[USC02] 47 USC CHAPTER 5, SUBCHAPTER IV: PROCEDURAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS
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TEXT OF PART V OF SUBTITLE A (3001 ET SEQ.), EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2022, CURRENTLY SET OUT AS A PREVIEW

47 USC CHAPTER 5, SUBCHAPTER IV: PROCEDURAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS
From Title 47—TELECOMMUNICATIONSCHAPTER 5—WIRE OR RADIO COMMUNICATION

SUBCHAPTER IV—PROCEDURAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS

§401. Enforcement provisions

(a) Jurisdiction

The district courts of the United States shall have jurisdiction, upon application of the Attorney General of the United States at the request of the Commission, alleging a failure to comply with or a violation of any of the provisions of this chapter by any person, to issue a writ or writs of mandamus commanding such person to comply with the provisions of this chapter.

(b) Orders of Commission

If any person fails or neglects to obey any order of the Commission other than for the payment of money, while the same is in effect, the Commission or any party injured thereby, or the United States, by its Attorney General, may apply to the appropriate district court of the United States for the enforcement of such order. If, after hearing, that court determines that the order was regularly made and duly served, and that the person is in disobedience of the same, the court shall enforce obedience to such order by a writ of injunction or other proper process, mandatory or otherwise, to restrain such person or the officers, agents, or representatives of such person, from further disobedience of such order, or to enjoin upon it or them obedience to the same.

(c) Duty to prosecute

Upon the request of the Commission it shall be the duty of any United States attorney to whom the Commission may apply to institute in the proper court and to prosecute under the direction of the Attorney General of the United States all necessary proceedings for the enforcement of the provisions of this chapter and for the punishment of all violations thereof, and the costs and expenses of such prosecutions shall be paid out of the appropriations for the expenses of the courts of the United States.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title IV, §401, 48 Stat. 1092; June 25, 1948, ch. 646, §1, 62 Stat. 909; Pub. L. 93–528, §6(a), Dec. 21, 1974, 88 Stat. 1709.)


Editorial Notes

References in Text

This chapter, referred to in subsecs. (a) and (c), was in the original "this Act", meaning act June 19, 1934, ch. 652, 48 Stat. 1064, known as the Communications Act of 1934, which is classified principally to this chapter. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 609 of this title and Tables.

Amendments

1974—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 93–528 repealed subsec. (d) which provided that the provisions of sections 28 and 29 of title 15, section 345(1) of title 28, and sections 44 and 45 of title 49, shall be held to apply to any suit in equity arising under sections 201 to 222 of this title, wherein the United States is complainant.


Satutory Notes and related Subsidiaries

Change of Name

Act June 25, 1948, eff. Sept. 1, 1948, substituted "United States attorney" for "district attorney" in subsec. (c). See section 541 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure, and Historical and Revision Notes thereunder.

§402. Judicial review of Commission's orders and decisions

(a) Procedure

Any proceeding to enjoin, set aside, annul, or suspend any order of the Commission under this chapter (except those appealable under subsection (b) of this section) shall be brought as provided by and in the manner prescribed in chapter 158 of title 28.

(b) Right to appeal

Appeals may be taken from decisions and orders of the Commission to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in any of the following cases:

(1) By any applicant for a construction permit or station license, whose application is denied by the Commission.

(2) By any applicant for the renewal or modification of any such instrument of authorization whose application is denied by the Commission.

(3) By any party to an application for authority to transfer, assign, or dispose of any such instrument of authorization, or any rights thereunder, whose application is denied by the Commission.

(4) By any applicant for the permit required by section 325 of this title whose application has been denied by the Commission, or by any permittee under said section whose permit has been revoked by the Commission.

(5) By the holder of any construction permit or station license which has been modified or revoked by the Commission.

(6) By any other person who is aggrieved or whose interests are adversely affected by any order of the Commission granting or denying any application described in paragraphs (1), (2), (3), (4), and (9) of this subsection.

(7) By any person upon whom an order to cease and desist has been served under section 312 of this title.

(8) By any radio operator whose license has been suspended by the Commission.

(9) By any applicant for authority to provide interLATA services under section 271 of this title whose application is denied by the Commission.

(10) By any person who is aggrieved or whose interests are adversely affected by a determination made by the Commission under section 618(a)(3) of this title.

(c) Filing notice of appeal; contents; jurisdiction; temporary orders

Such appeal shall be taken by filing a notice of appeal with the court within thirty days from the date upon which public notice is given of the decision or order complained of. Such notice of appeal shall contain a concise statement of the nature of the proceedings as to which the appeal is taken; a concise statement of the reasons on which the appellant intends to rely, separately stated and numbered; and proof of service of a true copy of said notice and statement upon the Commission. Upon filing of such notice, the court shall have jurisdiction of the proceedings and of the questions determined therein and shall have power, by order, directed to the Commission or any other party to the appeal, to grant such temporary relief as it may deem just and proper. Orders granting temporary relief may be either affirmative or negative in their scope and application so as to permit either the maintenance of the status quo in the matter in which the appeal is taken or the restoration of a position or status terminated or adversely affected by the order appealed from and shall, unless otherwise ordered by the court, be effective pending hearing and determination of said appeal and compliance by the Commission with the final judgment of the court rendered in said appeal.

