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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
Homere Hyppolite ) File No. EB-02-TP-276
4843 Devon Circle ) NAL/Acct. No. 200232700017
Naples, Florida 34112 ) FRN 0007-3085-13
Adopted: March 24, 2003 Released: March 26, 2003
By the Chief, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Forfeiture Order (``Order''), we issue a
monetary forfeiture in the amount of two thousand dollars
($2,000) to Homere Hyppolite for willful violation of Section
301 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (``Act'').1
The noted violation involves Mr. Hyppolite's operation of a
radio station on 99.7 MHz without Commission authorization.
2. On July 15, 2002, the Commission's Tampa, Florida Field
Office (``Tampa Office'') issued a Notice of Apparent
Liability for Forfeiture (``NAL'') to Mr. Hyppolite for a
forfeiture in the amount of ten thousand dollars ($10,000).2
Mr. Hyppolite filed a response to the NAL on August 16, 2002.
3. On May 14, 2002, agents from the Tampa Office
investigated a complaint alleging that an unlicensed radio
station was transmitting on frequency 99.7 MHz in the Naples,
Florida area. A search of Commission records showed that
there was no FM radio station licensed on 99.7 MHz in Naples,
Florida. Using a mobile direction finding vehicle, the agents
detected an FM radio station transmitting on 99.7 MHz and
identified the source of the transmissions to be a residence
located at 4843 Devon Circle, Naples, Florida. The agents
observed an antenna mounted on a pole in a tree behind the
residence. The agents took field strength measurements of the
station's signal and determined that the station required a
license to operate.3
4. Immediately after locating the radio station, the
agents interviewed the occupant of the residence at 4843 Devon
Circle. The occupant, who identified himself as Homere
Hyppolite, admitted that he had been operating the unlicensed
station prior to the interview. At the agents' request, Mr.
Hyppolite turned off the transmitter. The agents hand
delivered to Mr. Hyppolite a warning letter which advised him
that operation of a radio station without a license violates
Section 301 of the Act, warned him that operation of the
unlicensed station must cease immediately, and listed the
penalties for unauthorized operation of a radio station.
5. On July 15, 2002, the Tampa Office issued an NAL for a
$10,000 forfeiture to Homere Hyppolite for operating a radio
station on May 14, 2002 without a license in willful violation
of Section 301 of the Act. In his response to the NAL, Mr.
Hyppolite seeks cancellation or reduction of the proposed
forfeiture. According to Mr. Hyppolite, he was just testing
the radio equipment and never intended to operate a radio
station from his residence. Mr. Hyppolite also asserts that
he immediately ceased operating the radio equipment at the
request of the FCC agents. Finally, Mr. Hyppolite asserts
that he is unable to pay the proposed $10,000 forfeiture and
provides financial information in support of his request for
reduction of the proposed forfeiture to $2,000.
6. The forfeiture amount in this case was assessed in
accordance with Section 503(b) of the Act,4 Section 1.80 of
the Commission's Rules (``Rules''),5 and The Commission's
Forfeiture Policy Statement and Amendment of Section 1.80 of
the Rules to Incorporate the Forfeiture Guidelines, 12 FCC Rcd
17087 (1997), recon. denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999) (``Policy
Statement''). In examining Mr. Hyppolite's response, 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.6
7. Section 301 of the Act prohibits radio operation
``except under and in accordance with this Act and with a
license in that behalf granted under the provisions of this
Act.''7 Mr. Hyppolite does not dispute that he operated radio
transmitting equipment on 99.7 MHz without a license on May
14, 2002. Mr. Hyppolite asserts that he was only testing the
equipment and never intended to operate a radio station at his
residence. However, when the FCC agents interviewed him on
May 14, 2002, he told them that he was operating the station
as a service for the community. In any event, it is not
necessary to find that a rule violation was intentional or
that the violator was aware that he or she was committing a
rule violation to find a ``willful'' violation within the
meaning of Section 503(b) of the Act.8 Rather, the term
``willful'' simply requires that the violator knew that he or
she was taking the action in question, irrespective of any
intent to violate the Commission's rules.9 Accordingly, we
conclude that Mr. Hyppolite willfully violated Section 301 of
8. Although Mr. Hyppolite asserts that he immediately
ceased operation of the radio equipment at the request of the
FCC agents, the Commission has repeatedly stated that remedial
efforts to correct a violation are not mitigating factors
warranting reduction of a forfeiture.10 Nevertheless, after
considering the financial information provided by Mr.
Hyppolite in support of his claimed inability to pay the
proposed $10,000 forfeiture, we conclude that reduction of the
forfeiture to $2,000 is appropriate.
9. We have examined Mr. Hyppolite's response to the NAL
pursuant to the statutory factors above, and in conjunction
with the Policy Statement as well. As a result of our review,
we conclude that Mr. Hyppolite willfully violated Section 301
of the Act, but we reduce the forfeiture for this violation
from $10,000 to $2,000.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
10. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to Section
503 of the Act, and Sections 0.111, 0.311 and 1.80(f)(4) of
the Rules,11 Homere Hyppolite IS LIABLE FOR A MONETARY
FORFEITURE in the amount of two thousand dollars ($2,000) for
willful violation of Section 301 of the Act.
11. 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 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 reference NAL/Acct. No. 200232700017 and FRN
0007-3085-13. Requests for full payment under an installment
plan should be sent to: Chief, Revenue and Receivables
Operations Group, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C.
12. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Order shall
be sent by first class mail and certified mail return receipt
requested to Homere Hyppolite, 4843 Devon Circle, Naples,
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.
200232700017 (Enf. Bur., Tampa Office, released July 15, 2002).
3 Under Section 15.239 of the Commission's Rules, 47 C.F.R. §
15.239, non-licensed broadcasting in the 88-108 MHz band is
permitted only if the field strength of the transmissions does
not exceed 250 µV/m at three meters. The agents' measurements
indicated that the station's field strength extrapolated to three
meters was 1,737,906 µV/m. Thus, the station operating on 99.7
MHz exceeded the permissible level for a non-licensed low-power
radio transmitter by 6,952 times.
4 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
5 47 C.F.R. § 1.80.
6 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(D).
7 47 U.S.C. § 301.
8 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,'
... means the conscious and deliberate commission or omission of
such act, irrespective of any intent to violate any provision of
this Act or any rule or regulation of the Commission authorized
by this Act ....'' See Southern California Broadcasting Co., 6
FCC Rcd 4387 (1991).
10 See e.g., AT&T Wireless Services, Inc., 17 FCC Rcd 21866,
21871 (2002); Seawest Yacht Brokers, 9 FCC Rcd 6099 (1994);
Station KGVL, Inc., 42 FCC 2d 258, 259 (1973).
11 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.311, 1.80(f)(4).
12 47 U.S.C. § 504(a).
13 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.