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                           Before the
                Federal Communications Commission
                     Washington, D.C. 20554
     
In the Matter of                )       
                                )
James N. Dispoto                )  File No. EB-98-TP-167
Ocala, Florida                  )  NAL/Acct. No. 915TP0003


                  MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER


   Adopted:  April 6, 2000              Released:  April 7, 2000  

By the Chief, Enforcement Bureau:

                       I.     INTRODUCTION

     1.   In this Memorandum  Opinion and  Order (``Order''),  we 
affirm a  monetary  forfeiture  in the  amount  of  two  thousand 
dollars ($2,000) against James N. Dispoto for willfully violating 
Section 301  of  the Communications  Act  of 1934  (``Act''),  as 
amended.1  The noted  violation was based  on James N.  Dispoto's 
operation of an FM radio station without a Commission license  in 
Ocala, Florida.

     2.   On December 10, 1998,  the Commission's Tampa,  Florida 
Field Office  (``Field Office''),  issued  a Notice  of  Apparent 
Liability for Forfeiture (``NAL'') in the amount of two  thousand 
dollars ($2,000) to James N. Dispoto.2  He did not file a  timely 
response  to  the  NAL.3   On  February  22,  1999,  the   former 
Compliance and  Information  Bureau  issued  a  Forfeiture  Order 
affirming the monetary forfeiture.4  On March 10, 1999, James  N. 
Dispoto filed a response to the Forfeiture Order.  We will  treat 
this March 10, 1999 response as a petition for reconsideration of 
the  Forfeiture   Order  pursuant   to  Section   1.106  of   the 
Commission's Rules (``Rules'').5     
      
                         II.  BACKGROUND

     3.   On February  4,  1998,  the  Field  Office  received  a 
complaint that James N. Dispoto was operating an unlicensed radio 
station from 4360 S.E. 60th  Street, Ocala, Florida (``4360  S.E. 
60th Street''). Agents  from the Field  Office visited 4360  S.E. 
60th Street on March 3, 1998,  at which time they met with  James 
N. Dispoto  and his  mother, Elaine  Dispoto.  The  agents saw  a 
ground plane antenna mounted on a 50 foot tower behind 4360  S.E. 
60th Street, where the Dispotos  resided.  The radio station  was 
not operating at that time.   Although the Dispotos did not  deny 
that they operated  a radio station  on 96.3 MHz  from 4360  S.E. 
60th Street, they did not permit the agents to inspect the  radio 
station.  The  agents told  the Dispotos  about the  Commission's 
licensing  requirements,  and  warned   them  of  the   penalties 
associated with unlicensed broadcasting.

     4.   On March 9, 1998,  the Field Office  sent a letter  via 
certified mail, return receipt requested, and first class mail to 
Elaine Dispoto that  memorialized the agents'  warning to her  on 
March 3, 1998.  James N. Dispoto responded to the Field  Office's 
March 9, 1998 letter in a letter dated April 2, 1998, in which he 
claims, among  other  things,  that  ``at no  time  have  I  been 
broadcasting any programming  out of  my house that  could be  in 
violation of  the FCC['s]  laws  and regulations.''   He  admits, 
however, that ``a few months ago  I tried to run some test[s]  on 
the dial  to see  if there  was a  possibility of  [operating]  a  
small low  power station.  . .  .'' According  to him,  his  test 
signals did not travel beyond three blocks.

     5.   On May  1,  1998,  the Field  Office  received  another 
complaint that James N. Dispoto was operating an unlicensed radio 
from 4360 S.E. 60th Street,  and that the radio station's  signal 
could be heard approximately five to  10 miles away.  On June  2, 
1998, agents  visited the  Dispoto residence  at 4360  S.E.  60th 
Street.  This time, the radio station was operating.  The  agents 
determined  that  the  signal's   field  strength  exceeded   the 
permitted  level  for  a  low  power  transmitter.6   The  agents 
identified themselves to the Dispotos, James Dispoto, Jr.  (James 
N. Dispoto's father), Elaine Dispoto, and James N. Dispoto.   The 
Dispotos did not permit the agents to inspect the radio  station.  
This time  the agents  gave James  N. Dispoto  a written  warning 
pertaining to the unlicensed radio  station, which he signed  for 
noting receipt.   The warning  indicated  that James  N.  Dispoto 
faced, among other things, a monetary penalty of up to $11,000.