(d) Notice to interested parties; filing of record

Upon the filing of any such notice of appeal the appellant shall, not later than five days after the filing of such notice, notify each person shown by the records of the Commission to be interested in said appeal of the filing and pendency of the same. The Commission shall file with the court the record upon which the order complained of was entered, as provided in section 2112 of title 28.

(e) Intervention

Within thirty days after the filing of any such appeal any interested person may intervene and participate in the proceedings had upon said appeal by filing with the court a notice of intention to intervene and a verified statement showing the nature of the interest of such party, together with proof of service of true copies of said notice and statement, both upon appellant and upon the Commission. Any person who would be aggrieved or whose interest would be adversely affected by a reversal or modification of the order of the Commission complained of shall be considered an interested party.

(f) Records and briefs

The record and briefs upon which any such appeal shall be heard and determined by the court shall contain such information and material, and shall be prepared within such time and in such manner as the court may by rule prescribe.

(g) Time of hearing; procedure

The court shall hear and determine the appeal upon the record before it in the manner prescribed by section 706 of title 5.

(h) Remand

In the event that the court shall render a decision and enter an order reversing the order of the Commission, it shall remand the case to the Commission to carry out the judgment of the court and it shall be the duty of the Commission, in the absence of the proceedings to review such judgment, to forthwith give effect thereto, and unless otherwise ordered by the court, to do so upon the basis of the proceedings already had and the record upon which said appeal was heard and determined.

(i) Judgment for costs

The court may, in its discretion, enter judgment for costs in favor of or against an appellant, or other interested parties intervening in said appeal, but not against the Commission, depending upon the nature of the issues involved upon said appeal and the outcome thereof.

(j) Finality of decision; review by Supreme Court

The court's judgment shall be final, subject, however, to review by the Supreme Court of the United States upon writ of certiorari on petition therefor under section 1254 of title 28, by the appellant, by the Commission, or by any interested party intervening in the appeal, or by certification by the court pursuant to the provisions of that section.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title IV, §402, 48 Stat. 1093; May 20, 1937, ch. 229, §§11–13, 50 Stat. 197; May 24, 1949, ch. 139, §132, 63 Stat. 108; July 16, 1952, ch. 879, §14, 66 Stat. 718; Pub. L. 85–791, §12, Aug. 28, 1958, 72 Stat. 945; Pub. L. 97–259, title I, §§121, 127(b), Sept. 13, 1982, 96 Stat. 1097, 1099; Pub. L. 98–620, title IV, §402(50), Nov. 8, 1984, 98 Stat. 3361; Pub. L. 104–104, title I, §151(b), Feb. 8, 1996, 110 Stat. 107; Pub. L. 111–260, title I, §104(d), Oct. 8, 2010, 124 Stat. 2762.)


Editorial Notes

References in Text

This chapter, referred to in subsec. (a), was in the original "this Act", meaning act June 19, 1934, ch. 652, 48 Stat. 1064, known as the Communications Act of 1934, which is classified principally to this chapter. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 609 of this title and Tables.

Amendments

2010—Subsec. (b)(10). Pub. L. 111–260 added par. (10).

1996—Subsec. (b)(6). Pub. L. 104–104, §151(b)(1), inserted reference to par. (9).

Subsec. (b)(9). Pub. L. 104–104, §151(b)(2), added par. (9).

1984—Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 98–620 substituted "The" for "At the earliest convenient time the" and "706 of title 5" for "10(e) of the Administrative Procedure Act [former 5 U.S.C. 1009(e)]".

1982—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 97–259, §127(b), substituted "chapter 158 of title 28" for "Public Law 901, Eighty-first Congress, approved December 29, 1950".

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 97–259, §121, substituted "appellant" for "Commission", "filing of such notice" for "date of service upon it", struck out "and shall thereafter permit any such person to inspect and make copies of said notice and statement of reasons therefor at the office of the Commission in the city of Washington" after "pendency of the same", and substituted "The" for "Within thirty days after the filing of an appeal, the" before "Commission shall file".

1958—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 85–791 substituted "the record upon which the order complained of was entered, as provided in section 2112 of title 28," for "a copy of the order complained of, a full statement in writing of the facts and grounds relied upon by it in support of the order involved upon said appeal, and the originals or certified copies of all papers and evidence presented to and considered by it in entering said order" in second sentence.

1952—Act July 16, 1952, amended section generally to set up the procedure for the judicial review of the Commission's orders and decisions.

1949—Subsec. (a). Act May 24, 1949, substituted "Title 28 of the United States Code" for "the Act of October 22, 1913 (38 Stat. 219)", and "such Title 28" in lieu of "that Act".

1937—Subsec. (a). Act May 20, 1937, §11, inserted ", or suspending a radio operator's license" after "or for modifications of an existing radio station license".

Subsec. (b)(3). Act May 20, 1937, §12, added par. (3) relating to appeal from decisions in case of any radio operator whose license has been suspended by the Commission.

Subsec. (c). Act May 20, 1937, §13, inserted in last sentence "or order" after "upon the application".


Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries

Change of Name

Act June 7, 1934, ch. 426, 48 Stat. 926, changed name of "Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia" to "United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia".

