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Steckline Communications, Inc.

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Released: May 6, 2013

Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-971

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of
)
)
Steckline Communications, Inc.
)
File No.: EB-FIELDSCR-12-00003982
)
NAL/Acct. No.: 201332560005
Licensee of Station KIUL-AM
)
FRN: 0009951286
Garden City, KS
)
Facility ID No.: 67041
)

Owner of Antenna Structure Number 1033013
)
Garden City, KS
)

NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE

Adopted: May 6, 2013
Released: May 6, 2013
By the District Director, Kansas City Office, South Central Region, Enforcement Bureau:

I.

INTRODUCTION

1.
In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL), we find that Steckline
Communications, Inc. (Steckline), licensee of AM Station KIUL and owner of antenna structure number
1033013 (Antenna Structure), both located in Garden City, Kansas, apparently willfully and repeatedly
violated Section 73.49 of the Commission’s rules (Rules),1 by failing to maintain effective antenna structure
fencing. We conclude that Steckline is apparently liable for a forfeiture in the amount of seven thousand
dollars ($7,000).2

II.

BACKGROUND

2.
On July 12, 2012, an agent from the Enforcement Bureau’s Kansas City Office (Kansas
City Office) inspected antenna structure number 1033013, which was used by Station KIUL-AM. When
Station KIUL-AM was in operation, the agent observed a section of the fence surrounding the structure
lying on the ground with weeds growing through the planks. Although there also was a perimeter fence
surrounding the property, it was not locked during the day and was not intact, as one section of the perimeter
fence also lay on the ground.
3.
On July 27, 2012, the Kansas City Office issued a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) to Steckline
regarding the Antenna Structure’s fence.3 Steckline responded that the fence surrounding Station KIUL-


1 47 C.F.R. §§ 73.49.
2 A separate Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, which finds Steckline apparently liable for main studio
staffing and public inspection file violations at Station KYUL-AM was adopted on May 6, 2013. See Steckline
Communications, Inc.
, Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture and Order, DA 13-970 (May 6, 2013).
3 Letter from Ronald D. Ramage, District Director, Kansas City Office, South Central Region, Enforcement Bureau,
to Steckline Communications, Inc. (July 27, 2012) (on file in EB-FIELDSCR-12-00003414) (LOI).

Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-971

AM’s antenna structure was damaged in a storm on April 29, 2012 and that it had made temporary repairs
the first week in May.4 It claimed, however, that the temporary repairs must have been knocked down by
wind prior to the inspection on July 12.5 Nevertheless, Steckline stated that the fence around the Antenna
Structure was secured on July 17, 2012, and provided photographs of the repairs in support.6

III.

DISCUSSION

4.
Section 503(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (Act), provides that any
person who willfully or repeatedly fails to comply substantially with the terms and conditions of any license,
or willfully or repeatedly fails to comply with any of the provisions of the Act or of any rule, regulation, or
order issued by the Commission thereunder, shall be liable for a forfeiture penalty.7 Section 312(f)(1) of the
Act defines “willful” as the “conscious and deliberate commission or omission of [any] act, irrespective of
any intent to violate” the law.8 The legislative history to Section 312(f)(1) of the Act clarifies that this
definition of willful applies to both Sections 312 and 503(b) of the Act,9 and the Commission has so
interpreted the term in the Section 503(b) context.10 The Commission may also assess a forfeiture for
violations that are merely repeated, and not willful.11 The term “repeated” means the commission or
omission of such act more than once or for more than one day.12

A.

Failure to Enclose the Antenna Structure Within an Effective Locked Fence or Other
Enclosure

5.
Section 73.49 of the Rules states that antenna structures “having radio frequency potential
at the base . . . must be enclosed within effective locked fences or other enclosures.”13 Individual fences


4 Letter from Greg Steckline, President, Steckline Communications, Inc., to Ronald D. Ramage, District Director,
Kansas City Office, South Central Region, Enforcement Bureau at 1 (Aug. 24, 2012) (on file in EB-FIELDSCR-12-
00003414) (LOI Response).
5 Id.
6 Id.
7 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
8 47 U.S.C. § 312(f)(1).
9 H.R. Rep. No. 97-765, 97th Cong. 2d Sess. 51 (1982) (“This provision [inserted in Section 312] defines the terms
‘willful’ and ‘repeated’ for purposes of section 312, and for any other relevant section of the act (e.g., Section 503)
. . . . As defined[,] . . . ‘willful’ means that the licensee knew that he was doing the act in question, regardless of
whether there was an intent to violate the law. ‘Repeated’ means more than once, or where the act is continuous, for
more than one day. Whether an act is considered to be ‘continuous’ would depend upon the circumstances in each
case. The definitions are intended primarily to clarify the language in Sections 312 and 503, and are consistent with
the Commission’s application of those terms . . . .”).
10 See, e.g., Southern California Broadcasting Co., Memorandum Opinion and Order, 6 FCC Rcd 4387, 4388
(1991), recons. denied, 7 FCC Rcd 3454 (1992).
11 See, e.g., Callais Cablevision, Inc., Notice of Apparent Liability for Monetary Forfeiture, 16 FCC Rcd 1359,
1362, para. 10 (2001) (Callais Cablevision, Inc.) (proposing a forfeiture for, inter alia, a cable television operator’s
repeated signal leakage).
12 Section 312(f)(2) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. § 312(f)(2), which also applies to violations for which forfeitures are
assessed under Section 503(b) of the Act, provides that “[t]he term ‘repeated’, when used with reference to the
commission or omission of any act, means the commission or omission of such act more than once or, if such
commission or omission is continuous, for more than one day.” See Callais Cablevision, Inc., 16 FCC Rcd at 1362.
13 47 C.F.R. § 73.49.
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Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-971

