[TowerTalk] CB operator charged under new city law

Timothy-Allen Albertson-KG6IRH tubbyjoe at pacbell.net
Wed May 21 19:10:53 EDT 2003

A few years back Congress enacted legislation allowing local entities to
criminalize violation of CB rules pertaining to RF transmission.  The FCC
then enacted CFR provisions to insure this exception was narrowly construed
including mthods for review of those local ordinances.

That is a very limited exception to the general rule of federal peremption
of RF matters.  It does not permit local entities to pass any type of
legislation pertaining to Amateur Radio Part 97 RF transmissions.  Those
types of law pertaining to Ham Radio remain preempted and exclusively within
the remit of the FCC.  A local entity might try to do so something but would
be shot down very fast by the FCC as this is a case where Riley would
display his terrier tenancity.

Lets face it 11 meters attracts some real degenerates and morons.  A few
months back I had a echolinkqso with an OM near a major AFB/aircraft
maunfacturer.  There was some moron on 11 meters with several KW of RF power
keying up right next to the AFB which is next the municipal airport.  Aside
from screwing up all RF in the AFB area it was so bad that the techs came to
think their Test equipment was designed to take a lunch break as it went
down every day at the same time which was about noon.

72/73 de tim kg6irh.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Kevin Stover" <rkstover at mchsi.com>
To: "Towertalk" <towertalk at contesting.com>
Sent: Wednesday, May 21, 2003 1:24 PM
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] CB operator charged under new city law

> 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.
> 73,
> ======= 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
> >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
> >
> >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
> >or business activities of the general public."
> >
> >In January, local residents began to log feedback problems they
> >Trimmer said. Noise was reported on Harrison, Fifth and Washington
> >
> >One woman had problems almost every time she used her telephone. She said
> >interfered with calls such as learning a family member was in the
> >
> >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
> >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
> >rights of the neighbors."
> >
> >On April 10, Tim Deitz, assistant superintendent of the city's
> >Communications and Signals Department, used a relative signal strength
> >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
> >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
> >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
> >days in jail.
> >
> >Wood also is concerned about the case, which he's just begun
> >
> >"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
> >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
> >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.
> >
> >_______________________________________________
> >TowerTalk mailing list
> >TowerTalk at contesting.com
> >http://lists.contesting.com/mailman/listinfo/towertalk
> >.
> = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
> Best regards.
> Kevin Stover
> rkstover at mchsi.com
> 2003-05-21
> _______________________________________________
> 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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