Effective Date of 1984 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 98–620 not applicable to cases pending on Nov. 8, 1984, see section 403 of Pub. L. 98–620, set out as a note under section 1657 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

Effective Date of 1952 Amendment

Section 19(2) of act July 16, 1952, provided that: "The amendments made by this Act to section 402 of the Communications Act of 1934 [this section] (relating to judicial review of orders and decisions of the Commission) shall not apply with respect to any action or appeal which is pending before any court on the date of enactment of this Act [July 16, 1952]."

Administrative Orders Review Act

Court of appeals exclusive jurisdiction respecting final orders of Federal Communications Commission made reviewable by subsec. (a) of this section, see section 2342 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

§403. Inquiry by Commission on its own motion

The Commission shall have full authority and power at any time to institute an inquiry, on its own motion, in any case and as to any matter or thing concerning which complaint is authorized to be made, to or before the Commission by any provision of this chapter, or concerning which any question may arise under any of the provisions of this chapter, or relating to the enforcement of any of the provisions of this chapter. The Commission shall have the same powers and authority to proceed with any inquiry instituted on its own motion as though it had been appealed to by complaint or petition under any of the provisions of this chapter, including the power to make and enforce any order or orders in the case, or relating to the matter or thing concerning which the inquiry is had, excepting orders for the payment of money.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title IV, §403, 48 Stat. 1094.)


Editorial Notes

References in Text

This chapter, referred to in text, was in the original "this Act", meaning act June 19, 1934, ch. 652, 48 Stat. 1064, known as the Communications Act of 1934, which is classified principally to this chapter. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 609 of this title and Tables.

§404. Reports of investigations

Whenever an investigation shall be made by the Commission it shall be its duty to make a report in writing in respect thereto, which shall state the conclusions of the Commission, together with its decision, order, or requirement in the premises; and in case damages are awarded such report shall include the findings of fact on which the award is made.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title IV, §404, 48 Stat. 1094.)

§405. Petition for reconsideration; procedure; disposition; time of filing; additional evidence; time for disposition of petition for reconsideration of order concluding hearing or investigation; appeal of order

(a) After an order, decision, report, or action has been made or taken in any proceeding by the Commission, or by any designated authority within the Commission pursuant to a delegation under section 155(c)(1) of this title, any party thereto, or any other person aggrieved or whose interests are adversely affected thereby, may petition for reconsideration only to the authority making or taking the order, decision, report, or action; and it shall be lawful for such authority, whether it be the Commission or other authority designated under section 155(c)(1) of this title, in its discretion, to grant such a reconsideration if sufficient reason therefor be made to appear. A petition for reconsideration must be filed within thirty days from the date upon which public notice is given of the order, decision, report, or action complained of. No such application shall excuse any person from complying with or obeying any order, decision, report, or action of the Commission, or operate in any manner to stay or postpone the enforcement thereof, without the special order of the Commission. The filing of a petition for reconsideration shall not be a condition precedent to judicial review of any such order, decision, report, or action, except where the party seeking such review (1) was not a party to the proceedings resulting in such order, decision, report, or action, or (2) relies on questions of fact or law upon which the Commission, or designated authority within the Commission, has been afforded no opportunity to pass. The Commission, or designated authority within the Commission, shall enter an order, with a concise statement of the reasons therefor, denying a petition for reconsideration or granting such petition, in whole or in part, and ordering such further proceedings as may be appropriate: Provided, That in any case where such petition relates to an instrument of authorization granted without a hearing, the Commission, or designated authority within the Commission, shall take such action within ninety days of the filing of such petition. Reconsiderations shall be governed by such general rules as the Commission may establish, except that no evidence other than newly discovered evidence, evidence which has become available only since the original taking of evidence, or evidence which the Commission or designated authority within the Commission believes should have been taken in the original proceeding shall be taken on any reconsideration. The time within which a petition for review must be filed in a proceeding to which section 402(a) of this title applies, or within which an appeal must be taken under section 402(b) of this title in any case, shall be computed from the date upon which the Commission gives public notice of the order, decision, report, or action complained of.

(b)(1) Within 90 days after receiving a petition for reconsideration of an order concluding a hearing under section 204(a) of this title or concluding an investigation under section 208(b) of this title, the Commission shall issue an order granting or denying such petition.

(2) Any order issued under paragraph (1) shall be a final order and may be appealed under section 402(a) of this title.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title IV, §405, 48 Stat. 1095; July 16, 1952, ch. 879, §15, 66 Stat. 720; Pub. L. 86–752, §4(c), Sept. 13, 1960, 74 Stat. 892; Pub. L. 87–192, §3, Aug. 31, 1961, 75 Stat. 421; Pub. L. 97–259, title I, §§122, 127(c), Sept. 13, 1982, 96 Stat. 1097, 1099; Pub. L. 100–594, §8(d), Nov. 3, 1988, 102 Stat. 3023.)


Editorial Notes

Codification

"Reconsiderations" substituted in text for "Rehearings" as the probable intent of Congress, in view of amendment by section 127(c)(1) of Pub. L. 97–259, which substituted "reconsideration" for "rehearing" wherever appearing in this section.

Amendments

1988Pub. L. 100–594 designated existing provisions as subsec. (a), substituted "section 155(c)(1)" for "section 155(d)(1)" in two places, and added subsec. (b).

1982Pub. L. 97–259 substituted "reconsideration" for "rehearing" wherever appearing and "the Commission gives public notice of the order, decision, report, or action complained of" for "public notice is given of orders disposing of all petitions for rehearing filed with the Commission in such proceeding or case, but any order, decision, report, or action made or taken after such rehearing reversing, changing, or modifying the original order shall be subject to the same provisions with respect to rehearing as an original order".

