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 Carlton Lewis Enid, Oklahoma ) ) ) ) ) File No.:
EB-FIELDSCR-13-00008780 NAL/Acct. No.: 201432500002 FRN: 0023157472
Adopted: April 22, 2014 Released: April 22, 2014
By the Regional Director, South Central Region, Enforcement Bureau:
1. We impose a penalty of $250 against Carlton Lewis for operating his
Citizens Band (CB) radio with a linear amplifier, thereby voiding his
authorization to operate. Mr. Lewis does not deny operating his CB
radio with a linear and states that he has quit operating his CB
radio. He requests cancellation of the proposed $15,000 forfeiture
because he is unable to pay it. Although we do not cancel the fine, we
reduce the monetary penalty to $250, based on Mr. Lewis's documented
inability to pay.
2. In this Forfeiture Order (Order), we issue a monetary forfeiture in
the amount of two hundred fifty dollars ($250) to Mr. Lewis for
willfully violating Section 301 of the Communications Act of 1934, as
amended (Act), and Section 95.411 of the Commission's rules (Rules).^
The noted violations involved Mr. Lewis's operation of his CB
transmitter without authorization and with a linear amplifier.
3. On November 26, 2013, the Dallas Office of the Enforcement Bureau's
South Central Region issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for
Forfeiture (NAL), which found Mr. Lewis in violation of Section 301 of
the Act and Section 95.411 of the Rules and proposed a $15,000
monetary forfeiture.^ As reflected in the NAL, the Bureau's agent
determined that strong signals on 27.1850 (CB Channel 19) were
emanating from Mr. Lewis's residence in Enid, Oklahoma on May 14,
2013. After knocking and waiting outside of Mr. Lewis's residence for
approximately 30 minutes, the agent was allowed by Mr. Lewis to
inspect his CB station. The agent, accompanied by Mr. Lewis, observed
that a coaxial cable coming into the residence was connected to a
linear amplifier, which was warm to the touch. The agent also observed
that Mr. Lewis's CB transmitter was warm to the touch but was not
connected to the coaxial cable. Mr. Lewis did not respond when asked
whether he had used the linear amplifier.
4. Mr. Lewis submitted a response to the NAL, requesting cancellation of
the forfeiture based on inability to pay.^ Mr. Lewis states that his
only source of income is Social Security benefits. He also does not
deny operating the linear amplifier and asserts that he has quit
operating his CB radio.
5. The proposed forfeiture amount in this case was assessed in accordance
with Section 503(b) of the Act,^ Section 1.80 of the Rules,^ and the
Forfeiture Policy Statement.^ In examining Mr. Lewis'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
fully considered Mr. Lewis's response to the NAL in light of these
statutory factors and find that cancellation of the forfeiture is not
warranted; however, we find that reduction of the forfeiture is
justified based solely on his inability to pay claim.
A. Mr. Lewis Engaged in Unlicensed CB Operations
6. We affirm the NAL's finding that Mr. Lewis willfully violated Section
301 of the Act and Section 95.411 of the Rules.^ 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.^ Section 95.404 of the Rules states that CB operators are
not required to have individual licenses because they are authorized
by this rule to operate a CB station, provided, however, that they
operate the station in accordance with Subpart D of Part 95 of the
Rules (CB Rules).^ Operation of CB stations in a manner that is
inconsistent with the CB Rules requires a license pursuant to Section
301 of the Act.^ Section 95.411(a) of the Rules states that CB
operators may not attach external radio frequency (RF) power
amplifiers (sometimes called "linears" or "linear amplifiers") to
certificated CB transmitters 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 the authority to operate the station.^ The
Commission will presume an individual has used a linear or other
external RF power amplifier if the amplifier is located on the
individual's premises and if there is other evidence showing that a CB
station was operated with more power than allowed by the Rules.^ It is
undisputed that on May 14, 2013, Mr. Lewis operated his CB transmitter
with a linear amplifier, thereby voiding his authorization to operate
his CB station. Therefore, based on the evidence before us, we
conclude that Mr. Lewis willfully violated Section 301 of the Act and
Section 95.411 of the Rules.
B. Inability to Pay Claim
7. Mr. Lewis requests cancellation of the proposed forfeiture based on
his inability to pay. With regard to an individual's or entity's
inability to pay claim, the Commission has determined that, in
general, gross income or revenues are the best indicator of an ability
to pay a forfeiture.^ Based on the financial documents provided by Mr.
Lewis, we find sufficient basis to reduce the forfeiture to $250.^
However, we caution Mr. Lewis 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. Lewis's financial
circumstances. Accordingly, after consideration of the entire record
(including Mr. Lewis's response to the NAL), the Forfeiture Policy
Statement, and the factors set forth in Section 503(b)(2)(E) of the
Act,^ we find that, although cancellation of the monetary forfeiture
is not warranted, a reduction of the forfeiture amount from $15,000 to
$250 is appropriate in this case.
IV. ordering clauses
8. 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, Carlton Lewis
IS LIABLE FOR A MONETARY FORFEITURE in the amount of two hundred fifty
dollars ($250) for violations of Section 301 of the Act and Section
95.411 of the Rules.^
9. 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.^ Carlton Lewis 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.
10. Any request for making full payment over time 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 e-mail,
11. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Forfeiture Order shall be
sent by both First Class Mail and Certified Mail, Return Receipt
Requested, to Carlton Lewis at his address of record.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Dennis P. Carlton
Regional Director, South Central Region
^ 47 U.S.C. S 301; 47 C.F.R. S 95.411.
^ Carlton Lewis, Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, 28 FCC Rcd
15975 (Enf. Bur. 2013). A comprehensive recitation of the facts and
history of this case can be found in the NAL and is incorporated herein by
^ See Letter from Carlton Lewis mailed to Dallas Office, South Central
Region, Enforcement Bureau (rec. Dec. 27, 2013) (on file in
^ 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 Policy Statement).
^ 47 U.S.C. S 503(b)(2)(E).
^ Id. S 301; 47 C.F.R. S 95.411. See NAL, supra note 2.
^ 47 U.S.C. S 301.
^ 47 C.F.R. S 95.404.
^ 47 U.S.C. S 301.
^ 47 C.F.R. S 95.411(a).
^ Id. S 95.411(b).
^ Id. S 95.411(c).
^ See PJB Commc'ns of Va., 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 Broad. Corp., 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 15. If Mr.
Lewis finds it financially infeasible to make full payment of this amount
within 30 days, he can request an installment plan, as described in
paragraph 10, infra, of this Forfeiture Order.
^ 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),
aff'd, Memorandum Opinion and Order, DA 13-199 (Enf. Bur. Feb. 15, 2013);
Hodson Broad. 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
^ 47 U.S.C. S 503(b)(2)(E). See 47 C.F.R. S 1.80(b)(8).
^ 47 U.S.C. SS 301, 503(b); 47 C.F.R. SS 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.
(Continued from previous page)
Federal Communications Commission DA 14-528
Federal Communications Commission DA 14-528