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Author Topic: Is there a lawyer in the house?  (Read 2294 times)
KD5KFL
Member

Posts: 55




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« on: February 26, 2001, 07:37:14 PM »

I'm having a problem with a law enforcement official who is very tenacious but not especially bright. He is obsessed with the fact that I own linear amps attached to modified CBs. I have repeatedly explained to Officer Unfriendly that linear amps and modified CBs are legal items for licensed amateur operators. I am an Extra with a GROL.

I have found the FCC regs that give us permission to build and modify linear and non-linear RF amps. I have found the Part 95 rules that forbid modification of CBs ( Thats why you never, ever hear of modified CBs, right? ). What I can't find are Part 97 rules that state that Amateurs are allowed to build and modify radios to suit our needs.

Is this privilege specifically stated in a rule, or merely implied by the absence of rules against it?
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« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2001, 11:14:10 PM »

not a lawyer or officer or legal type.

but,

ask in a polite way for him/her to show you
in writing what if any rules/law you believed
to be in violation of.

that should keep him/her busy.

If that will not work, you need to get a real
lawyer to protect yourself.
even if lawyer has to take legal steps to
file harassment or restrain orders to keep
the person away from you.

is this person a neighbor ? or just looks for
towers and starts to bother you ?

good luck.
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« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2001, 09:07:42 AM »

I'm also no lawyer, etc.

I am certain hams may build equipment from scratch, modify ham gear, etc.  Only some "can" but all "may".  Where that is in the rules, however...

All you have is a radio that "looks like" a CB.  Now it's a ham radio.

All that said, you've got trouble if you've already got the eye of a cop.  It pays to be nice to "government workers" as they can make your life miserable.
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WB2WIK
Member

Posts: 20636




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« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2001, 11:31:34 AM »

I also checked Part 97 current revision and could not find any detail referencing the amateur's authorization to construct his own equipment.  Possibly by not specifically excluding it, authorization is implied.  However, why not ask the League to help?  They have folks who specialize in this stuff...you might try John Hennessee N1KB at:

jhennessee@arrl.org

Give him the same info you posted here and see what he says!

73 & GL with the Fuzz...

Steve WB2WIK/6
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N0PU
Member

Posts: 16




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« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2001, 09:41:37 PM »

If you read the following carefully it specifically gives Amateurs permission to build and operate Linear Amplifiers...

Sec. 97.315  Certification of external RF power amplifiers.

(a) No more than 1 ... may be constructed or modified during any calendar year ...
(b)(3)(i) Constructed by the licensee, not from an external RF power amplifier kit, for use at the licensee's station; or
(b)(3)(ii) Modified by the licensee for use at the licensee's station.

Tell him to go away the next time...
Then get an attorney to write a letter to his boss...

end of problem...

Harry
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N7JAU
Member

Posts: 90




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« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2001, 10:05:22 PM »

I don't think the rules specifically DO say that we may build, modify, etc.  The thing is, the rules do not say we CANNOT, except for the specific limitations on EXTERNAL rf amps  (one per year, etc.)  

Ask this guy where IN WRITING he has the authority to enforce FCC regulations?

Of course, you might ask yourself, why is he hasseling you?   Are you creating some interferance you could avoid?   Also, remember, that if you are using homebrew /modified gear, especially CB type amps, they might NOT meet regulations concerning spurs, harmonics, bandwitdth and linearity--in other words, if the FCC were to show up, make sure what comes out the antenna is LEGAL--power, bandwith, clean audio, etc.  
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WB2WIK
Member

Posts: 20636




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« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2001, 04:37:16 PM »

Sounds like N0PU missed the point, the question was not regarding the linear amplifier(s), it involved specifically modifying CB rigs to operate in the amateur bands (presumably 10m).

I still think it would be best to get something in writing from an expert in interpreting Part 97, and present that to the witless officer, with a copy to the Chief and a copy to the Mayor (or whomever the Chief reports to), along with a specific request that this officer not bother you in the future.

