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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of Tommie Salter Jacksonville, Florida ) ) ) ) ) File
Number: EB-FIELDSCR-14-00014625 NAL/Acct. No.: 201432700005 FRN:
Adopted: February 5, 2015 Released: February 5, 2015
By the Regional Director, South Central Region, Enforcement Bureau:
1. We impose a penalty of $3,000 against Tommie Salter for refusing to
allow an inspection of his Citizen Band (CB) radio station by
Commission agents. The Commission's ability to conduct unannounced
inspections to assess compliance with its rules is essential to our
responsibility to promote safety of life and property through the use
of wire and radio communication. Mr. Salter does not explicitly deny
that he refused to allow agents to inspect his CB station, and, for
the reasons stated below, we find that the violation was willful.
However, we reduce the forfeiture based on Mr. Salter's demonstrated
inability to pay.
2. Specifically, we issue a monetary forfeiture to Mr. Salter for willful
violation of Section 303(n) of the Communications Act of 1934, as
amended (Act),^ and Section 95.426(a) of the Commission's rules
3. On August 22, 2014, the Enforcement Bureau's Tampa Office (Tampa
Office) issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) ^
to Mr. Salter proposing a $14,000 forfeiture against him for failure
to allow an agent inspection of his CB station.^ As detailed in the
NAL, Mr. Salter refused to allow agents from the Tampa Office to
inspect his CB station after he was warned that refusing to allow such
an inspection constituted a violation of the Rules.^ In his NAL
Response, Mr. Salter does not deny refusing to allow the agents to
inspect his CB station, but, as a mitigating factor, alleges he told
the agents at approximately 1:10 P.M. that he had to leave for a
doctor's appointment at 2 P.M.^ In addition, he submitted his federal
tax returns for the previous 3 years.^
4. The proposed forfeiture amount in this case was assessed in accordance
with Section 503(b) of the Act,^ Section 1.80 of the Rules,^ and the
Forfeiture Policy Statement.^ In examining Mr. Salter's NAL Response,
Section 503(b)(2)(E) 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.^ As discussed below, we have
considered Mr. Salter's NAL Response in light of these statutory
factors and find that the violations were willful, but that a
forfeiture reduction is justified based on Mr. Salter's documented
inability to pay the forfeiture.
5. Mr. Salter does not deny that he refused to allow the agents to
inspect his CB station but alleges he could not stay for the
inspection, because he had a doctor's appointment. Neither of the two
agents present during the attempted inspection recall Mr. Salter
mentioning the doctor's appointment or documented the alleged
appointment in their notes, and Mr. Salter provided no third party
evidence of the alleged appointment. However, even if he had such an
appointment, Mr. Salter refused to allow an inspection at the time of
request and did not ask the agents to reschedule the inspection, so we
find no reason to reduce the forfeiture based on his alleged
appointment. We therefore find that Mr. Salter willfully refused to
allow an inspection of his CB station.
6. Mr. Salter requests cancellation or reduction of the proposed
forfeiture based on his inability to pay. With regard to an
individual's or entity's inability to pay claim, the Commission has
determined that, in general, gross income or revenues are the best
indicator of an ability to pay a forfeiture.^ Based on the financial
documents provided by Mr. Salter, we find sufficient basis to reduce
the forfeiture to $3,000.^ However, we caution Mr. Salter that a
party's inability to pay is only one factor in our forfeiture
calculation analysis, and is not dispositive.^ We have previously
rejected inability to pay claims in cases of repeated or otherwise
egregious violations.^ Therefore, future violations of this kind may
result in significantly higher forfeitures that may not be reduced due
to Mr. Salter's financial circumstances. Accordingly, after
consideration of the entire record, including Mr. Salter's NAL
Response, the Forfeiture Policy Statement, and the factors set forth
in Section 503(b)(2)(E) of the Act,^ we find that, although
cancellation of the monetary forfeiture is not warranted, a reduction
of the forfeiture amount from $14,000 to $3,000 is appropriate in this
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
7. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to Section 503(b) of the Act
and Sections 0.111, 0.204, 0.311, 0.314, and 1.80(f)(4) of the Rules,
Tommie Salter IS LIABLE FOR A MONETARY FORFEITURE in the amount of
three thousand dollars ($3,000) for violations of Section 303(n) of
the Act and Section 95.426(a) of the Rules.^
8. Payment of the forfeiture shall be made in the manner provided for in
Section 1.80 of the Rules within thirty (30) calendar days after the
release date 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 enforcement of the forfeiture pursuant to
Section 504(a) of the Act.^ Mr. Salter shall send electronic
notification of payment to SCR-Response@fcc.gov on the date said
payment is made. The payment must be made by check or similar
instrument, wire transfer, or credit card, and must include the
NAL/Account Number and FRN referenced above. Regardless of the form of
payment, a completed FCC Form 159 (Remittance Advice) must be
submitted.^ When completing the FCC Form 159, enter the Account Number
in block number 23A (call sign/other ID) and enter the letters "FORF"
in block number 24A (payment type code). Below are additional
instructions you should follow based on the form of payment you
* Payment by check or money order must be made payable to the order of
the Federal Communications Commission. Such payments (along with the
completed Form 159) must be mailed to Federal Communications
Commission, P.O. Box 979088, St. Louis, MO 63197-9000, or sent
via overnight mail to U.S. Bank - Government Lockbox #979088,
SL-MO-C2-GL, 1005 Convention Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63101.
