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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of Juan R. Nieves, Jr. Summerfield, Florida ) ) ) ) ) File
No.: EB-FIELDSCR-13-00009579 NAL/Acct. No.: 201432700001 FRN: 0023056757
Adopted: January 22, 2014 Released: January 22, 2014
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 five hundred dollars ($1,500) to Juan R.
Nieves, Jr. for willfully and repeatedly violating Section 301 of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended (Act).^ The noted violations
involved Mr. Nieves' operation of an unlicensed radio transmitter on
the frequency 97.7 MHz in Summerfield, Florida.
2. On October 25, 2013, the Enforcement Bureau's Tampa Office (Tampa
Office) issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) ^
to Mr. Nieves for operating an unlicensed radio transmitter in
Summerfield, Florida.^ As reflected in the NAL, on May 24, May 30,
June 14, and June 25, 2013, agents from the Tampa Office determined
that an unlicensed radio station was operating on the frequency 97.1
MHz from a residence in Summerfield, Florida.^ On June 25, 2013,
agents from the Tampa Office inspected the unlicensed station and
interviewed Mr. Nieves, who admitted to operating the station for over
3. In response to the NAL, Mr. Nieves apologized for violating the Act
and requested reduction or cancellation of the proposed forfeiture.^
He stated that he is an unemployed retired person who lives solely on
social security and cannot afford to pay the $15,000 proposed
4. 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.
Nieves' NAL 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.^
5. We affirm the NAL's finding that Mr. Nieves violated Section 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.^ It is undisputed that Mr. Nieves operated an
unlicensed radio station for over a year on the frequency 97.7 MHz
from a residence that he rented in Summerfield, Florida. Therefore,
based on the evidence before us, we conclude that Mr. Nieves willfully
and repeatedly violated Section 301 of the Act by operating radio
transmission equipment without the required Commission authorization.
6. In the NAL Response, Mr. Nieves also states that he is unable to pay
the $15,000 forfeiture.^ With regard to an individual or entity's
inability to pay claim, the Commission has determined that gross
revenues are generally the best indicator of an ability to pay a
forfeiture.^ Based on the financial documents provided by Mr. Nieves,
we find sufficient basis to reduce the forfeiture to $1,500.^ However,
we caution Mr. Nieves 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. Nieves' financial
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
7. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to Section 503(b) of the
Act, and Sections 0.111, 0.204, 0.311, 0.314, and 1.80(f)(4) of the
Rules, Juan R. Nieves, Jr. IS LIABLE FOR A MONETARY FORFEITURE in the
amount of one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500) for violations of
Section 301 of the Act.^
8. 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 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.^ Juan R. Nieves, Jr. shall send electronic notification
of payment to SCR-Response@fcc.gov on the date said payment is made.
9. 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 select:
* 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 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, ARINQUIRIES@fcc.gov.
11. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Order shall be sent by both
First Class and Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested, to Juan R.
Nieves, Jr. at his address of record.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Dennis P. Carlton
Regional Director, South Central Region
^ 47 U.S.C. S 301.
^ Juan R. Nieves, Jr., Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, 28 FCC
Rcd 14683 (Enf. Bur. 2013) (NAL). A comprehensive recitation of the facts
and history of this case can be found in the NAL and is incorporated
herein by reference.
^ Id. at 14683, paras. 2-3.
^ Id at 14683, para. 3.
^ Letter from Juan R. Nieves, Jr. to Ralph Barlow, District Director,
Tampa Office, South Central Region, Enforcement Bureau at 1 (received Nov.
22, 2013) (on file in EB-FIELDSCR-13-00009579) (NAL Response).
^ 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).
^ See NAL supra note 2.
^ 47 U.S.C. S 301.
^ NAL Response at 1.
^ See Hoosier Broadcasting Corp., Memorandum Opinion and Order, 15 FCC
Rcd 8640 (2000) (forfeiture not deemed excessive where it represented
approximately 7.6 percent of the violator's gross revenues); Local Long
Distance, Inc., Order of Forfeiture, 15 FCC Rcd 24385 (2000) (forfeiture
not deemed excessive where it represented approximately 7.9 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 14. We note
that Mr. Nieves may request to pay the $1,500 in installments, if he is
unable to pay the $1,500 in one lump sum. See infra para. 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. 2011)
(holding that violator's repeated acts of malicious and intentional
interference outweighed evidence concerning his ability to pay), aff'd,
Memorandum Opinion and Order, 28 FCC Rcd 1170 (Enf. Bur. 2013); 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
^ 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.
Federal Communications Commission DA 14-69
Federal Communications Commission DA 14-69