« PreviousContinue »
tion of one year from the date of revocation of license or from the date of the Secretary's finding that the applicant has been responsible, in whole or in part, for any flagrant or repeated violation of section 2. Such bond shall be in an amount sufficient in the judgment of the Secretary of Agriculture to insure payment of such reparation orders;
Refusal, if applicant found guilty of violating Produce Agency Act. (c) The Secretary shall refuse to issue a license to an applicant if he finds after notice and hearing that at any time within two years said applicant has been found guilty in a Federal court of having violated the provisions of the Act known as the Produce Agency Act (7 U. S. C., secs. 491-497), or of having violated section 14 (b) of this Act, or, in case the applicant is a partnership, that any member of the partnership was found guilty within two years of having violated the Produce Agency Act, or section 14 (b) of this Act, or, if the applicant is an association or corporation, that any officer or any person holding a responsible position therein has been found within two years to have been guilty of violating the Produce Agency Act or section 14 (b) of this Act;
Withholding for investigation. (d) The Secretary may withhold the issuance of a license to an applicant, for a period not to exceed thirty days pending an investigation, for the purpose of determining (a) whether the applicant is unfit to engage in the business of a commission merchant, dealer, or broker by reason of having prior to the date of the application engaged in any practice of the character prohibited by this Act, or (b) whether the application contains any materially false or misleading statement or involves any misrepresentation, concealment, or withholding of facts respecting any violation of the Act by any officer, agent, or employee of the applicant. If after investigation the Secretary believes that the applicant should be refused a license, the applicant shall be given an opportunity for hearing within sixty days from the date of the application to show cause why the license should not be refused. If after the hearing the Secretary finds that the applicant is unfit to engage in the business of a commission merchant, dealer, or broker by reason of having prior to the date of the application engaged in any practice of the character prohibited by this Act, or because the application contains a materially false or misleading statement made by the applicant or by its representative on its behalf, or involves a misrepresentation, concealment, or withholding of facts respecting any violation of the Act by any officer, agent, or employee, the Secretary shall refuse to issue a license to the appli.cant. '(June 10, 1930, sec. 4, 46 Stat. 533; April 13, 1934, secs. 4, 5, 6, 7, 48 Stat. 585, 586; June 19, 1936, sec. 2, 49 Stat. 1533; Aug. 20, 1937, sec. 6, 50 Stat. 726; 7 U.S. C., sec. 499d.)
577. Liability to person damaged; amount of damages.-(a) If any commission merchant, dealer, or broker violates any provision of section 2 he shall be liable to the person or persons injured thereby for the full amount of damages sustained in consequence of such violation.
(b) Such liability may be enforced either (1) by complaint to the Secretary as hereinafter provided, or (2) by suit in any court of competent jurisdiction; but this section shall not in any way abridge or alter the remedies now existing at common law or by statute, and the provisions of this Act are in addition to such remedies. (June 10, 1930, sec. 5, 46 Stat. 534; Aug. 20, 1937, sec. 7, 50 Stat. 728; 7 U. S. C., sec. 499e.)
578. Complaint and investigation; petition to Secretary of Agriculture; time of making; contents; services; answer.-(a) Any person complaining of any violation of any provision of section 2 by any commission merchant, dealer, or broker may, at any time within nine months after the cause of action accrues, apply to the Secretary by petition, which shall briefly state the facts, whereupon, if, in the opinion of the Secretary, the facts therein contained warrant such action, a copy of the complaint thus made shall be forwarded by the Secretary to the commission merchant, dealer, or broker, who shall be called upon to satisfy the complaint, or to answer it in writing, within a reasonable time to be prescribed by the Secretary.
Complaint to Secretary requesting investigation; by whom made. (b) Any officer or agency of any State or Territory having jurisdiction over commission merchants, dealers, or brokers in such State or Territory and any employee of the United States Department of Agriculture or any interested person may file, in accordance with rules and regulations of the Secretary, a complaint of any violation of any provision of this Act by any commission merchant, dealer, or broker and may request an investigation of such complaint by the Secretary.
