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                                   Before the

                       Federal Communications Commission

                             Washington, D.C. 20554

     In the Matter of              )                                
                                       File No.: EB-09-LA-0094      
     Cerritos Ford                 )                                
                                       NAL/Acct. No.: 201032900003  
     Licensee of Station WQKA311   )                                
                                       FRN: 0018543215              
     Cerritos, California          )                                

                                FORFEITURE ORDER

   Adopted: January 31, 2012 Released: February 1, 2012

   By the Regional Director, Western Region, Enforcement Bureau:


    1. In this Forfeiture Order, we issue a monetary forfeiture in the amount
       of four thousand dollars ($4,000) to Cerritos Ford, licensee of
       Station WQKA311 in Cerritos, California, for willfully and repeatedly
       violating Section 1.903(a)  of the Commission's rules (Rules), which
       requires stations in the Wireless Radio Service, such as Station
       WQKA311, to operate in accordance with the provisions of the rule and
       as authorized by the Commission. The noted violations involve Cerritos
       Ford's operation on frequency 467.675 MHz, a frequency not authorized
       on the Station WQKA311 license.


    2. After receiving a complaint, an agent from the Enforcement Bureau's
       Los Angeles Office (Los Angeles Office) used mobile direction finding
       equipment on August 27, 2009, to locate radio operations on 467.675
       MHz emanating from Cerritos Ford's location at 18900 Studebaker Road,
       Cerritos, California. On September 1, 2009, the Los Angeles agent
       continued to monitor and determined the transmissions were voice
       communications by employees of Cerritos Ford on 467.675 MHz, a
       frequency not specified on Cerritos Ford's license for Station
       WQKA311. Later that day, the Los Angeles agent spoke with the Cerritos
       Ford Service Manager, who stated that Cerritos Ford believed that it
       was operating on one of the five frequencies authorized by the Station
       WQKA311 license. The Los Angeles agent then inspected two of the
       handheld radios being used by Cerritos Ford and determined that one of
       the five channels programmed into the radios had been programmed for
       frequency 467.675 MHz. The manager ensured that the operation on
       467.675 MHz ceased at that time.

    3. On January 27, 2010, the Los Angeles Office issued a Notice of
       Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) in the amount of $4,000 to
       Cerritos Ford for operating on a frequency not authorized by its
       license on August 27, 2009, and September 1, 2009. Cerritos Ford
       responded to the NAL on February 24, 2010. In its Response, Cerritos
       Ford argues that its violation was not willful, that it made a good
       faith effort to comply with the Rules, and that it paid a third-party
       radio company to program its radios to ensure no violations took


    4. The proposed forfeiture amount in this case was assessed in accordance
       with Section 503(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended
       (Act), Section 1.80 of the Rules, and the Commission's Forfeiture
       Policy Statement. In examining Cerritos Ford'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. We considered Cerritos Ford's response to the NAL in light of
       these statutory factors and find that neither cancellation nor
       reduction of the forfeiture is warranted for the reasons discussed

    5. Section 1.903(a) of the Rules provides that stations in the Wireless
       Radio Service must be used and operated only in accordance with the
       rules applicable to their particular service and with a valid
       authorization granted by the Commission. Section 1.903(b) provides
       that the holding of an authorization does not create any rights beyond
       the terms, conditions, and period specified in the authorization. The
       Station WQKA311 license does not authorize Cerritos Ford to operate on
       frequency 467.675 MHz. Nevertheless, a Los Angeles agent found that on
       August 27, 2009, and September 1, 2009, Cerritos Ford personnel
       operated on frequency 467.675 MHz at Cerritos Ford's location in
       Cerritos, California. An inspection by the agent revealed that the
       frequency 467.675 MHz was programmed into at least two handheld units
       in operation by Cerritos Ford personnel.

