49 U.S.C. § 10709 - Contracts

Cite as:49 U.S.C. § 10709
Currency:Current through P.L. 116-158 (08/14/2020)
 
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(a) One or more rail carriers providing transportation subject to the jurisdiction of the Board under this part may enter into a contract with one or more purchasers of rail services to provide specified services under specified rates and conditions.

(b) A party to a contract entered into under this section shall have no duty in connection with services provided under such contract other than those duties specified by the terms of the contract.

(c)

(1) A contract that is authorized by this section, and transportation under such contract, shall not be subject to this part, and may not be subsequently challenged before the Board or in any court on the grounds that such contract violates a provision of this part.

(2) The exclusive remedy for any alleged breach of a contract entered into under this section shall be an action in an appropriate State court or United States district court, unless the parties otherwise agree. This section does not confer original jurisdiction on the district courts of the United States based on section 1331 or 1337 of title 28, United States Code.

(d)

(1) A summary of each contract for the transportation of agricultural products (including grain, as defined in section 3 of the United States Grain Standards Act ( 7 U.S.C. 75 ) and products thereof) entered into under this section shall be filed with the Board, containing such nonconfidential information as the Board prescribes. The Board shall publish special rules for such contracts in order to ensure that the essential terms of the contract are available to the general public.

(2) Documents, papers, and records (and any copies thereof) relating to a contract described in subsection (a) shall not be subject to the mandatory disclosure requirements of section 552 of title 5.

(e) Any lawful contract between a rail carrier and one or more purchasers of rail service that was in effect on October 1, 1980, shall be considered a contract authorized by this section.

(f) A rail carrier that enters into a contract as authorized by this section remains subject to the common carrier obligation set forth in section 11101, with respect to rail transportation not provided under such a contract.

(g)

(1) No later than 30 days after the date of filing of a summary of a contract under this section, the Board may, on complaint, begin a proceeding to review such contract on the grounds described in this subsection.

(2)

(A) A complaint may be filed under this subsection-

(i) by a shipper on the grounds that such shipper individually will be harmed because the proposed contract unduly impairs the ability of the contracting rail carrier or carriers to meet their common carrier obligations to the complainant under section 11101 of this title; or

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