WB2WIK/6
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N0PU
Member

Posts: 16




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« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2001, 05:42:20 PM »

Not to start a flame war, but my point was that obviously the FCC expect equipmant to be '..constructed and modified..' by hams.
Seems pretty clear to me, and if this 'friendly gov't employee' is as dense as he seems, showing him this simple statement may well put him off.

Harry N0PU
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KD5KFL
Member

Posts: 55




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« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2001, 05:10:45 PM »

There are more problems in this situation than you can imagine. The city council just appointed an ombudsman to deal with the harassment claims generated by this police department, so my next move is to get in that line and see what he can do. Obviously, when things get to this state, there are MANY problems.
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« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2001, 12:46:38 AM »

DISCLAIMER:  I'm a lawyer, but not YOUR lawyer, so this is for information only and is not legal advice.  Consult with your own attorney before acting on anything said here.

My first question would be, "What are you doing to attract the attention of a 'law enforcement official?'"

Next, I would review ALL the FCC regs, not just Part 97, to determine what are your rights and duties with respect to modifying equipment and using modified equipment.

Third, if you're in danger of being arrested or sued in civil court, get a lawyer.  ARRL might be able to help you find a nearby lawyer who is also a HAM and familiar with HAM issues.
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K1BRF
Member

Posts: 36




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« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2001, 07:39:34 PM »

I am also not your attorney and this is not legal advice. These are questions.

1. Why on earth did the subject come up? How did a dispute arise?
2. One of the first things one generally examines in any complaint is jurisdiction.  What jurisdiction does a local officer enforcing LOCAL laws have over a complex FEDERAL topic? Answer: usually none. What is the complaint over which he has jurisdiction?
3. Another thing one examines is standing. On what basis is this person making a complaint?  Is he the aggrieved party?  Who is making the complaint?  Why? What interests and whose interests is he claiming to protect, if any?
4. Another thing one looks at is the stautory basis for complaint.  What statute is he alleging is being violated? This is up to him to cite, not you to research one would think.
5. If there is a serious issue, I would call the ARRL and I would also hire an attorney versed in the issue which is under discussion -- but I have no idea what the dispute is about or how officer jones got involved in the first place from reading the comments.
6. Is this something that a beer, a tour of the station and a few jokes can put to bed? Please realize that frequently the most costly way (by all measures including personal grief, time, money, etc.) to settle a dispute -- even if you are right -- is legally.

Best of luck and keep us all posted if you can.
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KF7CG
Member

Posts: 866




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« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2001, 12:27:55 PM »

Here it is!  First case of what I said might happen.  Congress with overwhelming majorities said that local authorities could write local laws to enforce the FCC regulations within the band 24 thru 35 mega-hertz.  Written into this law was an exemption for licensed operators, but given the wording, the locals still have the power to harass.

This is just the beginning.  Texas has a law, stuck in committee for now, that would give the locals power over all communications site (includes amateurs) locations and licensing.  Another city (see QRZ) is proposing to make ALL transmitting sites again including Amateurs be licensed and submit yearly documentation that they meet FCC power density guidelines.
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KF7CG
Member

Posts: 866




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« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2001, 03:27:50 PM »

Sorry I forgot to mention this in my previous post.  The Federal Law that gives local governments the right to write laws concerning emissions, equipment, antennas and towers is PL106-521.

This law suggested (recommended) that local governments and municipalities get FCC help in writing their laws it did not mandate it nor cooperation between the locals and the FCC.

With this in mind it may just have been too tall a tower.  I little interference or a need to enforce something.  From what I am reading it looks as though cooperation was tried and then used against the Ham that is being harassed.

Maybe we should have a forum in which to post the current local government incursions and from which to decide how to proceed.  This looks very much like the breed specific and anti-dog legislation/administration problems that now have web sites dedicated to them.

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