United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Jul 16, 2024

§ 2437.
Civil penalties
In general

Any person who commits an act that is unlawful under section 2435 of this title shall be liable to the United States for a civil penalty, and may be subject to a permit sanction, under section 1858 of this title.


Hearings for the assessment of civil penalties under subsection (a) shall be conducted in accordance with section 554 of title 5. For the purposes of conducting any such hearing, the Secretary of Commerce may issue subpoenas for the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of relevant papers, books, and documents, and may administer oaths. Witnesses summoned shall be paid the same fees and mileage that are paid to witnesses in the courts of the United States. In case of contumacy or refusal to obey a subpoena served upon any person pursuant to this subsection, the district court of the United States for any district in which such person is found, resides, or transacts business, upon application by the Attorney General of the United States and after notice to such person, shall have jurisdiction to issue an order requiring such person to appear and give testimony before the Secretary of Commerce or to appear and produce documents before the Secretary of Commerce, or both, and any failure to obey such order of the court may be punished by such court as a contempt thereof.

Review of civil penalty

Any person against whom a civil penalty is assessed under subsection (a) of this section may obtain review thereof in the appropriate district court of the United States by filing a notice of appeal in such court within 30 days from the date of such order and by simultaneously sending a copy of such notice by certified mail to the Secretary of Commerce, the Attorney General, and the appropriate United States Attorney. The Secretary of Commerce shall promptly refer the matter to the Attorney General of the United States, who shall file in such court a certified copy of the record upon which the violation was found or such penalty imposed, as provided in section 2112 of title 28. The court shall set aside the findings and order of the Secretary if the findings and order are found to be unsupported by substantial evidence, as provided in section 706(2)(E) of title 5.

Recovery of civil penalties

The Attorney General of the United States may seek to recover in any appropriate district court of the United States (1) any civil penalty imposed under this section that has become a final and unappealable order and has been referred to the Attorney General by the Secretary of Commerce or (2) any final judgment rendered under this section in favor of the United States by an appropriate Court.

Penalties under other laws

The assessment of a civil penalty under subsection (a) for any act shall not be deemed to preclude the assessment of a civil penalty for such act under any other law.

(Pub. L. 98–623, title III, § 308, Nov. 8, 1984, 98 Stat. 3401; Pub. L. 114–81, title I, § 101(a)(2), Nov. 5, 2015, 129 Stat. 653.)
cite as: 16 USC 2437