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                           Before the
                Federal Communications Commission
                     Washington, D.C. 20554


In the Matter of                 )
                                )    File No. EB-01-NY-490
Rev. Yvon Louis                  )    NAL/Acct. No. 200232380002
Brooklyn, New York               )    FRN No.  0006-2631-72 


                  MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Adopted:  September 3, 2004             Released:  September 8, 
2004

By the Chief, Enforcement Bureau:

I.   INTRODUCTION

     1.        In this Memorandum Opinion and Order  (``Order''), 
we  deny the  petition  for reconsideration  filed by  Rev.  Yvon 
Louis, Brooklyn,  New York (``Rev.  Louis'').1  Rev. Louis  seeks 
reconsideration  of the  Forfeiture Order2  in which  the  Chief, 
Enforcement Bureau (``Bureau'')  found him liable for a  monetary 
forfeiture in  the amount of ten  thousand dollars ($10,000)  for 
willful   and  repeated   violation  of   Section  301   of   the 
Communications  Act of  1934  (``Act'').3   The  noted  violation 
involves  Rev.  Louis's operating  radio  transmitting  equipment 
without a license. 

     2.        On  July  23,  2002,  the  Commission's  New  York 
District  Office  (``New  York  Office'')  issued  a  Notice   of 
Apparent Liability for  Forfeiture (``NAL'') to Rev. Louis for  a 
forfeiture  in the  amount of  ten thousand  dollars  ($10,000).4  
Rev.  Louis filed a  response to the  NAL on July  30, 2002.   On 
August  5, 2003, the  Bureau issued the  Forfeiture Order,  which 
imposed  a monetary forfeiture  in the amount  of $10,000.   Rev. 
Louis   filed  a   response   requesting  cancellation   of   the 
forfeiture.   For  the reasons  set  forth below,  we  deny  Rev. 
Louis's request.   

II.  BACKGROUND

     3.        On November  16  and  17, 2001,  New  York  Office 
agents observed an unauthorized radio broadcast on 93.7 MHz,  and 
identified the  source of the  unauthorized transmissions as  the 
Calvary  Tabernacle, Inc.,  1653 Nostrand  Avenue, Brooklyn,  NY, 
11226.  There was  no evidence of a Commission authorization  for 
this  operation.   On  November  17,  the  agents  requested  and 
received  permission  from  Rev. Louis,  the  pastor  of  Calvary 
Tabernacle,   Inc.,  to  inspect   the  radio  station's   studio 
equipment.   Also  at  that  time  the  agents  hand-delivered  a 
Warning Letter to Rev. Louis for the operation of the  unlicensed 
station.   On November 23, 2001, the New York Office mailed  Rev. 
Louis a Warning Letter, by First Class and Certified Mail  Return 
Receipt Requested.

     4.        On December 5, 2001, the New York Office  received 
a  response from  Rev.  Louis acknowledging  and  confirming  the 
operation of a  radio station at 1653 Nostrand Avenue,  Brooklyn, 
NY,  11226.    In  his response,  Rev.  Louis  claimed  that  the 
transmitter  conformed  to  the  standards  of  Part  15  of  the 
Commission's Rules and that it did not exceed four watts.  

     5.        On December  17,  2001,  New  York  Office  agents 
requested and were given permission by Rev. Louis to inspect  the 
Calvary   Tabernacle,  Inc.  radio   station.   In  response   to 
questions  by the  agents, Rev.  Louis told  the agents  that  he 
operated the  station on weekends, first  on 93.7 MHz, and  later 
on  88.1  MHz.  The  agents  explained  to Rev.  Louis  that  his 
transmitter  was listed as  a Part 73  transmitter and  therefore 
that it required an FCC station license.  The agents pointed  out 
to Rev. Louis that the label on the back of his transmitter,  and 
the  information in the  instruction manual,  indicated that  the 
transmitter was Part 73 and not Part 15 as Rev. Louis had  stated 
in  his letter.  In  addition, the New  York agents explained  to 
Rev. Louis that the measured field strength from his  transmitter 
greatly  exceeded  the  Part 15  power  limits  for  non-licensed 
operation.  The  agents advised Rev. Louis  of the penalties  for 
operating without a  license and ascertained that Rev. Louis  had 
a  copy of the  Warning Letter  dated November 23,  2001, in  his 
possession. 

