FCC Substantially Reduces Radio Amateur’s Fine for CB Violation
The FCC has significantly reduced the fine it imposed earlier this year on an Oklahoma Amateur Extra class radio amateur licensee for operating his Citizens Band radio to interfere with other CBers’ transmissions. Orloff Haines, KF5IXX, had been facing a $12,000 fine. In a June 17 Forfeiture Order, the Commission dropped Haines’s liability to $1750.
“Mr. Haines does not deny that he intentionally interfered with other CB communications,” the FCC said in the Forfeiture Order. “Instead, Mr. Haines requests reduction or cancellation of the forfeiture proposed by the Enforcement Bureau because he cannot afford to pay it. Although we do not cancel the fine, we reduce the monetary penalty based on Mr. Haines’s documented inability to pay.”
In May 2013 an FCC agent tracked the source of a continuous carrier on CB channel 19 (27.1850 MHz) to Haines’s home in Enid, Oklahoma. Haines was not at home, but his wife showed the agent her husband’s CB station, which was transmitting on channel 19. Haines’s wife told the FCC agent that her husband’s radio was continuously transmitting on channel 19, because other CB operators in the area had been harassing her, the FCC reported in its March 21 Notice of Apparent Liability (NAL). According to the FCC, Mrs Haines “voluntarily turned off” the CB transmitter at the end of the inspection. The FCC said the carrier was interfering with CB communication within an approximately 2 mile radius.
Prior to May 2013, Haines had received two written warnings from the Dallas FCC office, advising him of the consequences of intentionally interfering with other CB communications. The FCC had added $5000 to Haines’s initial $7000 fine, because of what it called his “deliberate disregard for the Commission’s requirements and authority” by ignoring the earlier warnings.
In this week’s Forfeiture Order, the FCC said it has rejected inability-to-pay claims in past cases of “repeated or otherwise egregious violations,” and it warned Haines that similar violations in the future “may result in significantly higher forfeitures that may not be reduced” due to his financial circumstances.