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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
JOE L. FORD, d/b/a )
FORD COMMUNICATIONS )
Licensee of Paging Stations KNKM966, KNKM224 )
KNKL902, KNKO751 and KNKO274 ) File No. EB-00-
Various Locations in Kentucky ) NAL/Acct. No.
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Adopted: November 27, 2000 Released:
November 29, 2000
By the Chief, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, we
find that Joe L. Ford, d/b/a Ford Communications (Ford), operated
paging systems without Commission authorization, in apparent
violation of Section 301 of the Communications Act of 1934
(``Act'')1, as amended, and Section 22.3 of the Commission's
Rules (``Rules'').2 We conclude that Ford is apparently liable
for a forfeiture in the amount of five thousand dollars ($5,000).
2. Ford's authorization for Public Mobile Radio Stations
KNKM966, KNKM224, KNKL902, KNKO751 and KNKO274, expired on April
1, 1999. On March 7, 2000, Ford filed applications for renewal
of the authorizations for the stations and requested the waiver
of Section 1.949 of the Commissions Rules.3 Ford's waiver request
indicates that Ford apparently operated paging facilities without
authorization between April 1, 1999 and March 7, 2000. On April
20, 2000, the Commission granted Ford's waiver request and
reinstated its authority to operate Stations KNKM966, KNKM224,
KNKL902, KNKO751 and KNKO274.
3. Section 301 of the Act sets forth the general mandate
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. Section 22.3 of the Commission's Rules
provides, in pertinent part, that stations in the Public Mobile
Service must be operated with a valid Commission authorization.
We conclude that Ford operated paging stations without valid
licenses between April 1, 1999, and March 7, 2000, in apparent
willful and repeated violation of Section 301 of the
Communications Act and Section 22.3 of the Rules.
5. The Commission has stated that ``The Wireless Bureau,
after reviewing all the facts and circumstances concerning the
late filing of [a] renewal application, may, in its discretion,
also initiate enforcement action against the licensee for . . .
unauthorized operation. . . .'' 4 In addition, the Commission
stated that applications for renewal received more than 30 days
after expiration of the license may lead to ``more significant
fines or forfeitures.''5 In this case, Ford operated without
valid licenses and filed renewal applications after the licenses
6. The guidelines contained in the Commission's Forfeiture
Policy Statement, 12 FCC Rcd 17087, 17113 (1997), recon. denied,
15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999), specify a base forfeiture amount of
$10,000 for operation without an instrument of authorization for
the service. Section 503(b)(2)(D) of the Act6 requires the
Commission to consider ``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 such other matters as justice may require.'' In this
case, Ford failed to file applications for renewal and operated
paging stations under circumstances where the Commission has
envisioned ``more significant fines or forfeitures'' for
violations in excess of 30 days. On the other hand, Ford had
previously been licensed, so this is not comparable to ``pirate''
wireless operations, which typically have been subject to
forfeitures of approximately $10,000.7 Taking these facts into
consideration and all of the factors required by Section
503(b)(2)(D) of the Act and the Forfeiture Policy Statement, we
conclude that a forfeiture of $5,000 is warranted.
IV. Ordering Clauses
7. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section
503(b) of the Act8 and Sections 0.111, 0.311 and 1.80 of the
Rules9, Ford is hereby NOTIFIED of its APPARENT LIABILITY FOR A
FORFEITURE in the amount of $5,000 for violation of Section 301
of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and Section 22.3
of the Commission's Rules. The amount specified was determined
after consideration of the factors set forth in Section
503(b)(2)(D) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(D), and the
guidelines enumerated in the Forfeiture Policy Statement.
8. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section 1.80 of
the Commission's Rules, within thirty days of the release of this
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY, Ford SHALL PAY the full amount of
the proposed forfeiture or SHALL FILE a written statement seeking
reduction or cancellation of the proposed forfeiture.
9. 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 should note the
NAL/Acct. No.: 200132100005.
10. The response if any must be mailed to Federal
Communications Commission, Enforcement Bureau, Technical and
Public Safety Division, 445 12th Street, SW, Washington, D.C.
20554, Ref: EB-00-TS-149; NAL/Acct. No.: 200132100005.
11. 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
12. Requests for payment of the full amount of this Notice
of Apparent Liability under an installment plan should be sent
to: Chief, Credit and Debt Management Center, 445 12th Street,
SW, Washington, D.C. 20554.10
13. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT this notice shall be sent,
by certified mail, return receipt requested, to counsel for Joe
L. Ford, d/b/a Ford Communications, Lewis H. Goldman Law Offices,
Attention Lewis H. Goldman, 4141 North Henderson Road, Plaza
Suite 9, Arlington, Virginia 22203.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
David H. Solomon
Chief, Enforcement Bureau
1 47 U.S.C. § 301.
2 47 C.F.R. § 22.3.
3 47 C.F.R. § 1.949. This Section provides , in pertinent part,
that ``Applications for renewal of authorizations in the Wireless
Radio Services must be filed no later than the expiration date of
the authorization for which renewal is
sought. . . .''
4 The enforcement responsibilities of the Wireless
Telecommunications Bureau are now with the Enforcement Bureau.
See 47 C.F.R. § 0.111.
5 Biennial Regulatory Review -- Amendment of Parts 0, 1, 13,
22, 24, 26, 27, 80, 87, 90, 95, 97, and 101 of the Commission's
Rules to Facilitate the Development and Use of the Universal
Licensing System in the Wireless Telecommunications Services,
Memorandum Opinion and Order upon reconsideration, 14 FCC Rcd
11476, 11485-11486 (1999).
6 47 U.S.C. §503(b)(2)(D).
7 See, e.g., Jean R. Jonassaint, 15 FCC Rcd 10422 (Enf. Bur.
8 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
9 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.311, and 1.80.
10 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914