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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
Hill Country Real Estate ) File No. EB-02-DL-078
Development Corp. ) NAL/Acct. No. 200232500008
Owner of Antenna Structure # ) FRN 0006-7409-14
1061297 in )
Chevy Case, Maryland
Adopted: October 16, 2003 Released: October 20,
By the Chief, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Forfeiture Order (``Order''), we issue a
monetary forfeiture in the amount of thirteen thousand dollars
($13,000.00) to Hill Country Real Estate Development Corp.
(``Hill Country''), owner of antenna structure registration
(``ASR'') # 1061297, located in Junction, Texas, for willful and
repeated violations of the antenna structure painting, lighting
and registration requirements of Section 303(q) of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended (the ``Act''),1 and
Sections 17.50, 17.51, and 17.57 of the Commission's Rules
2. On September 30, 2002, the Commission's Dallas, Texas
Office (``Dallas Office'') released a Notice of Apparent
Liability for Forfeiture (``NAL'') to Hill Country for a
forfeiture in the amount of thirteen thousand dollars
($13,000.00).3 Specifically, the NAL proposed a $10,000
forfeiture for Hill Country's apparent willful and repeated
violations of Section 17.50 (failure to clean and repaint an
antenna structure), and apparent willful and repeated violations
of Section 17.51 (failure to exhibit red obstruction lighting
from sunset to sunrise). The NAL also proposed a $3,000
forfeiture for Hill Country's apparent willful and repeated
violations of Section 17.57 (failure to ``immediately'' notify
the Commission of the change in ownership of an antenna
3. Hill Country filed its response to the NAL on October
17, 2002.4 In response to the NAL, Hill Country seeks a
reduction of the forfeiture based upon ``its history of overall
compliance with the Commission's Rules.''5
4. The proposed forfeiture amount in this case was
assessed in accordance with Section 503(b) of the Act,6 Section
1.80 of the Rules,7 and The Commission's Forfeiture Policy
Statement and Amendment of Section 1.80 of the Rules to
Incorporate the Forfeiture Guidelines.8 In examining Hill
Country's response, Section 503(b) of the Act requires that 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.9 As
explained below, having considered Hill Country's reliance upon
past history, we do not find mitigating evidence that warrants a
reduction of the assessed forfeiture.
5. According to Commission records, Kent S. Foster,
president of Hill Country, is also the principal and owner of
Concho Cellular Telephone Co., Inc. (``Concho''). Commission
records further indicate that, while Hill Country's past history
is unblemished, Concho's appears not to be. Specifically,
Commission records reflect that Concho has received several
verbal warnings and Notices of Violations regarding its apparent
failure to comply with the Commission's antenna structure
maintenance (painting and lighting) requirements.10 Given the
relationship between and the common control of Hill Country and
Concho, we do not believe that reduction of the $13,000
forfeiture is warranted.11
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
6. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to Section
503(b) of the Act, and Sections 0.111, 0.311 and 1.80(f)(4) of
the Rules,12 Hill Country Real Estate Development Corp. IS LIABLE
FOR A MONETARY FORFEITURE in the amount of thirteen thousand
dollars ($13,000.00) for its failure to clean and repaint an
antenna structure, failure to exhibit red obstruction lighting
from sunset to sunrise, and failure to ``immediately'' notify the
Commission of the change in ownership of an antenna structure, in
willful and repeated violations of Sections 17.50, 17.51 and
17.57 of the Rules.
7. Payment of the forfeiture shall be made in the manner
provided for in Section 1.80 of the Rules 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.13
Payment may 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 reference NAL/Acct. No.
200232500008 and FRN 0006-7409-14. Requests for full payment
under an installment plan should be sent to: Chief, Revenue and
Receivables Group, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C.
8. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Order shall
be sent by First Class and Certified Mail Return Receipt
Requested to counsel for Hill Country, Steven J. Hamrick, Esq.,
Fleischman & Walsh, 1400 16th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
David H. Solomon
Chief, Enforcement Bureau
1 47 U.S.C. § 303(q). Section 303(q) authorizes the Commission
to require that owners of antenna towers, which constitute or
potentially constitute ``a menace to air navigation . . .
maintain the painting and/or illumination of the tower as
prescribed by the Commission pursuant to this Section.''
2 47 C.F.R. §§ 17.50, 17.51, 17.57.
3 See Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, NAL/Acct. No.
200232500008 (Enf. Bur. Dallas, Texas Office, September 30,
4 See Letter from Steven J. Hamrick, Esq. to Joseph Casey, Chief,
Technical and Public Safety Division, Enforcement Bureau, Federal
Communications Commission (October 17, 2002) (``October 17
5 October 17 Response at 1.
6 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
7 47 C.F.R. § 1.80.
8 12 FCC Rcd 17087 (1997), recon. denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999).
9 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(D).
10 See, e.g., Notice of Violation, EB-02-DL-075 (Enf. Bur.,
Dallas, Texas Office, April 2, 2002) (notifying Concho that it
violated 47 C.F.R. § 1.903(a) by operating from an unauthorized
site from November 1, 2001 through March 15, 2002); Notice of
Violation, EB-01-DL-126 (Enf. Bur., Dallas, Texas Office, January
16, 2001) (notifying Concho that it violated 47 C.F.R. § 17.48(a)
by failing to provide FAA notice of a lighting outage); Notice of
Violation, EB-00-DL-347 (Enf. Bur., Dallas, Texas Office,
December 11, 2000) (notifying Concho that it violated 47 C.F.R.
§§ 17.6(a) and 17.50 by failing to paint its antenna structure in
accordance with ASR specifications)
11 Cf. CCN, Inc., et al., Order to Show Cause, 13 FCC Rcd 13599
(1998) (revoking the authority to provide resale interstate long
distance telecommunications services based on a finding that
principals, and certain of their commonly owned and controlled
companies, engaged in slamming and other violations of the Act
and the Rules).
12 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.311, 1.80(f)(4).
13 47 U.S.C. § 504(a).
14 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.