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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
Portland Taxicab Company, ) File No. EB-03-PO-070
Licensee of Station WPRJ576 )
Portland, Oregon ) NAL/Acct. No. 200432920001
) FRN 000-865-1051
Adopted: November 10, 2004 Released: November 18,
By the Assistant Chief, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Forfeiture Order (``Order''), we issue a monetary
forfeiture in the amount of twelve thousand dollars ($12,000), to
Portland Taxicab Company ("Portland Taxicab"), licensee of
Station WPRJ576, for its willful and repeated violation of
Sections 1.903(a), 90.210, 90.403(e) and 90.425(a) of the
Commission's Rules ("Rules").1 The noted violations involve
Portland Taxicab's operation on frequencies 452.250 and 457.250
MHz without valid FCC authorization, transmission of spurious
emissions resulting in harmful interference to an amateur radio
station, and failure to transmit proper station identification.
2. On January 30, 2004, the Resident Agent of the Commission's
Portland, Oregon Field Office ("Portland Office") issued a Notice
of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture ("NAL")2 in the amount of
twelve thousand dollars ($12,000). Portland Taxi filed a
response on February 27, 2004.
3. On March 13, 2003, the Portland Office received a
complaint from amateur radio station AB7F that interference was
being received in its frequency band of 440.700 MHz - 440.780
MHz. An agent monitored the frequency band and observed the
interference. The agent located the interfering signal to a
repeater station operating on the frequencies 452.250 MHz and
457.250 MHz on top of Mt. Scott in Clackamas County, Oregon.
Using the geographical coordinates for the station,3 the agent
searched the Commission records4 which did not reveal any
licenses authorized to operate on the frequencies 452.250 MHz or
457.250 MHz within this location. The agent also observed and
measured spurious emissions in the frequency band from 440.700
MHz to 440.780 MHz at approximately 55 dB below the fundamental
frequency 452.250 MHz transmitted from this repeater. The agent
located the repeater's control point station to Portland
Taxicab's business at 12624 NE Halsey Street, Portland Oregon.
4. The agent inspected the control point station at this
address which had Portland Taxicab's FCC call sign license for
WPRJ576 displayed. The license authorized repeater and mobile
station operation on frequencies 452.125 MHz and 457.125 MHz in
Clackamas County, Oregon. The agent issued verbal warnings to
Portland Taxicab's office manager regarding its unauthorized
operation on frequencies 452.250 MHz and 457.250 MHz and the
station's spurious emissions transmitted by the repeater station
causing interference to amateur station AB7F. The agent also
issued a warning regarding the station's failure to transmit the
station identification. Portland Taxicab's station manager
informed the agent that the station would change the frequencies
and fix the transmitter.
5. On March 17, 2003, the Portland Office agent again
monitored the frequencies 452.250 MHz and 457.250 MHz and found
the system still to be in violation of each of the above cited
rules, at the same location notwithstanding the March 13, 2003
6. On January 30, 2004, the Portland Office issued an NAL
to Portland Taxicab for its unauthorized transmissions on 452.250
MHz and 457.250 MHz, its spurious emissions causing interference
to amateur radio operation and its failure to identify the
station during its operation. On February 27, 2004, the Bureau
received a response to the NAL. In its response, Portland
Taxicab does not dispute the violations. Rather, Portland
Taxicab states that it has fired its former station manager for
misleading the owners and failing to properly operate the company
resulting in financial difficulties making it impossible to pay
the forfeiture and avoid bankruptcy. Portland Taxicab states that
it fixed the interference problem as quickly as it could to
maintain communications with its taxi cabs. In support of its
claim of an inability to pay the forfeiture, Portland Taxicab
submitted its 2000 tax return and several unsigned ``balance
sheets'' and a letter from its current manager regarding its
current financial condition. Consequently, Portland Taxicab
requests a cancellation or reduction of the proposed forfeiture.
7. The forfeiture amount in this case was assessed in
accordance with Section 503(b) of the Communications Act of 1934,
as amended (``Act''),5 Section 1.80 of the Rules,6 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). In
examining Portland Taxicab'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 such other matters as
justice may require.7
8. Portland Taxicab acknowledged that the violations for
which it was cited did, in fact, occur but claims that it did not
intentionally violate any FCC order. Commission precedent holds
that a violation need not be intentional to be willful. 8
Because there is no dispute as to whether the violations
occurred, we affirm issuance of the forfeiture and conclude that
Portland Taxicab Company willfully and repeatedly9 violated
Sections 1.903(a), 90.210, 90.403(e) and 90.425(a) of the Rules.
