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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
William Stephen Major ) File Number: EB-04-SF-305
) NAL/Acct. No. 200532960002
Sacramento, California ) FRN 0013442173
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Released: June 29,
By the District Director, San Francisco Office, Western Region,
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture
("NAL"), we find that William Stephen Major ("Major")
apparently willfully and repeatedly violated Section 301 of the
Communications Act of 1934 ("Act")1 by operating an unlicensed
radio transmitter on 96.5 MHz in Sacramento, California. We
conclude, pursuant to Section 503(b) of the Communications Act
of 1934, as amended ("Act"),2 that Major is apparently liable
for a forfeiture in the amount of amount in ten thousand
2. On December 21, 2004, the Commission's San Francisco
Office received information concerning an unauthorized
broadcast station operating on 96.5 MHz in Sacramento,
California. A review of the Commission's databases revealed no
authorization for KNOZ to operate on 96.5 MHz in Sacramento,
3. On January 5, 2005, agents from the San Francisco
Office while in Sacramento, California observed a station on
96.5 MHz identifying as ``KNOZ LP 96.5.'' The agents used
mobile direction finding techniques to locate the broadcast
transmissions to commercial office space at 2207 16th Street,
Sacramento, California. The office entrance door had signage
which read ``MAJORSCREEN WORKS THE HOME OF KNOZ 96.5
FM...HTTP://WWW.THE916COM...'' The agents took field strength
measurements and determined that the signals being broadcast
exceeded the limits for operation under Part 15 of the
Commissions Rules (``Rules'')4 and therefore required a
license. The agents knocked on the office door and were
granted entry by an individual who subsequently identified
himself as William Major. Major offered his business card
which indicated he was associated with ``KNOZ 96.5 FM (916)
Radio.'' In response to the agents' questions regarding the
operation of the station, Major assumed responsibility for the
station operation. Major could not produce a station license.
Major stated that he would take the station off-the-air since
he wanted to be in compliance so that he could apply for a Low
Power FM station license. Major stated he had completed all
associated paperwork and had been in contact with the
Commission about the steps necessary to obtain a license. The
agents served a Notice of Unauthorized Operation (``Notice'')
on Major. Major signed the Notice to acknowledge receipt.
4. On January 12, 2005, an agent from the San Francisco
Office again monitored and used mobile direction finding
techniques to locate a broadcast transmission on 96.5 MHz
emanating from the commercial office space at 2207 16th Street,
Sacramento, California. The transmission was identifying as
``KNOZ LP 96.5.'' The agent made field strength measurements
and determined that the signals being broadcast were
essentially unchanged from the previous measurement. The
measurements indicated that the station still exceeded the
limits for operation under Part 15 of the Rules, and,
therefore, still required a license.5 When agent knocked on
the office door, a male voice denied entry and the request for
inspection because the owner was not present. The agent then
left another Notice at the office door. As the agent departed
the area, he heard Major's voice on 96.5 MHz announcing that
the FCC was at the door and was trying to shut the station
5. On January 14, 2005, February 3, 2005, and March 15,
2005, agents from the San Francisco Office again monitored and
used mobile direction finding techniques to locate broadcast
transmissions on 96.5 MHz emanating from the commercial office
space at 2207 16th Street, Sacramento, California. During each
observation, the transmission was identifying as ``KNOZ LP
96.5.'' The agents made field strength measurements and
determined that the signals being broadcast were essentially
unchanged from the previous measurements.7 The measurements
indicated that the station still exceeded the limits for
operation under Part 15 of the Rules, and, therefore, still
required a license.
6. Section 503(b) of the Act provides that any person who
willfully or repeatedly fails to comply substantially with the
terms and conditions of any license, or willfully or repeatedly
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. The term "willful"
as used in Section 503(b) has been interpreted to mean simply
that the acts or omissions are committed knowingly.8 The term
``repeated'' means the commission or omission of such act more
than once or for more than one day.9
7. Section 301 of the Act requires that no person shall
use or operate any apparatus for the transmission of energy or
communications or signals by radio within the United States
except under and in accordance with the Act and with a license.
On January 5, 2005, January 12, 2005, January 14, 2005,
February 3, 2005 and March 15, 2005, Major apparently operated
radio transmitting equipment at 2207 16th Street, Sacramento,
California, on 96.5 MHz without the required Commission
authorization. Major received notice on January 5, 2005, that
his operation of the station was unauthorized. He acknowledged
operation of the station to Commission agents on January 5,
2005. Therefore, his violation is willful. Major's violation
occurred on more than one day, therefore, it is repeated.