1961Pub. L. 87–192 provided for petition for rehearing to the authority making or taking the order, decision, report, or action, substituted references to report and action for requirement, wherever else appearing, and inserted references to proceeding by any designated authority within the Commission, wherever appearing.

1960Pub. L. 86–752 substituted "any party" for "and party" in first sentence, and inserted sentence dealing with disposition of petitions for rehearing.

1952—Act July 16, 1952, provided for taking of newly discovered evidence and evidence which should have been taken in original hearing.


Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries

Effective Date of 1960 Amendment

Pub. L. 86–752, §4(d)(4), Sept. 13, 1960, 74 Stat. 892, provided that: "The amendment made by paragraph (2) of subsection (c) of this section [amending this section] shall only apply to petitions for rehearing filed on or after the date of the enactment of this Act [Sept. 13, 1960]."

§406. Compelling furnishing of facilities; mandamus; jurisdiction

The district courts of the United States shall have jurisdiction upon the relation of any person alleging any violation, by a carrier subject to this chapter, of any of the provisions of this chapter which prevent the relator from receiving service in interstate or foreign communication by wire or radio, or in interstate or foreign transmission of energy by radio, from said carrier at the same charges, or upon terms or conditions as favorable as those given by said carrier for like communication or transmission under similar conditions to any other person, to issue a writ or writs of mandamus against said carrier commanding such carrier to furnish facilities for such communication or transmission to the party applying for the writ: Provided, That if any question of fact as to the proper compensation to the carrier for the service to be enforced by the writ is raised by the pleadings, the writ of peremptory mandamus may issue, notwithstanding such question of fact is undetermined, upon such terms as to security, payment of money into the court, or otherwise, as the court may think proper pending the determination of the question of fact: Provided further, That the remedy given by writ of mandamus shall be cumulative and shall not be held to exclude or interfere with other remedies provided by this chapter.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title IV, §406, 48 Stat. 1095.)


Editorial Notes

References in Text

This chapter, referred to in text, was in the original "this Act", meaning act June 19, 1934, ch. 652, 48 Stat. 1064, known as the Communications Act of 1934, which is classified principally to this chapter. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 609 of this title and Tables.

§407. Order for payment of money; petition for enforcement; procedure; order of Commission as prima facie evidence; costs; attorneys' fees

If a carrier does not comply with an order for the payment of money within the time limit in such order, the complainant, or any person for whose benefit such order was made, may file in the district court of the United States for the district in which he resides or in which is located the principal operating office of the carrier, or through which the line of the carrier runs, or in any State court of general jurisdiction having jurisdiction of the parties, a petition setting forth briefly the causes for which he claims damages, and the order of the Commission in the premises. Such suit in the district court of the United States shall proceed in all respects like other civil suits for damages, except that on the trial of such suits the findings and order of the Commission shall be prima facie evidence of the facts therein stated, except that the petitioner shall not be liable for costs in the district court nor for costs at any subsequent stage of the proceedings unless they accrue upon his appeal. If the petitioner shall finally prevail, he shall be allowed a reasonable attorney's fee, to be taxed and collected as a part of the costs of the suit.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title IV, §407, 48 Stat. 1095.)

§408. Order not for payment of money; when effective

Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, all orders of the Commission, other than orders for the payment of money, shall take effect thirty calendar days from the date upon which public notice of the order is given, unless the Commission designates a different effective date. All such orders shall continue in force for the period of time specified in the order or until the Commission or a court of competent jurisdiction issues a superseding order.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title IV, §408, 48 Stat. 1096; Pub. L. 97–259, title I, §123, Sept. 13, 1982, 96 Stat. 1098.)


Editorial Notes

References in Text

This chapter, referred to in text, was in the original "this Act", meaning act June 19, 1934, ch. 652, 48 Stat. 1064, known as the Communications Act of 1934, which is classified principally to this chapter. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 609 of this title and Tables.

Amendments

1982Pub. L. 97–259 substituted provision that all orders of the Commission but for payment of money shall take effect thirty calendar days from the date upon which public notice of the order is given, unless the Commission designates a different effective date, and that such orders shall continue in force for the period of time specified in the order or until the Commission or a court of competent jurisdiction issues a superseding order, for provision that such orders would take effect within such reasonable time, not less than thirty days after service of the order, and would continue in force until its further order, or for a specified period of time, as prescribed in the order, unless the same were suspended or modified or set aside by the Commission, or suspended or set aside by a court of competent jurisdiction.

§409. Hearings

(a) Filing of initial decisions; exceptions

In every case of adjudication (as defined in section 551 of title 5) which has been designated by the Commission for hearing, the person or persons conducting the hearing shall prepare and file an initial, tentative, or recommended decision, except where such person or persons become unavailable to the Commission or where the Commission finds upon the record that due and timely execution of its functions imperatively and unavoidably require that the record be certified to the Commission for initial or final decision.

(b) Exceptions to initial decisions; memoranda; determination of Commission or authority within Commission; prohibition against consideration of own decision

In every case of adjudication (as defined in section 551 of title 5) which has been designated by the Commission for hearing, any party to the proceeding shall be permitted to file exceptions and memoranda in support thereof to the initial, tentative, or recommended decision, which shall be passed upon by the Commission or by the authority within the Commission, if any, to whom the function of passing upon the exceptions is delegated under section 155(d)(1) 1 of this title: Provided, however, That such authority shall not be the same authority which made the decision to which the exception is taken.

