46 CFR 502.304 - Procedure and filing fee.
(a) A sworn claim under this subpart shall be filed in the form prescribed in Exhibit No. 1 to this subpart. Three (3) copies of this claim must be filed, together with the same number of copies of such supporting documents as may be deemed necessary to establish the claim. Copies of tariff pages need not be filed; reference to such tariffs or to pertinent parts thereof will be sufficient. Supporting documents may consist of affidavits, correspondence, bills of lading, paid freight bills, export declarations, dock or wharf receipts, or of such other documents as, in the judgment of the claimant, tend to establish the claim. The Small Claims Officer may, if deemed necessary, request additional documents or information from claimants. Claimant may attach a memorandum, brief or other document containing discussion, argument, or legal authority in support of its claim. If a claim filed under this subpart involves any shipment which has been the subject of a previous claim filed with the Commission, formally or informally, full reference to such previous claim must be given.
(b) Claims under this subpart shall be addressed to the Office of the Secretary, Federal Maritime Commission, Washington, DC 20573. Such claims must be accompanied by remittance of an $85 filing fee.
(c) Each claim under this subpart will be acknowledged with a reference to the Informal Docket Number assigned. The number shall consist of a numeral(s) followed by capital “I” in parentheses. All further correspondence pertaining to such claims must refer to the assigned Informal Docket Number. If the documents filed fail to establish a claim for which relief may be granted, the parties affected will be so notified in writing. The claimant may thereafter, but only if the period of limitation has not run, resubmit its claim with such additional proof as may be necessary to establish the claim. In the event a complaint has been amended because it failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, it will be considered as a new complaint.
(d) A copy of each claim filed under this subpart, with attachments, shall be served by the Secretary on the respondent named in the claim.
(e) Within twenty-five (25) days from the date of service of the claim, the respondent shall serve upon the claimant and file with the Commission its response to the claim, together with an indication, in the form prescribed in Exhibit No. 2 to this subpart, as to whether the informal procedure provided in this subpart is consented to. Failure of the respondent to indicate refusal or consent in its response will be conclusively deemed to indicate such consent. The response shall consist of documents, arguments, legal authorities, or precedents, or any other matters considered by the respondent to be a defense to the claim. The Small Claims Officer may request the respondent to furnish such further documents or information as deemed necessary, or he or she may require the claimant to reply to the defenses raised by the respondent.
(f) If the respondent refuses to consent to the claim being informally adjudicated pursuant to this subpart, the claim will be considered a complaint under § 502.311 and will be adjudicated under subpart T of this part.
(g) Both parties shall promptly be served with the Small Claims Officer's decision which shall state the basis upon which the decision was made. Where appropriate, the Small Claims Officer may require that the respondent publish notice in its tariff of the substance of the decision. This decision shall be final, unless, within thirty (30) days from the date of service of the decision, the Commission exercises its discretionary right to review the decision. The Commission shall not, on its own initiative, review any decision or order of dismissal unless such review is requested by an individual Commissioner. Any such request must be transmitted to the Secretary within thirty (30) days after date of service of the decision or order. Such request shall be sufficient to bring the matter before the Commission for review.
(h) Within thirty (30) days after service of a final decision by a Small Claims Officer, any party may file a petition for reconsideration. Such petition shall be directed to the Small Claims Officer and shall act as a stay of the review period prescribed in paragraph (g) of this section. A petition will be subject to summary rejection unless it: (1) Specifies that there has been a change in material fact or in applicable law, which change has occurred after issuance of the decision or order; (2) identifies a substantive error in material fact contained in the decision or order; (3) addresses a material matter in the Small Claims Officer's decision upon which the petitioner has not previously had the opportunity to comment. Petitions which merely elaborate upon or repeat arguments made prior to the decision or order will not be received. Upon issuance of a decision or order on reconsideration by the Small Claims Officer, the review period prescribed in paragraph (g) of this section will recommence. [Rule 304.]