7 U.S. Code § 2149 - Violations by licensees
If the Secretary has reason to believe that any person licensed as a dealer, exhibitor, or operator of an auction sale subject to section 2142 of this title, has violated or is violating any provision of this chapter, or any of the rules or regulations or standards promulgated by the Secretary hereunder, he may suspend such person’s license temporarily, but not to exceed 21 days, and after notice and opportunity for hearing, may suspend for such additional period as he may specify, or revoke such license, if such violation is determined to have occurred.
Any dealer, exhibitor, research facility, intermediate handler, carrier, or operator of an auction sale subject to section 2142 of this title, that violates any provision of this chapter, or any rule, regulation, or standard promulgated by the Secretary thereunder, may be assessed a civil penalty by the Secretary of not more than $10,000 for each such violation, and the Secretary may also make an order that such person shall cease and desist from continuing such violation. Each violation and each day during which a violation continues shall be a separate offense. No penalty shall be assessed or cease and desist order issued unless such person is given notice and opportunity for a hearing with respect to the alleged violation, and the order of the Secretary assessing a penalty and making a cease and desist order shall be final and conclusive unless the affected person files an appeal from the Secretary’s order with the appropriate United States Court of Appeals. The Secretary shall give due consideration to the appropriateness of the penalty with respect to the size of the business of the person involved, the gravity of the violation, the person’s good faith, and the history of previous violations. Any such civil penalty may be compromised by the Secretary. Upon any failure to pay the penalty assessed by a final order under this section, the Secretary shall request the Attorney General to institute a civil action in a district court of the United States or other United States court for any district in which such person is found or resides or transacts business, to collect the penalty, and such court shall have jurisdiction to hear and decide any such action. Any person who knowingly fails to obey a cease and desist order made by the Secretary under this section shall be subject to a civil penalty of $1,500 for each offense, and each day during which such failure continues shall be deemed a separate offense.
Any dealer, exhibitor, research facility, intermediate handler, carrier, or operator of an auction sale subject to section 2142 of this title, aggrieved by a final order of the Secretary issued pursuant to this section may, within 60 days after entry of such an order, seek review of such order in the appropriate United States Court of Appeals in accordance with the provisions of sections 2341, 2343 through 2350 of title 28, and such court shall have exclusive jurisdiction to enjoin, set aside, suspend (in whole or in part), or to determine the validity of the Secretary’s order.
Any dealer, exhibitor, or operator of an auction sale subject to section 2142 of this title, who knowingly violates any provision of this chapter shall, on conviction thereof, be subject to imprisonment for not more than 1 year, or a fine of not more than $2,500, or both. Prosecution of such violations shall, to the maximum extent practicable, be brought initially before United States magistrate judges as provided in section 636 of title 28, and sections 3401 and 3402 of title 18, and, with the consent of the Attorney General, may be conducted, at both trial and upon appeal to district court, by attorneys of the United States Department of Agriculture.
Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 110–246, § 14214, substituted “$10,000” for “$2,500”.
1985—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 99–198, § 1755(a), substituted “$2,500 for each such violation” for “$1,000 for each such violation” in first sentence and directed the substitution of “$1,500 for each offense” for “$500 for each offense” in sixth sentence, which was executed to the seventh sentence as the probable intent of Congress.
Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 99–198, § 1755(b), substituted “$2,500” for “$1,000”.
1976—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 94–279 substituted provisions covering violations by licensees, temporary license suspension, notice and hearing, and license revocation for provisions relating to violations by dealers, exhibitors, operators of auction sales, cease and desist orders, license suspension, and civil penalties.
Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 94–279 substituted provisions covering civil penalties, notice and hearing, appeal, considerations in assessing penalties, compromising penalties, civil action by Attorney General for failure to pay penalty, district court jurisdiction, and failure to obey cease and desist orders for provisions relating to judicial review of final orders by the Secretary.
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 94–279 substituted provisions covering appeal of final orders by aggrieved persons, limitations, and exclusive jurisdiction of the United States Courts of Appeals for provisions relating to criminal penalties.
Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 94–279 added subsec. (d).
1970—Pub. L. 91–579 added exhibitors and operators of auction sales to the enumeration of covered persons, added civil penalties for failure to obey a cease and desist order of the Secretary, and changed the procedure for judicial review.
“United States magistrate judges” substituted for “United States magistrates” in subsec. (d) pursuant to section 321 of Pub. L. 101–650, set out as a note under section 631 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.
Amendment of this section and repeal of Pub. L. 110–234 by Pub. L. 110–246 effective May 22, 2008, the date of enactment of Pub. L. 110–234, see section 4 of Pub. L. 110–246, set out as an Effective Date note under section 8701 of this title.
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