§ 1710. Complaints, investigations, reports, and reparations
(a) Filing of complaints
(b) Satisfaction or investigation of complaints
The Commission shall furnish a copy of a complaint filed pursuant to subsection (a) of this section to the person named therein who shall, within a reasonable time specified by the Commission, satisfy the complaint or answer it in writing. If the complaint is not satisfied, the Commission shall investigate it in an appropriate manner and make an appropriate order.
(c) Commission investigations
The Commission, upon complaint or upon its own motion, may investigate any conduct or agreement that it believes may be in violation of this chapter. Except in the case of an injunction granted under subsection (h) of this section, each agreement under investigation under this section remains in effect until the Commission issues an order under this subsection. The Commission may by order disapprove, cancel, or modify any agreement filed under section 1704 (a) of this Appendix that operates in violation of this chapter. With respect to agreements inconsistent with section 1705 (g) of this Appendix, the Commission’s sole remedy is under section 1705 (h) of this Appendix.
(d) Conduct of investigation
Within 10 days after the initiation of a proceeding under this section, the Commission shall set a date on or before which its final decision will be issued. This date may be extended for good cause by order of the Commission.
(e) Undue delays
If, within the time period specified in subsection (d) of this section, the Commission determines that it is unable to issue a final decision because of undue delays caused by a party to the proceedings, the Commission may impose sanctions, including entering a decision adverse to the delaying party.
The Commission shall make a written report of every investigation made under this chapter in which a hearing was held stating its conclusions, decisions, findings of fact, and order. A copy of this report shall be furnished to all parties. The Commission shall publish each report for public information, and the published report shall be competent evidence in all courts of the United States.
For any complaint filed within 3 years after the cause of action accrued, the Commission shall, upon petition of the complainant and after notice and hearing, direct payment of reparations to the complainant for actual injury (which, for purposes of this subsection, also includes the loss of interest at commercial rates compounded from the date of injury) caused by a violation of this chapter plus reasonable attorney’s fees. Upon a showing that the injury was caused by activity that is prohibited by section 1709 (b)(3) or (6) of this Appendix or section 1709 (c)(1) or (3) of this Appendix, or that violates section 1709 (a)(2) or (3) of this Appendix, the Commission may direct the payment of additional amounts; but the total recovery of a complainant may not exceed twice the amount of the actual injury. In the case of injury caused by an activity that is prohibited by section 1709 (b)(4)(A) or (B) of this Appendix, the amount of the injury shall be the difference between the rate paid by the injured shipper and the most favorable rate paid by another shipper.
(1) In connection with any investigation conducted under this section, the Commission may bring suit in a district court of the United States to enjoin conduct in violation of this chapter. Upon a showing that standards for granting injunctive relief by courts of equity are met and after notice to the defendant, the court may grant a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction for a period not to exceed 10 days after the Commission has issued an order disposing of the issues under investigation. Any such suit shall be brought in a district in which the defendant resides or transacts business.
(2) After filing a complaint with the Commission under subsection (a) of this section, the complainant may file suit in a district court of the United States to enjoin conduct in violation of this chapter. Upon a showing that standards for granting injunctive relief by courts of equity are met and after notice to the defendant, the court may grant a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction for a period not to exceed 10 days after the Commission has issued an order disposing of the complaint. Any such suit shall be brought in the district in which the defendant has been sued by the Commission under paragraph (1); or, if no suit has been filed, in a district in which the defendant resides or transacts business. A defendant that prevails in a suit under this paragraph shall be allowed reasonable attorney’s fees to be assessed and collected as part of the costs of the suit.
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