need not be installed if the antenna structures are contained within a protective property fence.14 Station
KIUL-AM’s antenna structure has radio frequency potential at the base.15 On July 12, 2012, an agent from
the Kansas City Office observed a section of the fence surrounding the Antenna Structure lying on the
ground, while Station KIUL-AM was in operation. Thus, the fence did not effectively enclose the base of
the structure. The section of the fence lying on the ground had weeds growing through it, which indicated
that it had been in that condition for more than one day. Steckline admitted that the fence was damaged in a
storm in April 2012 but was unaware of when the temporary repairs it made in May 2012 failed. The agent
did observe a perimeter fence surrounding the property, but it was not “protective,” as it was unlocked
during the day and also had a section that had fallen down on the ground. Steckline reported that it repaired
the Antenna Structure fence on July 17, 2012. Therefore, based on the evidence before us, we find that
Steckline apparently willfully and repeatedly violated Section 73.49 of the Rules by failing to have an
effective locked fence or other enclosure around the base of its antenna structure.

B.

Proposed Forfeiture

6.
Pursuant to the Commission’s Forfeiture Policy Statement and Section 1.80 of the Rules,
the base forfeiture amount for an AM tower fencing violation is $7,000.16 In assessing the monetary
forfeiture amount, we must also take into account the statutory factors set forth in Section 503(b)(2)(E) of
the Act, which include the nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of the violations, 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.17 Applying the Forfeiture Policy Statement, Section 1.80 of the Rules, and the statutory
factors to the instant case, we conclude that Steckline is apparently liable for a total forfeiture in the amount
of $7,000.

IV.

ORDERING CLAUSES

7.
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 of the Commission’s rules,
Steckline Communications, Inc. is hereby

NOTIFIED

of this

APPARENT LIABILITY FOR A
FORFEITURE

in the amount of seven thousand dollars ($7,000) for violation of Section 73.49 of the
Commission’s rules.18
8.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED

that, pursuant to Section 1.80 of the Commission’s rules,
within thirty (30) calendar days of the release date of this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture,
Steckline Communications, Inc.

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 must be made by check or similar instrument, wire transfer, or
credit card, and must include the NAL/Account number and FRN referenced above. Steckline
Communications, Inc. shall also send electronic notification on the date said payment is made to SCR-
Response@fcc.gov. Regardless of the form of payment, a completed FCC Form 159 (Remittance
Advice) must be submitted.19 When completing the FCC Form 159, enter the Account Number in block


14 Id.
15 See License File No. BR-20050214AAU.
16 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) (Forfeiture Policy Statement), recons. denied,
15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999); 47 C.F.R. § 1.80.
17 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(E).
18 47 U.S.C. § 503(b); 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.204, 0.311, 0.314, 1.80, 73.49.
19 An FCC Form 159 and detailed instructions for completing the form may be obtained at
(continued....)
3

Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-971

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 select:
Ÿ
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.
Ÿ
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.
Ÿ
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.
10.
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. 20554.20 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.
11.
The written statement seeking reduction or cancellation of the proposed forfeiture, if
any, must include a detailed factual statement supported by appropriate documentation and affidavits
pursuant to Sections 1.16 and 1.80(f)(3) of the Rules.21 Mail the written statement to Federal
Communications Commission, Enforcement Bureau, South Central Region, Kansas City Office, 520 N.E.
Colbern Rd., 2nd Floor, Lees Summit, MO 64086-4711, and include the NAL/Acct. No. referenced in the
caption. Steckline Communications, Inc. also shall e-mail the written response to SCR-
Response@fcc.gov.
12.
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 principles
(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 submitted.


(...continued from previous page)
http://www.fcc.gov/Forms/Form159/159.pdf.
20 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.
21 47 C.F.R. §§ 1.16, 1.80(f)(3).
4

Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-971

13.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED

that a copy of this Notice of Apparent Liability for
Forfeiture shall be sent by both Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested, and First Class Mail to
Steckline Communications, Inc. at 1632 S. Maize Rd., Wichita, KS 67209, and to its attorney, James P.
Riley at Fletcher, Heald and Hildreth, 1300 North 17th Street, 11th Floor, Arlington, VA 22209.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Ronald D. Ramage
District Director
Kansas City Office
South Central Region
Enforcement Bureau
5

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