    6. Although Cerritos Ford does not dispute the factual findings in the
       NAL, it contends that certain circumstances in this case nevertheless
       justify cancellation of the forfeiture. Cerritos Ford first argues
       that a third party was responsible for the violation because that
       third party programmed the unauthorized frequency into the Cerritos
       Ford radios. We disagree. Cerritos Ford acknowledges that a Los
       Angeles agent previously warned the company about its prior
       unauthorized operation on frequency 467.675 MHz and, in response,
       Cerritos Ford obtained the Station WQKA311 license on March 3, 2009.
       Cerritos Ford hired a radio company to supply it with handheld radios
       using the licensed frequencies, and only realized that the radio
       company had used the wrong frequency after the Los Angeles agent's
       subsequent inspection on September 1, 2009. Thus, according to the
       company, Cerritos Ford had no way of knowing it was in violation. But
       Commission precedent has long held that "licensees are responsible for
       the acts and omission of their employees and independent contractors,"
       and thereby has consistently "refused to excuse licensees from
       forfeiture penalties where the actions of employees or independent
       contractors have resulted in violations." Consequently, even if we
       accept Cerritos Ford's assertion that the radio company programmed the
       wrong frequencies into the radios, the violations cannot be excused
       because responsibility for compliance with its license ultimately
       rests with Cerritos Ford.

    7. Cerritos Ford also contends that the violation was not willful, yet
       the company does not deny that its personnel transmitted on frequency
       467.675 MHz on August 27, 2009, and September 1, 2009. Under the
       applicable statute, the Commission need not demonstrate an intent to
       violate a rule to make a finding that a licensee engaged in willful
       misconduct. As stated in the NAL, Section 312(f)(1) of the Act, 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 or any
       rule or regulation of the Commission authorized by this Act . . . ."
       As the facts are undisputed that Cerritos Ford personnel operated
       handheld radios on frequency 467.675 MHz on the dates in question
       without Commission authorization, we find that its violation of
       Section 1.903(a) of the rules was therefore, according to Commission
       precedent, willful.

    8. Cerritos Ford also argues that it made a good faith effort to comply
       with the Rules, and to operate only on authorized frequencies. We do
       not find that this is a basis for reduction of the proposed
       forfeiture. Cerritos Ford's efforts to obtain an FCC license in 2009
       came only after it was warned by a Los Angeles agent in 2008 that its
       operations on GMRS frequency 467.675 MHz were unauthorized. The
       Commission will generally only allow a good faith reduction when
       attempts at compliance, however unsuccessful, were taken prior to an
       inspection or involvement by the FCC. 

    9. We have examined Cerritos Ford's Response to the NAL pursuant to the
       statutory factors above, and in conjunction with the Forfeiture Policy
       Statement. As a result of our review, we conclude that Cerritos Ford
       willfully and repeatedly violated Section 1.903(a) of the Rules.
       Considering the entire record and the factors listed above, we find
       that a forfeiture in the amount of $4,000 is warranted.


   10. ACCORDINGLY, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to Section 503(b) of the
       Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and Sections 0.111, 0.204,
       0.311, 0.314, and 1.80(f)(4) of the Commission's Rules, Cerritos Ford
       IS LIABLE FOR A MONETARY FORFEITURE in the amount of four thousand
       dollars ($4,000) for willfully and repeatedly violating Section
       1.903(a) of the Commission's Rules.

   11. Payment of the forfeiture shall be made in the manner provided for in
       Section 1.80 of the Rules within thirty (30) days of the release of
       this Forfeiture Order. If the forfeiture is not paid within the period
       specified, the case may be referred to the U.S. Department of Justice
       for collection pursuant to Section 504(a) of the Act. Payment of the
       forfeiture must be made by check or similar instrument, payable to the
       order of the Federal Communications Commission. The payment must
       include the NAL/Account number and FRN number referenced above.
       Payment by check or money order may be mailed to Federal
       Communications Commission, P.O. Box 979088, St. Louis, MO 63197-9000.
       Payment by overnight mail may be sent to U.S. Bank - Government
       Lockbox #979088, SL-MO-C2-GL, 1005 Convention Plaza, St. Louis, MO
       63101. Payment by wire transfer may be made to ABA Number 021030004,
       receiving bank TREAS/NYC, and account number 27000001. For payment by
       credit card, an FCC Form 159 (Remittance Advice) must be submitted.
        When completing the FCC Form 159, enter the NAL/Account number in
       block number 23A (call sign/other ID), and enter the letters "FORF" in
       block number 24A (payment type code). Requests for full payment under
       an installment plan should be sent to:  Chief Financial Officer --
       Financial Operations, 445 12th Street, S.W., Room 1-A625, Washington,
       D.C.  20554.   Please contact the Financial Operations Group Help Desk
       at 1-877-480-3201 or Email: with any questions
       regarding payment procedures.  Cerritos Ford shall also send
       electronic notification on the date said payment is made to

