Click here for Adobe Acrobat version
Click here for Microsoft Word version
This document was converted from Microsoft Word.
Content from the original version of the document such as
headers, footers, footnotes, endnotes, graphics, and page numbers
will not show up in this text version.
All text attributes such as bold, italic, underlining, etc. from the
original document will not show up in this text version.
Features of the original document layout such as
columns, tables, line and letter spacing, pagination, and margins
will not be preserved in the text version.
If you need the complete document, download the
Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat version.
Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of ) File Number EB-07-TP-095
Richard Ross ) NAL/Acct. No. 200732700011
Titusville, FL ) FRN: 001-73713-29
Adopted: May 20, 2008 Released: May 22, 2008
By the Regional Director, South Central Region, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Forfeiture Order ("Order"), we issue a monetary forfeiture in
the amount of three hundred fifty dollars ($350) to Richard Ross for
willful and repeated violation of Section 301 of the Communications
Act of 1934, as amended ("Act"). The noted violation involves Mr.
Ross' operation of an unauthorized radio transmitter.
2. On June 4, 2007, in response to complaints of interference, agents
from the Commission's Tampa Office of the Enforcement Bureau ("Tampa
Office") inspected the Citzens Band ("CB") station located at Mr.
Ross' residence. During testing of Mr. Ross' equipment, the agents
determined that two of his CB radio transmitters were non-certificated
transceivers, capable of transmitting on unauthorized frequencies. The
agents also measured the output power for his transmitters and found
them to be operating with seven and eight watts, respectively, output
powers greater than authorized in the Commission's Rules ("Rules").
The agents orally warned Mr. Ross that use of non-certificated or
modified equipment capable of transmitting on unauthorized frequencies
and with greater power than authorized is strictly prohibited by the
Rules and voided his authority to operate the CB station. Mr. Ross
voluntarily surrendered both devices to the agents.
3. On July 10, 2007, in response to additional complaints of
interference, the Tampa office sent an official letter, certified and
regular mail, to Mr. Ross, restricting his hours of operation for his
CB station. Specifically, the letter instructed Mr. Ross not to
operate his CB station from 6 AM EST to 11:59 PM EST. On July 11,
2007, the Tampa office received a response to the official letter in
which Mr. Ross claimed he was now in compliance with the rules.
4. On August 16, 2007, agents from the Tampa Office inspected Mr. Ross'
CB station to confirm that his CB station was in compliance with the
Rules. The agents found that Mr. Ross' CB radio station included a CB
transmitter and two linear amplifiers. The agents measured the power
of the CB transmitter and found it had an average power output of 3.5
watts carrier power. They tested the amplifiers combined power output
and found the devices had the capability to boost the power of the
station to several hundred times the authorized power level. The
agents orally warned Mr. Ross that the use of linear amplifiers or any
device that creates a power greater than the authorized limit is
strictly prohibited by the Rules and voids the authority to operate
the CB station. Mr. Ross voluntarily surrendered both linear
amplifiers to the agents.
5. On November 20, 2007, in response to additional complaints of
interference, at approximately 10:15 A.M., agents from the Tampa
Office located the source of a strong signal on a CB radio channel
using direction finding methods to Mr. Ross' residence. An agent
recognized the voice of the transmissions to be that of Mr. Ross.
6. Still on November 20, 2007, agents from the Tampa Office inspected Mr.
Ross CB station. A wattmeter measurement indicated the power of Mr.
Ross' transmitter during the inspection to be two watts, under the
maximum authorized power under the Rules. The agents then traced the
coaxial cable from the output of the transmitter and found it was
connected to a linear amplifier. Measurements taken with the amplifier
connected to the CB transmitter indicated the amplifier had the
capability to boost the power of the station to several hundred times
the authorized power.
7. Still on November 20, 2007, the agents observed an open notebook. The
notebook showed log entries that indicated that Mr. Ross made several
long distance calls using his CB radio during that morning. The
entries coincided with the times the agents, using direction finding
techniques, traced transmissions originating from Mr. Ross' residence.
