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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of File No.: EB-11-TP-0132
Albert R. Knighten, Jr. NAL/Acct. No.: 201232700004
Fort Myers, Florida FRN: 0021817952
Adopted: August 21, 2012 Released: August 21, 2012
By the Regional Director, South Central Region, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Forfeiture Order (Order), we issue a monetary forfeiture in
the amount of one thousand two hundred dollars ($1,200) to Albert R.
Knighten, Jr. for willfully and repeatedly violating Section 301 of
the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (Act). The noted violations
involved Mr. Knighten's operation of an unlicensed radio transmitter
on the frequency 107.5 MHz from his residence in Fort Myers, Florida.
2. On June 5, 2012, the Enforcement Bureau's Tampa Office (Tampa Office)
issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) to Mr.
Knighten for operation of an unlicensed radio station. In response to
the NAL, Mr. Knighten admitted to, and apologized for, the violation,
but nonetheless urged cancellation or reduction of the proposed
$15,000 forfeiture, asserting that his "financial situation cannot
sustain the amount of [the] fine levied."
3. The proposed forfeiture amount in this case was assessed in accordance
with Section 503(b) of the Act, Section 1.80 of the Commission's rules
(Rules), and the Forfeiture Policy Statement. In examining Mr.
Knighten's response, Section 503(b)(2)(E) 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. As discussed below, we have
considered Mr. Knighten's response in light of these statutory
factors, and find that a reduction of the forfeiture is warranted
based solely on his inability to pay claim.
4. We affirm the NAL's finding that Mr. Knighten violated 301 of the Act.
Section 301 of the Act states 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 granted under the provisions of the Act. As
reflected in the NAL, in 2011, Mr. Knighten purchased, installed, and
operated an unlicensed radio station on the frequency 107.5 MHz from
his residence in Fort Myers, Florida. Because Mr. Knighten does not
dispute the factual findings in the NAL, we conclude that Mr. Knighten
willfully and repeatedly violated Section 301 of the Act by operating
radio transmission equipment without the required Commission
5. In response to the NAL, Mr. Knighten nonetheless requests cancellation
or reduction of the $15,000 forfeiture based on his inability to pay.
With regard to an individual or entity's inability to pay claim, the
Commission has determined that, in general, gross revenues are the
best indicator of an ability to pay a forfeiture. Based on the
financial documents provided by Mr. Knighten, we find sufficient basis
to reduce the forfeiture to $1,200. However, we caution Mr. Knighten
that a party's inability to pay is only one factor in our forfeiture
calculation analysis, and is not dispositive. We have previously
rejected inability to pay claims in cases of repeated or otherwise
egregious violations. Therefore, future violations of this kind may
result in significantly higher forfeitures that may not be reduced due
to Mr. Knighten's financial circumstances.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
6. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to Section 503(b) of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and Sections 0.111, 0.204,
0.311, 0.314, and 1.80(f)(4) of the Commission's rules, Albert R.
Knighten, Jr. IS LIABLE FOR A MONETARY FORFEITURE in the amount of one
thousand two hundred dollars ($1,200) for violations of Section 301 of
7. Payment of the forfeiture shall be made in the manner provided for in
Section 1.80 of the Rules within thirty (30) calendar days after the
release date of this Forfeiture Order. If the forfeiture is not paid
within the period specified, the case may be referred to the U.S.
Department of Justice for enforcement of the forfeiture pursuant to
Section 504(a) of the Act. Albert R. Knighten, Jr. shall send
electronic notification of payment to SCR-Response@fcc.gov on the date
said payment is made. The payment must be made by check or similar
instrument, wire transfer, or credit card, and must include the
NAL/Account number and FRN referenced above. Regardless of the form of
payment, a completed FCC Form 159 (Remittance Advice) must be
submitted. When completing the FCC Form 159, enter the Account Number
in block number 23A (call sign/other ID) and enter the letters "FORF"
in block number 24A (payment type code). Below are additional
instructions you should follow based on the form of payment you
* Payment by check or money order must be made payable to the order of
the Federal Communications Commission. Such payments (along with the
completed Form 159) must be mailed to Federal Communications
Commission, P.O. Box 979088, St. Louis, MO 63197-9000, or sent
via overnight mail to U.S. Bank - Government Lockbox #979088,
SL-MO-C2-GL, 1005 Convention Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63101.
* Payment by wire transfer must be made to ABA Number 021030004,
receiving bank TREAS/NYC, and Account Number 27000001. To complete
the wire transfer and ensure appropriate crediting of the wired funds,
a completed Form 159 must be faxed to U.S. Bank at (314) 418-4232 on
the same business day the wire transfer is initiated.
* Payment by credit card must be made by providing the required credit
card information on FCC Form 159 and signing and dating the Form 159
to authorize the credit card payment. The completed Form 159 must then
be mailed to Federal Communications Commission, P.O. Box 979088, St.
Louis, MO 63197-9000, or sent via overnight mail to U.S. Bank -
Government Lockbox #979088, SL-MO-C2-GL, 1005 Convention Plaza, St.
Louis, MO 63101.
8. Any request for full payment under an installment plan should be sent
to: Chief Financial Officer-Financial Operations, Federal Communications
Commission, 445 12th Street, S.W., Room 1-A625, Washington, D.C.
20554. If you have questions regarding payment procedures, please contact
the Financial Operations Group Help Desk by phone, 1-877-480-3201, or by
9. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Order shall be sent by both
First Class and Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested, to Albert R.
Knighten, Jr. to his address of record.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Dennis P. Carlton
Regional Director, South Central Region
47 U.S.C. S: 301.
Albert R. Knighten, Jr., Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, 27
FCC Rcd 6073 (Enf. Bur. 2012). A comprehensive recitation of the facts and
history of this case can be found in the NAL and is incorporated herein by
Letter from Albert R. Knighten to Ralph Barlow, District Director, Tampa
Office, South Central Region, Enforcement Bureau, at 1 (filed July 12,
2012, in EB-TP-0132).
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b).
47 C.F.R. S: 1.80.
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), recons. denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999) (Forfeiture
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b)(2)(E).
See NAL, supra note 2.
47 U.S.C. S: 301.
See PJB Communications of Virginia, Inc., Forfeiture Order, 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., Forfeiture Order, 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, Forfeiture
Order, 15 FCC Rcd 8640 (2002) (forfeiture not deemed excessive where it
represented approximately 7.6 percent of the violator's gross revenues).
This forfeiture amount falls within the percentage range that the
Commission has previously found acceptable. See supra note 10.
See 47 U.S.C. S: 503(b)(2)(E) (requiring Commission to 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 such other matters as justice may require).
Kevin W. Bondy, Forfeiture Order, 26 FCC Rcd 7840 (Enf. Bur., Western
Region 2011) (holding that violator's repeated acts of malicious and
intentional interference outweigh evidence concerning his ability to pay)
(petition for reconsideration pending); Hodson Broadcasting Corp.,
Forfeiture Order, 24 FCC Rcd 13699 (Enf. Bur. 2009) (holding that
permittee's continued operation at variance with its construction permit
constituted an intentional and continuous violation, which outweighed
permittee's evidence concerning its ability to pay the proposed
47 U.S.C. S:S: 301, 503(b); 47 C.F.R. S:S: 0.111, 0.204, 0.311, 0.314,
47 C.F.R. S: 1.80.
47 U.S.C. S: 504(a).
An FCC Form 159 and detailed instructions for completing the form may be
obtained at http://www.fcc.gov/Forms/Form159/159.pdf.
See 47 C.F.R. S: 1.1914.
Federal Communications Commission DA 12-1366
Federal Communications Commission DA 12-1366