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Author Topic: FCC Administrative Law Judge Terminates Long-Standing Amateur License Renewal  (Read 7499 times)

Posts: 849

« Reply #45 on: August 29, 2018, 09:48:39 AM »

Not sure of all the processes involved, but why doesn't the FCC just cancel his license and move on...I read this stuff and never come away with a real conclusion, only that he continues to operate on an expired license evidently, that the Fed don't intend on is the end result?  Cancel it...move on....
^^^^This.  Let the loser hire his own attorney to battle the government.  Costs alone will drain him of the cash in the mattress in his trailer. 
If memory serves, the person of interest is an attorney, so he clearly doesn’t need to hire one.  Whether or not he should is a different matter.

And whether or not Abraham Lincoln’s famed quote (*) applies to this situation is another matter of opinion.

(*) “He who represents himself has a fool for a client”

Posts: 1321

« Reply #46 on: August 29, 2018, 02:20:35 PM »

Can someone in that position legally change their name and then go through the exam process and get a new licence without the FCC catching on? Especially if he changes his address.....

Posts: 849

« Reply #47 on: August 29, 2018, 04:09:42 PM »

Can someone in that position legally change their name and then go through the exam process and get a new licence without the FCC catching on? Especially if he changes his address.....
Possibly, in theory.

There are other things, think of them as authentication factors, that would have to be changed, faked, or overlooked by the FCC for this to happen.  (A Tax ID or Social Security Number, for example... and there are others).  So if someone were determined enough, they might be able to get away with it. Might.

Were that theoretical event to actually happen, I think it’s safe to presume that as soon as someone who... does not think highly of the person trying this catches on, the FCC would be notified, and one thing would lead to another.

That’s also presuming that the theoretical person in question would be permanently disqualified from ever holding a license again. 

Posts: 193

« Reply #48 on: September 06, 2018, 03:19:34 AM »

As it happens, AB5S knows a lot more than he lets on...  Wink

Review of Recent FCC Actions:

K1MAN Forfeiture Order (FO): Liable for $10,000 for interference and failure to respond to FCC information request per court in District of Maine. License renewal application dismissed under Red Light Rule in 2014 for failure to pay court judgment.

Jared Bruegman "Jesse James" FO: Jared Bruegman received a $10,000 FO which was reduced to $500, related to several years of playing the banjo and singing on 20, 40, and 75 meters for hours at a time. No report that it was ever paid.

K3TW Consent Decree: "In response to complaints that an unidentified station was transmitting on an Amateur Radio frequency at 14 MHz, FCC agents determined that the transmissions were coming from Mr Warren’s residence," the FCC said in its December 9, 2015 Order. "To settle this matter, Mr Warren admits that he failed to transmit his assigned call sign, violated the Commission’s rules, will report any noncompliance with rules governing the Amateur Radio Service, and will pay a $3500 civil penalty."

KZ8O $22,000 FO: Never paid.  DOJ rejected FCC referral. FO DOA. Six months later, KZ8O passed away. Remained on the air throughout.

W4BHV FO 2015: Never paid FO. Remained on the air. BHV passed away November, 2016.

K3VR FO: Allegations denied 12/17. Counterclaims that FCC was arbitrary and capricious and failed to observe Administrative Procedure Act. DOJ could not bear 51% of burden of proof using FCC evidence, therefore requested settlement. Case settled under voluntary agreement in mediation. Paid $7,000 to dispose of case. Outcome: K3VR not liable for interference or failure to ID. Case closed 6/6/18. DoJ statement on 7/3/2018: "The claims resolved by the settlement are allegations only, and there has been no determination of liability." Court in Western District PA on 7/9/18: "Case dismissed, with prejudice."

W6WBJ $25,000 FO: DOJ rejected FCC referral. FO is now DOA. 

WBJ ALJ 'Character' Hearing pending since 2008: WBJ filed statement on 6/7/18 in status report: "I decline to appear at a hearing in Washington, D.C. because the Commission is required to give me a field hearing, and I request attorney's fees herein under the EAJA."

Hearing was then dismissed by ALJ for "WBJ's failure to prosecute." WBJ then asked FCC for permission to appeal with greater than 25 pages. Request denied by FCC. WBJ then filed request to appeal to full commission for review of the ALJ's order. FCC responded with opposition to WBJ request on 9/5/18 arguing that appeal should be dismissed by the full commission because no amateur has "a right to a field hearing" and "WBJ stated he would not appear for a field hearing." The EB argues if WBJ prevails, the commission can only refer the hearing back to the ALJ for continuance, however, it's now up to the full commission as to whether they will hear the WBJ appeal and how they will handle it. The full commission has overruled ALJ Sippel more than once. If the full commission considers the WBJ case, they may also expand the issues:

1. Was ALJ Sippel appropriately appointed by the President or the Full Commission under the appointments clause? See: Lucia v. Securities and Exchange Commission, — U.S. —, 2018 U.S. LEXIS 3836 (June 21, 2018)
2. Is there a genuine character issue?
3. Is there a genuine public interest in forcing a 70+ year old amateur to travel to DC for a Hearing?
4. Is it not more expedient, and fair, and modern, for all parties, to allow a field hearing by speaker phone?
5. Is it not more fair to all parties, and to the public, to allow a hearing on the merits, rather than allow a dismissal on a technicality?
6. Is a financial means test required, and if not, why was the amateur's request for forbearance not given due consideration?
7. Is it possible to hold a proper hearing after 10 years when multiple witnesses have passed away, retired?