     6.   On June  11, 1998,  the Field  Office issued  a NAL  to 
James, Jr. and Elaine Dispoto for  a violation of Section 301  of 
the Act as  a result  of the  operation of  the unlicensed  radio 
station from  4360  S.E. 60th  Street.7   James, Jr.  and  Elaine 
Dispoto responded to the NAL on July 23, 1998, stating that their 
adult son, James  N. Dispoto,  operated the  radio station.   The 
Field Office subsequently canceled the  NAL issued to James,  Jr. 
and Elaine Dispoto on December  9, 1998.8  On December 10,  1998, 
as noted above, the Field Office issued the subject NAL to  James 
N. Dispoto for willful violation of  Section 301 of the Act as  a 
result of his  unlicensed operation  of the FM  radio station  on 
96.3 MHz from 4360 S.E. 60th Street.  The NAL was followed by the 
former  Compliance  and  Information  Bureau's  Forfeiture  Order 
released on  February 22,  1999,  which affirmed  the  forfeiture 
issued to James N. Dispoto.

     7.   James  N.  Dispoto's  March   10,  1999  petition   for 
reconsideration of the Forfeiture Order states that he is  unable 
to pay the forfeiture because he is indigent with no income.   In 
support thereof, he states that he has not worked, does not drive 
or own a car, and has not filed an income tax return.  He  states 
further that  he has  not broadcast  on 96.3  MHz (or  any  other 
channel) since the June 2, 1998 visit by the Field Office agents, 
and that he  does not intend  to ever broadcast  again until  low 
power licenses are available.  

     8.   On January 10,  2000, the  Field Office  sent James  N. 
Dispoto a letter  requesting that he  supplement the  information 
provided in  his  March  10, 1999  petition  for  reconsideration 
regarding his financial status.   In his response, filed  January 
18, 2000, James N. Dispoto avers that he is not employed and  has 
no income or assets and is not filing a 1999 tax return.

     9.   Subsequent investigatory efforts  by Commission  agents 
on January  18  and  28,  2000,  resulted  in  the  discovery  of 
information that James  N. Dispoto operates  an internet  website 
(www.megamix96.com).  As  of  January  28,  2000,  he   displayed 
advertisements on his website,  offered tee-shirts for sale,  and 
detailed his  work experience  under the  name ``DJ  New  York.''  
During a telephone conversation  with Commission staff, James  N. 
Dispoto stated  that his  full-time occupation  is operating  his 
internet radio  station, which,  according  to him,  just  breaks 
even.

                         III. DISCUSSION

     10.  The forfeiture was  issued pursuant to  Section 503  of 

the Act,9  and Section  1.80 of  the Rules.10   In assessing  the 

forfeiture amount, the Bureau  followed the forfeiture  standards 

established in  Section  503  of the  Act  and  The  Commission's 

Forfeiture Policy Statement and Amendment of Section 1.80 of  the 

Rules to Incorporate Guidelines, 12 FCC Rcd 17087 (1997),  recon. 

denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999) (``Forfeiture Policy  Statement'').  

Section 503(b) 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. 11

     11.  James N. Dispoto admits that he operated an  unlicensed 
FM broadcast station without a license.  However, he claims  that 
he cannot pay the $2,000 forfeiture  because he has no income  or 
assets. His claims are inconsistent with the information found on 
his website and the statements that he made to Commission  agents 
in January 2000.  James N. Dispoto's statement that his full-time 
occupation is operating his internet radio station in conjunction 
with his work  experience detailed on  the website undermine  the 
financial claims in  his petition  for reconsideration.   Without 
the financial  information  associated  with  his  self-professed 
occupation, we are unable  to verify the  inability to pay  claim 
raised in his petition for reconsideration.  

