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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
CHECKPOINT OF PENNSYLVANIA, INC. ) File No. EB-00-TS-292
Licensee of Paging Station WPCA811 ) NAL/Acct. No.
Williamsport, Pennsylvania )
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Adopted: December 13, 2000 Released:
December 14, 2000
By the Chief, Technical and Public Safety Division, Enforcement
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, we
find that Checkpoint of Pennsylvania, Inc. (``Checkpoint''), has
apparently violated Section 301 of the Communications Act of
1934, as amended (``Act''), 1 and Section 1.903(a) of the
Commission's Rules (``Rules''),2 by operating Paging Station
WPCA811 without a valid Commission authorization. We conclude
that Checkpoint is apparently liable for a monetary forfeiture in
the amount of five thousand dollars ($5,000).
2. Checkpoint's authorization for Paging Station WPCA811
expired on March 4, 1999. On December 16, 1999, Checkpoint filed
an application for renewal of the authorization for that station
and requested a waiver of Section 1.949(a) of the Rules.3
Checkpoint's waiver request indicates that it apparently operated
its paging system without an authorization between March 4, 1999
and December 16, 1999. On April 3, 2000, the Commission granted
Checkpoint's waiver request and reinstated its authority to
operate Station WPCA811.
3. Section 301 of the Act sets forth the general mandate
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 1.903(a) of the Rules provides,
in pertinent part, that paging stations must be operated with a
valid Commission authorization. We conclude that Checkpoint
operated a paging station without a valid license between March
4, 1999 and December 16, 1999, in apparent willful and repeated
violation of Section 301 of the Act and Section 1.903(a) of the
4. In the Universal Licensing System Memorandum Opinion and
Order on Reconsideration (``MO&O''), 4 the Commission noted that
the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, after reviewing the
circumstances concerning a late filed renewal application, may,
in its discretion, initiate enforcement action against a licensee
for unauthorized operation.5 Moreover, the Commission stated in
the MO&O that applications for renewal received more than 30 days
after the expiration of the license may lead to ``more
significant fines or forfeitures.''6 In this case, Checkpoint
operated without a valid license for over nine months after the
5. The guidelines contained in The Commission's Forfeiture
Policy Statement and Amendment of Section 1.80 of the Rules to
Incorporate the Forfeiture Guidelines, 12 FCC Rcd 17087, 17113
(1997), recon. denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999) (``Forfeiture Policy
Statement''), specify a base forfeiture amount of $10,000 for
operation without an instrument of authorization for the service.
Section 503(b)(2)(D) of the Act7 requires the Commission to
consider ``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.'' In this case,
Checkpoint failed to file an application for renewal and operated
a station under circumstances where the Commission has envisioned
``more significant fines or forfeitures'' for violations in
excess of 30 days. On the other hand, Checkpoint had previously
been licensed, so this is not comparable to ``pirate'' wireless
operations, which typically have been subject to forfeitures of
approximately $10,000.8 Taking these facts into consideration in
conjunction with the factors required by Section 503(b)(2)(D) of
the Act and the Forfeiture Policy Statement, we conclude that a
forfeiture of $5,000 is warranted.
IV. Ordering Clauses
6. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section
503(b) of the Act9 and Sections 0.111, 0.311 and 1.80 of the
Rules10 Checkpoint is hereby NOTIFIED of its APPARENT LIABILITY
FOR A FORFEITURE in the amount of $5,000 for violation of Section
301 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and Section
1.903(a) of the Commission's Rules. The amount specified was
determined after consideration of the factors set forth in
Section 503(b)(2)(D) of the Act and the guidelines enumerated in
the Forfeiture Policy Statement.
7. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section 1.80 of
the Rules, within thirty days of the release of this NOTICE OF
APPARENT LIABILITY, Checkpoint SHALL PAY the full amount of the
proposed forfeiture or SHALL FILE a written statement seeking
reduction or cancellation of the proposed forfeiture.
8. Payment of the forfeiture may be made by a check, or
similar instrument, payable to the order of the Federal
Communications Commission, and mailed to the Forfeiture
Collection Section, Finance Branch, Federal Communications
Commission, P.O. Box 73482, Chicago, Illinois 60673-7482. The
payment should note the NAL/Acct. No.:????? 200132100010.
9. The response, if any, must be mailed to Federal
Communications Commission, Enforcement
Bureau, Technical and Public Safety Division, 445 12th Street,
S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554, Ref: EB-00-TS-292, NAL/Acct. No.:
10. 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
11. Requests for payment of the full amount of this Notice
of Apparent Liability under an installment plan should be sent
to: Chief, Credit and Debt Management Center, 445 12th Street,
S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554.11
12. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT this notice shall be sent,
by certified mail, return receipt requested, to counsel for
Checkpoint Telephone Company, William J. Franklin, Esquire, 1200
G Street, N.W., Suite 800, Washington, DC 20005-3814.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Joseph P. Casey
Chief, Technical and Public Safety
1 47 U.S.C. § 301.
2 47 C.F.R. § 1.903(a).
3 47 C.F.R. § 1.949(a). This Section provides, in pertinent
part, that ``[a]pplications for renewal of authorizations in the
Wireless Radio Services must be filed no later than the
expiration date of the authorization for which renewal is
sought. . . .''
4 Biennial Regulatory Review -- Amendment of Parts 0, 1, 13,
22, 24, 26, 27, 80, 87, 90, 95, 97, and 101 of the Commission's
Rules to Facilitate the Development and Use of the Universal
Licensing System in the Wireless Telecommunications Services,
Memorandum Opinion and Order upon reconsideration, 14 FCC Rcd
11476, 11485-11486 (1999).
5 The enforcement responsibilities of the Wireless
Telecommunications Bureau are now with the Enforcement Bureau.
See 47 C.F.R. § 0.111.
6 14 FCC Rcd at 11486.
7 47 U.S.C. §503(b)(2)(D).
8 See, e.g., Jean R. Jonassaint, 15 FCC Rcd 10422 (Enf. Bur.
9 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
10 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.311, and 1.80.
11 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914