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[TowerTalk] Local police and RFI problems

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Subject: [TowerTalk] Local police and RFI problems
From: (
Date: Tue, 10 Feb 1998 12:27:33 EST
In a message dated 2/10/98 10:05:15 AM Central Standard Time, writes:

        It is my understanding that the Communications Act of 1934
 that set up the FCC also gave the FCC the EXCLUSIVE rights to deal 
 with cases such as this one and the city has no authority legally to
 get involved in this problem.  I do not condone in any way the CB'ers
 use of profanity, but most law enforcement people don't know the 
 difference in a amateur radio operator and a un-licensed CB operator.
 I think the city could set a dangerous example if it starts to charge 
 and arrest people in RFI cases when this may be an area that is totally
 outside their jurisdiction.
This type of criminal action is against the law. Section 302(a)(2) of the
Act gives exclusive jurisdiction to the FCC in these matters.  The legislative
history of that section explicitly provides that the FCC has exclusive
authority to regulate RFI.  In the Conference Report, Congress stated:

        The Conference Substitute is further intended to clarify the reservation
        of exclusive jurisdiction to the FCC over matters involving RFI.  Such
matters shall not
        be regulated by local or state law, nor shall radio transmitting 
apparatus be
        subject to local or state regulation as part of any effort to resolve 
an RFI
        complaint.  The Conferees believe that radio transmitter operators 
should not
        be subject to fines, forfeitures or other liability imposed by any 
local or
        authority as a result of interference appearing in home electronic 
or systems.

H.R. Report No 765, 97th Congress., 2d Sess.33 (1982). reprinted at 1982 U.S.
Code Cong. & Ad News 2277.

See also:  Still v. Michaels, 791 F.Supp 248 (USDC Az, 1992) and Broyde v.
Gotham Tower, Inc., 13 F3d 994 (6th Cir. 1994)  among other cases holding that
such actions are preempted.

73, Jim O'Connell, W9WU   ARRL VC 

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