     12.  With respect to James N. Dispoto's claim that he ceased 
operating his unlicensed radio station  on June 2, 1998, we  note 
that  remedial   action   to  correct   a   violation,   although 
commendable, will not nullify  a forfeiture penalty. See  Station 
KGVL,  Inc.,  42  FCC  2d  258,  259  (1993).   Therefore,  after 
reviewing the record and considering the statutory factors, along 
with those contained in Forfeiture Policy Statement, we  conclude 
that  James  N.   Dispoto  has  failed   to  provide   sufficient 
justification for canceling or reducing the $2,000 forfeiture  in 
this case.
      
                      IV.  ORDERING CLAUSES

     13.  Accordingly, IT IS  ORDERED that,  pursuant to  Section 
1.106  of   the   Rules,   James  N.   Dispoto's   petition   for 
reconsideration of the Forfeiture Order, NAL/Acct. No.  915TP0003 
IS DENIED.

     14.  Payment of the forfeiture shall  be made in the  manner 
provided for in Section 1.80 of the  Rules, within 30 days of the 
release of this Order.  If the forfeiture is not paid within  the 
period specified, the case may  be referred to the Department  of 
Justice for collection pursuant to  Section 504(a) of the  Act.12  
Payment may  be  made by  credit  card through  the  Commission's 
Credit and  Debt  Management  Center at  (202)  418-1995,  or  by 
mailing a check or  similar instrument, payable  to the order  of 
the  ``Federal  Communications   Commission,''  to  the   Federal 
Communications Commission,  P.O.  Box  73482,  Chicago,  Illinois 
60673-7482. The  payment  should  note  NAL/Acct.  No.  915TP0003 
referenced above.  Requests for full payment under an installment 
plan should be sent to: Chief, Credit and Debt Management Center, 
445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554.13
     
     15.  IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, a copy of this Order  shall 
be sent by Certified  Mail Return Receipt  Requested to James  N. 
Dispoto, 4360 S.E. 60th Street, Ocala, Florida.
 

                         FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION


                         

                         David H. Solomon
                         Chief, Enforcement Bureau


_________________________

1 47 U.S.C.  301.

2 Notice  of Apparent  Liability  for Forfeiture,  NAL/Acct.  No. 
915TP0003, Case # 98TP167 (Compl. & Inf. Bur., Tampa Office, rel. 
Dec. 10, 1998).

3 James N. Dispoto filed an untimely response with the Commission 
on February 1,  1999, but the  former Compliance and  Information 
Bureau did not receive  the response until  after release of  its 
February 22,  1999 Forfeiture  Order.  See  note 4,  infra.   The 
financial issue that Mr. Dispoto  raises in his February 1,  1999 
response is similar to  the one he raises  in the March 10,  1999 
response that  we are treating as a Petition for Reconsideration. 

4 14 FCC Rcd 3347 (Compl. & Inf. Bur. 1999).

5 47 C.F.R.  1.106. 
6 See 47 C.F.R.  15.239.

7 Notice  of Apparent  Liability  for Forfeiture,  NAL/Acct.  No. 
815TP0005, Case # 98TP167 (Compl. & Inf. Bur., Tampa Office, rel. 
June 11, 1998).

8 Forfeiture  Order, NAL/Acct.  No. 815TP0005,  Case No.  98TP167 
(Compl. & Inf. Bur., Tampa Office, rel. Dec. 9, 1998).

9 47 U.S.C.  503.

10 47 C.F.R.  1.80.

11 47 U.S.C.  503(b)(2)(D).

12 47 U.S.C.  504(a).

13 See 47 C.F.R.  1.1914.