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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of
) File Number: EB-06-LA-086
Macerich - Santa Monica Place
) NAL/Acct. No.: 200632900011
Licensee of Station WQCI991
) FRN: 0011720653
Santa Monica, California
Adopted: March 26, 2007 Released: March 28, 2007
By the Regional Director, Western Region, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Forfeiture Order ("Order"), we issue a monetary forfeiture in
the amount of three thousand, two hundred dollars ($3,200) to Macerich
- Santa Monica Place ("Macerich"), licensee of land mobile station
WQCI991, for willful and repeated violation of Section 1.903(a) of the
Commission's Rules ("Rules"). On May 31, 2006, the Enforcement
Bureau's Los Angeles Office issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for
Forfeiture ("NAL") in the amount of $4,000 to Macerich after
determining that Macerich apparently willfully and repeatedly operated
on 461.0125 MHz, a frequency not authorized by the WQCI991 license in
Santa Monica, California. In this Order, we consider Macerich's
arguments that the violation was not willful; that Macerich has a
history of compliance with the Commission's Rules; and that Macerich
has since ensured that its operation was in compliance with the Rules.
2. On February 13, 2006, the Los Angeles Office received an interference
complaint concerning Macerich's allegedly unauthorized repeater
station operating on 461.0125 MHz in Santa Monica, California. A
review of the Commission's databases revealed no authorization for any
station to operate on 461.0125 MHz in that area.
3. On March 27, 2006, and April 4, 2006, an agent from the Los Angeles
Office used mobile direction finding techniques to locate
radio-repeater transmissions on 461.0125 MHz to the Santa Monica Place
shopping mall in Santa Monica, California. After locating the repeater
station on April 4, 2006, the Los Angeles agent interviewed the
Security Manager for Macerich who stated that the repeater
transmitting on 461.0125 MHz had been in operation for over a year and
produced a copy of Macerich's license for WQCI991. The license
authorized Macerich to operate on other UHF band frequencies but not
on 461.0125 MHz. The Los Angeles agent informed the Security Manager
that the current license did not authorize the use of the 461.0125 MHz
repeater and the Security Manager stated that he would immediately
stop using that frequency.
4. On May 31, 2006, the Los Angeles Office issued a NAL in the amount of
$4,000 to Macerich. In the NAL, the Los Angeles Office found that
Macerich apparently willfully and repeatedly operated on 461.0125 MHz,
a frequency not authorized by the WCI991 license. Macerich filed a
response to the NAL on June 7, 2006 ("Response"). In its Response,
Macerich argues that it did not willfully violate the Rules, that it
has a history of compliance with the Commission's Rules, that it took
steps to ensure that it came into compliance with Rules after the
inspection by the Los Angeles agent and, consequently, the NAL should
5. The proposed forfeiture amount in this case was assessed in accordance
with Section 503(b) of the Act, Section 1.80 of the Rules, and The
Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and Amendment of Section 1.80
of the Rules to Incorporate the Forfeiture Guidelines. In examining
the 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.
6. Section 1.903(a) of the Rules requires that stations in the Wireless
Radio Services must be used and operated only in accordance with the
rules applicable to their particular service, and with a valid
authorization granted by the Commission. On March 27, 2006, and April
4, 2006, a Los Angeles agent determined that Macerich was operating
its land mobile station, WQCI991 on 461.0125 MHz, a frequency not
authorized by its license.
7. In its Response, Macerich acknowledges that it operated WQCI991 on
461.0125 MHz. Macerich states that its prior license KNEN676,
authorized the use of 461.0125 MHz and Macerich did not realize that
the frequencies it was authorized to use had been changed.
