[TowerTalk] CB operator charged under new city law

Kevin Stover rkstover at mchsi.com
Wed May 21 15:24:50 EDT 2003

Seems to me that particular ordinance would be overturned in court.
The city in question seems to be taking upon itself the regulatory and enforcement power of the FCC.


======= At 2003-05-21, 10:51:00 you wrote: =======

>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
>By KRISTIN GORDON, kgordon at nncogannett.com
>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
>"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
>mmurphy at n-focus.com
>kd8ok at n-focus.com
>See: http://www.mscomputer.com  for "Self Supporting Towers", "Wireless Weather Stations", and lot's more.  Call Toll Free, 1-800-333-9041 with any questions and ask for Sherman, W2FLA.
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>TowerTalk at contesting.com

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Best regards.				 
Kevin Stover
rkstover at mchsi.com

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