     6.         On January 4, January 5, January 11, and  January 
18, 2002,  Commission agents again  observed radio broadcasts  on 
88.1  MHz,  and   identified  the  source  of  the   unauthorized 
transmissions  to the  Calvary  Tabernacle, Inc.,  1653  Nostrand 
Avenue, Brooklyn,  New York, 11226.  Field strength  measurements 
taken on January 5, 2002 and January 18, 2002 exceeded the  field 
strength limits  for non-licensed low-power Part 15  transmitters 
by 2,479 and 3,391 times respectively.5 

     7.   On January  22, 2002  the New  York Office  received  a 
letter  from  Rev. Louis  in  which  he stated  that  during  the 
December  17,  2001  inspection  the  agents  found  a  one  watt 
transmitter  and informed him  that the  unlicensed operation  of 
the  transmitter violated  Section 301  of the  Act.  Rev.  Louis 
further states that  the agents told him he could operate a  low-
power  transmitter under Part  15 of  the Rules.6   Based on  the 
agents' statements, Rev. Louis asserts that he exchanged the  one 
watt  transmitter for  one  that complied  with  Part 15  of  the 
Rules.  Rev. Louis  claims that the transmitter inspected by  the 
agents  on  January  18,  2002  was  the  new  Part  15-compliant 
transmitter.

     8.   On June 22,  2002, Commission agents  again observed  a 
radio  broadcast on 88.1  MHz, and identified  the source of  the 
unauthorized transmissions to the Calvary Tabernacle, Inc.,  1653 
Nostrand  Avenue, Brooklyn,  New York,  11226.  The  agents  made 
field  strength  measurements  of  the  station's  signal.    The 
agents'  measurements indicated that  the field  strength of  the 
signal  exceeded the permissible  level for  a non-licensed  low-
power transmitter by  847 times.  The agents conducted a  station 
inspection  and  determined  that  Rev.  Louis  was  the   person 
responsible for the station operation.  

     9.    On July 23, 2002, the New York Office issued an NAL in 
the amount of  $10,000 to Rev. Louis for operating an  unlicensed 
radio  transmitter on frequencies  93.7 MHz, 88.1  MHz, and  90.1 
MHz in willful and repeated violation of Section 301 of the  Act.  
In his response  to the NAL, Rev. Louis argued that he allowed  a 
Commission agent to inspect the church on November 16, 2001,  and 
that the Commission agent did not find a transmitter during  that 
inspection.  Rev. Louis  alleges that he thereafter replaced  the 
one  watt transmitter  with a  Part 15  transmitter, after  being 
informed  by the  agent  that its  operation would  be  permitted 
without a license, and that during a subsequent inspection,  only 
a non-operating  Part 15 transmitter was  observed by the  agent.  
Rev.  Louis concludes that  the Commission never  found a  ``good 
functioning radio  transmitter'' at the church,  and that he  did 
not violate Section 301 of the Act.

     10.       On August 5, 2003, the Enforcement Bureau issued a 
Forfeiture Order  to Rev. Louis assessing  a ten thousand  dollar 
($10,000) forfeiture on  a finding that Rev. Louis willfully  and 
repeatedly  violated Section 301  of the  Act.7   The  Forfeiture 
Order   rejected  Rev.   Louis's   argument  that   no   operable 
transmitting  equipment  was located  at  1653  Nostrand  Avenue, 
Brooklyn,  New York 11226,  and that  his transmissions  complied 
with  Part  15   of  the  Rules  after  the  December  17,   2001 
inspection.   The Forfeiture  Order noted  that New  York  Office 
agents  identified  an  unauthorized  radio  broadcast  at   1653 
Nostrand Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11226 on numerous  occasions, 
and that the  agents detected a measurable field strength  signal 
on  January 5,  2002, January  18, 2002  and June  22, 2002  that 
exceeded  the  permissible  level  for  a  non-licensed  Part  15 
transmitter by significant amounts.

