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[TowerTalk] CB operator charged under new city law

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Subject: [TowerTalk] CB operator charged under new city law
From: (Steve Katz)
Date: Wed May 21 14:49:34 2003
Thanks for passing this on...I think it's absolutely GREAT!

Note that actions were taken against this guy because he was operating
outside the law, and thus had no foot to stand on.  Similar complaints
against licensed amateurs operating within Part 97 requirements are
routinely dismissed, and hundreds of such cases have been dismissed over the
years.  I was involved in one such case.


"Success is the ability to go from failure to failure with no loss of
enthusiasm." -Winston Churchill

> -----Original Message-----
> From: KD8OK []
> Sent: Wednesday, May 21, 2003 7:51 AM
> To:
> Subject:      [TowerTalk] CB operator charged under new city law
> This may not have much to do with antennas, but it could be a concern for
> all hams in the future.
> CB operator charged under new city law
> The Eagle-Gazette Staff
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> --
> ----
> Complaints from a group of neighbors experiencing interference on
> household
> appliances from phones and TVs to baby monitors have resulted in a court
> case against a local citizens band radio operator.
> James A. Disbennet, 48, 427 Harrison Ave., is charged with operating a CB
> radio exceeding 4 watts, a first-degree misdemeanor, and two counts of
> operating a CB radio without certification, a fourth-degree misdemeanor.
> Disbennet, whose handle is "Sugar Bear," answered a summons in Fairfield
> County Municipal Court last Tuesday and was released on a recognizance
> bond.
> In August 2002, Lancaster City Council was the first in the U.S. to pass
> such an ordinance, allowing the city to enforce rules set by the Federal
> Communication Commission regulating the strength of CB radios, said
> Assistant City Law Director Dave Trimmer.
> According to the ordinance, the definition of CB radio "includes all
> private, two-way, short-distance voice communications service for personal
> or business activities of the general public."
> In January, local residents began to log feedback problems they
> experienced,
> Trimmer said. Noise was reported on Harrison, Fifth and Washington
> avenues.
> One woman had problems almost every time she used her telephone. She said
> it
> interfered with calls such as learning a family member was in the
> hospital.
> Another woman heard interference over a baby monitor she keeps near her
> husband who suffered from a stroke. When she heard calls from a CB radio
> operator named "Sugar Bear" late at night, she would have to turn off the
> monitor so it wouldn't wake her husband.
> "Complainants must have a log of the interference for a minimum of four
> weeks and there has to be more than one complainant in order to file
> charges," Trimmer said.
> After a phone conversation with a woman on Harrison Avenue where he could
> hear interference himself, Trimmer went to the neighborhood to
> investigate,
> he said. He talked to a few individuals, including Disbennet, who said he
> was a CB radio operator but did not possess an amplifier to exceed the
> lawful power output.
> "It's a hobby," Trimmer said. "Sometimes these hobbies get in the way of
> the
> rights of the neighbors."
> On April 10, Tim Deitz, assistant superintendent of the city's Electrical,
> Communications and Signals Department, used a relative signal strength
> meter
> in the 400 block of Harrison Avenue to determine where interference was
> coming from. The signals he received came from Disbennet's home, which had
> a
> 40- to 50-foot antenna attached to it.
> A search warrant was performed the next day by Lancaster police, who
> seized
> four pieces of CB radio equipment worth more than $1,000 from Disbennet's
> home.
> "We're obviously treading on new ground," said Scott Wood, Disbennet's
> attorney. "He's not been given any type of option to defend himself. This
> is
> a big hobby for him, something he enjoys doing.
> "It has him concerned, of course -- he could be facing jail time."
> The maximum penalty for a first-degree misdemeanor is a $1,000 fine and
> 180
> days in jail.
> Wood also is concerned about the case, which he's just begun
> investigating.
> "It's obviously a very interesting case -- this is the first ordinance of
> its kind in the country," he said. "But apparently, this ordinance was
> passed in August 2002 but was never published."
> According to the ordinance, No. 30-02, it was passed by council Aug. 26
> and
> approved Aug. 28.
> The city started looking into the problem nearly two years earlier after
> neighbors on Talmadge Avenue started having problems, Trimmer said. The
> city
> received a petition with 28 signatures and contacted the FCC repeatedly
> about the problem of enforcement.
> Originally published Wednesday, May 21, 2003
> *********************************************
> Michael Murphy - KD8OK
> *********************************************
> _______________________________________________
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