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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
Rotijefco, Inc. )
Licensee of Station KZBN(AM) ) File No. EB-02-LA-145
Santa Barbara, California ) NAL/Acct. No.
Facility ID # 57731 200232900005
) FRN 0001530633
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Released: July 26, 2002
By the District Director, Los Angeles Office, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture ("NAL"),
we find that Rotijefco, Inc., (Rotijefco) licensee of station KZBN,
Santa Barbara, California, apparently willfully violated Section
11.35(a) of the Commission's Rules ("Rules")1 by failing to have
operational Emergency Alert System ("EAS") equipment. We conclude,
pursuant to Section 503(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as
amended ("Act")2, that Rotijefco is apparently liable for a forfeiture
in the amount of eight thousand dollars ($8,000).
2. On February 12, 2002, Agents of the Los Angeles Office
inspected KZBN. At the time of inspection, the EAS equipment was not
on site. The general manager stated that the EAS equipment was non
operational and had been sent out for repair following the relocation
of the main studio several months earlier. There was no EAS station
log and no log entries indicating that the EAS equipment had been
operational or had been taken out of service for repair.
3. Section 503(b) of the Act provides that any person who
willfully fails to comply substantially with the terms and conditions
of any license, or willfully fails to comply with any of the
provisions of the Act or of any rule, regulation or order issued by
the Commission thereunder, shall be liable for a forfeiture penalty.3
The term "willful" as used in Section 503(b) has been interpreted to
mean simply that the acts or omissions are committed knowingly.4
4. Commission licensees are responsible for familiarizing
themselves and complying with applicable statutes and Commission Rules
and policies, regardless of the length of time the licensee has been
engaged in broadcasting.5 The Rules provide that every AM and FM
broadcast station is part of the nationwide EAS network and is
categorized as a participating national EAS source unless the station
affirmatively requests authority to not participate.6 The EAS
provides the President and state and local governments with the
capability to provide immediate and emergency communications and
information to the general public.7 State and local area plans
identify local primary sources responsible for coordinating carriage
of common emergency messages from sources such as the National Weather
Service or local emergency management officials.8
5. Section 11.35(a) of the Rules states that "[b]roadcast
stations?are responsible for ensuring that EAS Encoders, EAS Decoders
and Attention Signal generating and receiving equipment used as part
of the EAS are installed so that the monitoring and transmitting
functions are available during the times the stations and systems are
in operation." Section 11.35(b) provides that if EAS equipment
becomes defective, a broadcast station may operate without the
defective EAS equipment for 60 days, but ``[e]ntries shall be made in
the broadcast station log . . . showing the date and time the
equipment was removed and restored to service.'' Based on the
evidence before us, we find that on February 12, 2002, Rotijefco
willfully violated Section 11.35 of the Commission's Rules by failing
to have EAS equipment installed and operation for over 60 days and
failing to log EAS equipment malfunctions and repairs.
6. The base forfeiture amount set by The Commission's Forfeiture
Policy Statement and Amendment of Section 1.80 of the Rules to
Incorporate the Forfeiture Guidelines, ("Forfeiture Policy
Statement"),9 and Section 1.80 of the Commissions Rules,10 for EAS
equipment not installed or operational is $8,000. 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 Act,11
which include the nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of the
violation(s), and with respect to the violator, the degree of
culpability, and history of prior offenses, ability to pay, and other
such matters as justice may require. Application of the base amount
to the captioned Rotijefco station violation results in a base
forfeiture amount of $8,000. Applying the Forfeiture Policy Statement
and the statutory factors to the instant case, an $8,000 forfeiture is
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
7. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section 503(b) of
the Communications Act of 1934, as amended,12 and Sections 0.111,
0.311 and 1.80 of the Commission's Rules, Rotijefco, Inc. is hereby
NOTIFIED of an APPARENT LIABILITY FOR A FORFEITURE in the amount of
eight thousand dollars ($8,000) for violation of Section 11.35(a) and
(b) of the Rules, representing a total forfeiture of $8,000.13
8. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section 1.80 of the
Commission's Rules14 within thirty days of the release date of this
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY, Rotijefco, Inc. SHALL PAY the full
amount of the proposed forfeiture or SHALL FILE a written statement
seeking reduction or cancellation of the proposed forfeiture.
9. Payment of the forfeiture may be made 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 must include the NAL/Acct. No. 200232900005
and FRN # 0001530633.
10. The response, if any, must be mailed to Federal
Communications Commission, Enforcement Bureau, Technical and Public
Safety Division, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554 and
must include the NAL/Acct. No. 200232900005.
11. 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.
12. Requests for payment of the full amount of this Notice of
Apparent Liability under an installment plan should be sent to:
Chief, Revenue and Receivables Operations Group, 445 12th Street,
S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554.15
13. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT this NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY
shall be sent by Certified Mail # 7001 2510 0001 9914 6170, Return
Receipt Requested, to Rotijefco, Inc. 1875 Century PK E. # 2250, Los
Angeles, California 90067.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
District Director, Los Angeles Office
1 47 C.F.R. § 11.35(a).
2 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
3 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
4 Section 312(f)(1) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. § 312(f)(1), which
applies to violations for which forfeitures are assessed under 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 ?."
See Southern California Broadcasting Co., 6 FCC Rcd 4387 (1991).
5 See Bay Television, Inc., 10 FCC Rcd 11509 (1995) (rejecting
licensee's request for lenient treatment because it had been on the
air for barely six months.); Radio One Licensees, Inc., Memorandum
Opinion and Order, DA 02-219 (Enf. Bur. Jan 31, 2002) (rejecting
licensee's request for lenient treatment because the station had been
acquired less than six months before, noting also that the licensee
was an experienced broadcaster).
6 47 C.F.R. §§ 11.11 and 11.41.
7 47 C.F.R. §§ 11.1 and 11.21.
8 47 C.F.R. § 11.18. State EAS plans contain guidelines that
must be followed by broadcast and cable personnel, emergency officials
and National Weather Service personnel to activate the EAS for state
and local emergency alerts. The state plans include the EAS header
codes and messages to be transmitted by the primary state, local and
relay EAS sources.
9 12 FCC Rcd 17087 (1997), recon. denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999).
10 47 C.F.R. § 1.80.
11 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(D).
12 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
13 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.311, 1.80, 11.35.
14 47 C.F.R. § 1.80.
15 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.