(a) Filing; public inspection
Within sixty days after the Secretary has given public notice that a stockyard is within the definition of section 202 of this title, by posting copies of such notice in the stockyard, the stockyard owner and every market agency at such stockyard shall file with the Secretary, and print and keep open to public inspection at the stockyard, schedules showing all rates and charges for the stockyard services furnished by such person at such stockyard. If a market agency commences business at the stockyard after the expiration of such sixty days such schedules must be filed before any stockyard services are furnished.
(b) Detail required; form
Such schedules shall plainly state all such rates and charges in such detail as the Secretary may require, and shall also state any rules or regulations which in any manner change, affect, or determine any part or the aggregate of such rates or charges, or the value of the stockyard services furnished. The Secretary may determine and prescribe the form and manner in which such schedules shall be prepared, arranged, and posted, and may from time to time make such changes in respect thereto as may be found expedient.
No changes shall be made in the rates or charges so filed and published, except after ten days’ notice to the Secretary and to the public filed and published as aforesaid, which shall plainly state the changes proposed to be made and the time such changes will go into effect; but the Secretary may, for good cause shown, allow changes on less than ten days’ notice, or modify the requirements of this section in respect to publishing, posting, and filing of schedules, either in particular instances or by a general order applicable to special or peculiar circumstances or conditions.
(d) Rejection by Secretary
The Secretary may reject and refuse to file any schedule tendered for filing which does not provide and give lawful notice of its effective date, and any schedule so rejected by the Secretary shall be void and its use shall be unlawful.
(e) Determination of lawfulness; hearing; suspension
Whenever there is filed with the Secretary any schedule, stating a new rate or charge, or a new regulation or practice affecting any rate or charge, the Secretary may either upon complaint or upon his own initiative without complaint, at once, and if he so orders without answer or other formal pleading by the person filing such schedule, but upon reasonable notice, enter upon a hearing concerning the lawfulness of such rate, charge, regulation, or practice, and pending such hearing and decision thereon the Secretary, upon filing with such schedule and delivering to the person filing it a statement in writing of his reasons for such suspension, may suspend the operation of such schedule and defer the use of such rate, charge, regulation, or practice, but not for a longer period than thirty days beyond the time when it would otherwise go into effect; and after full hearing, whether completed before or after the rate, charge, regulation, or practice goes into effect, the Secretary may make such order with reference thereto as would be proper in a proceeding initiated after it had become effective. If any such hearing cannot be concluded within the period of suspension the Secretary may extend the time of suspension for a further period not exceeding thirty days, and if the proceeding has not been concluded and an order made at the expiration of such thirty days, the proposed change of rate, charge, regulation, or practice shall go into effect at the end of such period.
(f) Suspension of operations; compliance
After the expiration of the sixty days referred to in subsection (a) 1 no person shall carry on the business of a stockyard owner or market agency unless the rates and charges for the stockyard services furnished at the stockyard have been filed and published in accordance with this section and the orders of the Secretary made thereunder; nor charge, demand, or collect a greater or less or different compensation for such services than the rates and charges specified in the schedules filed and in effect at the time; nor refund or remit in any manner any portion of the rates or charges so specified (but this shall not prohibit a cooperative association of producers from bona fide returning to its members, on a patronage basis, its excess earnings on their livestock, subject to such regulations as the Secretary may prescribe); nor extend to any person at such stockyard any stockyard services except such as are specified in such schedules.
Whoever fails to comply with the provisions of this section or of any regulation or order of the Secretary made thereunder shall be liable to a penalty of not more than $500 for each such offense, and not more than $25 for each day it continues, which shall accrue to the United States and may be recovered in a civil action brought by the United States.
(h) Intentional violations; penalty
Whoever willfully fails to comply with the provisions of this section or of any regulation or order of the Secretary made thereunder shall on conviction be fined not more than $1,000, or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.
AMENDMENTS 1976—Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 94–410 substituted "livestock" for "live stock" after "earnings on their".
7 U.S.C. § 207 (2018)