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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of ) File No. EB-01-LA-142
California Speedway ) NAL/Acct. No.
Fontana, California ) FRN# 0006-0339-97
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Released: May 30, 2002
By the District Director, Los Angeles Office, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture
("NAL"), we find that California Speedway has apparently
willfully violated Section 301 of the Communications Act of 1934,
as amended, (``Act''),1 by operating an unlicensed radio
transmitter on frequency 104.7 MHz. We conclude that California
Speedway is apparently liable for a forfeiture in the amount of
ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
2. On November 2, 2001, the Commission's Los Angeles
Office received a complaint alleging that California Speedway in
Fontana, California was operating a radio station on the
frequency 104.7 MHz. A search of the Federal Communications
Commission (``FCC'') licensee database revealed no license issued
for the operation of an FM broadcast station on 104.7 MHz in or
around Fontana, California and no broadcast authorization issued
to California Speedway.2
3. On November 8, 2001, an agent with the Los Angeles
Office spoke on the telephone with the Director of Operations for
California Speedway. The Director of Operations stated that
California Speedway operates a one-watt transmitter on the
frequency 104.7 MHz.
4. On November 14, 2001, the Los Angeles Office sent a
Notice of Unlicensed Radio Operation to California Speedway at
9300 Cherry Avenue in Fontana, California. The Notice of
Unlicensed Radio Operation warned that operation of an unlicensed
radio station on 104.7 MHz violated 47 U.S.C. §301; outlined the
potential penalties for operating an unlicensed station in
violation of 47 U.S.C. §301, including seizure of the equipment,
fines, forfeitures and imprisonment; and directed the operator of
the station to terminate operation of the unlicensed station
immediately. No written response to the Notice of Unlicensed
Radio Operation was received by the Los Angeles Office. On March
22, 2002, an agent with the Los Angeles Office again spoke on the
telephone with the Director of Operations. During the
conversation, the agent orally advised that the operation of the
unlicensed radio station on 104.7 MHz could result in a
5. On March 24, 2002, agents from the Los Angles Office
conducted an investigation at California Speedway at 9300 Cherry
Avenue in Fontana, California. Using a FCC Mobile Digital
Direction Finding vehicle and direction finding techniques, the
agents detected radio transmissions on the frequency 104.7 MHz
from a location in the middle of the grounds of California
Speedway. Field strength measurements revealed that the radio
emissions exceeded the level allowed for non-licensed operation
under Sections 15.209(a) and 15.239(b) of the FCC Rules.3 The
measured field strength was 63,500 mV/m, or 254 times that
permitted by the rules.
6. Section 503(b) of the Act provides that any person who
willfully fails to comply substantially with the terms and
conditions of any license, or willfully fails to comply with any
of the provisions of the Act or of any rule, regulation or order
issued by the Commission thereunder, shall be liable for a
forfeiture penalty.4 The term ``willful'' as used in Section
503(b) has been interpreted to mean simply that the acts or
omissions are committed knowingly.5
7. Section 301 of the Act sets forth 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.
The only exceptions to the licensing requirement of Section 301
of the Act are for certain transmitters using or operating at a
power level that complies with the standards established in Part
15 of the FCC Rules. California Speedway's operation of a
broadcast station on 104.7 MHz was not licensed and exceeded the
permissible level for non-licensed low-powered radio
transmissions by 254 times. Based on the evidence before us, we
find that on March 24, 2002, California Speedway operated radio
transmission apparatus without a Commission authorization in
willful violation of Section 301 of the Act.
8. The Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and
Amendment of Section 1.80 of the Rules to Incorporate the
Forfeiture Guidelines (``Forfeiture Policy Statement''),6 sets a
base forfeiture amount of $10,000 for unlicensed operation. In
assessing the monetary forfeiture amount, we must also take into
account the statutory factors set forth in Section 503(b)(2)(D)
of the Act, which include the nature, circumstances, extent, and
gravity of the violation(s), 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.7 Applying
the Forfeiture Policy Statement and statutory factors to the
instant case, a $10,000 forfeiture is warranted.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
9. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section
503(b) of the Act and Sections 0.111, 0.311 and 1.80 of the
Rules,8 California Speedway is hereby NOTIFIED of its APPARENT
LIABILITY FOR A FORFEITURE in the amount of ten thousand dollars
($10,000) for willfully violating Section 301 of the Act.
10. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section 1.80 of
the Commission's Rules, within thirty days of the release date of
this NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY, California Speedway SHALL PAY
the full amount of the proposed forfeiture or SHALL FILE a
written statement seeking reduction or cancellation of the
11. Payment of the forfeiture may be made by mailing a
check or similar instrument, payable to the order of the Federal
Communications Commission, to the Forfeiture Collection Section,
Finance Branch, Federal Communications Commission, P.O. Box
73482, Chicago, Illinois 60673-7482. The payment must include
the FCC Registration Number (FRN) 0006-0339-97, and NAL/Acct. No.
12. Any response to this NAL must be mailed to Federal
Communications Commission, Enforcement Bureau, Technical and
Public Safety Division, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C.
20554 and must include the NAL/Acct. No. 200232900002.
13. 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
14. Requests for payment of the full amount of this Notice
of Apparent Liability under an installment plan should be sent
to: Chief, Revenue and Receivable Operations Group, 445 12th
Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554.9
15. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT a copy of this NOTICE OF
APPARENT LIABILITY shall be sent by Certified Mail, # 7001 2510
0001 9914 6071, Return Receipt Requested, to California Speedway,
9300 Cherry Avenue, Fontana, California, 92335.
Los Angeles Office
1 47 U.S.C. § 301.
2 California Speedway holds a license to operate on several
frequencies in the 461-466 MHz band under call sign WPJX911.
3 47 C.F.R. §§ 15.209(a), 15.239(b).
4 47 U.S.C. §503(b).
5 Section 312(f)(1) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. §312(f)(1), which
applies to violations for which forfeitures are assessed under
Section 503(b) of the Act, provides that ``[t]he term `willful,'
when used with reference to the commission or omission of any
act, means the conscious and deliberate commission or omission of
such act, irrespective of any intent to violate any provision of
this Act. . . .'' See Southern California Broadcasting Co., 6
FCC Rcd 4387 (1991).
6 12 FCC Rcd 17087 (1997), recon. denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999).
7 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(D).
8 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.311, 1.80.
9 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.