Recent Statements Re: Enforcement and ALJ Hearings by FCC Commissioner O'Rielly

"The FCC's procedures for conducting business are less formalized than "a middle school PTA" and comprise a "piddly little" three-ring binder of working procedures, most of which aren't in there anyway." That is according to FCC Commissioner Michael O'Rielly, who was taking aim at FCC processes in a speech to the Free State Foundation on Thursday (June 28, 2018). He also said Administrative Law Judge proceedings were a "waste of time and resources" and should be scrapped.

"Most of you would probably be shocked to learn that few of our internal workings are written down anywhere," he said. "They are merely passed down through the years under the guise of 'how we’ve always done it. There is no extensive handbook or manual that can be referenced if procedural questions arise."

O'Rielly said that needs to change. He said staff should be directed to create a procedures document and then it should be incorporated into the Code of Federal Regulations for the public to see. He noted that the FCC is bound by the Administrative Procedure Act, which requires that FCC decisionmaking not be arbitrary and capricious.

O'Rielly put in a plug for eliminating the Administrative Law Judge position, whose decisions in adjudicatory proceedings must still be voted by the commission to become official, or be rejected as the case might be.

O'Rielly: FCC Procedures Less Formalized Than Middle School PTA
Calls for regulatory presumption market is competitive
John EggertonJun 28, 2018

GAO Report on FCC Enforcement Deficiencies (September 2017)

"FCC has not quantified most of its enforcement performance goals and measures. FCC officials told GAO that in 2009 the Chairman's Office decided that narrative examples, rather than quantifiable goals and related measures, were the most appropriate way to report on the enforcement program. For example, FCC's 2016 Annual Performance Report describes details of settlements or fines levied without reporting such goals or measures."

"Fourteen of 22 selected stakeholders said enforcement is important for deterring violations of federal statutes and FCC rules. However, 17 of 22 also expressed concerns regarding the transparency or fairness of the enforcement process or regarding FCC's emphasis on generating publicity by proposing high dollar fines for potential violators. FCC does not have a formal communications strategy that outlines its enforcement purposes and processes."

"Leading practices on enforcement highlight the importance of disclosing agency enforcement processes, including how to challenge and appeal conclusions, as a way to foster fair and consistent enforcement. Increased communication from FCC could improve transparency and stakeholder perceptions of FCC enforcement actions."

"What GAO Recommends: FCC should establish and publish: (1) quantifiable performance goals and related measures for its enforcement program; and (2) a communications strategy outlining its enforcement program for external stakeholders. FCC concurred with the recommendations."

FCC Lies, Uses Friendly News Outlets to Dupe Stakeholders

The Federal Communications Commission purposely misled several news organizations, giving journalists false information. The FCC carried out a campaign to bolster its untrue story by using friendly and easily duped reporters. At least two FCC officials pushed a false account of a 2014 incident. The FCC lied to reporters and to Congress in order to obscure the fact that they utterly failed to maintain a legitimate public comment process, as they are legally required to do. The FCC's inspector general referred three employees to the Department of Justice for felonies regarding lying to the public and to Congress.

Via: Gizmodo, Arstechnica, Slashdot, NewsMax, Techdirt, Newsweek, Fortune, Others

Inspector General Report Regarding FCC's false Statements

"Because of the possible criminal ramifications associated with false statements to Congress," the IG's office said it "formally referred this matter to the Fraud and Public Corruption Section of the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia (USAO-DC) on January 4, 2018, and provided a briefing to the Chief of the Fraud and Public Corruption Section USAO-DC on January 18, 2018."

Posts: 2

« Reply #49 on: September 06, 2018, 03:43:45 AM »

It has become apparent the FCC is a sad joke on the American People, just like the rest of Post-9/11 government we have been stuck with since the last Bush Administration. 

Posts: 1397

« Reply #50 on: September 06, 2018, 05:54:47 AM »

It has become apparent the FCC is a sad joke on the American People, just like the rest of Post-9/11 government we have been stuck with since the last Bush Administration. 
The only thing government looks out for is government.


Posts: 1073

« Reply #51 on: September 06, 2018, 09:03:57 PM »

And people go on about the ARRL.....

Posts: 2105

« Reply #52 on: September 07, 2018, 06:08:10 AM »

I don't pretend to understand this whole issue with this op, nor why he is allowed to operate with an expired license, but appears to me, nothing really has changed or will ever change.  There is precious little enforcement with these issues as compared to the past.  Sad story to be certain but one that could have been remedied.  ARRL doesn't need to publish more articles about it, just when there is a real result.  Otherwise, business as usual.
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