Same; action thereon; claims not exceeding $500. (c) If there appear to be, in the opinion of the Secretary, any reasonable grounds for investigating any complaint made under this section, the Secretary shall investigate such complaint and may, if in his opinion the facts warrant such action, have said complaint served by registered mail or otherwise on the person concerned and afford such person an opportunity for a hearing thereon before a duly authorized examiner of the Secretary in any place in which the said person is engaged in business : Provided, That in complaints wherein the amount claimed as damages does not exceed the sum of $500 a hearing need not be held and proof in support of the complaint and in support of respondent's answer may be supplied in the form of depositions or verified statements of fact;
Hearing and determination. (d) After opportunity for hearing on complaints where the damages claimed exceed the sum of $500 has been provided or waived and on complaints where damages claimed do not exceed the sum of $500 not requiring hearing as provided herein, the Secretary shall determine whether or not the commission merchant, dealer, or broker has violated any provision of section 2;
Nonresident, bond required. (e) In case a complaint is made by a nonresident of the United States, the complainant shall be required, before any formal action is taken on his complaint, to furnish a bond in double the amount of the claim conditioned upon the payment of costs, including a reasonable attorney's fee for the respondent if the respondent shall prevail, and any reparation award that may be issued by the Secretary of Agriculture against the complainant on any counter claim by respondent: Provided, That the Secretary shall have authority to waive the furnishing of a bond by a complainant who is a resident of a country which permits the filing of a complaint by a resident of the United States without the furnishing of a bond. (June 10, 1930, sec. 6, 46 Stat. 534; April 13, 1934, secs. 8, 9, 10, 48 Stat. 586, 587; Aug. 20, 1937, secs. 8, 9, 50 Stat. 728; 7 U. S. C., sec. 499f.)
579. Reparation order; determination by Secretary of Agriculture of amount of damages; order for payment.-(a) If after a hearing on a complaint made by any person under section 6, or without hearing as provided in section 6, paragraphs (c) and (d), or upon failure of the party complained against to answer a complaint duly served within the time prescribed, or to appear at a hearing after being duly notified, the Secretary determines that the commission merchant, dealer, or broker has violated any provision of section 2, he shall, unless the offender has already made reparation to the person complaining, determine the amount of damage, if any, to which such person is entitled as a result of such violation and shall make an order directing the offender to pay to such person complaining such amount on or before the date fixed in the order. If, after the respondent has filed his answer to the complaint, it appears therein that the respondent has admitted liability for a portion of the amount claimed in the complaint as damages, the Secretary under such rules and regulations as he shall prescribe, unless the respondent has already made reparation to the person complaining, may issue an order directing the respondent to pay to the complainant the undisputed amount on or before the date fixed in the order, leaving the respondent's liability for the disputed amount for subsequent determination. The remaining disputed amount shall be determined in the same manner and under the same procedure as it would have been determined if no order had been issued by the Secretary with respect to the undisputed sum;
Suit in court by complaint; order prima facie evidence. (b) If any commission merchant, dealer, or broker does not pay the reparation award within the time specified in the Secretary's order, the complainant, or any person for whose benefit such order was made, may within three years of the date of the order file in the district court of the United States for the district in which he resides or in which is located the principal place of business of the commission merchant, dealer, or broker, or in any State court having general jurisdiction of the parties, a petition setting forth briefly the causes for which he claims damages and the order of the Secretary in the premises. The orders, writs, and processes of the district courts may in these cases run, be served, and be returnable anywhere in the United States. Such suit in the district court shall proceed in all respects like other civil suits for damages, except that the findings and orders of the Secretary shall be prima-facie evidence of the facts therein stated, and the petitioner shall not be liable for costs m the district court, nor for costs at any subsequent state of the proceedings, unless they accrue upon his appeal. If the petitioner finally prevails, he shall be allowed a reasonable attorney's fee, to be taxed and collected as a part of the costs of the suit;
Appeal to court by either party; trial de novo; order prima facie evidence; costs; attorney's fee. (c) Either party adversely affected by the entry of a reparation order by the Secretary may, within thirty days from and after the date of such order, appeal therefrom to the district court of the United States for the district in which said hearing was held: Provided, That in cases handled without a hearing in accordance with paragraphs (c) and (d) of section 6 or in which a hearing has been waived by agreement of the parties, appeal shall