   12. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Forfeiture Order shall be
       sent by both First Class Mail and Certified Mail Return Receipt
       Requested to Cerritos Ford at 18900 Studebaker Road, Cerritos, CA


   Rebecca L. Dorch

   Regional Director, Western Region

   Enforcement Bureau

   47 C.F.R. S: 1.903(a).

   Months prior to the instant investigation, the Cerritos Ford Service
   Manager was orally warned by a Los Angeles Office agent about the
   company's unlicensed operation on frequency 467.675 MHz. In response,
   Cerritos Ford obtained a license for Station WQKA311 to operate on five
   specific frequencies. The Commission granted the WQKA311 license to
   Cerritos Ford on March 3, 2009. The license authorizes Cerritos Ford to
   conduct mobile operations on 467.7625 MHz, 464.975 MHz, 463.2125 MHz,
   461.6125 MHz, and 464.2125 MHz.

   Cerritos Ford, File No. EB-09-LA-0094, Notice of Apparent Liability for
   Forfeiture, NAL/Acct. No. 201032900003 (Enf. Bur., Los Angeles Office,
   rel. Jan. 27, 2010) (NAL).

   See Response of Cerritos Ford (filed Feb. 24, 2010, in EB-09-LA-0094)

   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).

   47 C.F.R. S: 1.903(a).

   47 C.F.R. S: 1.903(b).

   Frequency 467.675 MHz is a frequency available for use in the General
   Mobile Radio Service (GMRS). See 47 C.F.R. S: 95.29. According to
   Commission records, Cerritos Ford does not hold a GMRS license.

   See Response at 1.

   See id. at 1-2.

   Eure Family Limited Partnership, Memorandum Opinion and Order, 17 FCC Rcd
   21861, 21863-64 (2002) (Eure); MTD, Inc., Memorandum Opinion and Order, 6
   FCC Rcd 34, 35 (1991); Wagenvoord Broadcasting Co., Memorandum Opinion and
   Order, 35 FCC 2d 361 (1972); see also Rama Communications, Inc.,
   Memorandum Opinion and Order, 23 FCC Rcd 18209, 18211 (Enf. Bur. 2008)
   ("[W]here lapses in compliance occur, neither the negligent acts nor
   omissions of station employees or agents, nor the subsequent remedial
   actions undertaken by the licensee, excuse or nullify the licensee's rule

   See Eure, 17 FCC Rcd at 21863-64 (quoting Triad Broadcasting Company,
   Inc., Memorandum Opinion and Order, 96 FCC 2d 1235, 1244 (1984)).

   47 U.S.C. S: 312(f)(1).

   NAL at 2 n.5 (quoting Application for Review of Southern California
   Broadcasting Co., Memorandum Opinion and Order, 6 FCC Rcd 4387, 4388

   See, e.g., Sutro Broadcasting Corporation, Memorandum Opinion and Order,
   19 FCC Rcd 15274, 15277 (2004) (stating that the Commission will generally
   reduce the assessed forfeiture amount "based on the good faith corrective
   efforts of a violator when those actions were taken prior to Commission
   notification of the violation") (emphasis added); see also Starfish
   Television Network, Forfeiture Order, 24 FCC Rcd 9147 (Enf. Bur. 2009)
   (providing good faith reduction as to party's unlicensed operation because
   operator submitted license application information to a consultant prior
   to inspection); Blountstown Communications, Inc., Memorandum Opinion and
   Order, 22 FCC Rcd 1097 (Enf. Bur. 2007) (provided good faith reduction as
   to fencing violation because licensee was in the process of employing an
   expert fence installer prior to the FCC inspection).

   47 U.S.C. S: 503(b), 47 C.F.R. S:S: 0.111, 0.204, 0.311, 0.314,
   1.80(f)(4), 1.903(a).

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

   Federal Communications Commission DA 12-115



   Federal Communications Commission DA 12-115