(c) Notice and opportunity for participation by parties; applicability of administrative procedure provisions

(1) In any case of adjudication (as defined in section 551 of title 5) which has been designated by the Commission for a hearing, no person who has participated in the presentation or preparation for presentation of such case at the hearing or upon review shall (except to the extent required for the disposition of ex parte matters as authorized by law) directly or indirectly make any additional presentation respecting such case to the hearing officer or officers or to the Commission, or to any authority within the Commission to whom, in such case, review functions have been delegated by the Commission under section 155(d)(1) 1 of this title, unless upon notice and opportunity for all parties to participate.

(2) The provision in section 554(d) of title 5 which states that such subsection shall not apply in determining applications for initial licenses, shall not be applicable hereafter in the case of applications for initial licenses before the Federal Communications Commission.

(d) Applicability of administrative procedure provisions

To the extent that the foregoing provisions of this section and section 155(d) 1 of this title are in conflict with the provisions of subchapter II of chapter 5, and chapter 7, of title 5, such provisions of this section and section 155(d) 1 of this title shall be held to supersede and modify the provisions of subchapter II of chapter 5, and chapter 7, of title 5.

(e) Subpenas; witnesses; production of documents; fees and mileage

For the purposes of this chapter the Commission shall have the power to require by subpena the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of all books, papers, schedules of charges, contracts, agreements, and documents relating to any matter under investigation. Witnesses summoned before the Commission shall be paid the same fees and mileage that are paid witnesses in the courts of the United States.

(f) Designated place of hearing; aid in enforcement of orders

Such attendance of witnesses, and the production of such documentary evidence, may be required from any place in the United States, at any designated place of hearing. And in case of disobedience to a subpena the Commission, or any party to a proceeding before the Commission, may invoke the aid of any court of the United States in requiring the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of books, papers, and documents under the provisions of this section.

(g) Contempts

Any of the district courts of the United States within the jurisdiction of which such inquiry is carried on may, in case of contumacy or refusal to obey a subpena issued to any common carrier or licensee or other person, issue an order requiring such common carrier, licensee, or other person to appear before the Commission (and produce books and papers if so ordered) and give evidence touching the matter in question; and any failure to obey such order of the court may be punished by such court as a contempt thereof.

(h) Depositions

The testimony of any witness may be taken, at the instance of a party, in any proceeding or investigation pending before the Commission, by deposition, at any time after a cause or proceeding is at issue on petition and answer. The Commission may also order testimony to be taken by deposition in any proceeding or investigation pending before it, at any stage of such proceeding or investigation. Such depositions may be taken before any judge of any court of the United States, or any United States magistrate judge, or any clerk of a district court, or any chancellor, justice, or judge of a supreme or superior court, mayor, or chief magistrate of a city, judge of a county court, or court of common pleas of any of the United States, or any notary public, not being of counsel or attorney to either of the parties, nor interested in the event of the proceeding or investigation. Reasonable notice must first be given in writing by the party or his attorney proposing to take such deposition to the opposite party or his attorney of record, as either may be nearest, which notice shall state the name of the witness and the time and place of the taking of his deposition. Any person may be compelled to appear and depose, and to produce documentary evidence, in the same manner as witnesses may be compelled to appear and testify and produce documentary evidence before the Commission, as hereinbefore provided.

(i) Oaths; testimony in writing

Every person deposing as herein provided shall be cautioned and sworn (or affirm, if he so request) to testify the whole truth, and shall be carefully examined. His testimony shall be reduced to writing by the magistrate taking the deposition, or under his direction, and shall, after it has been reduced to writing, be subscribed by the deponent.

(j) Foreign depositions

If a witness whose testimony may be desired to be taken by deposition be in a foreign country, the deposition may be taken before an officer or person designated by the Commission, or agreed upon by the parties by stipulation in writing to be filed with the Commission. All depositions must be promptly filed with the Commission.

(k) Deposition fees

Witnesses whose depositions are taken as authorized in this chapter, and the magistrate or other officer taking the same, shall severally be entitled to the same fees as are paid for like services in the courts of the United States.

(l) Repealed. Pub. L. 91–452, title II, §242, Oct. 15, 1970, 84 Stat. 930

(m) Penalties

Any person who shall neglect or refuse to attend and testify, or to answer any lawful inquiry, or to produce books, papers, schedules of charges, contracts, agreements, and documents, if in his power to do so, in obedience to the subpena or lawful requirement of the Commission, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof by a court of competent jurisdiction shall be punished by a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $5,000, or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title IV, §409, 48 Stat. 1096; July 16, 1952, ch. 879, §16, 66 Stat. 721; Pub. L. 87–192, §4, Aug. 31, 1961, 75 Stat. 422; Pub. L. 90–578, title IV, §402(b)(2), Oct. 17, 1968, 82 Stat. 1118; Pub. L. 91–452, title II, §242, Oct. 15, 1970, 84 Stat. 930; Pub. L. 101–650, title III, §321, Dec. 1, 1990, 104 Stat. 5117.)