The agents orally warned Mr. Ross that the use and possession of the
linear amplifier and operating out of the authorized hours prescribed
on the official letter issued on July 10, 2007 violated the Rules and
voided his authority to operate the CB station.
8. On March 31, 2008, the Tampa Office issued a Notice of Apparent
Liability for Forfeiture to Mr. Ross in the amount of ten thousand
dollars ($10,000), for the apparent willful and repeated violation of
Section 301 of the Act. Mr. Ross submitted a response to the NAL
requesting cancellation of the proposed forfeiture.
9. The proposed forfeiture amounts in this case was assessed in
accordance with Section 503(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as
amended ("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, 12 FCC Rcd 17087 (1997),
recon. denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999) ("Forfeiture Policy Statement").
In examining Mr. Ross' 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.
10. Section 301 of the Act requires that no person shall use or operate
any apparatus for the transmission of energy or communications or
signals by radio within the United States except under and in
accordance with the Act and with a license. Section 95.404 of the
Rules states that CB operators do not require an individual license to
operate a CB station because they are authorized by this rule to
operate in accordance with the rules in this subpart. Individuals
operating, pursuant to this provision, however, must operate their CB
stations in accordance with the rules in this subpart.
11. Section 95.409(a) of the Rules states that you must use an FCC
certificated CB transmitter at your CB station and that the use of a
transmitter, which is not FCC certificated voids your authority to
operate the station. Section 95.410 of the Rules states that your CB
station transmitter power output must not exceed ... under any
conditions: 4 watts (carrier power). Use of a transmitter which has
carrier power in excess of that authorized voids your authority to
operate the station. On June 4, 2007, agents from the Tampa Office
determined that Mr. Ross operated his CB station with two
non-certificated transmitters that had a power output of seven and
eight watts (carrier power), respectively. On June 4, 2007, Mr. Ross
was warned that operation of his CB station with a non-certificated
transmitter and with a power level greater than authorized violated
the Rules and voided his authority to operate his CB station.
12. Section 95.411(a) of the Rules states that you may not attach external
radio frequency (RF) power amplifiers to your certificated CB
transmitter in any way. Section 95.411(b) of the Rules states that
there are no exceptions to this rule and that use of a power amplifier
voids your authority to operate the station. The Commission will
presume that you have used a power amplifier if it is in your
possession and if there is other evidence of overpower operation. On
August 16, 2007, and on November 20, 2007, agents from the Tampa
Office observed that Mr. Ross had attached linear amplifiers to his CB
station. Immediately prior to the inspection on November 20, 2007, the
agents observed Mr. Ross' CB station in operation. On August 16, 2007
and November 20, 2007, the agents determined that the amplifiers
attached to Mr. Ross' CB station had the capability to boost the power
of the station to several hundred times the authorized power level. On
August 16, 2007, and November 20, 2007, Mr. Ross was warned that
attaching linear amplifiers to his CB station violated the Rules and
voided his authority to operate his CB station.
13. Section 95.423(a) of the Rules states that if the FCC tells you that
your CB station is causing interference for technical reasons you must
follow all instructions in the official FCC notice. Section 95.423(b)
of the Rules states that you must comply with any restricted hours of
CB station operation which may be included in the official notice. On
July 10, 2007, the Tampa Office sent an official letter, certified and
regular mail, to Mr. Ross. In the official letter Mr. Ross was
instructed not to operate his CB station from 6 AM EST to 11:59 PM
EST. On November 20, 2007, the agents observed Mr. Ross operating his
CB station out of the authorized hours (approximately 10:15 AM)
established in the July 10, 2007 official letter.
