16 U.S. Code § 1437 - Enforcement
The Secretary shall conduct such enforcement activities as are necessary and reasonable to carry out this chapter.
A person is guilty of an offense under this subsection if the person commits any act prohibited by section 1436(3) of this title.
Any person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States who violates this chapter or any regulation or permit issued under this chapter shall be liable to the United States for a civil penalty of not more than $100,000 for each such violation, to be assessed by the Secretary. Each day of a continuing violation shall constitute a separate violation.
No penalty shall be assessed under this subsection until after the person charged has been given notice and an opportunity for a hearing.
A vessel used in violating this chapter or any regulation or permit issued under this chapter shall be liable in rem for any civil penalty assessed for such violation. Such penalty shall constitute a maritime lien on the vessel and may be recovered in an action in rem in the district court of the United States having jurisdiction over the vessel.
Any person against whom a civil penalty is assessed under this subsection may obtain review in the United States district court for the appropriate district by filing a complaint in such court not later than 30 days after the date of such order.
If any person fails to pay an assessment of a civil penalty under this section after it has become a final and unappealable order, or after the appropriate court has entered final judgment in favor of the Secretary, the Secretary shall refer the matter to the Attorney General, who shall recover the amount assessed in any appropriate district court of the United States. In such action, the validity and appropriateness of the final order imposing the civil penalty shall not be subject to review.
Any vessel (including the vessel’s equipment, stores, and cargo) and other item used, and any sanctuary resource taken or retained, in any manner, in connection with or as a result of any violation of this chapter or of any regulation or permit issued under this chapter shall be subject to forfeiture to the United States pursuant to a civil proceeding under this subsection. The proceeds from forfeiture actions under this subsection shall constitute a separate recovery in addition to any amounts recovered as civil penalties under this section or as civil damages under section 1443 of this title. None of those proceeds shall be subject to set-off.
The Secretary may exercise the authority of any United States official granted by any relevant customs law relating to the seizure, forfeiture, condemnation, disposition, remission, and mitigation of property in enforcing this chapter.
Any sanctuary resource seized pursuant to this chapter may be disposed of pursuant to an order of the appropriate court, or, if perishable, in a manner prescribed by regulations promulgated by the Secretary. Any proceeds from the sale of such sanctuary resource shall for all purposes represent the sanctuary resource so disposed of in any subsequent legal proceedings.
For the purposes of this section there is a rebuttable presumption that all sanctuary resources found on board a vessel that is used or seized in connection with a violation of this chapter or of any regulation or permit issued under this chapter were taken or retained in violation of this chapter or of a regulation or permit issued under this chapter.
Any person assessed a civil penalty for a violation of this chapter or of any regulation or permit issued under this chapter, and any claimant in a forfeiture action brought for such a violation, shall be liable for the reasonable costs incurred by the Secretary in storage, care, and maintenance of any sanctuary resource or other property seized in connection with the violation.
In the case of any hearing under this section which is determined on the record in accordance with the procedures provided for under section 554 of title 5, the Secretary may issue subpoenas for the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of relevant papers, books, electronic files, and documents, and may administer oaths.
The Secretary shall, whenever appropriate, use by agreement the personnel, services, and facilities of State and other Federal departments, agencies, and instrumentalities, on a reimbursable or nonreimbursable basis, to carry out the Secretary’s responsibilities under this section.
Nothing in this section shall be considered to limit the authority of the Coast Guard to enforce this or any other Federal law under section 89 of title 14.
If the Secretary determines that there is an imminent risk of destruction or loss of or injury to a sanctuary resource, or that there has been actual destruction or loss of, or injury to, a sanctuary resource which may give rise to liability under section 1443 of this title, the Attorney General, upon request of the Secretary, shall seek to obtain such relief as may be necessary to abate such risk or actual destruction, loss, or injury, or to restore or replace the sanctuary resource, or both. The district courts of the United States shall have jurisdiction in such a case to order such relief as the public interest and the equities of the case may require.
