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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
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Adopted: January 25, 2007 Released: January 29, 2007
By the Assistant Chief, Enforcement Bureau:
1. By this Memorandum Opinion and Order ("Order"), we deny the Petition
for Reconsideration filed by Portland Taxicab Company ("Portland Taxicab")
licensee of radio station WPRJ576, Portland, Oregon. Portland Taxicab
seeks reconsideration of an Enforcement Bureau ("Bureau") Forfeiture Order
which found Portland Taxicab liable for a monetary forfeiture in the
amount of twelve thousand dollars ($12,000) for willful and repeated
violation of Sections 1.903(a), 90.210, 90.403(e) and 90.425(a) of the
Commission's Rules ("Rules"). The noted violations involve Portland
Taxicab's operation on frequencies without a valid FCC authorization,
transmission of spurious emissions resulting in harmful interference to an
amateur radio station, and failure to transmit proper station
identification. For the reasons discussed below, the forfeiture amount of
$12,000 will not be reduced.
2. On March 13, 2003, the Commission's Portland, Oregon Resident Agent
Office ("Portland Office") received a complaint from an amateur radio
operator regarding interference to the 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. Upon review of Commission records,
the agent did not find a license authorizing operation on the frequencies
452.250 MHz or 457.250 MHz at 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.
3. 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
oral 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.
4. 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, warning.
5. On January 30, 2004, the Portland Office issued a Notice of Apparent
Liability for Forfeiture ("NAL") in the amount of twelve thousand dollars
($12,000) for apparent willful and repeated violation of Sections
1.903(a), 90.210, 90.403(e) and 90.425(a) of the Rules. Portland Taxicab,
in its February 27, 2004, response did not dispute the violations, rather,
it sought reduction or cancellation of the proposed forfeiture due to an
inability to pay. On November 18, 2004, the Bureau, finding insufficient
documentation to consider the inability to pay claim, issued a Forfeiture
Order which imposed a forfeiture in the amount of $12,000 against Portland
Taxicab for the noted violations. In its Petition for Reconsideration of
the Forfeiture Order, Portland Taxicab does not dispute the violations but
again seeks a reduction or cancellation of the forfeiture based on its
inability to pay the $12,000 forfeiture.
6. In assessing forfeiture amounts, Section 503(b)(2)(D) of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended ("Act"), and Section 1.80(b)(4) of
the Rules require that the Commission take into account, among other
things, the party's ability to pay a forfeiture. A successful claim to
reduce a forfeiture for inability to pay requires specific supporting
financial documentation. In analyzing economic-hardship claims, the
Commission generally looks to a company's gross revenues from the three
most recent tax years as a reasonable and appropriate yardstick to
determine its ability to pay an assessed forfeiture. Indeed, the
Commission has stated that if a company's gross revenues are sufficiently
large, the fact that net losses are reported, alone, does not necessarily
signify an inability to pay. Thus, the Commission will not consider
reducing or canceling a forfeiture in response to a claim of inability to
pay unless the petitioner submits (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 financial status.
7. In its Petition for Reconsideration of the Forfeiture Order, Portland
Taxicab supplies tax returns for a two year period, several financial
documents regarding its financial condition for the third year, and an
affidavit of its owner general manager attesting to the accuracy of the
8. We have reviewed the documentation presented and find that Portland
Taxicab's gross revenues for the relevant years are sufficient to pay the
forfeiture as the percentage of gross revenues/income represented by the
forfeiture amount is within the range generally considered payable.
9. We have examined Portland Taxicab's Petition for Reconsideration
pursuant to the statutory factors prescribed by Section 503(b) of the Act,
and in conjunction with the Policy Statement. As a result of our review,
we conclude that no reduction is warranted and affirm $12,000 as the
appropriate amount for the forfeiture.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
10. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to pursuant to Section 405
of the Act, and Section 1.106 of the Rules, Portland Taxicab Company's
Petition for Reconsideration of the Forfeiture Order IS DENIED and the
Forfeiture Order finding Portland Taxicab Company liable for a $12,000
forfeiture for willful and repeated violations of Sections 1.903(a),
90.210, 90.403(e) and 90.425(a) of the Rules IS AFFIRMED.
11. 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, 445 12th Street, S.W., Room 1A625, Washington, D.C.
12. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Order shall be sent by First
Class and Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested to Portland Taxicab
Company, 12624 NE Halsey Street, Portland, Oregon 97230 and to 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
Portland Taxicab Company, 19 FCC Rcd 22511 (Enf. Bur. 2004).
47 C.F.R. SS 1.903(a), 90.210, 90.403(e) and 90.425(a).
Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, NAL/Acct. No. 200432920001
(Enf. Bur., Portland Office, released January 30, 2004).
47 C.F.R. S 1.80 (b)(4).
See PJB Communications of Virginia, Inc., 7 FCC Rcd 2088, 2089 (1992); see
also The Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and Amendment of Section
1.80 of the Rules to Incorporate the Forfeiture Guidelines, 12 FCC Rcd
17087, 17106-07 (1997), recon. denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999) ("Forfeiture
See PJB Communications of Virginia, Inc., 7 FCC Rcd at 2089; see also
Forfeiture Policy Statement, 12 FCC Rcd at 17106-07, P 43.
See, e.g., Local Long Distance, Inc., 15 FCC Rcd 24385 (2000), recon.
denied, 16 FCC Rcd 10023, 10025 (2001); Independent Communications, Inc.,
14 FCC Rcd 9605 (1999), recon. denied, 15 FCC Rcd 16060, 16060 (2000);
Hoosier Broadcasting Corp.. 14 FCC Rcd 3356 (CIB 1999), recon. denied, 15
FCC Rcd 8640, 8641 (Enf. Bur. 2000).
See PJB, 7 FCC Rcd at 2089 (forfeiture not deemed excessive where it
represented approximately 2.02 percent of the violator's gross revenues);
Hoosier Broadcasting, 15 FCC Rcd at 8641; (forfeiture not deemed excessive
where it represented approximately 7.6 percent of the violator's gross
revenues); Afton Communications Corp., 7 FCC Rcd 6741 (forfeiture not
deemed excessive where it represented approximately 3.9 percent of the
violator's gross revenues).
47 U.S.C. S 503(b).
47 U.S.C. S 405.
47 C.F.R. S 1.106.
47 U.S.C. S 504(a).
See 47 C.F.R. S 1.1914.
Federal Communications Commission DA 07-210
Federal Communications Commission DA 07-210