     11.       In his  response  to the  Forfeiture  Order,  Rev. 
Louis  makes several arguments.   First, Rev.  Louis denies  that 
his  transmitter  was  illegal,  insisting,  as  he  did  in  the 
response to the  NAL, that the transmitter was Part  15-compliant 
and that  a New York  Office agent had advised  him that Part  15 
transmitters  are  permitted  without  a  license.   Rev.   Louis 
further denies  that the transmissions detected  by the New  York 
Office agents outside the building were his, and that the  agents 
never  detected any  illegal transmissions  or found  an  illegal 
transmitter inside the building.  In addition, Rev. Louis  argues 
that Section 503(b) of the Act requires that the Commission  take 
into account  his religious organization's  ability to serve  its 
community  and  his  freedom of  speech.    Finally,  Rev.  Louis 
argues  that  the  forfeiture should  be  cancelled  because  his 
station is no longer broadcasting on the frequencies in  question 
due to interference from another station.     

III.      DISCUSSION

     12.       Section 301 of the Act mandates that ``[n]o 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 this Act and with  a 
license  in that  behalf  granted under  the provisions  of  this 
Act.''8    Rev.  Louis   continues  to   argue,   notwithstanding 
explanations  by the New  York Office agents  and by the  Warning 
Letters  he received, that  his operations  were permitted  under 
Part 15 of the Rules.  

     13.      We  conclude that  contrary  to his  opinion,  Rev. 
Louis did  not meet the requirements  of Part 15 for  permissible 
broadcasting  without a  license.   The  New York  Office  agents 
examined  Rev. Louis's transmitter  in his  presence and  pointed 
out  to him that  it was  a Part 73  transmitter.  Moreover,  the 
agents  documented signal  strength  emanating from  the  Calvary 
Tabernacle,  Inc.,  1653 Nostrand  Avenue,  Brooklyn,  New  York, 
11226,  far in  excess  of that  permitted  under Part  15.   The 
agents  determined that  Rev.  Louis was  responsible  for  these 
operations, and informed him of the violation.  

     14.      Rev. Louis's argument that if he had a transmitter, 
and  if it were  illegal, that the  Commission would have  seized 
it, is without merit.  Seizure of equipment is only one  sanction 
of several that the Commission has at its disposal, and there  is 
no  requirement  that  field  agents  seize  the  transmitter  to 
establish  that it  is in  violation of  the Commission's  Rules.  
While Rev. Louis may not be familiar with the Act and the  Rules, 
it is well established that ignorance of the Rules or Act is  not 
a  basis for  determining  that the  violation is  not  willful.9    
Accordingly,   we  conclude   that  Rev.   Louis  willfully   and 
repeatedly violated Section 301 of the Act.10

     15.        We further conclude that no infringement of  Rev. 
Louis's rights to practice his religion and exercise free  speech 
exists  here.   Rev. Louis's  rights  to freedom  of  speech  and 
freedom to  practice his religion do  not extend to  transmitting 
communications  by  radio  without  a  license.   The   statutory 
requirement  to  have   a  license  does  not  infringe  on   the 
Constitutional   rights  of   individuals  who   are   unlicensed 
broadcasters.11

     16.       Finally, that Rev.  Louis is  no longer  operating 
his transmitter is not a basis for mitigation of the  forfeiture.     
Cessation of the rule violation does not nullify or mitigate  any 
prior forfeitures or violations.12

     17.       We  have  examined   Rev.  Louis's  petition   for 
reconsideration  pursuant  to the  statutory  factors  set  forth 
above, and in conjunction with the Policy Statement as well.   As 
a result of our reconsideration, we conclude that Rev. Louis  has 
failed to provide sufficient justification for any change in  the 
Forfeiture Order.