14. Mr. Ross' response to the NAL does not deny the violations. Because
Mr. Ross violated several sections of Part 95, Subpart D of the Rules,
Mr. Ross voided his authority to operate his CB station pursuant to
Section 95.404 of the Rules. Therefore, based on the evidence before
us, we find that on June 4, August 16, and November 20, 2007, Mr. Ross
willfully and repeatedly violated Section 301 of the Act by operating
a radio transmitter, his CB station, without authorization from the
15. Finally, Mr. Ross states that payment of the forfeiture would pose an
undue financial hardship. The Commission has determined that, in
general, an entity's gross revenues are the best indicator of its
ability to pay a forfeiture. After examining the financial
documentation submitted by Mr. Ross, we agree and reduce the
forfeiture to $350 based on his demonstrated inability to pay.
16. We have examined Mr. Ross' 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 a reduction of
the proposed forfeiture to $350 is warranted, based on demonstrated
inability to pay.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
17. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to Section 503(b) of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and Sections 0.111, 0.311 and
1.80(f)(4) of the Commission's Rules, Richard Ross IS LIABLE FOR A
MONETARY FORFEITURE in the amount of three hundred fifty dollars
($350) for violation of Section 301 of the Act.
18. 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/Account
Number and FRN Number referenced above. Payment by check or money
order may be mailed to Federal Communications Commission, P.O. Box
979088, St. Louis, MO 63197-9000. Payment by overnight mail may be
sent to U.S. Bank - Government Lockbox #979088, SL-MO-C2-GL, 1005
Convention Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63101. Payment[s] by wire transfer may
be made to ABA Number 021030004, receiving bank TREAS/NYC, and account
number 27000001. For payment by credit card, an FCC Form 159
(Remittance Advice) must be submitted. When completing the FCC Form
159, enter the NAL/Account number in block number 23A (call sign/other
ID), and enter the letters "FORF" in block number 24A (payment type
code). Requests for full payment under an installment plan should be
sent to: Chief Financial Officer -- Financial Operations, 445 12th
Street, S.W., Room 1-A625, Washington, D.C. 20554. Please contact
the Financial Operations Group Help Desk at 1-877-480-3201 or Email:
ARINQUIRIES@fcc.gov with any questions regarding payment procedures.
19. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Order shall be sent by First
Class and Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested to Richard Ross at
his address of record.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Dennis P. Carlton
Regional Director, South Central Region
47 U.S.C. S: 301.
Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, NAL/Acct. No. 200732700011
(Enf. Bur., Tampa Office, March 31, 2008) ("NAL").
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b).
47 C.F.R. S: 1.80.
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b)(2)(E).
47 C.F.R. S: 95.404.
47 C.F.R. S: 95.409(a).
47 C.F.R. S: 95.410.
47 C.F.R. S: 95.411(a).
47 C.F.R. S: 95.411(b).
See 47 C.F.R. S: 95.410.
47 C.F.R. S: 95.423(a).
47 C.F.R. S: 95.423(b).
Section 312(f)(1) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. S: 312(f)(1), which applies to
violations for which forfeitures 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 ...." See Southern California
Broadcasting Co., 6 FCC Rcd 4387 (1991).
As provided by 47 U.S.C. S: 312(f)(2), a continuous violation is
"repeated" if it continues 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). See Southern California Broadcasting
Company, 6 FCC Rcd 4387, 4388 (1991) and Western Wireless Corporation, 18
FCC Rcd 10319 at fn. 56 (2003).
See PJB Communications of Virginia, Inc., 7 FCC Rcd 2088, 2089 (1992)
(forfeiture not deemed excessive where it represented approximately 2.02
percent of the violator's gross revenues); Local Long Distance, Inc., 16
FCC Rcd 24385 (2000) (forfeiture not deemed excessive where it represented
approximately 7.9 percent of the violator's gross revenues); Hoosier
Broadcasting Corporation, 15 FCC Rcd 8640 (2002) (forfeiture not deemed
excessive where it represented approximately 7.6 percent of the violator's
47 U.S.C. S:S: 301, 503(b); 47 C.F.R. S:S:S: 0.111, 0.311, 1.80(f)(4).
47 U.S.C. S: 504(a).
Federal Communications Commission DA 08-1189
Federal Communications Commission DA 08-1189