49 USC 14901: General civil penalties
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49 USC 14901: General civil penalties Text contains those laws in effect on November 23, 2014
From Title 49-TRANSPORTATIONSUBTITLE IV-INTERSTATE TRANSPORTATIONPART B-MOTOR CARRIERS, WATER CARRIERS, BROKERS, AND FREIGHT FORWARDERSCHAPTER 149-CIVIL AND CRIMINAL PENALTIES

§14901. General civil penalties

(a) Reporting and Recordkeeping.-A person required to make a report to the Secretary or the Board, answer a question, or make, prepare, or preserve a record under this part concerning transportation subject to jurisdiction under subchapter I or III of chapter 135 or transportation by a foreign carrier registered under section 13902, or an officer, agent, or employee of that person that-

(1) does not make the report;

(2) does not specifically, completely, and truthfully answer the question;

(3) does not make, prepare, or preserve the record in the form and manner prescribed;

(4) does not comply with section 13901; or

(5) does not comply with section 13902(c);


is liable to the United States for a civil penalty of not less than $1,000 for each violation and for each additional day the violation continues; except that, in the case of a person or an officer, agent, or employee of such person, that does not comply with section 13901 or section 13902(c) of this title, the amount of the civil penalty shall not be less than $10,000 for each violation, or $25,000 for each violation relating to providing transportation of passengers.

(b) Transportation of Hazardous Wastes.-A person subject to jurisdiction under subchapter I of chapter 135, or an officer, agent, or employee of that person, and who is required to comply with section 13901 of this title but does not so comply with respect to the transportation of hazardous wastes as defined by the Environmental Protection Agency pursuant to section 3001 of the Solid Waste Disposal Act (but not including any waste the regulation of which under the Solid Waste Disposal Act has been suspended by Congress) shall be liable to the United States for a civil penalty not less than $20,000, but not to exceed $40,000 for each violation.

(c) Factors To Consider in Determining Amount.-In determining and negotiating the amount of a civil penalty under subsection (a) or (d) concerning transportation of household goods, the degree of culpability, any history of prior such conduct, the degree of harm to shipper or shippers, ability to pay, the effect on ability to do business, whether the shipper has been adequately compensated before institution of the proceeding, and such other matters as fairness may require shall be taken into account.

(d) Protection of Household Goods Shippers.-

(1) In general.-If a carrier providing transportation of household goods subject to jurisdiction under subchapter I or III of chapter 135 or a receiver or trustee of such carrier fails or refuses to comply with any regulation issued by the Secretary or the Board relating to protection of individual shippers, such carrier, receiver, or trustee is liable to the United States for a civil penalty of not less than $1,000 for each violation and for each additional day during which the violation continues.

(2) Estimate of broker without carrier agreement.-If a broker for transportation of household goods subject to jurisdiction under subchapter I of chapter 135 makes an estimate of the cost of transporting any such goods before entering into an agreement with a carrier to provide transportation of household goods subject to such jurisdiction, the broker is liable to the United States for a civil penalty of not less than $10,000 for each violation.

(3) Unauthorized transportation.-If a person provides transportation of household goods subject to jurisdiction under subchapter I of chapter 135 or provides broker services for such transportation without being registered under chapter 139 to provide such transportation or services as a motor carrier or broker, as the case may be, such person is liable to the United States for a civil penalty of not less than $25,000 for each violation.


(e) Violation Relating to Transportation of Household Goods.-Any person that knowingly engages in or knowingly authorizes an agent or other person-

(1) to falsify documents used in the transportation of household goods subject to jurisdiction under subchapter I or III of chapter 135 which evidence the weight of a shipment; or

(2) to charge for accessorial services which are not performed or for which the carrier is not entitled to be compensated in any case in which such services are not reasonably necessary in the safe and adequate movement of the shipment;


is liable to the United States for a civil penalty of not less than $2,000 for each violation and of not less than $5,000 for each subsequent violation. Any State may bring a civil action in the United States district courts to compel a person to pay a civil penalty assessed under this subsection.

(f) Venue.-Trial in a civil action under subsections (a) through (e) of this section is in the judicial district in which-

(1) the carrier or broker has its principal office;

(2) the carrier or broker was authorized to provide transportation or service under this part when the violation occurred;

(3) the violation occurred; or

(4) the offender is found.


Process in the action may be served in the judicial district of which the offender is an inhabitant or in which the offender may be found.

