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                           Before the
                Federal Communications Commission
                     Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of                 )
                                )
MariTEL Mississippi River, Inc.  )       File Number EB-02-OR-052
Licensee of Maritime Public      )      NAL/Acct.No. 200232620006
Coast Station WPOJ535 near       )               FRN 0003-4734-51
Pointe a la Hache, Louisiana     )
Washington, DC                   )




           NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE

                                          Released:  July 3, 2002 
By the Enforcement Bureau, New Orleans Office:

                        I.  INTRODUCTION

     1.In this  Notice of Apparent  Liability for Forfeiture,  we 
find that MariTEL Mississippi River, Inc. (``MariTEL''), licensee 
of  public  coast  station  WPOJ535,  willfully  and   repeatedly 
violated  Sections  1.5  and  80.90  of  the  Commission's  Rules 
(``Rules''),1 by failing to  ensure that correspondence from  the 
Commission mailed  to  the  address of  record  would  reach  the 
licensee, and  by failing  to immediately  suspend  transmissions 
upon detection of  a transmitter malfunction.   We conclude  that 
MariTEL is apparently liable  for a forfeiture  in the amount  of 
seven thousand dollars ($7,000).

                         II.  BACKGROUND

     2.On  April  2,  2002,  the  FCC  Enforcement  Bureau's  New 
Orleans  Field  Office  (``New   Orleans  Office'')  received   a 
complaint  from  the  United  States  Coast  Guard  in  Gulfport, 
Mississippi that a continuous radio signal on VHF marine  channel 
16 (156.8 MHz) was interfering with their ability to  communicate 
with vessels.  Agents from the New Orleans Office responded in  a 
radio direction finding vehicle and determined that the source of 
the interfering signal was a malfunctioning transmitter  operated 
by MariTEL, call  sign WPOJ535,  from an  antenna structure  near 
Pointe a la Hache, Louisiana.   The agents contacted Mark  Watros 
of MariTEL by telephone at approximately 6:30 PM, advised him  of 
the  malfunctioning   transmitter,   and   requested   that   the 
transmissions   be   immediately    suspended.    However,    the 
transmissions from MariTEL's transmitter were not suspended until 
7:20 AM on April  3, 2002, more than  12 hours after MariTEL  was 
notified of the  malfunction.  During  this period,  interference 
was present  on  the  VHF marine  distress,  safety  and  calling 
channel.

     3.On April  12, 2002,  a Notice of  Violation (``NOV'')  was 
mailed to the  address of  record for  MariTEL's license  WPOJ535 
noting a violation of  Section 80.90 of the  Rules.  The NOV  was 
returned by  the  United  States Post  Office  (``Post  Office'') 
marked ``Attempted Not Known.''

     4.On  April  30, 2002,  the  NOV  was again  mailed  to  the 
address of record  and a  second address  obtained from  MariTEL.  
The copy sent to the address of record was again returned by  the 
Post Office marked ``Attempted Not  Known.''  No reply to  either 
correspondence has been received.
                        III.  DISCUSSION

     5.Section 1.5 of  the Rules requires that licensees  furnish 
the Commission with a mailing  address for the Commission to  use 
to serve correspondence to the licensee and additionally to  take 
steps to make  sure Commission correspondence  delivered to  such 
address reaches the licensee.   Correspondence sent to  MariTEL's 
address of record  on April  12, 2002,  and April  30, 2002,  was 
returned by the Post Office as undeliverable.

     6.Section 80.90 of  the Rules requires that transmission  be 
suspended   immediately   upon   detection   of   a   transmitter 
malfunction, and remain  suspended until the  malfunction can  be 
corrected.  Transmissions  from a  defective transmitter  causing 
interference to  the VHF  marine  safety, distress,  and  calling 
channels were reported  to MariTEL  at approximately  6:30 PM  on 
April 2, 2002, but were not suspended until 7:20 AM the next day.

     7.Based  on  the   evidence  before  us,  we  find   MariTEL 
Mississippi  River,  Inc.  willfully2  and  repeatedly3  violated 
Sections 1.5 and  80.90 of the  Rules by failing  to insure  that 
Commission correspondence  sent to  the address  provided by  the 
licensee is delivered  to the  licensee, and  failing to  suspend 
transmissions  immediately   upon  detecting   a   malfunctioning 
transmitter. 

     8.Pursuant  to Section  1.80(b)(4) of  the Rules,  the  base 
forfeiture amount  for failure  to maintain  an accurate  mailing 
address for the Commission's use (failure to file required  forms 
or information)  is $3,000,  and failure  to immediately  suspend 
transmitter  operations  (unauthorized   emission)  is   $4,000.4  
Section 503(b)(2)(D)  of  the  Communications  Act  of  1934,  as 
amended (``Act''),  requires us  to  take into  account  ``...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.''5   Considering the  entire record  and 
applying the statutory factors listed above, this case warrants a 
$7,000 forfeiture.

                      IV.  ORDERING CLAUSES

     9.Accordingly,  IT  IS ORDERED  THAT,  pursuant  to  Section 
503(b) of the  Act,6 and Sections  0.111, 0.311 and  1.80 of  the 
Commission's Rules,7 MariTEL  Mississippi River,  Inc. is  hereby 
NOTIFIED of its APPARENT LIABILITY FOR A FORFEITURE in the amount 
of seven  thousand  dollars  ($7,000) for  willful  and  repeated 
violation of Sections 1.5 and 80.90 of the Commission's Rules. 

     10.  IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section 1.80 of 
the Commission's Rules, within thirty days of the release date of 
this Notice  of Apparent  Liability, MariTEL  Mississippi  River, 
Inc. 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  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 FRN and NAL/Acct. No. referenced in the letterhead above.

     12.  The  response,  if  any,  must  be  mailed  to  Federal 
Communications Commission,  Office  of the  Secretary,  445  12th 
Street, SW,  Washington,  DC  20554,  Attn:  Enforcement  Bureau-
Technical  &  Public  Safety  Division,  and  MUST  INCLUDE   THE 
NAL/Acct. No. and FRN referenced in the letterhead above.

     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:  Federal  Communications   Commission,  Chief,  Revenue   and 
Receivables Operations Group, 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  regular mail and  Certified 
Mail Return Receipt Requested to MariTEL Mississippi River,  Inc. 
at 701  Pennsylvania Avenue,  NW,  Washington, D.C.   20004.   An 
additional copy shall be sent by regular mail and Certified  Mail 
Return Receipt Request  to MariTEL  at 2318 Pass  Road, Suite  6, 
Biloxi, Mississippi 39531.



                         FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION





                         James C. Hawkins
                         District Director, New Orleans Office
                         Enforcement Bureau
_________________________

1 47 C.F.R.  1.5, 80.90.
2  Section 312(f)(1) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. 312(f)(1), which 
applies equally 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....''  See 
Southern California Broadcasting Co., 6 FCC rcd 4387
3 The term ``repeated,'' when used with reference to the 
commission or omission of any act, ``means the commission or 
omission of such act more than once or, if such commission or 
omission is continuous, for more than one day.''
4 47 C.F.R.  1.80(b)(4).
5 47 U.S.C.  503(b)(2)(D).
6 47 U.S.C.  503(b).
7 47 C.F.R.  0.111, 0.311, 1.80.
8 See 47 C.F.R.  1.1914.