§271G-19 Unlawful operation. (a) Any person knowingly and wilfully violating any provision of this chapter, or violating any certificate for which violation a penalty is not otherwise herein provided, shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $500 for the first offense, and not less than $200 nor more than $500 for any subsequent offense. Each day of such violation shall constitute a separate offense.
(b) Any person, whether carrier, shipper, or consignee, or any officer, employee, agent, or representative thereof, who knowingly offers, grants, or gives, or solicits, accepts, or receives any rebate, concession, or discrimination in violation of any provisions of this chapter, or who by means of any false statement or representation or by the use of any false or fictitious bill, bill of lading, receipt, voucher, roll, account, claim, certificate, affidavit, deposition, lease, or bill of sale, or by any other means or device, knowingly and wilfully assists, suffers, or permits any person or persons, natural or artificial, to obtain transportation of passengers or property subject to this chapter for less than the applicable rate, fare, or charge, or who knowingly and wilfully by any such means or otherwise fraudulently seeks to evade or defeat regulation as in this chapter provided for water carriers, shall be fined not less than $200 nor more than $500 for the first offense and not less than $250 nor more than $2,000 for any subsequent offense.
(c) Any special agent, accountant, or examiner who knowingly and wilfully divulges any fact or information which may come to the special agent's, accountant's, or examiner's knowledge during the course of any examination or inspection made under authority of section 271G-18, except as the special agent, accountant, or examiner may be directed by the commission or by a court or judge thereof, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall be subject to a fine of not more than $500 or imprisonment for not exceeding one year, or both.
(d) Any water carrier, or any officer, agent, employee, or representative thereof, who shall fail or refuse to comply with any provision of this chapter, or any rule, filed tariff or requirement or order thereunder, shall pay a civil penalty to the State in the sum of not less than $100 nor more than $5,000 for each offense and, in the case of a continuing violation, not to exceed $5,000 for each additional day during which the failure or refusal continues. A penalty shall become due and payable when the person incurring it receives a notice in writing, on paper or electronically, reasonably describing the violation and advising that the penalty is due.
(e) In addition to any other remedy available, the commission or its enforcement officer may issue citations to persons acting in the capacity of or engaging in the business of a water carrier within the State, without having a certificate of public convenience and necessity or other authority previously obtained under and in compliance with this chapter and the rules adopted thereunder, as follows:
(1) The citation may contain an order of abatement and an assessment of civil penalties of not less than $100 nor more than $500 for each offense and, in the case of a continuing violation, not less than $200 nor more than $500 for each day that uncertified activity continues. All penalties collected under this subsection shall be deposited in the treasury of the State. Service of a citation issued under this subsection shall be made by personal service; electronic service; certified mail, restricted delivery, sent to the last known business or residence address; or electronic mail to the address of the person cited;
(2) Any person served with a citation under this subsection may submit a written request, on paper or electronically, to the commission for a hearing within twenty days from the receipt of the citation, with respect to the violations alleged, the scope of the order of abatement, and the amount of civil penalties assessed. If the person cited under this subsection timely notifies the commission of the request for a hearing, the commission shall afford an opportunity for a hearing under chapter 91. The hearing shall be conducted by the commission, or the commission may designate a hearings officer to hold the hearing;
(3) If the person cited under this subsection does not submit a written request, on paper or electronically, to the commission for a hearing within twenty days from the receipt of the citation, the citation shall be deemed a final order of the commission. The commission may apply to the appropriate court for a judgment to enforce the provisions of any final order issued by the commission or designated hearings officer pursuant to this subsection, including the provisions for abatement and civil penalties imposed. In any proceeding to enforce the provisions of the final order of the commission or designated hearings officer, the commission need only show that the notice was given, a hearing was held, or the time granted for requesting the hearing has run without a request, and a certified copy of the final order of the commission or designated hearings officer; and
(4) If any party is aggrieved by the decision of the commission or the designated hearings officer, the party may appeal, subject to chapter 602, in the manner provided for civil appeals from the circuit courts; provided that the operation of an abatement order shall not be stayed on appeal unless specifically ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction after applying the stay criteria enumerated in section 91-14(c).
The sanctions and disposition authorized under this subsection shall be separate and in addition to all other remedies, either civil or criminal, provided in any other applicable statutory provision. The commission may adopt rules under chapter 91 as may be necessary to fully effectuate this subsection. [L 1974, c 94, pt of §1; am L 1980, c 202, §2; gen ch 1985; am L 1991, c 57, §16; am L 2004, c 202, §33; am L 2006, c 94, §1; am L 2010, c 109, §1; am L 2021, c 72, §12; am L 2023, c 205, §9]