(g) Business Entertainment Expenses.-

(1) In general.-Any business entertainment expense incurred by a water carrier providing transportation subject to this part shall not constitute a violation of this part if that expense would not be unlawful if incurred by a person not subject to this part.

(2) Cost of service.-Any business entertainment expense subject to paragraph (1) that is paid or incurred by a water carrier providing transportation subject to this part shall not be taken into account in determining the cost of service or the rate base for purposes of section 13702.


(h) Settlement of Household Goods Civil Penalties.-Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the Secretary from accepting partial payment of a civil penalty as part of a settlement agreement in the public interest, or from holding imposition of any part of a civil penalty in abeyance.

(Added Pub. L. 104–88, title I, §103, Dec. 29, 1995, 109 Stat. 913 ; amended Pub. L. 109–59, title IV, §4209, Aug. 10, 2005, 119 Stat. 1758 ; Pub. L. 112–141, div. C, title II, §§32108, 32923(a), July 6, 2012, 126 Stat. 782, 828.)

References in Text

The Solid Waste Disposal Act, referred to in subsec. (b), is title II of Pub. L. 89–272, as amended generally by Pub. L. 94–580, §2, Oct. 21, 1976, 90 Stat. 2795 , which is classified generally to chapter 82 (§6901 et seq.) of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare. Section 3001 of the Act is classified to section 6921 of Title 42. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 6901 of Title 42 and Tables.

Prior Provisions

Provisions similar to those in this section were contained in sections 10751 and 11901 of this title prior to the general amendment of this subtitle by Pub. L. 104–88, §102(a).

Amendments

2012-Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 112–141, §32108(a)(4), which directed substitution of "$10,000 for each violation, or $25,000 for each violation relating to providing transportation of passengers" for "$2,000 for each violation and each additional day the violation continues", was executed by making the substitution for "$2,000 for each violation and for each additional day the violation continues" in concluding provisions, to reflect the probable intent of Congress.

Pub. L. 112–141, §32108(a)(1)–(3), substituted "$1,000" for "$500" and "or section 13902(c) of this title," for "with respect to providing transportation of passengers," and struck out "who is not registered under this part to provide transportation of passengers," after "in the case of a person" in concluding provisions.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 112–141, §32108(b), substituted "not less than $20,000, but not to exceed $40,000" for "not to exceed $20,000".

Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 112–141, §32923(a), added subsec. (h).

2005-Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 109–59 designated existing provisions as par. (1), inserted heading, and added pars. (2) and (3).

Effective Date of 2012 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 112–141 effective Oct. 1, 2012, see section 3(a) of Pub. L. 112–141, set out as an Effective and Termination Dates of 2012 Amendment note under section 101 of Title 23, Highways.

Effective Date

Chapter effective Jan. 1, 1996, except as otherwise provided in Pub. L. 104–88, see section 2 of Pub. L. 104–88, set out as a note under section 701 of this title.

Foreign Motor Carrier Penalties and Disqualifications

Pub. L. 106–159, title II, §219, Dec. 9, 1999, 113 Stat. 1768 , provided that:

"(a) General Rule.-Subject to subsections (b) and (c), a foreign motor carrier or foreign motor private carrier (as such terms are defined under section 13102 of title 49, United States Code) that operates without authority, before the implementation of the land transportation provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement, outside the boundaries of a commercial zone along the United States-Mexico border shall be liable to the United States for a civil penalty and shall be disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle anywhere within the United States as provided in subsections (b) and (c).

"(b) Penalty for Intentional Violation.-The civil penalty for an intentional violation of subsection (a) by a carrier shall not be more than $10,000 and may include a disqualification from operating a commercial motor vehicle anywhere within the United States for a period of not more than 6 months.

"(c) Penalty for Pattern of Intentional Violations.-The civil penalty for a pattern of intentional violations of subsection (a) by a carrier shall not be more than $25,000 and the carrier shall be disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle anywhere within the United States and the disqualification may be permanent.

"(d) Leasing.-Before the implementation of the land transportation provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement, during any period in which a suspension, condition, restriction, or limitation imposed under section 13902(c) of title 49, United States Code, applies to a motor carrier (as defined in section 13902(e) of such title), that motor carrier may not lease a commercial motor vehicle to another motor carrier or a motor private carrier to transport property in the United States.

"(e) Savings Clause.-No provision of this section may be enforced if it is inconsistent with any international agreement of the United States.

"(f) Acts of Employees.-The actions of any employee driver of a foreign motor carrier or foreign motor private carrier committed without the knowledge of the carrier or committed unintentionally shall not be grounds for penalty or disqualification under this section."