Editorial Notes

References in Text

Section 155(d) of this title, referred to in subsecs. (b), (c), and (d), was redesignated section 155(c) of this title by Pub. L. 97–259, title I, §105(b), Sept. 13, 1982, 96 Stat. 1091.

This chapter, referred to in subsecs. (e) and (k), was in the original "this Act", meaning act June 19, 1934, ch. 652, 48 Stat. 1064, known as the Communications Act of 1934, which is classified principally to this chapter. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 609 of this title and Tables.

Codification

In subsecs. (a), (b), and (c)(1), "adjudication (as defined in section 551 of title 5)" substituted for "adjudication (as defined in the Administrative Procedure Act)", in subsec. (c)(2) "section 554(d) of title 5" substituted for "subsection (c) of section 5 of the Administrative Procedure Act", and in subsec. (d) "subchapter II of chapter 5, and chapter 7, of title 5" substituted for "the Administrative Procedure Act" and "that Act", respectively, on authority of Pub. L. 89–554, §7(b), Sept. 6, 1966, 80 Stat. 631, the first section of which enacted Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

Amendments

1970—Subsec. (l). Pub. L. 91–452 struck out subsec. (l) which related to the immunity from prosecution of any individual compelled to testify or produce evidence, documentary or otherwise, after claiming his privilege against self-incrimination.

1961—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 87–192 substituted provision for filing of initial decisions, with stated exceptions, formerly contained in first sentence of subsec. (b) of this section but amplified to include tentative or recommended decisions, for provision relating to assignment of cases to examiners.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 87–192 provided for filing of memoranda in support of exceptions to initial, tentative, or recommended decisions, to be passed upon by the Commission or the designated authority within the Commission, and eliminated provisions for oral argument on the exceptions, filing of initial decisions, with stated exceptions, incorporated in subsec. (a) of this section, and making all decisions part of the record and requiring the decisions to include a statement of findings, and conclusions upon all material issues of fact, law, or discretion and the appropriate decision, order, or requirement. See section 557 of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 87–192 continued requirement of notice and opportunity for participation by all parties when person seeks to make any additional presentation of case, having previously participated in the presentation of or preparation for presentation of the case, made applicable provisions of section 554(d) of Title 5 to applications for initial licenses and eliminated provisions for separation of functions of examiners from the investigative and prosecutory functions of persons engaged in performance of such functions, prohibition against consultation with Commission or any member or employee thereof with respect to initial decisions or exceptions taken to findings, rulings or recommendations, prohibition against members of Office of The General Counsel, Office of the Chief Engineer or the Office of the Chief Accountant from making any presentations respecting a case, and prohibition against persons engaged in performance of investigative or prosecuting functions for the Commission from consulting in any case of adjudication.

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 87–192 inserted references to section 155(d) of this title.

1952—Act July 16, 1952, amended section generally, inserting subsecs. (a) to (d) and redesignating former subsecs. (b) to (j) as (e) to (m), respectively.


Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries

Change of Name

"United States magistrate judge" substituted for "United States magistrate" in subsec. (h) pursuant to section 321 of Pub. L. 101–650, set out as a note under section 631 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure. Previously, "United States magistrate" substituted for "United States commissioner" pursuant to Pub. L. 90–578. See chapter 43 (§631 et seq.) of Title 28.

Effective Date of 1970 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 91–452 effective on sixtieth day following Oct. 15, 1970, and not to affect any immunity to which any individual is entitled under this section by reason of any testimony given before sixtieth day following Oct. 15, 1970, see section 260 of Pub. L. 91–452, set out as an Effective Date; Savings Provisions note under section 6001 of Title 18, Crimes and Criminal Procedure.

Savings Provision

Pub. L. 87–192, §5, Aug. 31, 1961, 75 Stat. 422, provided that: "Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this Act [amending this section and sections 155 and 405 of this title], the second sentence of subsection (b) of section 409 of the Communications Act of 1934 [subsec. (b) of this section] (which relates to the filing of exceptions and the presentation of oral argument), as in force at the time of the enactment of this Act [Aug. 31, 1961], shall continue to be applicable with respect to any case of adjudication (as defined in the Administrative Procedure Act) [see sections 551 et seq. and 701 et seq. of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees] designated by the Federal Communications Commission for hearing by a notice of hearing issued prior to the date of the enactment of this Act."

1 See References in Text note below.

§410. Joint boards and commissions

(a) State joint boards; reference of communication matters; composition; jurisdiction, powers, duties, and obligations; conduct of proceedings; force and effect of joint board action; members: nomination, appointment, and rejection; allowances for expenses

Except as provided in section 409 of this title, the Commission may refer any matter arising in the administration of this chapter to a joint board to be composed of a member, or of an equal number of members, as determined by the Commission, from each of the States in which the wire or radio communication affected by or involved in the proceeding takes place or is proposed. For purposes of acting upon such matter any such board shall have all the jurisdiction and powers conferred by law upon an examiner provided for in section 3105 of title 5, designated by the Commission, and shall be subject to the same duties and obligations. The action of a joint board shall have such force and effect and its proceedings shall be conducted in such manner as the Commission shall by regulations prescribe. The joint board member or members for each State shall be nominated by the State commission of the State or by the Governor if there is no State commission, and appointed by the Federal Communications Commission. The Commission shall have discretion to reject any nominee. Joint board members shall receive such allowances for expenses as the Commission shall provide.