Consequently, Macerich states that it had no "willful or malicious
intents" to violate the Rules or to operate WQCI991 on an unauthorized
frequency. A licensee is required to operate on the frequency stated
in its authorization. Section 312(f)(1) of the Act, 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...." While we appreciate that
Macerich may not have kept track of its FCC applications and
authorizations, its Security Manager acknowledged to the Los Angeles
agent that it was operating its station, WQCI991, on 461.0125 MHz, a
frequency not authorized on the WQCI991 license. Pursuant to Section
312(f)(1), this action alone is enough to show that Macerich willfully
violated Section 1.903(a); Macerich's actual intent is irrelevant.
Consequently, we find that Macerich willfully violated Section
1.903(a) of the Rules. In any event, Macerich operated on the
incorrect frequency for more than a year, therefore, its violation was
8. Macerich also contends that it has never previously had compliance
issues with the Commission and, consequently, it has a history of
overall compliance with the Commission's Rules. We have reviewed our
records and we concur. Consequently, we reduce Macerich's forfeiture
amount from $4,000 to $3,200.
9. Macerich also argues that it ensured that its operation of WQCI991
came into compliance after the inspection by the Los Angeles agent.
While we appreciate Macerich's efforts, the Commission has
consistently held that a licensee is expected to correct errors when
they are brought to the licensee's attention and that such correction
is not grounds for a downward adjustment in the forfeiture. Therefore,
we find no merit to this argument.
10. We have examined the Response to the NAL pursuant to the statutory
factors above, and in conjunction with the Forfeiture Policy
Statement. As a result of our review, we conclude that Macerich
willfully and repeatedly violated Section 1.903(a) of the Rules.
Considering the entire record and the factors listed above, we find
that reduction of the proposed forfeiture to $3,200 is warranted.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
11. ACCORDINGLY, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to Section 503(b) of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended ("Act"), and Sections 0.111,
0.311 and 1.80(f)(4) of the Commission's Rules, Macerich - Santa
Monica Place IS LIABLE FOR A MONETARY FORFEITURE in the amount of
$3,200 for willfully and repeatedly violating Section 1.903(a) of the
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. 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 Federal Communications Commission, P.O.
Box 358340, Pittsburgh, PA 15251-8340. Payment by overnight mail may
be sent to Mellon Bank /LB 358340, 500 Ross Street, Room 1540670,
Pittsburgh, PA 15251. Payment by wire transfer may be made to ABA
Number 043000261, receiving bank Mellon Bank, and account number 911-
6106. Requests for full payment under an installment plan should be
sent to: Associate Managing Director - Financial Operations, Room
1A625, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554.
13. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Order shall be sent by First
Class Mail and Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested to Macerich -
Santa Monica Place, at its address of record.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Rebecca L. Dorch
Regional Director, Western Region
47 C.F.R. S 1.903(a).
Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, NAL/Acct. No. 200632900011
(Enf. Bur., Western Region, Los Angeles Office, released May 31, 2006).
A previous license, KNEN676, issued to the Santa Monica Place management
company, SMPL Management, Inc., authorized the use of 461.0125 MHz and
other frequencies. This license was cancelled, however, on December 7,
47 U.S.C. S 503(b).
47 C.F.R. S 1.80.
12 FCC Rcd 17087 (1997), recon. denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999).
47 U.S.C. S 503(b)(2)(E).
47 C.F.R. S 1.903(a).
Dominic DeNaples, 19 FCC Rcd 12303 (EB 2004).
47 U.S.C. S 312(f)(1)
See Southern California Broadcasting Co., 6 FCC Rcd 4387 (1991).
We also note, as the Los Angeles Office did in the NAL, that the KNEN676
license was cancelled on December 7, 2003. NAL at n.3. The WQCI991 license
was granted to Macerich on March 16, 2005.
AT&T Wireless Services, Inc. 17 FCC Rcd 21866, 21871-76 (2002).
47 U.S.C. S 503(b), 47 C.F.R. SS 0.111, 0.311, 1.80(f)(4), 1.903(a).
47 U.S.C. S 504(a).
See 47 C.F.R. S 1.1914.
Federal Communications Commission DA 07-1436
Federal Communications Commission DA 07-1436