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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of
) File Number: EB-09-SD-0152
DTG Operations Inc. d/b/a Dollar
Rent-A-Car ) NAL/Acct. No.: 201132940001
San Diego, California ) FRN: 0019529643
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Adopted: December 9, 2010 Released: December 10, 2010
By the District Director, San Diego District Office, Western Region,
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture ("NAL"), we find
that DTG Operations Inc., d/b/a Dollar Rent-A-Car ("Dollar"),
apparently willfully and repeatedly violated Section 301 of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended, ("Communications Act" or
"Act") and Section 1.903(a) of the Commission's Rules ("Rules") by
operating a land mobile station in San Diego, California without the
requisite Commission authorization. We conclude that Dollar is
apparently liable for a forfeiture in the amount of twelve thousand
2. On December 11, 2009, in response to complaints from the Federal
Aviation Administration ("FAA") of intermittent interference to three
ground control frequencies used by air traffic controllers at the San
Diego International Airport, agents from the Enforcement Bureau's San
Diego Office ("San Diego Office") used direction-finding techniques to
locate the source of the interference to spurious signals emitted from
a Dollar transmitter on an airport shuttle bus.
3. On December 14, 2009, agents from the San Diego Office used
direction-finding techniques to locate the source of the spurious
signals to a land mobile radio operating on the frequency 452.250 MHz.
The agents heard very brief conversations on 452.250 MHz which
appeared to refer to the arrivals and departures from "terminal one"
or "terminal two." These transmissions lasted only one or two seconds.
The agents also observed that Dollar had four shuttle buses in
operation that day and the interference coincided with the activity on
Dollar's shuttle bus #28.
4. Also, on December 14, 2009, before conducting an inspection of the
Dollar land mobile radio system, the agents reviewed the Commission's
records. While the agents found numerous licenses issued to other
Dollar locations for various radio frequencies, they found no licenses
issued to Dollar to operate on 452.250 MHz in San Diego. The agents
then returned to Dollar's office at 2499 Pacific Highway, San Diego,
California and conducted an inspection of Dollar's land mobile radio
system. The local manager of the Dollar facility did not have
documentation of any FCC authorization to use frequency 452.250 MHz.
Upon notification by the agents of the interference to the ground
control frequencies at nearby San Diego International Airport, the
Dollar manager had the radio transmitter removed from shuttle bus #28
and no further interference has been reported.
5. On January 12, 2010, the San Diego Office issued a Letter of Inquiry
On March 10, 2010, the San Diego Office received a reply to the LOI from
Dollar's senior maintenance manager. In its LOI Response, Dollar stated
that it did not have authorization to operate on 452.250 MHz in San Diego.
Dollar also provided a copy of an FCC Industrial/Business radio station
authorization, WQLJ666, granted by the Commission on February 16, 2010,
for operation on 463.450 MHz and 463.7375 MHz. Dollar also stated that its
radios were installed by a local radio company in 1998, and had been in
use on 452.250 MHz since that time.
6. Section 503(b) of the Act provides that any person who willfully or
repeatedly fails to comply substantially with the terms and conditions
of any license, or willfully or repeatedly fails to comply with any of
the provisions of the Act or of any rule, regulation or order issued
by the Commission thereunder, shall be liable for a forfeiture
penalty. The term "willful" as used in Section 503(b) has been
interpreted to mean simply that the acts or omissions are committed
knowingly. The term "repeated" means the commission or omission of
such act more than once or for more than one day.
7. Section 301 of the Act states that "[n]o person shall use or operate
any apparatus for the transmission of energy or communications or
signals by radio... except under and in accordance with this Act and
with a license in that behalf granted under the provisions of this
Act." Section 1.903(a) of the Rules states that "[s]tations in the
Wireless Radio Services must be used and operated only in accordance
with the rules applicable to their particular service as set forth in
this title and with a valid authorization granted by the Commission .
. . ." On December 11, 2009 and December 14, 2009, agents from the San
Diego Office determined that an unlicensed land mobile radio system
was operating on the frequency 452.250 MHz from a Dollar airport
shuttle bus. Dollar admitted that it did not have an FCC authorization
to operate on 452.250 MHz in the San Diego area. The violation was
repeated because it occurred on more than one day. The violation was
willful because Dollar consciously and deliberately used its land
mobile radios on the frequency 452.250 MHz without the requisite
Commission authorization. Based on the evidence before us, we find
that Dollar apparently willfully and repeatedly violated Section 301
of the Act and Section 1.903(a) of the Rules.