IV.  ORDERING CLAUSES

     18.        Accordingly,  IT  IS ORDERED  that,  pursuant  to 
Section 405 of the Act,13 and Section 1.106 of the Rules, 14  the 
petition for  reconsideration of the  Forfeiture Order IS  DENIED 
and the issuance of the $10,000 forfeiture IS AFFIRMED. 

     19.       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.15 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  Forfeiture  Collection  Section, 
Finance  Branch,  Federal  Communications  Commission,  P.O.  Box 
73482, Chicago,  Illinois 60673-7482.  Payment by overnight  mail 
may  be sent to  Bank One/LB  73482, 525 West  Monroe, 8th  Floor 
Mailroom, Chicago,  IL 60661.   Payment by  wire transfer may  be 
made  to  ABA Number  071000013,  receiving bank  Bank  One,  and 
account  number 1165259.    Requests for  full payment  under  an 
installment  plan   should  be  sent   to:  Chief,  Revenue   and 
Receivables Operations Group, 445 12th Street, S.W.,  Washington, 
D.C. 20554.16  
     
     20.       IT IS  FURTHER ORDERED  THAT this  Order shall  be 
sent  by  regular mail  and  by certified  mail,  return  receipt 
requested, to Rev. Yvon Louis, Calvary Tabernacle, 1653  Nostrand 
Avenue, Brooklyn, New York, 11226. 



                         FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
                         



                         David H. Solomon
                         Chief, Enforcement Bureau
_________________________

1  Letter to the Chief, Enforcement Bureau from Rev. Yvon  Louis, 
dated August 15, 2003. 
2   Rev.  Yvon  Louis,  18   FCC  Rcd  16187  (Enf.  Bur.   2003) 
(``Forfeiture Order'').
3  47 U.S.C.  301.  
4 Notice  of Apparent  Liability  for Forfeiture,  NAL/Acct.  No. 
200232380002 (released July 23, 2002).  
5  Non-licensed  broadcasting  is  permitted only  if  the  field 
strength of the transmission  does not exceed  250 ?V/m at  three 
meters.  The agent's  measurements indicated  that the  station's 
field strength  measurement  extrapolated  to  three  meters  was 
619,689 ?V/m on January 5, 2002, and 847,647 ?V/m on Janua
ry 18, 2002.  
6 47  C.F.R.   15.1 et  seq. permits  the use  of certain  non-
licensed low-power transmitters.
7  Notice of Apparent Liability, supra.
8  47 U.S.C.  301.
9 Southern  California  Broadcasting  Company, 6  FCC  Rcd.  4387 
(1991)(citing Vernon  Broadcasting,  Inc.,  60  RR2d  1275,  1277 
(1986); Fay Neel Eggleston, 19 FCC2d 829 (1969)).   See also  PBJ 
Communications of Virginia, Inc., 7 FCC Rcd 2088 (1992); Standard 
Communications Corp., 1  FCC Rcd 358  (1986); Triad  Broadcasting 
Co., Inc., 96 FCC 2d 1235, 1242 (1984).
10  In  this  context,   ``willful''  means  the  conscious   and 
deliberate commission or omission of an act, irrespective of  any 
intent  to  violate  statutory  or  regulatory  requirements.   A 
violation is  considered ``repeated''  if it  continues for  more 
than one  day.   See  47  U.S.C.    312(f);  see  also  Southern 
California Broadcasting Co., 6 FCC Rcd 4387, 4387-88,  5 (1991). 
11  National Broadcasting  Co. v.  US, 319 U.S.  190, 227  (1943) 
(``The right of free speech does not include... the right to  use 
the facilities of radio without a license.'')  See also  Creation 
of Low Power Radio Service, 15 FCC Rcd 2205, 2227 (2000). 
12 See Radio Station KGVL, Inc.,  42 FCC 2d 258, 259 (1973);  and 
Executive Broadcasting Corp., 3 FCC 2d 699, 700 (1966).
13 47 U.S.C.  405.
14 47 C.F.R.  1.106.
15  47 U.S.C.  504(a).
16 See 47 C.F.R.  1.1914.