).

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