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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
Stan Norman ) File No. EB-99-DT-044
North Canton, Ohio )
) NAL/Acct. No. X3236-001
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Released: May 12, 2000
By the Enforcement Bureau, Detroit Office:
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture
("NAL"), we find that Stan Norman has apparently violated
Section 303(q) of the Communications Act of 1934
(``Act''), as amended,1 and Sections 17.4(a), 17.48(a)
and 17.50 of the Commission's Rules2 (the ``Rules'') for
failure to register his radio tower (``tower'') with the
Commission, failure to notify the FAA that the lights on
the tower were not functioning properly, and failure to
repaint the tower in order to maintain good aeronautical
visibility. We conclude that Mr. Norman is apparently
liable for a forfeiture in the amount of seven thousand
2. Stan Norman is the owner of a tower in East Sparta,
Ohio (located at north latitude 40° 40' 17'', west
longitude 081° 23' 59''). The tower exceeds 200 feet in
height, and must therefore be painted and illuminated in
accordance with Section 17.21 of the Rules.3 On November
30, 1999, the Commission's Detroit Office of the
Enforcement Bureau received information from the FCC's
Technical and Public Safety Division (``TPSD'') alleging
that this tower was not registered with the Commission,
was ``in dire need of painting, and had only one top
light working'', which was not flashing as required by
the Rules. This information was reported to TPSD
anonymously. The information that was received from TPSD
also contained information from the Federal Aviation
Administration (``FAA'') and Federal Communications
Commission (``FCC'') records that indicated Mr. Norman
was the owner of the tower and that he had filed
information with the FAA to correct the tower height and
coordinates with the FAA. The FAA had assigned a case
number to this tower, 99-AGL-5779-OE. Acting on this
information, especially because of the possibility of
danger to air traffic navigation, the District Director
of the Detroit Office dispatched an FCC agent on December
2, 1999 to investigate the complaint.
3. On December 2, 1999, at 4:00 p.m., an FCC agent from
the Detroit Office conducted an inspection of this tower.
During the inspection, the FCC agent saw that the tower's
red sidelights, red center-flashing beacon, and top-
flashing beacon were properly located on the tower and
that the tower was painted with the correct number of
colored bands. However, the FCC agent observed that the
tower's paint was peeling and quite faded. Further, the
FCC agent observed that no FCC tower registration numbers
were posted at the tower site. The FCC agent left and
later returned to observe the tower's lighting at 5:45
p.m. and 6:05 p.m. that evening. The FCC agent saw that
the tower's red sidelights and red center-flashing beacon
were dark and that the top-flashing beacon was burning
4. On December 2, 1999 at 7:35 p.m., the FCC agent
telephoned Stan Norman, whose name appeared on the FAA
database as the owner of the tower. During the telephone
conversation between Mr. Norman and the FCC agent, Mr.
Norman stated that he was the tower owner, and had not
notified the FAA that the tower lights were faulty. He
stated further that until approximately three months ago
the tower had been leased to Motorola's tower division
and because of this lease he thought Motorola had
notified the FAA about the faulty tower lights. Mr.
Norman went on to say, that in July of 1999, he had
received a letter from the FCC in Gettysburg (the
Commission's Wireless Telecommunications Bureau) stating
that his tower needed to be registered with the FCC.
Accompanying the letter was an antenna structure
registration application. Stan Norman stated he had
completed the application and sent it to Motorola for
review believing that it would forward the application to
5. On December 7, 1999, in a telephone call between the
FCC agent and Mr. Norman, Mr. Norman told the FCC agent
that he had notified the FAA on December 3, 1999 of the
faulty tower lights.
6. On December 15, 1999, the District Director issued an
Official Notice of Violation (``NOV'') to Stan Norman,
7553 Elmhurst Avenue Northwest, Canton, Ohio 44720-5929,
for failure to register the tower with the Commission,
failure to notify the FAA that the lights on the tower
were not functioning properly, and failure to repaint the
tower to maintain good visibility. In his reply to the
NOV, dated January 19, 2000, Mr. Norman stated that the
tower lighting problems were corrected and that the tower
was scheduled for repainting as soon as the weather
permitted. Mr. Norman also indicated that Motorola was
responsible for the tower and had leased the tower from
him for the past 15 years, and according to the lease,
Motorola was responsible for the lighting and tower
maintenance. Mr. Norman also stated that Motorola had
recently sold their tower division to Pinnacle Towers,
which was in the process of buying the tower from him.
Attached to his response was a copy of the FCC Antenna
Structure Registration Form, dated December 12, 1999,
with an assigned FCC registration number of 1207574. He
also indicated that he had a new mailing address of 1894
Butternut St. NW, North Canton, Ohio 44720.
