||FCC Notice of Apparent Liability - Unlicensed Operations
Rony Richard Louis - $10,000, and Equipment Forfeiture
Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
Rony Richard Louis ) File No.:
600 W. Oak Ridge Road, Building 3 ) NAL/Acct. No.
Orlando, Florida 32809 ) FRN 0010339414
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Adopted: December 3, 2004 Released: December 7,
By the Chief, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Memorandum Opinion and Order (``Order''), we
deny the petition for reconsideration filed on May
24, 2004, by Rony Richard Louis (``Mr. Louis'').
Mr. Louis seeks reconsideration of the Forfeiture
Order1 in which the Chief, Enforcement Bureau,
found him liable for a monetary forfeiture in the
amount of $10,000 for willful and repeated
violation of Section 301 of the Communications Act
of 1934, as amended (``Act''). The noted violation
involves Mr. Louis's operation of a radio station
on the frequency 89.5 MHz without Commission
2. On March 3, 2004, the District Director of the
Commission's Tampa, Florida Field Office (``Tampa
Office'') issued a Notice of Apparent Liability
for Forfeiture (``NAL'') in the amount of $10,000
to Mr. Louis.2 Mr. Louis did not file a response
to the NAL. On May 17, 2004 the Chief,
Enforcement Bureau issued a no response Forfeiture
Order, affirming the $10,000 forfeiture proposed
in the NAL.
3. On November 4, 2003, two agents from the Commission's
Tampa, Florida Field Office ("Tampa Office")
working in the Orlando, Florida area observed an
FM radio station operating on the frequency 89.5
MHz. Using direction-finding equipment and
techniques, the agents determined that the station
was broadcasting from 600 W. Oak Ridge Road,
Building 3, Orlando, Florida 32809. The agents
took field strength measurements of the station's
signal and determined that it needed a license to
operate. The Commission's records showed that no
license had been issued for this operation. After
locating the station, the agents inspected the
station, which was operated by Mr. Rony Richard
Louis. Mr. Louis received a verbal and a written
warning concerning the operation of the unlicensed
station and voluntarily surrendered the
transmitter to the agents.
4. On January 15, 2004, the same two agents from the Tampa
office drove to Orlando, Florida, and observed an
FM radio station operating on 89.5 MHz. The agents
determined that the station was broadcasting from
600 W. Oak Ridge Road, Building 3, Orlando,
Florida 32809, the same location identified in the
November 4, 2003 inspection. The agents took field
strength measurements of the station's signal and
determined that it needed a license to operate.
The Commission's records showed that no license
had been issued for this operation. A vehicle
registered to Mr. Louis was in front of the
building. The same vehicle that was present during
the prior inspection on November 4, 2003. The
agents returned to the location on January 16,
2004. They spoke to Mr. Louis, who denied having
any transmitter at that site. The agents noted
that the antenna was still on the premises, and
that the end of the cable from the antenna
structure entered the space occupied by Mr. Louis.
In addition, the owner of the building informed
the agents that Mr. Louis leased the premises in
5. On March 3, 2004, the Enforcement Bureau of the Tampa
office issued Mr. Louis a Notice of Apparent
Liability for Forfeiture (``NAL'') in the amount
of $10,000 for willful and repeated violation of
Section 301 of the Communications Act of 1934, as
amended. Mr. Louis did not file a response to the
NAL. The Chief of the Enforcement Bureau issued a
No Response Forfeiture Order on May 17, 2004,
affirming the forfeiture proposed by the NAL. On
May 24, 2004, Mr. Louis filed a petition for
reconsideration of the Forfeiture Order. Mr.
Louis does not dispute that he violated Section
301 of the Act but requests dismissal of the
forfeiture with prejudice. Mr. Louis admits that
he operated the radio station without Commission
authorization at the time of the first inspection,
but claims that he was not operating the station
at the time of the second inspection. In
conclusion, he stated ``I promise you that this
kind of behavior will never take place anymore.''
6. The forfeiture amount in this case has been assessed in
accordance with Section 503(b) of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended (``Act''),3
Section 1.80 of the Rules,4 and The Commission's
Forfeiture Policy Statement and Amendment of
Section 1.80 of the Rules to Incorporate the
Forfeiture Guidelines,5 (``Policy Statement'').
Section 503(b) of the Act requires that the
Commission, in examining Mr. Louis' petition 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 such other
matters as justice may require.6
7. In his petition for reconsideration Mr. Louis promises
to discontinue operation of the radio station
without authorization. We note that Mr. Louis was
warned orally and in writing in November, 2003 to
discontinue operation of the radio station without
authorization, yet despite these warnings, he
resumed operation of the radio station without
Commission authorization in January, 2004. While
Mr. Louis appears to deny that he was responsible
for the operation of the unlicensed station at the
time of the second inspection, the circumstances
belie his denial. In any event, the admitted
violation at the time of the first inspection is
sufficient alone to justify the forfeiture.
Moreover, we find that Mr. Louis's promise to
discontinue operation of a radio station without
Commission authorization does not provide a basis
for reduction or cancellation of the forfeiture.7
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
8. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to
Section 405 of the Act8 and Section 1.106 of the
Rules,9 Mr. Louis's petition for reconsideration
of the May 17, 2004, Forfeiture Order IS DENIED.
9. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, pursuant to Section
503(b) of the Act,10 and Sections 0.111, 0.311 and
1.80(f)(4) of the Commission's Rules (``Rules),11
Mr. Rony Richard Louis IS LIABLE FOR A MONETARY
FORFEITURE in the amount of $10,000 for willfully
and repeatedly violating Section 301 of the Act.
10. 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 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/Acct. No. and FRN No. referenced
above. Payment by check or money order may be
mailed to Forfeiture Collection Section, Finance
Branch, Federal Communications Commission, P.O.
Box 73482, Chicago, Illinois 60673-7482. Payment
by overnight mail may be sent to Bank One/LB
73482, 525 West Monroe, 8th Floor Mailroom,
Chicago, IL 60661. Payment by wire transfer may
be made to ABA Number 071000013, receiving bank
Bank One, and account number 1165259. 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. 20554.13
11. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT this Order shall be sent by
regular mail and by certified mail, return receipt
requested, to Mr. Rony Richard Louis, 600 West Oak
Ridge Road., Building 3, Orlando, Florida 32809.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
David H. Solomon
Chief, Enforcement Bureau
1See Rony Richard Louis, 9 FCC Rcd 8917 (Enf. Bur. 2004).
2Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, NAL/Acct. No.
200432700010 (Enf. Bur., Tampa, Florida Office, released March
347 U.S.C. § 503(b).
447 C.F.R. § 1.80.
512 FCC Rcd 17087 (1997), recon. denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999).
647 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(D).
7See, e.g., Seawest Yacht Brokers, 9 FCC Rcd 6099, 6099 (1994);
Callais Cablevision, Inc., 17 FCC Rcd 22626, 22629 (2002); Radio
Station KGVL, Inc., 42 FCC 2d 258, 259 (1973); and Executive
Broadcasting Corp., 3 FCC 2d 699, 700 (1966).
847 U.S.C. § 405.
947 C.F.R. § 1.106.
1047 U.S.C. § 503(b).
1147 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.311, 1.80(f)(4).
1247 U.S.C. § 504(a).
13See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.
Return to Radio