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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of
M.R.S. Ventures, Inc. File Number EB-07-OR-014
Licensee of WDSK-AM NAL/Acct. No. 200732620004
Cleveland, MS FRN 0005013222
Facility ID # 16554
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Adopted: August 16, 2007 Released: August 20, 2007
By the Associate Chief, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Memorandum Opinion and Order ("Order"), we deny the petition
for reconsideration filed by M.R.S. Ventures, Inc., ("M.R.S."),
licensee of radio station WDSK-AM, in Cleveland, Mississippi, of the
Forfeiture Order issued June 8, 2007. The Forfeiture Order imposed a
monetary forfeiture in the amount of $7,000 on M.R.S. for the repeated
violation of Section 73.49 of the Commission's Rules ("Rules"). The
noted violation involved M.R.S.' failure to enclose an antenna tower
with radio frequency potential at the base within an effective locked
2. On February 7 and February 8, 2007, in response to a complaint, agents
from the Commission's New Orleans Field Office of the Enforcement
Bureau ("New Orleans Office") inspected radio station WDSK-AM in
Cleveland, MS. On both days, the hasp on the gate of the fence
enclosing the antenna structure, which has RF potential at the base,
was broken, allowing easy access. The latch on the gate could not be
secured because of the condition of the hasp. There was no perimeter
fence around the property. On February 8, 2007, the station manager
stated he was unaware of the condition of the fence surrounding the
3. On May 1, 2007, the New Orleans Office issued a Notice of Apparent
Liability for Forfeiture to M.R.S. in the amount of seven thousand
dollars ($7,000), for the apparent repeated violation of Section 73.49
of the Rules. M.R.S. submitted a response to the NAL requesting a
reduction or cancellation of the proposed forfeiture. On June 8, 2007,
the Enforcement Bureau ("Bureau") released the Forfeiture Order. The
Bureau received M.R.S.' petition for reconsideration on July 7, 2007,
requesting reduction or cancellation of the forfeiture.
4. The 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
M.R.S.' petition, 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 any
other such matters as justice may require.
5. On February 7 and February 8, 2007, the gate of the fence surrounding
WDSK-AM's antenna structure was not secured and could be easily
opened, providing ready access to the base of the structure. This
antenna structure was confirmed to have radio frequency at the base.
There was no perimeter fence around the property. Therefore, the
antenna structure was not enclosed within an effective locked fence or
protective property fence on more than one day. In its petition for
reconsideration, M.R.S. does not dispute these facts. Instead, it
again requests that the forfeiture be reduced or cancelled, because
the damage was not attributable to its neglect of the fence. M.R.S.
again states that, during a self-inspection conducted a week prior to
the agents' inspection, the fence was not damaged and that it repaired
the fence within two hours subsequent to the inspection. M.R.S. also
alleges that the forfeiture is large given that the violation occurred
during a time when no other parties would be near the fence
surrounding the tower.
6. We find that M.R.S. has not raised any issues that warrant reduction
or cancellation of the forfeiture. M.R.S. asserts its violation was
not willful, because it had recently inspected the fence, but this
information has no bearing on whether the violation was repeated.
Moreover, as pointed out in the Forfeiture Order, M.R.S.' statement
that the fence had been inspected two days prior to the agents'
inspection was not raised during the inspection, was not submitted
under penalty of perjury, and was not substantiated by corroborating
evidence. It is also unclear why M.R.S. believes the violation
occurred at a time when no other parties would be near the fence. In
its response to the NAL, M.R.S. asserted that its antenna structure is
located on a dead end road that is often closed. However, as noted in
the Forfeiture Order, on February 7 and 8, 2007, the road was open, as
the agents were able to reach the antenna structure. It is irrelevant
whether anyone other than the agents actually accessed the fence, as
someone could have accessed the tower due to the defective gate and
lack of a perimeter fence. In addition, the forfeiture assessed for
the violation, $7,000, is not large, as it is equal to the base
forfeiture amount for this type of violation. Finally, prompt
corrective action taken to come into compliance with the Rules is
expected, and does not nullify or mitigate any prior forfeitures or
7. M.R.S. also implies that the forfeiture would pose a financial
hardship, because the station is currently silent and not generating
revenue. However, M.R.S. failed to attach any financial documentation
of its finances, so we are unable to determine whether a reduction
based on inability to pay is warranted.
8. Therefore, we find no basis upon which to cancel or reduce the
forfeiture imposed in the Forfeiture Order.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
9. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to Section 405 of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and Section 1.106 of the
Commission's Rules, M.R.S. Ventures, Inc.'s petition for
reconsideration of the June 8, 2007 Forfeiture Order IS hereby DENIED.
10. IT IS ALSO ORDERED that, pursuant to Section 503(b) of the Act, and
Sections 0.111, 0.311 and 1.80(f)(4) of the Rules, M.R.S. Ventures,
Inc. IS LIABLE FOR A MONETARY FORFEITURE in the amount of seven
thousand dollars ($7,000) for violation of Section 73.49 of the Rules.
11. Payment of the $7,000 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. 20554.
12. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this Order shall be sent by regular mail
and by certified mail, return receipt requested, to M.R.S. Ventures,
Inc. at its address of record.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
George R. Dillon
Associate Chief, Enforcement Bureau
M.R.S. Ventures, Inc., Forfeiture Order, DA 07-2349 (Enf. Bur. South
Central Region June 8, 2007) ("Forfeiture Order").
47 C.F.R. S: 73.49.
Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, NAL/Acct. No. 200732620004
(Enf. Bur., New Orleans Office, May 1, 2007) ("NAL").
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)(D).
M.R.S.' petition for reconsideration was not submitted under penalty of
perjury and did not include corroborating evidence.
See Seawest Yacht Brokers, Forfeiture Order, 9 FCC Rcd 6099 (1994).
47 U.S.C. S: 405.
47 C.F.R. S: 1.106.
47 C.F.R. S:S: 0.111, 0.311, 1.80(f)(4), 73.49.
47 U.S.C. S: 504(a).
See 47 C.F.R. S: 1.1914.
Federal Communications Commission DA 07-3638
Federal Communications Commission DA 07-3638