be to the district court of the United States for the district in which the party complained against is located. Such appeal shall be perfected by the filing of a notice thereof together with a petition in duplicate which shall recite prior proceedings before the Secretary, and shall state the grounds upon which petitioner relies to defeat the right of the adverse party to recover the damages claimed, with the clerk of said court with proof of service thereof upon the adverse party, together with a bond in double the amount of the reparation award conditioned upon the payment of the judgment entered by the court plus interest and costs, including a reasonable attorney's fee for the appellee, if the appellee shall prevail. The clerk of court shall immediately forward a copy thereof to the Secretary of Agriculture, who shall forthwith prepare, certify, and file in said court a true copy of the Secretary's decision, findings of fact, conclusions, and order in said case, together with copies of the pleadings upon which the case was heard and submitted to the Secretary. Such suit in the district court shall be a trial de novo and shall proceed in all respects like other civil suits for damages, except that the findings of fact and order or orders of the Secretary shall be prima-facie evidence of the facts therein stated. Appellee shall not be liable for costs in said court if appellee prevails he shall be allowed a reasonable attorney's fee to be taxed and collected as a part of his costs. Such petition and pleadings certified by the Secretary upon which decision was made by him shall upon filing in the district court constitute the pleadings upon which said trial de novo shall proceed subject to any amendment allowed in that court;
Automatic suspension of license for failure to pay award or appeal to court. (d) Unless the licensee against whom a reparation order has been issued shows to the satisfaction of the Secretary within five days from the expiration of the period allowed for compliance with such order that he has either taken an appeal as herein authorized or has made payment in full as required by such order his license shall be suspended automatically at the expiration of such five-day period until he shows to the satisfaction of the Secretary that he has paid the amount therein specified with interest thereon to date of payment: Provided, That if on the appeal the appellee prevails or if the appeal is dismissed the automatic suspension of license shall become effective at the expiration of ten days from the date of the judgment on the appeal unless prior thereto the judgment of the court has been satisfied. (June 10, 1930, sec. 7, 46 Stat. 534; April 13, 1934, secs. 11, 12, 13, 48 Stat. 587, 588; June 19, 1936, sec. 3, 49 Stat. 1534; Aug. 20, 1937, sec. 10, 50 Stat. 728; June 23, 1938, 52 Stat. 953; May 14, 1940, 54 Stat. 214; 7 U.S.C., sec. 499g.)
580. Suspension and revocation of license; grounds.-(a) Whenever (a) the Secretary determines, as provided in section 6, that any commission merchant, dealer, or broker has violated any of the provisions of section 2, or (b) any commission merchant, dealer, or broker has been found guilty in a Federal court of having violated section 14 (b) of this Act, the Secretary may publish the facts and circumstances of such violation and/or, by order, suspend the license of such offender for a period not to exceed ninety days, except that, if the violation is flagrant or repeated, the Secretary may, by order, revoke the license of the offender;
Injunction, operating without license. (b) The Secretary may, after thirty days' notice and an opportunity for a hearing, revoke the license of any commission merchant, dealer, or broker who, after the date given in such notice, continues to employ in any responsible position any individual whose license was revoked or who was responsibly connected with any firm, partnership, association, or corporation whose license has been revoked. Employment of such individual by a licensee in any responsible position after one year following the revocation of any such license shall be conditioned upon the filing by the employing licensee of a bond, in such reasonable sum as may be fixed by the Secretary, or other assurance satisfactory to the Secretary that its business will be conducted in accordance with the provisions of this Act;
Fraud in procurement. (c) If, after a license shall have been issued to an applicant, the Secretary believes that the license was obtained through a false or misleading statement in the application therefor or through a misrepresentation, concealment, or withholding of facts respecting any violation of the Act by any officer, agent, or employee, he may, after thirty days' notice and an opportunity for a hearing, revoke said license, whereupon no license shall be issued to said applicant or any applicant in which the person responsible for such false or misleading statement or misrepresentation, concealment, or withholding of facts is financially interested, except under the conditions set forth in paragraph (b) of section 4.
Operation without license enjoinable. (d) In addition to being subject to the penalties provided by section 3 (a) of this Act, any commission merchant, dealer, or broker who engages in or operates such business without a valid and effective license from the Secretary shall be liable to be proceeded against in any court of competent jurisdiction in a suit by the United States for an injunction to restrain such defendant from further continuing so to engage in or operate such business, and, if the court shall find that the defendant is continuing to engage in such business without a valid and effective license, the court shall issue an injunction to restrain such defendant from continuing to engage in or to operate such business without such license. (June 10, 1930, sec. 8, 46 Stat. 535; April 13, 1934, sec. 14, 48 Stat. 588; Aug. 20, 1937, sec. 11; 50 Stat. 730; 7 U. S. C., sec. 499h.)
581. Accounts and records; duty of licensee.—Every commission merchant, dealer, and broker shall keep such accounts, records, and memoranda as fully and correctly disclose all transactions involved in his business, including the true ownership of such business by stockholding or otherwise. If such accounts, records, and memoranda are not so kept, the Secretary may publish the facts and circumstances and/or, by order, suspend the license of the offender for a period not to exceed ninety days. (June 10, 1930, sec. 9; 46 Stat. 535; 7 U. S. C., sec. 499i.)
582. Order; when in effect; continuance in force; suspension, modification, etc.; penalty.--Any order of the Secretary under this Act other than an order for the payment of money shall take effect within such reasonable time, not less than ten days, as is prescribed in the order, and shall continue in force until his further order, or for å specified period of time, accordingly as it is prescribed in the order,