Legal Question about 97.403

Legal Question about 97.403

Post by John F. Woo » Sun, 05 Dec 1993 02:28:17



>I have a legal question about FCC rule 97.403. It refers to "these rules."
>Does that mean Part 97 or all or the FCC rules. (I don't have a copy in
>front of me, so I may be slightly misquoting.)

I would concur with everyone else; rules in Part 97 affect other rules in
Part 97 unless it has an explicit number attached to it.

Quote:>This is obviously in regard to the ham in San Diego who had his equipment
>taken away. There are so many conflicting views about the laws, I decided
>to read them myself. The sheriff's department keep quoting 90.47 which is
>about permits to use the land mobile system in remote areas during
>emergencies. Which does not really apply to this case since the ham did not
>have one of these permits. The ham refers to rule 97.403, which states that
>no part of "these rules" obstructs a ham from using any radio means
>available.

If that ham is attempting to justify his actions under 97.403, it sounds like
he has entirely failed to contact a knowledgable lawyer, a grave error if
the sheriff's department has or is planning to charge him with something,
and a serious error if he just wants his equipment back (:-).  If there is to
be any legal justification for him, he'll probably find it in the
Communications Act of 1934; all 97.403 means is that having a ham ticket
does not prohibit you from using the right given to every other citizen to
use all means at your disposal to save lives.  As others have pointed out,
local laws about ownership of unlicensed transmitters (which Part 90 probably
does *not* address) may mean that even if he can legally justify the
transmission they will still get to keep the equipment as a souvenir of his
public service...
 
 
 

Legal Question about 97.403

Post by Phil So » Sun, 05 Dec 1993 04:50:09


I have a legal question about FCC rule 97.403. It refers to "these rules."
Does that mean Part 97 or all or the FCC rules. (I don't have a copy in
front of me, so I may be slightly misquoting.)

This is obviously in regard to the ham in San Diego who had his equipment
taken away. There are so many conflicting views about the laws, I decided
to read them myself. The sheriff's department keep quoting 90.47 which is
about permits to use the land mobile system in remote areas during
emergencies. Which does not really apply to this case since the ham did not
have one of these permits. The ham refers to rule 97.403, which states that
no part of "these rules" obstructs a ham from using any radio means
available. So I'm looking for the legal definition of "these rules."

phil sohn

 
 
 

Legal Question about 97.403

Post by Jim Hollenba » Sun, 05 Dec 1993 06:01:44

: I have a legal question about FCC rule 97.403. It refers to "these rules."
: Does that mean Part 97 or all or the FCC rules. (I don't have a copy in
: front of me, so I may be slightly misquoting.)

: This is obviously in regard to the ham in San Diego who had his equipment
: taken away. There are so many conflicting views about the laws, I decided
: to read them myself. The sheriff's department keep quoting 90.47 which is
: about permits to use the land mobile system in remote areas during
: emergencies. Which does not really apply to this case since the ham did not
: have one of these permits. The ham refers to rule 97.403, which states that
: no part of "these rules" obstructs a ham from using any radio means
: available. So I'm looking for the legal definition of "these rules."

I believe the "these rules" applies to part 97, the rules under which
amateurs operate. Rules under which broadcast stations, radar stations and
the like would not seem to apply well to amateurs.  Taken in that context
then, "these rules" would be part 97.  The partial quote is correct.

97.111(2) says you can exchange two communications with a station in another
FCC-regulated service while providing emergency communications.

97.403 deals with safety of life and protection of property. A partial quote:
"... any means of radio communication ... in connection with the immediate
safety of human life ...". In order to use this section, I would say the
safety of human life must be of the extreme and immedate nature...like a
guy*** by one hand on a tree half way down a very long cliff. If the
person is injured, but in no immediate danger of dying then this probably
would not apply. It may well be the person would die with in a hour
without help, but I am not sure this is immediate enough to invoke the
rule.  

It also deals with the immediate protection of property. I don't think
there is any reason strong enough to protect property that would entice me
to talk to the police dispatcher on a radio. I am not familiar with part 90,
but probably is the rules under which the cops operate.

