Section was formerly classified to section 556 of this title.


1995—Pub. L. 104–48, § 7(d)(1), substituted “Complaints, written notifications, and investigations” for “Complaint and investigation” in section catchline.

Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 104–48, § 8(a), inserted subsec. heading, designated existing provisions as par. (1), inserted par. (1) heading, and added par. (2).

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 104–48, § 7(a), inserted heading and amended text generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: “Any officer or agency of any State or Territory having jurisdiction over commission merchants, dealers, or brokers in such State or Territory and any employee of the United States Department of Agriculture or any interested person may file, in accordance with rules and regulations of the Secretary, a complaint of any violation of any provision of this chapter by any commission merchant, dealer, or broker and may request an investigation of such complaint by the Secretary.”

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 104–48, § 7(b), inserted heading and amended text generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: “If there appear to be, in the opinion of the Secretary, any reasonable grounds for investigating any complaint made under this section, the Secretary shall investigate such complaint and may, if in his opinion the facts warrant such action, have said complaint served by registered mail or by certified mail or otherwise on the person concerned and afford such person an opportunity for a hearing thereon before a duly authorized examiner of the Secretary in any place in which the said person is engaged in business: Provided, That in complaints wherein the amount claimed as damages does not exceed the sum of $15,000, a hearing need not be held and proof in support of the complaint and in support of respondent’s answer may be supplied in the form of depositions or verified statements of fact.”

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 104–48, § 7(c), (d)(2), inserted heading and substituted “$30,000” for “$15,000” in two places in text.

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 104–48, § 7(d)(3), inserted heading.

1991—Subsecs. (c), (d). Pub. L. 102–237 inserted a period at end of subsec. (c) and substituted a period for semicolon at end of subsec. (d).

1982—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 97–352 inserted “or by a resident of the United States to whom the claim of a nonresident of the United States has been assigned,” after “In case a complaint is made by a nonresident of the United States,”.

1981—Subsecs. (c), (d). Pub. L. 97–98 substituted “$15,000” for “$3,000”.

1972—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 92–231 substituted “$3,000” for “$1,500”.

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 92–231 substituted “$3,000” for “$1,500” wherever appearing.

1962—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 87–725 substituted “$1,500” for “$500”.

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 87–725 substituted “$1,500” for “$500” wherever appearing.

1960—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 86–507 inserted “or by certified mail” after “registered mail”.

1937—Subsec. (b). Act Aug. 20, 1937, § 8, substituted “section 499b of this title” for “this chapter”.

Subsec. (e). Act Aug. 20, 1937, § 9, inserted “and any reparation award that may be issued by the Secretary of Agriculture against the complainant on any counter claim by respondent” and proviso.

1934—Subsec. (c). Act Apr. 13, 1934, § 8, inserted proviso.

Subsec. (d). Act Apr. 13, 1934, § 9, substituted “complaints” for “a complaint” after “on” and inserted “where damages claimed do not exceed the sum of $500 not requiring hearing as provided herein” after “complaints”.

Subsec. (e). Act Apr. 13, 1934, § 10, among other changes, inserted “formal” before “action”.

Effective Date of 1982 Amendment

Pub. L. 97–352, § 3, Oct. 18, 1982, 96 Stat. 1667, provided that:

“The amendment made by section 2 [amending this section] shall not apply with respect to complaints made under section 6(e) of the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act, 1930 [7 U.S.C. 499f(e)], before the date of enactment of this Act [Oct. 18, 1982].”

Effective Date of 1981 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 97–98 effective Dec. 22, 1981, see section 1801 of Pub. L. 97–98, set out as an Effective Date note under section 4301 of this title.

Filing and Handling Fees During Fiscal Years 1995 and 1996

Pub. L. 103–276, § 1, July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1406, during fiscal years 1995 and 1996, directed Secretary of Agriculture to require filing fee of $60 per petition for petitions alleging violation of section 499b of this title and handling fee of $300 for petitions that warrant further action, which handling fee was to be included in determining amount of damages, with both fees to be deposited into the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act Fund, prior to repeal by Pub. L. 104–48, § 8(c), Nov. 15, 1995, 109 Stat. 429. See subsec. (a)(2) of this section.