9. In mitigation, Portland Taxicab attributes the
violations to the incompetence of a general manager who has been
fired. The improper actions by an employee cannot save Portland
Taxicab from responsibility for its violations. The Commission
has long held that the licensee is responsible for the acts and
omissions of its employees.10 Thus, Portland Taxicab is
responsible for the violations which occurred during the tenure
of its previous general manager. Additionally, Portland Taxicab's
remedial actions to correct the violations subsequent to
notification of the violations do not mitigate the violations.11
It is well established that ``corrective action taken to come
into compliance with Commission Rules or policy is expected,12
and does not nullify or mitigate any prior forfeitures or
10. Further, with respect to Portland Taxicab Company's request
for a waiver or substantial reduction of the forfeiture claiming
an inability to pay the $12,000 dollar forfeiture assessed, as
explicitly stated in the NAL, the Commission will not consider
reducing or canceling a forfeiture in response to a claim of
inability to pay unless the petitioner submits adequate
documentation to support its claim.13 Portland Taxicab failed to
submit acceptable documentation providing only its 2000 tax
return and various other non verified documents. Because
Portland Taxicab failed to present acceptable documentation
regarding its claimed inability to pay the forfeiture, we have no
basis on which to analyze its claim. Accordingly, no reduction
is warranted. Finally, although there is precedent for reducing
or rescinding a forfeiture based on bankruptcy in certain
circumstances,14 Portland Taxicab Company has not filed for
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
11. 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,15 Portland Taxicab Company. IS LIABLE FOR A MONETARY
FORFEITURE in the amount of twelve thousand dollars ($12,000) for
willfully and repeatedly violating Sections 1.903(a), 90.210,
90.403(e) and 90.425(a) of the Rules.
12. 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.16
Payment shall be made by check or similar instrument, payable to
the order of the Federal Communications Commission. The payment
must include the NAL/Acct. 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, 525 West Monroe, 8th Floor Mailroom, Chicago, Illinois
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 Group, 445 12th Street,
S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554.17
13. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, a copy of this Order shall be
sent by Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested and First Class
Mail to Randell Owens, Portland Taxicab Company, 12624 NE Halsey,
Portland, Oregon 97230 and its Counsel, Charles R. Williamson,
Esq., Kell, Alterman & Runstein, LLP, 520 SW Yamhill St., Suite
600, Portland, Oregon 97204.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
George R. Dillon
Assistant Chief, Enforcement Bureau
1 47 C.F.R. §§ 1.903(a), 90.210, 90.403(e) and 90.425(a).
2 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, NAL/Acct. No.
200432920001 (Enf. Bur., Portland Office, released January 30,
3 45º 27' 17'' north latitude and 122º 33' 01'' west longitude.
4 The Commission's Antenna Structure Registration Data Base
contains the geographical coordinates for each registered antenna
structure. The Commission's Licensing Data Bases contain the
geographical coordinates for each license.
5 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
6 47 C.F.R. § 1.80.
7 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(D).
8 Section 312(f)(1) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. § 312(f)(1), which
applies to violations for which forfeiture are assessed under
Section 503(b) of the Act, provides that ``[t]he term `willful,'
... 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....'' Southern California Broadcasting Co., 6 FCC Rcd
9 As provided by 47 U.S.C. § 312(f)(2), ``[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.'' The Conference Report for Section 312(f)(2) indicates
that Congress intended to apply this definition to Section 503 of
the Act as well as Section 312. See H.R. Rep. 97th Cong. 2d
Sess. 51 (1982). Southern California Broadcasting Co., supra.
10 See, Eure Family Limited Partnership, 17 FCC Rcd 21,861, 21863
¶ 7 (2002).
11 See Radio Station KGVL, Inc., 42 FCC 2d 258, 259 (1973); AT&T
Wireless Services, Inc., 17 FCC Rcd 21866, 21871 (2002).
12 Seawest Yacht Brokers, 9 FCC Rcd 6099, 6099 ¶ 7 (1994).
13 The NAL set forth the following factors: (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
14 See, e.g., Dennis Elam, Trustee for Bakcor Broadcasting,
Inc., Debtor, 11 FCC Rcd 1137 (1996) (forfeiture rescinded after
bankruptcy trustee was appointed and the violator was no longer
associated with the subject radio stations); Interstate Savings,
Inc. d/b/a ISI Communications, 12 FCC Rcd 2934 (CCB 1997)
(forfeiture rescinded where trustee was appointed in Chapter 7
liquidation, removing violator from operating as a common carrier
and from involvement in dissolution or distribution of assets.
Requiring trustee to pay the forfeiture would diminish estate
assets available to innocent creditors and serve no public
15 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.311, 1.80(f)(4).
16 47 U.S.C. § 504(a).
17 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.