The area of application and enforceability of this chapter includes the territorial sea of the United States, as described in Presidential Proclamation 5928 of December 27, 1988, which is subject to the sovereignty of the United States, and the United States exclusive economic zone, consistent with international law.
In any action by the United States under this chapter, process may be served in any district where the defendant is found, resides, transacts business, or has appointed an agent for the service of process.
Presidential Proclamation 5928 of December 27, 1988, referred to in subsec. (k), is set out as a note under section 1331 of Title 43, Public Lands.
2000—Subsec. (b)(6). Pub. L. 106–513, § 8(a), added par. (6).
Subsecs. (c) to (f). Pub. L. 106–513, § 8(b), added subsec. (c) and redesignated former subsecs. (c) to (e) as (d) to (f), respectively. Former subsec. (f) redesignated (g).
Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 106–513, § 8(b), (c), redesignated subsec. (f) as (g) and inserted “electronic files,” after “books,”. Former subsec. (g) redesignated (h).
Subsecs. (h) to (k). Pub. L. 106–513, § 8(b), redesignated subsecs. (g) to (j) as (h) to (k), respectively.
1992—Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 102–587, § 2107(a)(1), substituted “$100,000” for “$50,000”.
Subsec. (c)(3). Pub. L. 102–587, § 2107(a)(2), struck out “and may be proceeded against in any district court of the United States having jurisdiction” after “assessed for such violation” and inserted at end “Such penalty shall constitute a maritime lien on the vessel and may be recovered in an action in rem in the district court of the United States having jurisdiction over the vessel.”
Subsec. (d)(1). Pub. L. 102–587, § 2107(b), inserted at end “The proceeds from forfeiture actions under this subsection shall constitute a separate recovery in addition to any amounts recovered as civil penalties under this section or as civil damages under section 1443 of this title. None of those proceeds shall be subject to set-off.”
Subsec. (e)(1). Pub. L. 102–587, § 2107(c), added par. (1) and struck out former par. (1) which read as follows: “In general.—Notwithstanding any other law, the Secretary may use amounts received under this section in the form of civil penalties, forfeitures of property, and costs imposed under paragraph (2) to pay—
“(A) the reasonable and necessary costs incurred by the Secretary in providing temporary storage, care, and maintenance of any sanctuary resource or other property seized under this section pending disposition of any civil proceeding relating to any alleged violation with respect to which such property or sanctuary resource was seized; and
“(B) a reward to any person who furnishes information leading to an assessment of a civil penalty, or to a forfeiture of property, for a violation of this chapter or of any regulation or permit issued under this chapter.”
Subsec. (j). Pub. L. 102–587, § 2107(e), added subsec. (j).
1988—Pub. L. 100–627 amended section generally, substituting provisions consisting of subsecs. (a) to (i) relating to enforcement activities in general, powers of authorized officers, civil penalties, forfeiture, payment of storage, care, and other costs, subpoenas, use of resources of State and other Federal agencies, Coast Guard authority, and injunctive relief for former provisions consisting of subsecs. (a) to (c) relating to enforcement activities in general, civil penalties, and jurisdiction.
For transfer of authorities, functions, personnel, and assets of the Coast Guard, including the authorities and functions of the Secretary of Transportation relating thereto, to the Department of Homeland Security, and for treatment of related references, see sections 468(b), 551(d), 552(d), and 557 of Title 6, Domestic Security, and the Department of Homeland Security Reorganization Plan of November 25, 2002, as modified, set out as a note under section 542 of Title 6.
Pub. L. 102–241, § 51, Dec. 19, 1991, 105 Stat. 2227, directed Secretary of Transportation and Secretary of Commerce, not later than one year after Dec. 19, 1991, to submit to Congress a joint report describing methods by which Coast Guard enforcement efforts under the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C. 1431 et seq., 1447 et seq., 33 U.S.C. 1401 et seq., 2801 et seq.) could be enhanced and coordinated with those of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
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