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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of
Halifax Christian Community Church,
Inc. ) File Number EB-07-TP-064
Licensee of WFBO-LP ) NAL/Acct. No. 200832700014
Flagler Beach, Florida ) FRN: 0006871339
Facility ID # 133320 )
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Released: April 8, 2008
By the District Director, Tampa Office, South Central Region, Enforcement
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture ("NAL"), we find
that Halifax Christian Community Church, Inc., ("Halifax"), licensee
of low power FM ("LPFM") radio station WFBO-LP, in Flagler Beach,
Florida, apparently willfully violated Section 73.845 of the
Commission's Rules ("Rules") by operating its station inconsistent
with the terms of its station authorization and apparently willfully
and repeatedly violated Section 301 of the Communications Act of 1934,
as amended ("Act") by operating an unlicensed radio station. We
conclude, pursuant to Section 503(b) of the Act, that Halifax is
apparently liable for a forfeiture in the amount of twenty four
thousand dollars ($24,000).
2. On April 23, 2007, in response to a complaint that LPFM station
WFBO-LP was operating an unlicensed station on 93.5 MHz, agents from
the Commission's Tampa Office of the Enforcement Bureau ("Tampa
Office") monitored frequency 93.5 MHz in the Flagler Beach area, but
heard no station on that frequency. The agents continued scanning the
FM band and found a station on 92.7 MHz that was re-broadcasting the
signal of WFBO-LP, which is licensed to operate on 93.3 MHz in the
Flagler Beach, FL area. Agents from the Tampa Office used direction
finding techniques to locate the source of the transmission on 92.7
MHz to the European Village Resort, 101 Palm Harbor Parkway, Palm
Coast, FL. Field strength measurements on 92.7 MHz revealed that the
signal being broadcast exceeded the limits for operation under Part 15
of the Commission's Rules and therefore required a license. An agent
from the Tampa Office searched Commission databases and found no
evidence of a Commission authorization for a station to operate on
92.7 MHz from this location.
3. Still on April 23, 2007, agents from the Tampa Office found that the
source of the transmission on 92.7 MHz was emanating from station
WFBO-LP's new main studio located in the European Village Resort. The
agents interviewed the station's general manager and president, who
admitted that he was broadcasting on 92.7 MHz without a license. He
explained that, because WFBO-LP on 93.3 MHz was not heard very well on
93.3 MHz from his new studio location, he began operating on 92.7 MHz
in January 2007. The general manager/president stated that he knew the
signal on 92.7 MHz got out approximately 1,000 feet and that he could
not turn the transmitter any lower than a few watts. He voluntarily
unplugged the transmitter, which was not FCC certified, before the
agents departed the studio.
4. On October 19, 2007, agents from the Tampa Office inspected the new
main studio of station WFBO-LP located in Flagler Beach, FL after
receiving additional anonymous complaints concerning alleged
violations at the station. The agents were accompanied by the Director
of Station WFBO-LP Operations and observed that the station's
transmitter on 93.3 MHz was operating at 106 watts. The Director
contacted the station engineer who confirmed that 106 watts was the
actual transmitter power. The station engineer was aware that the
station was operating with this power level. The station engineer also
stated that the station had installed a Norwalk Electronics Phazor
antenna. The station is authorized to operate its transmitter with a
maximum of 36 watts and to operate with a Shively 6812B antenna.
5. 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) of the Act has
been interpreted to mean simply that the acts or omissions are
committed knowingly. The term "repeated" means the commission or
omission of such act more than once or for more than one day.
6. 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. In particular, Section 301
of the Act states that "[n]o person shall use or operate any apparatus
for the transmission of energy or communications or signals by radio
(a) from one place in any State, Territory, or possession of the
United States or in the District of Columbia to another place in the
same State, Territory, possession, or District; . . . except under and
in accordance with this chapter and with a license in that behalf
granted under the provisions of this chapter." On April 23, 2007,
agents from the Tampa Office determined that Halifax was operating an
unlicensed radio transmitter on 92.7 MHz in Palm Coast, FL. Halifax's
general manager and president admitted to operating this unlicensed
transmitter on 92.7 MHz since January 2007.
7. Section 73.845 of the Rules states that each LPFM licensee is
responsible for maintaining and operating its broadcast station in a
manner ... in accordance with the terms of the station authorization.