* Payment by wire transfer must be made to ABA Number 021030004,
receiving bank TREAS/NYC, and Account Number 27000001. To complete
the wire transfer and ensure appropriate crediting of the wired funds,
a completed Form 159 must be faxed to U.S. Bank at (314) 418-4232 on
the same business day the wire transfer is initiated.
* Payment by credit card must be made by providing the required credit
card information on FCC Form 159 and signing and dating the Form 159
to authorize the credit card payment. The completed Form 159 must then
be mailed to Federal Communications Commission, P.O. Box 979088, St.
Louis, MO 63197-9000, or sent via overnight mail to U.S. Bank -
Government Lockbox #979088, SL-MO-C2-GL, 1005 Convention Plaza, St.
Louis, MO 63101.
9. Any request for making full payment over time under an installment plan
should be sent to: Chief Financial Officer--Financial Operations, Federal
Communications Commission, 445 12th Street, S.W., Room 1-A625, Washington,
D.C. 20554.^ If you have questions regarding payment procedures, please
contact the Financial Operations Group Help Desk by phone, 1-877-480-3201,
or by e-mail, ARINQUIRIES@fcc.gov.
10. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Forfeiture Order shall be
sent by both First Class and Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested,
to Tommie Salter at his address of record.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Dennis P. Carlton
Regional Director, South Central Region
^ 47 U.S.C. S 303(n).
^ 47 C.F.R. S 95.426(a).
^ Tommie Salter., Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, 29 FCC Rcd
10065 (Enf. Bur. 2014) (NAL)
^ Id. at 10066, para. 4.
^ Letter from Tommie Salter, to Tampa Office, South Central Region,
Enforcement Bureau at 1(received Sept. 22, 2014) (on file in
EB-FIELDSCR-14-00014625) (NAL Response). Moreover, Mr. Salter states that
local police instructed the community not to let officers into their homes
without seeing identification. At that same time, however, he admits that
the agents from the Tampa Office identified themselves as agents and
showed him their identification. Id. Accordingly, we find this information
provides no grounds upon which to reduce the forfeiture.
^ Id. at 2.
^ 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).
^ See Local Long Distance, Inc., Order of Forfeiture, 15 FCC Rcd 24385
(2000) (forfeiture not deemed excessive where it represented approximately
7.9 percent of the violator's gross revenues).
^ This forfeiture amount falls within the percentage range that the
Commission has previously found acceptable. See supra note 11. If Mr.
Salter finds it financially infeasible to make full payment of this amount
within 30 days, he can request an installment plan, as described in infra
paragraph 10 of this Order.
^ See 47 U.S.C. S 503(b)(2)(E).
^ Kevin W. Bondy, Forfeiture Order, 26 FCC Rcd 7840 (Enf. Bur. 2011)
(holding that violator's repeated acts of malicious and intentional
interference outweigh evidence concerning his ability to pay), aff'd,
Memorandum Opinion and Order, 28 FCC Rcd 1170 (Enf. Bur. 2013), aff'd,
Memorandum Opinion and Order, 28 FCC Rcd 16815 (Enf. Bur. 2013); Hodson
Broad., Forfeiture Order, 24 FCC Rcd 13699 (Enf. Bur. 2009) (holding that
permittee's continued operation at variance with its construction permit
constituted an intentional and continuous violation, which outweighed
permittee's evidence concerning its ability to pay the proposed
^ 47 U.S.C. S 503(b)(2)(E). See 47 C.F.R. S 1.80(b)(8).
^ 47 U.S.C. S 503(b); 47 C.F.R. SS 0.111, 0.204, 0.311, 0.314, 1.80(f)(4),
^ 47 C.F.R. S 1.80.
^ 47 U.S.C. S 504(a).
^ An FCC Form 159 and detailed instructions for completing the form may be
obtained at http://www.fcc.gov/Forms/Form159/159.pdf.
^ See 47 C.F.R. S 1.1914.
(Continued from previous page)
Federal Communications Commission DA 15-156
Federal Communications Commission DA 15-156