Based on the evidence before us, we find Major apparently
willfully and repeatedly violated Section 301 of the Act by
operating radio transmission apparatus without a license on
8. Pursuant to The Commission's Forfeiture Policy
Statement and Amendment of Section 1.80 of the Rules to
Incorporate the Forfeiture Guidelines, ("Forfeiture Policy
Statement"), and Section 1.80 of the Rules, the base forfeiture
amount for operating without an instrument of authorization is
$10,000.10 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, which include the nature,
circumstances, extent, and gravity of the violations, 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.11 Applying the Forfeiture Policy
Statement, Section 1.80, and the statutory factors to the
instant case, we conclude that Major is apparently liable for a
forfeiture of $10,000.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
9. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to Section
503(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and
Sections 0.111, 0.311, 0.314, and 1.80 of the Commission's
Rules, William Stephen Major is hereby NOTIFIED of this
APPARENT LIABILITY FOR A FORFEITURE in the amount of ten
thousand dollars ($10,000) for violations of Section 301 of the
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 for
Forfeiture, William Stephen Major 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 must be made by check or
similar instrument, payable to the order of the Federal
Communications Commission. The payment must include the
NAL/Acct. No. and FRN No. referenced above. Payment by check
or money order may be mailed to Federal Communications
Commission, P.O. Box 358340, Pittsburgh, PA 15251-8340.
Payment by overnight mail may be sent to Mellon
Bank /LB 358340, 500 Ross Street, Room 1540670, Pittsburgh, PA
15251. Payment by wire transfer may be made to ABA
Number 043000261, receiving bank Mellon Bank, and account
12. The response, if any, must be mailed to Federal
Communications Commission, Enforcement Bureau, Western Region,
San Francisco District Office, 5653 Stoneridge Dr., Suite 105,
Pleasanton, CA 94588-8543, and must include the NAL/Acct. No.
referenced in the caption.
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 for Forfeiture under an
installment plan should be sent to: 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 for Forfeiture shall be sent by Certified
Mail, Return Receipt Requested, and regular mail, to William
Stephen Major; and to R. Robert Monterrosa, Esquire; and to
Steven C. Sanders, Esquire.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Thomas N. Van Stavern
San Francisco District Office
147 U.S.C. § 301.
247 U.S.C. § 503(b).
3According to Commission records, there is a pending application
for a construction permit for a FM translator, filed by Eastern
Sierra Broadcasting, for operation on 96.5 MHz in Sacramento,
California. See File No. BNPFT-20030317KKK.
4Section 15.239 of the Rules provides that non-licensed
broadcasting in the 88-108 MHz band is permitted only if the
field strength of the transmission does not exceed 250 ?V/m at
three meters. 47 C.F.R. § 15.239. On January 5, 2005, the
5The measurements made on January 12, 2005 indicated that the
signal was 1,788 times greater than the maximum permissible level
for a non-licensed Part 15 transmitter.
6On January 13, 2005, the San Francisco Office received a voice
mail message from Robert Monterrosa (``Monterrosa''), Esquire,
advising that he was representing Major. On January 18, 2005,
San Francisco Office agents received letters from Monterrosa
which stated he was representing Major, acknowledging that Major
was operating on 96.5 MHz. On January 24, 2005, San Francisco
Office District Director advised Monterrosa during a telephone
conversation that that since Major did not hold a license to
operate, there was no exemption for continued operation, and
Major must discontinue operation and not resume operation until a
license was issued. Monterrosa advised he would confer with his
7The measurements made on January 14, 2005, indicated that the
signal was 1,850 times greater than the maximum permissible level
for a non-licensed Part 15 transmitter. The measurements made on
February 3, 2005, indicated that the signal was 1,614 times
greater than the maximum permissible level and the measurements
made on March 15, 2005, indicated that the signal was 1,322 times
greater than the maximum permissible level.
8See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.
9Section 312(f)(2) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. § 312(f)(2), which also
applies to violations for which forfeitures are assessed under
Section 503(b) of the Act, provides that "[t]he 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
1012 FCC Rcd 17087 (1997), recon. denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999);
47 C.F.R. §1.80.
1147 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(D).
1247 U.S.C. § 503(b), 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.311, 0.314, 1.80.
8See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.