(a) Civil Action.–If a person does not comply with an order of the Federal Maritime Commission for the payment of reparation, the person to whom the award was made may seek enforcement of the order in a district court of the United States having jurisdiction over the parties.

Terms Used In 46 USC 41309

  • Appeal: A request made after a trial, asking another court (usually the court of appeals) to decide whether the trial was conducted properly. To make such a request is "to appeal" or "to take an appeal." One who appeals is called the appellant.
  • Defendant: In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.
  • Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
  • Jurisdiction: (1) The legal authority of a court to hear and decide a case. Concurrent jurisdiction exists when two courts have simultaneous responsibility for the same case. (2) The geographic area over which the court has authority to decide cases.
  • Plaintiff: The person who files the complaint in a civil lawsuit.
  • Service of process: The service of writs or summonses to the appropriate party.

(b) Parties and Service of Process.–All parties in whose favor the Commission has made an award of reparation by a single order may be joined as plaintiffs, and all other parties in the order may be joined as defendants, in a single action in a judicial district in which any one plaintiff could maintain an action against any one defendant. Service of process against a defendant not found in that district may be made in a district in which any office of that defendant is located or in which any port of call on a regular route operated by that defendant is located. Judgment may be entered for any plaintiff against the defendant liable to that plaintiff.

(c) Nature of Review.–In an action under this section, the findings and order of the Commission are prima facie evidence of the facts stated in the findings and order.

(d) Costs and Attorney Fees.–The plaintiff is not liable for costs of the action or for costs of any subsequent stage of the proceedings unless they accrue on the plaintiff’s appeal. A prevailing plaintiff shall be allowed reasonable attorney fees to be assessed and collected as part of the costs of the action.

(e) Time Limit on Bringing Actions.–An action under this section to enforce an order of the Commission must be brought within 3 years after the date the order was violated.