FCC Proposes to Fine CBer $14,000 for Not Permitting Station Inspection
The FCC continued this month to demonstrate that it’s serious about enforcing its rules and regulations, proposing to fine a Florida Citizens Band operator $14,000 for failing to allow FCC agents inspect his station. The Commission issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) to Tommie Salter of Jacksonville on August 22. The Commission alleged that Salter earlier this year denied permission for agents from the FCC’s Tampa Office to check out his station in the wake of renewed complaints of interference to a neighbor’s “home electronic equipment.” On March 21, the agents monitored radio transmissions on 27.245 MHz and used radio direction-finding techniques to track the signal’s source to Salter’s residence.
“The agents told Mr Salter about the radio interference complaint from a neighbor and asked if they could inspect his CB radio station,” the FCC NAL recounted. “Mr Salter denied the agents’ request. The agents verbally warned Mr Salter that refusing to allow an inspection of his CB radio station violated the [Communications] Act and the [FCC] rules and could result in a forfeiture action, but he again denied the request.”
The FCC’s Forfeiture Policy Statement and its rules set a base forfeiture amount of $7000 for failure to permit inspection. Salter had previously received a Notice of Violation for refusing an inspection request in 2004, the NAL noted, and he also had been fined for operating with a non-certificated transmitter during restricted hours the Commission had imposed following similar interference complaints.
“Misconduct of this type is serious, exhibits contempt for the Commission’s authority, and threatens to compromise the Commission’s ability to fully investigate violations of its rules,” the FCC said in making an “upward adjustment” of $7000 in the proposed forfeiture. In a footnote, the FCC pointed out that its agents do not have to obtain a search warrant prior to requesting a station inspection.
Salter has 30 days to pay the fine or to seek reduction or cancellation of the proposed forfeiture.
In July the FCC proposed substantial fines for two radio amateurs, alleging deliberate interference with other Amateur Radio communications and failure to properly identify.