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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of
Donald Winton File Number: EB-07-HU-007
Licensee of Citizen Band Radio NAL/Acct. No.: 200732540003
Corpus Christi, Texas )
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Adopted: September 14, 2007 Released: September 18, 2007
By the Associate Chief, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Memorandum Opinion and Order ("Order"), we deny in part and
grant in part the petition for reconsideration filed by Donald Winton
of the Forfeiture Order issued July 12, 2007. The Forfeiture Order
imposed a monetary forfeiture in the amount of $7,000 for Mr. Winton's
willful violation of Section 95.426(a) of the Commission's Rules. The
noted violation involved Mr. Winton's failure to make his CB radio
station available for inspection.
2. On February 21, 2007, in response to a complaint that a CB radio
station in Corpus Christi, Texas was jamming communications on CB
channel 19 by continually re-broadcasting the programming of a local
AM broadcast station, an agent from the Commission's Houston Office of
the Enforcement Bureau ("Houston Office") monitored communications on
CB channel 19 in the Corpus Christi area. The agent observed a radio
signal on CB channel 19 re-broadcasting the programming of a local AM
broadcast station; and using radio direction finding techniques
determined that the signal originated from an antenna mounted on a
house in Corpus Christi, Texas.
3. Still on February 21, 2007, while the agent was making measurements on
the radio signal from the CB radio station, Donald Winton exited the
house and walked down the driveway. The agent introduced himself as an
FCC agent, and requested to inspect the CB radio station inside the
house. Mr. Winton confirmed this location was his residence and that
the CB station belonged to him, but refused to make the station
available for inspection. The agent advised Mr. Winton that the
Commission's Rules require the operator of a CB radio station to make
the station available for inspection. Mr. Winton still refused to make
the station available for inspection. The agent then requested that
Mr. Winton go inside and take the station off the air because it was
blocking communications on CB radio channel 19. Mr. Winton walked into
the house and the station's transmissions ceased. Mr. Winton returned
and continued to refuse to make the station available for inspection,
so the agent left the area.
4. On April 23, 2007, the Houston Office issued a Notice of Apparent
Liability for Forfeiture to Mr. Winton in the amount of seven thousand
dollars ($7,000), for the apparent willful violation of Section
95.426(a) of the Rules. Mr. Winton submitted a response to the NAL
requesting a reduction or cancellation of the proposed forfeiture. On
July 12, 2007, the Enforcement Bureau ("Bureau") released the
Forfeiture Order. The Bureau received Mr. Winton's petition for
reconsideration on July 30, 2007, requesting reduction or cancellation
of the forfeiture.
5. 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
Mr. Winton'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.
6. Mr. Winton states that he did not let the agent into his house,
because of the danger posed by his dogs, and that he mentioned the
dogs to the agent. He also claims that the agent acknowledged the dogs
and said that "maybe the dogs won't bite." Mr. Winton further writes
that the agent has "a vendetta out to get me cause I wouldn't let you
in my house and told you get off my property!" We find that Mr. Winton
has raised no arguments that would warrant reduction or cancellation
of the forfeiture. Mr. Winton admits that he refused to allow the
agent inside his home to inspect his CB station. As stated in the
Forfeiture Order, if Mr. Winton was concerned about the agent's
safety, he should have confined his dogs to a separate room, prior to
allowing the agent to inspect his CB station, rather than refusing the
7. Mr. Winton also asserts that he provided sufficient information
regarding his finances to warrant a reduction in forfeiture. In
response to the NAL, Mr. Winton provided copies of 1099 Social
Security Forms from 2004 and 2005, a new Social Security benefit
amount form for 2006 and a 2006 Notice of Eligibility of Benefits from
the Texas Health & Human Services Commission. Mr. Winton was asked to
provide additional information to demonstrate his inability to pay the
forfeiture, namely federal tax returns for 2004, 2005, and 2006, or,
if he did not file tax returns, a statement under penalty of perjury
listing all of his sources of income for 2004, 2005, and 2006. Mr.
Winton did not provide this information, so the Bureau was unable to
determine in the Forfeiture Order whether a reduction was warranted.
Subsequent to filing his petition for reconsideration, Mr. Winton
provided additional documentation regarding his sources of income.
After examining the financial documentation submitted by Mr. Winton,
we conclude that a reduction of the forfeiture to $225 is warranted
based on his demonstrated inability to pay.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
8. 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, Donald Winton's petition for reconsideration of
the July 12, 2007 Forfeiture Order IS hereby DENIED IN PART and
GRANTED IN PART.
9. 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, Donald Winton IS
LIABLE FOR A MONETARY FORFEITURE in the amount of two hundred and
twenty-five dollars ($225) for violation of Section 95.426(a) of the
10. Payment of the $225 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.
11. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this Order shall be sent by regular mail
and by certified mail, return receipt requested, to Donald Winton at
his address of record.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
George R. Dillon
Associate Chief, Enforcement Bureau
Donald Winton, Forfeiture Order, DA 07-3098 (Enf. Bur. South Central
Region July 12, 2007) ("Forfeiture Order").
47 C.F.R. S: 95.426(a).
Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, NAL/Acct. No. 200732540003
(Enf. Bur., Houston Office, April 23, 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).
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), 95.426(a).
47 U.S.C. S: 504(a).
See 47 C.F.R. S: 1.1914.
Federal Communications Commission DA 07-3927
Federal Communications Commission DA 07-3927