(b) State commissions; conferences with Commission regarding matters of carriers subject to their jurisdiction; joint hearings; cooperation with Commission

The Commission may confer with any State commission having regulatory jurisdiction with respect to carriers, regarding the relationship between rate structures, accounts, charges, practices, classifications, and regulations of carriers subject to the jurisdiction of such State commission and of the Commission; and the Commission is authorized under such rules and regulations as it shall prescribe to hold joint hearings with any State commission in connection with any matter with respect to which the Commission is authorized to act. The Commission is authorized in the administration of this chapter to avail itself of such cooperation, services, records, and facilities as may be afforded by any State commission.

(c) Federal-State Joint Board; reference of proceedings regarding jurisdictional separation of common carrier property and expenses between interstate and intrastate operations and other matters relating to common carrier communications of joint concern; jurisdiction, powers, duties, and obligations; recommendation of decisions; State members; presence at oral arguments and nonvoting participation in deliberations; composition; Chairman

The Commission shall refer any proceeding regarding the jurisdictional separation of common carrier property and expenses between interstate and intrastate operations, which it institutes pursuant to a notice of proposed rulemaking and, except as provided in section 409 of this title, may refer any other matter, relating to common carrier communications of joint Federal-State concern, to a Federal-State Joint Board. The Joint Board shall possess the same jurisdiction, powers, duties, and obligations as a joint board established under subsection (a) of this section, and shall prepare a recommended decision for prompt review and action by the Commission. In addition, the State members of the Joint Board shall sit with the Commission en banc at any oral argument that may be scheduled in the proceeding. The Commission shall also afford the State members of the Joint Board an opportunity to participate in its deliberations, but not vote, when it has under consideration the recommended decision of the Joint Board or any further decisional action that may be required in the proceeding. The Joint Board shall be composed of three Commissioners of the Commission and of four State commissioners nominated by the national organization of the State commissions and approved by the Commission. The Chairman of the Commission, or another Commissioner designated by the Commission, shall serve as Chairman of the Joint Board.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title IV, §410, 48 Stat. 1098; July 16, 1952, ch. 879, §17, 66 Stat. 722; Aug. 2, 1956, ch. 874, §4, 70 Stat. 932; Pub. L. 92–131, §2, Sept. 30, 1971, 85 Stat. 363; Pub. L. 103–414, title III, §303(a)(21), Oct. 25, 1994, 108 Stat. 4295.)


Editorial Notes

References in Text

This chapter, referred to in subsecs. (a) and (b), was in the original "this Act", meaning act June 19, 1934, ch. 652, 48 Stat. 1064, known as the Communications Act of 1934, which is classified principally to this chapter. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 609 of this title and Tables.

Codification

In subsec. (a), "section 3105 of title 5" substituted for "section 11 of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 1010)" on authority of Pub. L. 89–554, §7(b), Sept. 6, 1966, 80 Stat. 631, the first section of which enacted Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

Amendments

1994—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 103–414 struck out ", as referred to in sections 202(b) and 205(f) of the Interstate Commerce Act," after "State commissions".

1971—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 92–131 added subsec. (c).

1956—Subsec. (a). Act Aug. 2, 1956, inserted in second sentence "and examiner provided for in section 3105 of title 5, designated by" after "the Commissioner".

1952—Subsec. (a). Act July 16, 1952, inserted first sentence so as to bring these provisions in conformity with section 409 of this title.

§411. Joinder of parties

(a) In any proceeding for the enforcement of the provisions of this chapter, whether such proceeding be instituted before the Commission or be begun originally in any district court of the United States, it shall be lawful to include as parties, in addition to the carrier, all persons interested in or affected by the charge, regulation, or practice under consideration, and inquiries, investigations, orders, and decrees may be made with reference to and against such additional parties in the same manner, to the same extent, and subject to the same provisions as are or shall be authorized by law with respect to carriers.

(b) In any suit for the enforcement of an order for the payment of money all parties in whose favor the Commission may have made an award for damages by a single order may be joined as plaintiffs, and all of the carriers parties to such order awarding such damages may be joined as defendants, and such suit may be maintained by such joint plaintiffs and against such joint defendants in any district where any one of such joint plaintiffs could maintain such suit against any one of such joint defendants; and service of process against any one of such defendants as may not be found in the district where the suit is brought may be made in any district where such defendant carrier has its principal operating office. In case of such joint suit, the recovery, if any, may be by judgment in favor of any one of such plaintiffs, against the defendant found to be liable to such plaintiff.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title IV, §411, 48 Stat. 1098.)


Editorial Notes

References in Text

This chapter, referred to in subsec. (a), was in the original "this Act", meaning act June 19, 1934, ch. 652, 48 Stat. 1064, known as the Communications Act of 1934, which is classified principally to this chapter. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 609 of this title and Tables.

§412. Documents filed with Commission as public records; prima facie evidence; confidential records

The copies of schedules of charges, classifications, and of all contracts, agreements, and arrangements between common carriers filed with the Commission as herein provided, and the statistics, tables, and figures contained in the annual or other reports of carriers and other persons made to the Commission as required under the provisions of this chapter shall be preserved as public records in the custody of the secretary of the Commission, and shall be received as prima facie evidence of what they purport to be for the purpose of investigations by the Commission and in all judicial proceedings; and copies of and extracts from any of said schedules, classifications, contracts, agreements, arrangements, or reports, made public records as aforesaid, certified by the secretary, under the Commission's seal, shall be received in evidence with like effect as the originals: Provided, That the Commission may, if the public interest will be served thereby, keep confidential any contract, agreement, or arrangement relating to foreign wire or radio communication when the publication of such contract, agreement, or arrangement would place American communication companies at a disadvantage in meeting the competition of foreign communication companies.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title IV, §412, 48 Stat. 1099.)


