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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
Robert L. Meyers )
) File No. 99-HU-039
Licensee of Amateur Radio Station N5WLY )
Houston, TX ) NAL/Acct.No. X3254-001
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Released: January 13, 2000
By the Enforcement Bureau, Houston Office:
1. This is a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture
pursuant to Section 503(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as
amended (the ``Communications Act''),1 and Section 1.80 of the
Commission's Rules,2 against Robert L. Meyers (``Meyers''),
licensee of Amateur Radio Station N5WLY, Houston, Texas. We find
that Meyers operated his Amateur Radio station so as to willfully
and maliciously cause interference to radio communications in
apparent willful violation of Section 333 of the Communications
Act3 and Section 97.101(d) of the Commission's Rules,4 and
transmitted unidentified communications in apparent willful
violation of Section 97.119(a) of the Commission's Rules.5 For
the reasons discussed below, we conclude that Meyers is
apparently liable for a forfeiture in the amount of $8000.
2. From 1993 through 1999, the Commission's Houston Office
received complaints of alleged intentional interference to users
of the Memorial Emergency Repeater Association's 145.470/144.870
MHz repeater in Houston, Texas (``MERA repeater''). The
interference was allegedly caused by stations transmitting
unidentified tones, inflammatory or derogatory remarks, and
unmodulated signals, none of which were identified with an FCC-
assigned call sign.
3. On February 24, 1999, a Commission agent, using a mobile
automatic direction finding (``MADF'') vehicle to monitor the
MERA repeater, observed a radio signal consisting of unidentified
derogatory remarks being transmitted on the input frequency of
the MERA repeater. The agent simultaneously monitored the output
frequency of the MERA repeater and observed that this signal
would transmit immediately after other stations would commence
transmitting, resulting in interference to communications already
in progress on the MERA repeater. At about 6:45 a.m., using the
MADF equipment and direction-finding techniques, the agent
determined that the source of the unidentified interfering
transmissions was a red Jeep Cherokee bearing Texas license plate
C39CYK. This vehicle was registered to Robert L. Meyers, license
holder of Amateur Radio Service license N5WLY.
4. On June 1, 1999, two Commission agents visited Meyers
and conducted an administrative inspection of the red Jeep
Cherokee. Meyers admitted owning the vehicle and admitted to
being the licensee of Amateur Radio Station N5WLY. Meyers was
issued an Official Notice of Violation citing violation of 47
U.S.C. § 333 and 47 C.F.R. § 97.101(c) (willful or malicious
interference), and 47 C.F.R. § 97.119 (failure to identify
5. On June 8, 1999, the Commission's Houston Office
received a letter from Meyers dated June 7, 1999, in response to
the Official Notice of Violation. In the response letter, Meyers
denied the violations and denied any operation at the times
cited. Meyers' response letter also stated that Meyers would
take precautionary steps to insure that no accidental
transmissions would occur from his station.
6. Section 333 of the Communications Act and Section
97.101(d) of the Commission's Rules both prohibit willful or
malicious interference to radio communications. Section
97.119(a) of the Commission's Rules prohibits the transmission of
unidentified communications in the Amateur Radio Service.
7. Section 503(b) of the Communications Act and Section
1.80(a) of the Commission's Rules both state that any person who
willfully or repeatedly fails to comply with the provisions of
the Communications Act or the Commission's Rules shall be liable
for a forfeiture penalty. For purposes of Section 503(b) of the
Communications Act, the term ``willful'' means that the violator
knew that it was taking the action in question, irrespective of
any intent to violate any provision of the Communications Act or
the Commission's Rules.7
8. Based on the evidence before us, we find that on
February 24, 1999, Robert L. Meyers did use his Amateur Radio
Station N5WLY to transmit radio communications and, in so doing,
willfully and maliciously interfere with Amateur Radio
communications already in progress, in apparent willful violation
of Section 333 of the Communications Act and Section 97.101(d) of
the Commission's Rules; and failed to identify those
communications, in apparent willful violation of Section
97.119(a) of the Commission's Rules. The interference was
willful and malicious in that Meyers timed his transmissions to
commence just after other stations had begun transmitting,
resulting in harmful interference to communications already in
progress. Also, both violations were willful in that Meyers
sought to conceal his identity by altering the sound of his
normal voice and omitting the required identification.
9. The Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement, which
became effective October 14, 1997, sets a base forfeiture amount
of $7000 for intentional interference and $1000 for failure to
identify.8 In assessing the monetary forfeiture amount, we must
also take into account the statutory factors set forth in Section
503(b)(2)(D) of the Communications Act,9 that include the nature,
circumstances, extent, and gravity of the violation(s), 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, a monetary forfeiture in the amount
of $8000 is warranted.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
10. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED, pursuant to Section 503(b)
of the Communications Act and Sections 0.111, 0.311 and 1.80 of
the Commission's Rules,10 that Robert L. Meyers is hereby
NOTIFIED of his APPARENT LIABILITY FOR MONETARY FORFEITURE in the
amount of EIGHT THOUSAND DOLLARS ($8000) for the willful
violation of Section 333 of the Communications Act, Section
97.101(d) of the Commission's Rules, and Section 97.119(a) of the
11. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, pursuant to Section 1.80 of the
Commission's Rules, that WITHIN THIRTY (30) DAYS of the release
of this Notice, ROBERT L. MEYERS SHALL PAY to the United States
the full amount of the monetary forfeiture11 OR SHALL FILE a
written statement showing why the forfeiture should be reduced or
cancelled.12 The payment or statement should be marked with
NAL/Acct. No: X3254-001.
12. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this notice shall be sent,
by certified mail, return receipt requested, to Robert L. Meyers,
7358 Crownwest Drive, Houston, TX 77072.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Loyd P. Perry
Resident Agent, Houston Office
1 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)
2 47 C.F.R. § 1.80
3 47 U.S.C. § 333
4 47 C.F.R. § 97.101(d)
5 47 C.F.R. § 97.119(a)
6 Official Notice of Violation dated June 1, 1999. The
Notice accurately stated the correct wording but erroneously
cited ``47 C.F.R. § 97.101(c)'' instead of the correct citation
``47 C.F.R. § 97.101(d).''
7 See 47 U.S.C. § 312(f)(1); see also Southern California
Broadcasting Co., 6 FCC Rcd 4387 (1991).
8 The Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and Amendment
of Section 1.80 of the Commission's Rules, 12 FCC Rcd 17087
(1997), recon. pending; 47 C.F.R. § 1.80(b).
9 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(D)
10 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.311, and 1.80.
11 Payment may be made by credit card by calling the
Commission's Credit and Debt Management Center at 202-418-1995,
or by check or similar instrument payable to the ``Federal
Communications Commission'' and mailed to: Federal
Communications Commission, P.O. Box 73482, Chicago, Illinois
60673-7482. Please mark the payment with the NAL/Acct. No.
12 Mail written statements to: Office of the Secretary,
Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street, S.W.,
Washington, D.C. 20554, ATTN: Enforcement Bureau, Mail Stop
1500E3-DLH. A claim of inability to pay should be supported by
tax returns or other financial statements prepared under
generally accepted accounting procedures for the most recent
three-year period. Requests for payment under installment plans
should be mailed to: Chief, Credit and Debt Management Center,
Rm. 1-A820, FOD / AMD-HRM, Federal Communications Commission, 445
12th Street, S.W., Washington, DC, 20554.