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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
COMMERCIAL RADIO SERVICE CORP. )
Licensee of Specialized Mobile Radio Stations )
WPFV467, WPFV649, WPFV705, WPFV707, )
WPFV709, WPFV852, WPFV924, WPFV929, )
WPFV961, WPFV962 and WPFU496 ) File No. EB-00-TS-232
Various locations in North Carolina and ) NAL/Acct.
Adopted: February 13, 2001 Released:
February 15, 2001
By the Chief, Technical and Public Safety Division, Enforcement
1. In this Forfeiture Order (``Order''), we issue a monetary
forfeiture in the amount of $6,000 to Commercial Radio Service
Corp. (``Commercial Radio'') for violating Section 301 of the
Communications Act of 1934 (``Act'')1, as amended, and Section
1.903(a) of the Commission's Rules (``Rules'').2 The noted
violations involve the operation of eleven 800 MHz Conventional
Specialized Mobile Radio (SMR) stations without Commission
2. On December 11, 2000, the Technical and Public Safety
Division (``TPSD'') issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for
Forfeiture (``NAL'') in the amount of six thousand dollars
($6,000).3 Commercial Radio filed its response on January 10,
2. Commercial Radio's authorizations for the captioned SMR
stations expired on the dates indicated: WPFV467 (10/18/99),
WPFV649 (10/21/99), WPFV705 (10/21/99), WPFV707 (10/21/99),
WPFV709 (10/21/99), WPFV852 (10/21/99), WPFV924 (10/19/99),
WPFV929 (10/20/99), WPFV961 (10/21/99), WPFV962 (10/21/99) and
WPFU496 (10/11/99). On March 24, 2000, Commercial Radio filed
applications for renewal of the authorizations for those stations
and requested the waiver of Section 1.949 of the Commissions
Rules.4 Commercial Radio's waiver request indicates that it
operated the captioned SMR stations without authorization between
October, 1999 and March 24, 2000. 5
3. In its response to the NAL, Commercial Radio argues that
it is entitled to cancellation or mitigation of the proposed
forfeiture on the basis of its ``history of overall compliance''
and because the violations resulted from an administrative error
by its agent. Commercial Radio also argues that the period of
misconduct for which the Commission may assess a forfeiture runs
from December 1999 (one year before the issuance of the NAL)6 to
March 24, 2000, and that the unauthorized operation of the
captioned stations during that period does not warrant a $6,000
4. As the NAL explicitly states, TPSD assessed the proposed
forfeiture amount in this case in accordance with Section 503 of
the Act,7 Section 1.80 of the Rules,8 and 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''). Section 503(b) of the Act9 requires that, in
examining Commercial Radio's response, the Commission 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.10
5. Section 301 of the Act sets forth the general mandate
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. Section 1.903(a) of the Commission's
Rules provides, in pertinent part, that stations in the SMR
service must be operated with a valid Commission authorization.
6. Commercial Radio concedes it operated its 11 SMR
stations without valid licenses between October, 1999 and March
24, 2000. We conclude that Commercial Radio's unauthorized
operation between October, 1999 and March 24, 2000, was in
willful and repeated violation of Section 301 of the
Communications Act and Section 1.903(a) of the Rules.
7. We reject Commercial Radio's arguments for mitigation
or cancellation of the proposed monetary forfeiture. First,
Commercial Radio's operation of eleven stations for five months
without authorization precludes finding that Commercial Radio has
a ``history of overall compliance.'' Second, Commercial Radio is
fully responsible for the administrative errors of its agent.
Finally, the violations occurring between December 1999 and March
24, 2000, alone, fully justify a $6,000 forfeiture. In other
recent cases we imposed a $5,000 forfeiture for unlicensed
operation resulting from the late filing of a renewal
application.11 In this case, however, $6,000 is justified
because of the large number of stations involved (11).
8. We conclude that there is no basis for rescission or
mitigation of the proposed monetary forfeiture and that $6,000 is
the proper amount.
III. Ordering Clauses
9. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section
503(b) of the Act,12 and Sections 0.111, 0.311 and 1.80(f)(4) of
the Rules,13 Commercial Radio IS LIABLE FOR A MONETARY FORFEITURE
in the amount of $6,000 for repeatedly violating the provisions
of Section 301 of Act and Section 1.903 of the Rules, which
prohibit operation of a station without authorization from the
10. Payment of the forfeiture shall be made in the manner
provided for in Section 1.80 of the Commission's Rules14 within
30 days of the release of this Order. If the forfeiture is not
paid within the period specified, the case may be referred to the
Department of Justice for collection pursuant to Section 504(a)
of the Act.15 Payment shall be made by mailing a check or
similar instrument, payable to the order of the Federal
Communications Commission, to the Federal Communications
Commission, P.O. Box 73482, Chicago, Illinois 60673-7482. The
payment should note ``NAL/Acct. No. 200132100009'' referenced
above. Requests for full payment under an installment plan
should be sent to: Chief, Credit and Debt Management Center, 445
12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554.16
11. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT a copy of this Forfeiture
Order shall be sent, by Certified Mail - Return Receipt
Requested, to Commercial Radio Service Corp., 6210 Virginia Beach
Boulevard, Norfolk, Virginia 23502, and to its counsel, Lukas,
Nace, Gutierrez & Sachs, Attention: Pamela Gaary, 1111 19th
Street, NW, Suite 1200, Washington, DC 20036.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Joseph P. Casey
Chief, Technical and Public Safety
1 47 U.S.C. § 301.
2 47 C.F.R. § 1.903(a).
3 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, NAL/Acct. No.
200132100009 (Enf. Bur.,Technical and Public Safety Division,
released December 11, 2000).
4 47 C.F.R. § 1.949. This Section provides , in pertinent
part, that ``Applications for renewal of authorizations in the
Wireless Radio Services must be filed no later than the
expiration date of the authorization for which renewal is sought.
. . .''
5 On August 8, 2000, the Commission granted Commercial
Radio's March 24, 2000, waiver request and reinstated its
authority to operate the above mentioned SMR stations.
6 See Section 503(b)(6)(B) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. §
503(b)(6)(B), which provides, in pertinent part, that no
forfeiture shall be imposed if the violation charged occurred
more than one year before the issuance of the NAL.
7 47 U.S.C. § 503.
8 47 C.F.R. § 1.80.
9 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
1010 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(D).
11 See, e.g., Carmelita T. Gossard d/b/a AA Beep, 15 FCC Rcd
19808 (Enf. Bur. 2000); Forfeiture Order, NAL Acct. No. X3210003
(Enf. Bur. released January 22, 2001).
12 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
13 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.311, 1.80(f)(4).
14 47 C.F.R. § 1.80.
15 47 U.S.C. § 504(a).
16 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.