7. Section 303(q) of the Act requires tower owners to
maintain the painting and/or illumination of the tower as
prescribed by the Commission. Section 17.4(a) of the
Rules requires that tower structures be registered with
the Commission. Antenna towers that exceed 200 feet in
height above the ground must be painted and illuminated
in accordance with the Rules. Section 17.48(a) of the
Rules holds the owners of such towers responsible for
ensuring that the FAA is notified if the lights on the
tower are not functioning properly. Section 17.50 of the
Rules states that towers requiring painting shall be
cleaned or repainted as often as necessary to maintain
8. Based on the evidence before us, we find that Stan
Norman willfully4 violated Section 303(q) of the Act, and
Sections 17.4(a), 17.48(a) and 17.50 of the Rules by
failing to register his tower with the Commission,
failing to notify the FAA of improperly functioning tower
lights, and failing to repaint the tower as often as
necessary in order to maintain good visibility to air
navigation. The Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement
and Amendment of Section 1.80 of the Rules to Incorporate
the Forfeiture Guidelines, 12 FCC Rcd 17087 (1997),
recon. denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999), (``Policy
Statement''), sets the base forfeiture amount for
prescribed lighting and painting at ten thousand dollars
($10,000), and for failure to file required forms at
three thousand dollars ($3,000).5 In assessing the
monetary forfeiture amount, we must take into account the
statutory factors set forth in Section 503(b)(2)(D) of
the Act,6 which include the nature, circumstances,
extent, and gravity of the violation, and with respect to
the violator, the degree of culpability, any history of
prior offenses, ability to pay, and other such matters as
justice may require. Applying the Policy Statement and
statutory factors to the instant case, we believe that a
seven thousand dollar ($7,000) monetary forfeiture is
warranted because the record reveals that Mr. Norman has
an overall history of compliance and he showed good faith
surrounding the violations by his voluntary disclosure of
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
9. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section
503(b) of the Act, and Sections 0.111, 0.311, and 1.80 of the
Rules,7 Stan Norman is hereby NOTIFIED of his APPARENT LIABILITY
FOR A FORFEITURE in the amount of seven thousand dollars ($7,000)
for violating Section 303(q) of the Act, and Sections 17.4(a),
17.48(a), and 17.50 of the Rules.
10. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section 1.80
of the Rules, within thirty days of the date of release
of this NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY, Stan Norman SHALL
PAY the full amount of the proposed forfeiture or SHALL
FILE a written statement seeking reduction or
cancellation of the proposed forfeiture.
11. Payment of the forfeiture may be made by credit card
through the Commission's Credit and Debt Management
Center at (202) 418-1995 or by mailing a check or similar
instrument, payable to the order of the Federal
Communications Commission, to the Forfeiture Collection
Section, Finance Branch, Federal Communications
Commission, P.O. Box 73482, Chicago, Illinois 60673-7482.
The payment should note the NAL/Acct. No. X3236-001.
12. The response if any must be mailed to Federal
Communications Commission, Enforcement Bureau, Technical
& Public Safety Division, 445 12th Street S.W.,
Washington, D.C. 20554, and MUST INCLUDE THE NAL/Acct.
13. The Commission will not consider reducing or
canceling a forfeiture in response to a claim of
inability to pay unless the petitioner submits: (1)
federal tax returns for the most recent three-year
period; (2) financial statements prepared according to
generally accepted accounting practices (``GAAP''); or
(3) some other reliable and objective documentation that
accurately reflects the petitioner's current financial
status. Any claim of inability to pay must specifically
identify the basis for the claim by reference to the
financial documentation submitted.
14. Requests for payment of the full amount of this
Notice of Apparent Liability under an installment plan
should be sent to: Chief, Credit and Debt Management
Center, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554.8
15. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT a copy of this NOTICE OF
APPARENT LIABILITY shall be sent by Certified Mail Return
Receipt Requested to Stan Norman at 1894 Butternut St.
NW, North Canton, Ohio 44720.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
James A. Bridgewater
District Director, Detroit Office
1 47 U.S.C. § 303(q).
2 47 C.F.R. §§ 17.4(a), 17.48(a), and 17.50.
3 47 C.F.R. § 17.21.
4 Section 312(f)(1) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. § 312(f), which applies
to Section 503(b) of the Act, provides that ``[t]he term
``willful'', when used with reference to the commission or
omission of any act, means the conscious and deliberate
commission or omission of such act, irrespective of any intent to
violate any provision of this Act or any rule or regulation of
the Commission authorized by this Act or by a treaty ratified by
the United States.'' See Southern California Broadcasting Co., 6
FCC Rcd 4387(1991).
5 47 C.F.R. § 1.80.
6 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
7 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, and 0.311.
8See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.