8. Pursuant to the Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and Section
1.80 of the Rules, the base forfeiture amount for operation of a
station without an instrument of authorization is $10,000. In
assessing the monetary forfeiture amount, we must also take into
account the statutory factors set forth in Section 503(b)(2)(E) of the
Act, which include the nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of
the violations, 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. Dollar admitted that its
unlicensed operation on 452.250 MHz had been ongoing since 1998. While
earlier precedent might suggest a lower forfeiture amount, we note
that the unlicensed operation was ongoing for 11 years and that it
posed significant public safety risks given the interference to FAA
ground control frequencies. Considering the totality of the evidence,
and given the duration of the unauthorized operation and the gravity
of the public safety risks posed by the operation, we find that no
downward adjustment of the base forfeiture of $10,000 is warranted and
that an upward adjustment is warranted. Applying the Forfeiture Policy
Statement, Section 1.80 of the Rules, and the statutory factors to the
instant case, we conclude that Dollar is apparently liable for a
forfeiture in the amount of $12,000.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
9. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to Section 503(b) of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and Sections 0.111, 0.311,
0.314 and 1.80 of the Commission's Rules, DTG Operations Inc., d/b/a
Dollar Rent-A-Car, is hereby NOTIFIED of this APPARENT LIABILITY FOR A
FORFEITURE in the amount of twelve thousand dollars ($12,000) for
apparently willfully and repeatedly violating Section 301 of the Act
and Section 1.903(a) of the Rules.
10. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, pursuant to Section 1.80 of the
Commission's Rules, within thirty days of the release date of this
Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, DTG Operations Inc.,
d/b/a Dollar Rent-A-Car, SHALL PAY the full amount of the proposed
forfeiture or SHALL FILE a written statement seeking reduction or
cancellation of the proposed forfeiture.
11. Payment of the forfeiture must be made by credit card, 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 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. Dollar shall also send
electronic notification to WR-Response@fcc.gov on the date said
payment is made.
12. The written statement seeking reduction or cancellation of the
proposed forfeiture, if any, must include a detailed factual statement
supported by appropriate documentation and affidavits pursuant to
Sections 1.80(f)(3) and 1.16 of the Rules. The written statement must
be mailed to Federal Communications Commission, Enforcement Bureau,
Western Region, San Diego Office, 4542 Ruffner Street, Suite 370, San
Diego, California, 92111, and must include the NAL/Acct. No.
referenced in the caption. An electronic copy shall also be emailed to
13. 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. Any claim of inability to pay must
specifically identify the basis for the claim by reference to the
financial documentation submitted.
14. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Notice of Apparent Liability
for Forfeiture shall be sent by both regular mail and Certified Mail,
Return Receipt Requested to DTG Operations Inc., d/b/a Dollar
Rent-A-Car , at its address of record.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
William R. Zears, Jr.
San Diego District Office
47 U.S.C. S: 301. .
47 C.F.R. S: 1.903(a).
The agents noted that multiple transmitters on 452.250 MHz were in use but
determined that only one appeared to be generating the spurious signals.
See Letter of Inquiry from William R. Zears, Jr., District Director, San
Diego Office, Western Region, Enforcement Bureau, to Dollar Rent-A-Car,
dated January 11, 2010 ("LOI").
See Letter from James S. Anderson, Maintenance Manager, DTG Operations,
Inc., to William R. Zears, Jr., District Director, San Diego Office,
Western Region, Enforcement Bureau, dated March 10, 2010 ("LOI Response").
47 U.S.C. S: 503(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', 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...." See, e.g., Southern California Broadcasting
Co., Memorandum Opinion and Order, 6 FCC Rcd 4387 (1991), recon. denied, 7
FCC Rcd 3454 (1992).
Section 312(f)(2) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. S: 312(f)(2), which also applies
to violations for which forfeitures are assessed under Section 503(b) of
the Act, provides that "[t]he term `repeated', when used with reference to
the commission or omission of any act, means the commission or omission of
such act more than once or, if such commission or omission is continuous,
for more than one day."
47 U.S.C. S: 301.
47 C.F.R. S: 1.903(a).
See supra n.8.
See supra n.7.
The Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and Amendment of Section 1.80
of the Rules to Incorporate the Forfeiture Guidelines, Report and Order,
12 FCC Rcd 17087 (1997) ("Forfeiture Policy Statement"), recon. denied, 15
FCC Rcd 303 (1999); 47 C.F.R. S: 1.80.
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b)(2)(E).
See e.g., Gateway Security Systems, Inc., Forfeiture Order, 18 FCC Rcd
24026 (EB 2003) (unlicensed operation was not analogous to the intentional
unlicensed operation of a "pirate" station operator who operates its
station in flagrant violation of Commission rules).
47 U.S.C. S:S: 503(b), 301; 47 C.F.R. S:S: 0.111, 0.311, 0.314, 1.80,
See 47 C.F.R. S: 1.1914.
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Federal Communications Commission DA 10-2338
Federal Communications Commission DA 10-2338