News media information 202/418-0500, Fax-On-Demand 202/418-2830,
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This is an unofficial announcement of Commission Action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MVI v. FCC. 516 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974)
Report No. CI 97-9 COMPLIANCE AND INFO ACTION September 12, 1997
FCC WINS SUMMARY JUDGMENT AGAINST UNLICENSED RADIO OPERATOR
On August 24, 1997, the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division granted the Government's motion for summary judgment, affirming the seizure of radio equipment in a pirate radio case. The Court supported the Government's actions in seizing equipment which had been used for operating an unlicensed radio station in Lutz, Florida.
In a complaint leading up to the equipment seizure, the FCC, represented by the U.S. Department of Justice, asserted that the station's operator, Arthur Kobres, broadcast without a license on 96.7 MHz, in violation of Section 301 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended. The FCC's complaint stated that on November 3, 22, and 30, 1995, and February 16, 1996, the equipment at issue was used to violate Section 301 of the Communications Act, and was therefore subject to seizure. The U.S. Marshals seized the equipment on March 7, 1996.
Mr. Kobres sought release of the equipment, contending that the Government's seizure was invalid. Mr. Kobres raised several issues in his defense challenging the FCC's authority to regulate his broadcast operation. The Government disputed Mr. Kobres' arguments and requested summary judgment. In an Order without opinion, District Judge Steven D. Merryday denied Mr. Kobres' claim to the equipment and granted the Government's motion for summary judgment.
In general, unlicensed radio transmissions create a danger of interference to important authorized radio communications services. Such transmissions using equipment of unknown technical integrity raise particular concern because of the potential for harmful interference to authorized services, including public safety and aircraft frequencies.
News Media contact: Rosemary Kimball at (202) 418-0500.
Compliance and Information Bureau contact: Doug Cooper at (202) 418-1160.