Section 73.1745(a) of the Rules states that no broadcast station shall
operate at times, or with modes or power, other than those specified
and made a part of the license, unless otherwise provided in this
part. Station WFBO-LP is authorized to operate with 36 watts maximum
power and a Shively 6812B antenna. On October 19, 2007, agents from
the Tampa Office observed the station operating with 106 watts and a
Norwalk Electronics Phazor antenna. The station engineer was aware
that the station was operating with 106 watts and with a Phazor
8. Based on the evidence before us, we find that Halifax apparently
willfully violated Section 73.845 of the Rules by operating its
station inconsistent with the terms of its station authorization
(overpower and with an unauthorized antenna) and apparently willfully
and repeatedly violated Section 301 of the Act by operating an
9. 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 exceeding power limits is $4,000 and the
base amount for operating an unlicensed station is $10,000. In
assessing the monetary forfeiture amount, we must also take into
account the statutory factors set forth in Section 503(b)(2)(E) 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. Halifax previously received a
Warning of Unlicensed Operation and a Forfeiture Order for overpower
operation with a non-certified transmitter from an unauthorized
location. Because Halifax has a history of violating the rules
currently at issue, we believe an upwards adjustment of the proposed
forfeiture is appropriate. Applying the Forfeiture Policy Statement,
Section 1.80 of the Rules, and the statutory factors to the instant
case, we conclude that Halifax is apparently liable for a $24,000
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
10. 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, Halifax Christian Community
Church, Inc., is hereby NOTIFIED of this APPARENT LIABILITY FOR A
FORFEITURE in the amount of twenty four thousand dollars ($24,000) for
violations of Sections 73.845 of the Rules and Section 301 of the Act.
11. 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, Halifax Christian
Community Church, Inc., SHALL PAY the full amount of the proposed
forfeiture or SHALL FILE a written statement seeking reduction or
cancellation of the proposed forfeiture.
12. 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/Account Number and FRN Number referenced
above. Payment by check or money order may be mailed to Federal
Communications Commission, P.O. Box 979088, St. Louis, MO 63197-9000.
Payment by overnight mail may be sent to U.S. Bank - Government
Lockbox #979088, SL-MO-C2-GL, 1005 Convention Plaza, St. Louis, MO
63101. Payment[s] by wire transfer may be made to ABA Number
021030004, receiving bank TREAS/NYC, and account number 27000001. For
payment by credit card, an FCC Form 159 (Remittance Advice) must be
submitted. When completing the FCC Form 159, enter the NAL/Account
number in block number 23A (call sign/other ID), and enter the letters
"FORF" in block number 24A (payment type code). Requests for full
payment under an installment plan should be sent to: Chief Financial
Officer -- Financial Operations, 445 12th Street, S.W., Room 1-A625,
Washington, D.C. 20554. Please contact the Financial Operations
Group Help Desk at 1-877-480-3201 or Email: ARINQUIRIES@fcc.gov with
any questions regarding payment procedures.
13. The response, if any, must be mailed to Federal Communications
Commission, Enforcement Bureau, South Central Region, Tampa Office,
2203 N. Lois Ave, Suite 1215, Tampa, FL 33607, and must include the
NAL/Acct. No. referenced in the caption.
14. 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.
15. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Notice of Apparent Liability
Forfeiture shall be sent by Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested, and
regular mail, to Halifax Christian Community Church, Inc., at its address
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Ralph M. Barlow
South Central Region
47 C.F.R. S: 73.845.
47 U.S.C. S: 301.
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b).
Section 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 mV/m at three meters. 47 C.F.R. S:
15.239. Measurements on April 23, 2007 showed that the field strength of
the station's signal exceeded the permissible level for a non-licensed
Part 15 transmitter by over 905 times.
Use of a non-certified transmitter violates Section 15.201(b) of the
Rules, 47 C.F.R. S: 15.201(b). Thus, even if the transmissions on 92.7 MHz
did not exceed Part 15 limits, Halifax's operation of its transmitter on
92.7 would not be considered a permissible unlicensed use.
Section 312(f)(1) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. S: 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 or any rule or regulation of the Commission
authorized by this Act...." See Southern California Broadcasting Co., 6
FCC Rcd 4387 (1991).
Section 312(f)(2) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. S: 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 one day."
47 U.S.C. S: 301.
47 C.F.R. S: 73.1745(a).
12 FCC Rcd 17087 (1997), recon. denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999); 47 C.F.R.
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b)(2)(E).
Halifax Christian Community Church, Inc., Warning of Unlicensed Operation
(February 20, 2004).
Halifax Christian Community Church, Inc., Forfeiture Order, 20 FCC Rcd
2342 (Enf. Bur. 2005).
47 U.S.C. S:S: 503(b), 301 and 47 C.F.R. S:S: 0.111, 0.311, 0.314, 1.80.
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Federal Communications Commission
Federal Communications Commission