Editorial Notes

References in Text

This chapter, referred to in text, was in the original "this Act", meaning act June 19, 1934, ch. 652, 48 Stat. 1064, known as the Communications Act of 1934, which is classified principally to this chapter. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 609 of this title and Tables.

§413. Designation of agent for service; method of service

It shall be the duty of every carrier subject to this chapter to designate in writing an agent in the District of Columbia, upon whom service of all notices and process and all orders, decisions, and requirements of the Commission may be made for and on behalf of said carrier in any proceeding or suit pending before the Commission, and to file such designation in the office of the secretary of the Commission, which designation may from time to time be changed by like writing similarly filed; and thereupon service of all notices and process and orders, decisions, and requirements of the Commission may be made upon such carrier by leaving a copy thereof with such designated agent at his office or usual place of residence in the District of Columbia, with like effect as if made personally upon such carrier, and in default of such designation of such agent, service of any notice or other process in any proceeding before said Commission, or of any order, decision, or requirement of the Commission, may be made by posting such notice, process, order, requirement, or decision in the office of the secretary of the Commission.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title IV, §413, 48 Stat. 1099; Pub. L. 103–414, title III, §304(a)(11), Oct. 25, 1994, 108 Stat. 4297.)


Editorial Notes

References in Text

This chapter, referred to in text, was in the original "this Act", meaning act June 19, 1934, ch. 652, 48 Stat. 1064, known as the Communications Act of 1934, which is classified principally to this chapter. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 609 of this title and Tables.

Amendments

1994Pub. L. 103–414 struck out ", within sixty days after the taking effect of this chapter," after "every carrier subject to this chapter".

§414. Exclusiveness of chapter

Nothing in this chapter contained shall in any way abridge or alter the remedies now existing at common law or by statute, but the provisions of this chapter are in addition to such remedies.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title IV, §414, 48 Stat. 1099.)


Editorial Notes

References in Text

This chapter, referred to in text, was in the original "this Act", meaning act June 19, 1934, ch. 652, 48 Stat. 1064, known as the Communications Act of 1934, which is classified principally to this chapter. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 609 of this title and Tables.

§415. Limitations of actions

(a) Recovery of charges by carrier

All actions at law by carriers for recovery of their lawful charges, or any part thereof, shall be begun within two years from the time the cause of action accrues, and not after.

(b) Recovery of damages

All complaints against carriers for the recovery of damages not based on overcharges shall be filed with the Commission within two years from the time the cause of action accrues, and not after, subject to subsection (d) of this section.

(c) Recovery of overcharges

For recovery of overcharges action at law shall be begun or complaint filed with the Commission against carriers within two years from the time the cause of action accrues, and not after, subject to subsection (d) of this section, except that if claim for the overcharge has been presented in writing to the carrier within the two-year period of limitation said period shall be extended to include two years from the time notice in writing is given by the carrier to the claimant of disallowance of the claim, or any part or parts thereof, specified in the notice.

(d) Extension

If on or before expiration of the period of limitation in subsection (b) or (c) a carrier begins action under subsection (a) for recovery of lawful charges in respect of the same service, or, without beginning action, collects charges in respect of that service, said period of limitation shall be extended to include ninety days from the time such action is begun or such charges are collected by the carrier.

(e) Accrual of cause of action for transmission of message

The cause of action in respect of the transmission of a message shall, for the purposes of this section, be deemed to accrue upon delivery or tender of delivery thereof by the carrier, and not after.

(f) Enforcement petition

A petition for the enforcement of an order of the Commission for the payment of money shall be filed in the district court or the State court within one year from the date of the order, and not after.

(g) "Overcharges" defined

The term "overcharges" as used in this section shall be deemed to mean charges for services in excess of those applicable thereto under the schedules of charges lawfully on file with the Commission.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title IV, §415, 48 Stat. 1099; Pub. L. 93–507, Nov. 30, 1974, 88 Stat. 1577.)


Editorial Notes

Amendments

1974—Subsecs. (a) to (c). Pub. L. 93–507 amended subsecs. (a) to (c) generally, substituting reference to two years for reference to one year wherever appearing.

§416. Orders of Commission

(a) Service

Every order of the Commission shall be forthwith served upon the designated agent of the carrier in the city of Washington or in such other manner as may be provided by law.

(b) Suspension or modification

Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, the Commission is authorized to suspend or modify its orders upon such notice and in such manner as it shall deem proper.

(c) Compliance

It shall be the duty of every person, its agents and employees, and any receiver or trustee thereof, to observe and comply with such orders so long as the same shall remain in effect.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title IV, §416, 48 Stat. 1100.)


Editorial Notes

References in Text

This chapter, referred to in subsec. (b), was in the original "this Act", meaning act June 19, 1934, ch. 652, 48 Stat. 1064, known as the Communications Act of 1934, which is classified principally to this chapter. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 609 of this title and Tables.