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47 U.S. Code § 208 - Complaints to Commission; investigations; duration of investigation; appeal of order concluding investigation

Any person, any body politic, or municipal organization, or State commission, complaining of anything done or omitted to be done by any common carrier subject to this chapter, in contravention of the provisions thereof, may apply to said Commission by petition which shall briefly state the facts, whereupon a statement of the complaint thus made shall be forwarded by the Commission to such common carrier, who shall be called upon to satisfy the complaint or to answer the same in writing within a reasonable time to be specified by the Commission. If such common carrier within the time specified shall make reparation for the injury alleged to have been caused, the common carrier shall be relieved of liability to the complainant only for the particular violation of law thus complained of. If such carrier or carriers shall not satisfy the complaint within the time specified or there shall appear to be any reasonable ground for investigating said complaint, it shall be the duty of the Commission to investigate the matters complained of in such manner and by such means as it shall deem proper. No complaint shall at any time be dismissed because of the absence of direct damage to the complaint.
Except as provided in paragraph (2), the Commission shall, with respect to any investigation under this section of the lawfulness of a charge, classification, regulation, or practice, issue an order concluding such investigation within 5 months after the date on which the complaint was filed.
The Commission shall, with respect to any such investigation initiated prior to November 3, 1988, issue an order concluding the investigation not later than 12 months after November 3, 1988.
Any order concluding an investigation under paragraph (1) or (2) shall be a final order and may be appealed under section 402(a) of this title.
(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title II, § 208, 48 Stat. 1073; Pub. L. 100–594, § 8(c), Nov. 3, 1988, 102 Stat. 3023; Pub. L. 104–104, title IV, § 402(b)(1)(B), Feb. 8, 1996, 110 Stat. 129.)
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.


1996—Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 104–104 substituted “such investigation within 5 months” for “such investigation within 12 months” and struck out before period at end “, or within 15 months after such date if the investigation raises questions of fact of such extraordinary complexity that the questions cannot be resolved within 12 months”.

1988—Pub. L. 100–594 designated existing provisions as subsec. (a) and added subsec. (b).

Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries
Effective Date of 1996 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 104–104 applicable with respect to any charge, classification, regulation, or practice filed on or after one year after Feb. 8, 1996, see section 402(b)(4) of Pub. L. 104–104, set out as a note under section 204 of this title.

Forbearance Authority Not Limited

Nothing in amendment by Pub. L. 104–104 to be construed to limit authority of Commission to waive, modify, or forbear from applying certain requirements, see section 402(b)(3) of Pub. L. 104–104, set out as a note under section 204 of this title.