I don't have equipment that can operate on other than ham bands, and if I
did, I am not sure I would even consider operating on a cop frequency.  Cops
can get pretty dam narrow minded when it comes to somebody other than cops
talking on their radios. The natural instinct of any normal police force is
to take away anything they consider a threat, real or imagined. A radio that
can operate on their frequency is such a threat. Even if the use of the
radio was proper and resulted in the saving of a life.  This probably is
a very good argument for the use of cell phones.

Jim, WA6SDM

 
 
 

Legal Question about 97.403

Post by Stephen Holla » Sun, 05 Dec 1993 06:12:13



> I have a legal question about FCC rule 97.403. It refers to "these rules."
> Does that mean Part 97 or all or the FCC rules. (I don't have a copy in
> front of me, so I may be slightly misquoting.)

> This is obviously in regard to the ham in San Diego who had his equipment
> taken away. There are so many conflicting views about the laws, I decided
> to read them myself. The sheriff's department keep quoting 90.47 which is
> about permits to use the land mobile system in remote areas during
> emergencies. Which does not really apply to this case since the ham did not
> have one of these permits. The ham refers to rule 97.403, which states that
> no part of "these rules" obstructs a ham from using any radio means
> available. So I'm looking for the legal definition of "these rules."

> phil sohn


The way I have read that phrase is to mean that the rules restricting
amateurs to their own bands is not to be construed to be a limitation
in an emergency.  This means amateurs are not restricted more than
anyone else in the use of any radio frequency in an emergency.  IMHO.

Steve Holland

 
 
 

Legal Question about 97.403

Post by Gordon Dew » Wed, 08 Dec 1993 16:50:01


> I have a legal question about FCC rule 97.403. It refers to "these rules."
> Does that mean Part 97 or all or the FCC rules. (I don't have a copy in
> front of me, so I may be slightly misquoting.)

I would assume that in the definitions section of the FCC rules there
would actually be a definition for "these rules".  I don't have a copy of
the FCC rules since I'm not an American, but that would make sense to me

  --G

--

  UUCP:  ...!pinetree!gordon                  |      get severance pay.

  Gordon's Pinetree - Ottawa, Ontario, Canada - +1 613 526 0702 - v32bis/v42bis

 
 
 

Legal Question about 97.403

Post by Matthew B Crav » Fri, 10 Dec 1993 00:10:14


>I would assume that in the definitions section of the FCC rules there
>would actually be a definition for "these rules".  I don't have a copy of
>the FCC rules since I'm not an American, but that would make sense to me

This is not explicitly stated in the rules, but I would tend to infer
that "these rules" implies ALL FCC rules. (ie All parts of 47 C.F.R.)*.
When they are talking about just part 97, the terminology used seems
to be "this Part".

/Matthew

(* - C.F.R. = Code of Federal Regulations)

--
Matthew Cravit                      | All opinions expressed here are
Michigan State University           | my own. I don't speak for Michigan
East Lansing, MI 48825              | State, and they don't speak for me

 
 
 

Legal Question about 97.403

Post by Cliff Sha » Tue, 07 Dec 1993 16:51:00


Quote:>  As others have pointed out,
>local laws about ownership of unlicensed transmitters (which Part 90 probably

                               ^^^^^^^^^^

Quote:>does *not* address) may mean that even if he can legally justify the
>transmission they will still get to keep the equipment as a souvenir of his
>public service...

   The ham in question was using a LICENSED transmitter.  The transmitter
was licensed under Part 97.5(e), whether it was an IC-02AT, a type-approved
Motorola talkie stolen from a policeman, or an AM broadcast transmitter,
because it was operated in accordance with the FCC Rules (specifically,
97.403) and was a transmitting apparatus under the physical control of
the station licensee.
   Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer, but I wouldn't mind acting as my own if I
had to argue this before a Federal court.  (Flames about the stupidity of
_that_ directed to /dev/null.)
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