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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
Richard E. LaPierre ) File No. EB-00-BS-212
Lady Meghan Ryan, WCX4267 )
Seabrook, New Hampshire 03874 ) NAL/Acct. No. 200032260001
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Released: May 12, 2000
By the Enforcement Bureau, Boston Office:
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture
(``NAL''), we find that Richard E. LaPierre
(``LaPierre''), licensee and operator of the Vessel Lady
Meghan Ryan, Call Sign WCX4267, apparently violated
Section 503(b)(1)(B) of the Communications Act of 1934 as
amended1 (``Act''), and Section 1.89(b), of the
Commission's Rules2 (the ``Rules''), for failure to
provide written response to Federal Communications
Commission official correspondence dated September 28,
1999, October 25, 1999, December 3, 1999 and February 28,
2000. We conclude that LaPierre is apparently liable for
a forfeiture in the amount of four thousand dollars
2. The Vessel Lady Meghan Ryan was inspected on September
14, 1999 by Agent James S. Cesanek from the Commission's
Boston Field Office. The Vessel Lady Meghan Ryan, Call
Sign WCX4267, was docked at Eastman's Marina in Seabrook,
NH and operated by Richard E. LaPierre, 6 Zacarella
Circle, Seabrook, NH 03874. Prior to boarding the vessel
for inspection, the Agent observed the name Lady Meghan
Ryan displayed on the exterior side of the vessel. Once
onboard, the Agent found the Ship Station License
identifying the vessel name as Captree Star with Call
Sign WCX4267, Documentation #292977.
Furthermore, LaPierre could not locate ship station logs or
produce his Marine Radio Operator Permit. LaPierre informed the
Agent that the previous vessel captain might have stolen the ship
station logs. LaPierre further stated that his Marine Radio
Operator Permit application was mailed to the Commission in
Gettysburg about three or four weeks prior to this inspection.
3. On September 16, 1999 Agent Cesanek researched Federal
Communications Commission databases for radio station
license, owner/operator and vessel information. The
Commission Marine License Application database found Call
Sign WCX4267 belonging to the Vessel Captree Star,
Documentation #292977, and licensed to LaPierre. On
September 28, 1999 an Official Notice of Violation and an
Advisory were sent by first class postage prepaid mail to
LaPierre, informing him that operation of the Vessel Lady
Meghan Ryan is in violation of the Commission's Rules.
LaPierre failed to respond to this notice.
4. On October 25, 1999 a Continuation of Official Notice of
Violation was sent by first class postage prepaid mail to
LaPierre again informing him that operation of the Vessel
Lady Meghan Ryan is in violation of the Commission's
Rules. LaPierre failed to respond to this notice.
5. On December 3, 1999 a Warning Notice (FCC Form 794) was
sent certified mail to LaPierre, informing him that the
Vessel Lady Meghan Ryan is in violation of Section 1.89
of the Rules3 for his failure to respond to Commission
correspondence of September 16, 1999 and October 25,
1999. LaPierre accepted the certified letter from the
U.S. Postal Service. The Certified Mail green card with
a signature of Richard E. LaPierre was hand-delivered by
the Postal Service to the FCC Boston Field Office on
December 8, 1999. LaPierre failed to respond to this
6. On January 12, 2000 Agent Cesanek called Captain Robert
Fish in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, who leases the Vessel
Lady Meghan Ryan to LaPierre. Captain Fish stated that
he was consulting LaPierre in recent days about the
citation notices, vessel operating requirements, and
future ownership of the Vessel Lady Meghan Ryan. Captain
Fish stated that the previous vessel captain employed by
LaPierre might have confiscated the ship station logs.
Also on January 12, 2000 Agent Cesanek received a
telephone call from LaPierre to discuss Commission
violations and compliance. The Agent recommended
LaPierre review Section 80 of the Rules4 and seek
assistance from his service company and Captain Robert
Fish. The Agent advised LaPierre to respond in writing
to the Notice of Violation to avoid forfeiture. LaPierre
has failed to respond.
7. On February 25, 2000 Agent Cesanek called the Consumer
Information Center at the Federal Communications
Commission Consumer Information Bureau to check on the
status of LaPierre's application for a Marine Radio
Operator Permit and written notice for vessel name
change. According to the unnamed Commission employee,
there is no record of application and vessel name change
from LaPierre to date. On February 28, 2000 a final
Continuation of Official Notice of Violation was sent
certified mail to LaPierre, again informing him that
operation of the Vessel Lady Meghan Ryan is in violation
of the Commission's
Rules. LaPierre failed to accept the certified letter from the
U.S. Postal Service. The certified citation letter was returned
by the Postal Service to the FCC Boston Field Office on March 22,
2000 as unclaimed.
8. LaPierre has violated Section 80.29 of the Rules5,
requiring the licensee submit written notification to the
Commission when a change in name of a vessel occurs
during the license term. He has also violated Section
80.159(d) of the Rules6, requiring a Marine Radio
Operator Permit be held by a radio operator transporting
more than six passengers for hire on board a ship
equipped with a radiotelephone station in accordance with
Part III of Title III of the Communications Act. And he
has also violated Section 80.409(b) of the Rules7,
requiring that ship station logs be maintained and made
available to authorized Commission employees upon
9. More significantly, LaPierre has violated Section 1.89
of the Rules, by failing to provide written response to
Section 80.29, 80.159(d) and 80.409(b) violations in
reply to Federal Communications Commission official
correspondence dated September 28, 1999, October 25,
1999, December 3, 1999 and February 28, 2000.
10. Based on the evidence before us, we find that LaPierre
willfully8 violated Section 1.89(b) of the Rules9. 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
amount for failing to provide written response to Federal
Communications Commission official correspondence at four
thousand dollars ($4,000). 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 Act10, that 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
monetary forfeiture of four thousand dollars ($4,000) is
warranted for the violation.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
11. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section
503(b) of the Communications Act of
1934, as amended11, and Sections 0.111, 0.311 and 1.80 of the
Commission's Rules12, Richard E. LaPierre is hereby NOTIFIED of
his APPARENT LIABILITY FOR A FORFEITURE in the amount of four
thousand dollars ($4,000) for violation of Section 1.89(b) of the
12. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section 1.80 of
the Commission's Rules13, within thirty days of the
release date of this NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY,
Richard E. LaPierre SHALL PAY the full amount of the
proposed forfeiture or SHALL FILE a written statement
seeking reduction or cancellation of the proposed
13. 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. X32260001.
14. 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.
15. 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
16. 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. 20554.14
17. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT a copy of this NOTICE OF
APPARENT LIABILITY shall be sent by Certified Mail Return
Receipt Requested to Richard E. LaPierre, 6 Zacarella
Circle, Seabrook, New Hampshire 03874. A copy shall be
sent, by first class postage prepaid mail, to Richard E.
LaPierre, 6 Zacarella Circle, Seabrook, New Hampshire
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Vincent F. Kajunski
District Director, Boston Office
1 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(1)(B).
2 47 C.F.R. § 1.89(b).
3 47 C.F.R. § 1.89.
4 47 C.F.R. § 80.
5 47 C.F.R. § 80.29.
6 47 C.F.R. § 80.159(d).
7 47 C.F.R. § 80.409(b).
8 Section 312(f)(1), which also applies to Section 503(b),
provides: [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 provisions of the 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).
9 47 C.F.R. § 1.89(b).
10 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(D).
11 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
12 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.311, 1.80.
13 47 C.F.R. § 1.80.
14 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.