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FCC: Referee's in Club Dispute

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by AA7BQ, Feb 28, 2002.

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  1. AA7BQ

    AA7BQ QRZ Founder Administrator QRZ Page

    Here's another recent FCC Enforcement letter detailing how hard it can be at times to deal with a trustee who's fallen out of favor with a club.  In my opinion, I'd have to say it's a shame that taxpayer money goes to settle these kinds of disputes.  People tend to forget that amateur radio is a hobby.  -fred
    <hr>
    CERTIFIED MAIL-RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED

    February 15, 2002

    Mr. Karl E. Simonson
    14241 W. Hill Avenue
    Gurnee, IL  60031-3408

    RE: Adams County Amateur Radio Emergency Service AC9ES File Number 0000693360

    Dear Mr. Simonson:

    You were advised by letter dated January 9, 2002, that the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, pursuant to Section 1.113 of the Commission's rules, set aside the above referenced application granted on December 12, 2001. That action was taken on December 27, 2001and your application reverted to pending status.  You were further advised that the matter had been referred to the Enforcement Bureau and that we would contact you to request additional information regarding your application.  Finally, you were advised that in the meantime you have no authority to use the AC9ES call sign.

    In your December 12, 2001 application, you applied for the AC9ES call sign in your capacity as trustee for the Adams County Radio Emergency Service club. The Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) you used was that of the Adams County Radio Emergency Service club.

    The Adams County Radio Emergency Service club was incorporated under Wisconsin law in April 1998.  It held the call sign KB9RFR and you were the trustee of the club.  As trustee of the club, you were authorized to apply for the club call sign AC9ES.  You did so and it was granted May 10, 2000 (File number 0000126742).

    Information before the Commission indicates that you were dismissed from the club in March 2001, after being unable to account for certain club funds and certain funds collected for the club in your capacity as Volunteer Examiner.  Information also indicates that the club voted to revoke your trusteeship.  Application was then made by the club to make a club officer in good standing the license holder trustee for AC9ES, the club call sign. The Commission granted that application on June 1, 2001 (File number 0000479120).

    In filing the above-referenced application for AC9ES (File number 0000693360), you represented that you are the trustee for the Adams County Amateur Radio Emergency Service club, and you used the same TIN used by the club when it filed the application granted June 1, 2001 (File number 0000479120).  In order to have standing to file such an application, it is apparent that one of two conditions must exist.  You are either a current member and trustee of the Adams County Amateur Radio Emergency Service club, which entity possesses the TIN you used; or you are a current member and trustee of a subsequently formed club bearing the identical name.

    Information from the club refutes the possibility of the first situation. The club filed a statement indicating you were dismissed 6 months prior to the above referenced application (File number 0000693360).  Moreover, the Adams County Sheriff's Department has filed a letter with the Commission indicating that it works closely with the Adams County Amateur Radio Emergency Service club, and the Sheriff's letter indicates that it is the same club that dismissed you as a member.

    If the second situation is accurate, i.e., you are a current member and trustee of a subsequently formed club bearing the identical name, the question arises as to why you would use the TIN of a previous club and one in which you are not a member.

    We note that this is the second time that you have attempted to obtain the call sign AC9ES.  The first being an application filed in August 2001, in which you stated to a Commission staff member that the only changes you were making to the club license were "to reflect the proper trustee" and to add the word "Wisconsin" in the name.  We also note your written communication to the Commission dated August 29, 2001, in which you stated the following:

    "Nicholas Segina is not the license trustee.  Please change the listing to reflect the trustee as Karl E. Simonson".  

    We note that the dates of both statements are apparently subsequent to the date on which you were dismissed as a member of the club.

    Section 308(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, gives the Commission the authority to obtain information from applicants about their application.  Accordingly, you are requested to respond to this letter within 20 days of receipt and demonstrate your standing, if any, to apply for AC9ES as trustee for the Adams County Amateur Radio Emergency Service club.  Failure to respond within the time stated will result in the dismissal of your application.

    Please also be advised that Congress has made punishable a willfully false or misleading reply to a letter of this type, and such statement would also jeopardize your Amateur radio license.  You are also advised that your applications raise serious questions regarding representations made to, and candor in dealing with, the Commission; and may reflect upon your qualifications to hold an Amateur license.

    Sincerely,

    W. Riley Hollingsworth
    Special Counsel
    Enforcement Bureau
     
  2. KC2JCA

    KC2JCA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Seems like just the kind of thing the FCC shuold be concerned with. It's not an internal club dispute, rather it is an individual, misrepresenting himself to the FCC in order to obtain a call sign that he has no right to possess.

    Now, on the other hand, if the guy had used a laminator donated to his club to make badges for another club, I don't think the FCC should be bothered for a decision as to his legal rights as a Ham Radio Operator.


    Just my 2khz.

    73, Jim - kc2jca
     
  3. KD3V

    KD3V Guest

    Hello Fred, Jim and the ham community, I agree completely with Jim. This appears to be a misrepresentation to the FCC by an individual and is not a matter between the club and this individual. This is exactly what the FCC is there to be sure gets handled!
    While there certainly must be some discord between the club and this individual, the FCC is acting on a formal application that, from this letter, contains serious misrepresentations.

    KDa3Ve
     
  4. KC0ISU

    KC0ISU Ham Member QRZ Page

    I find it touching how the formality of the letter seems to give Mr. Simonson courtesy because it doesn't offer a third option: he made a false application. However, the dry tone seems to imply that the third option is exactly what he did and generates an incredible humor. This guy kicked the ball, and it's getting it kicked back to him. He better send an honest letter, or expect to get slammed. [​IMG]
     
  5. KF1P

    KF1P XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Good day to all;

    It looks like Jim hit the proverbial nail on the head.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. W3WN

    W3WN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Fred,

    You're right -- but only up to a point. Yes, it's a shame that taxpayer dollars need to be spent on this type of enforcement, but that is not the fault of the FCC but of the individual trying to steal the club callsign here because he had a dispute with the organization and parted with it.

    I've been through a similar situation personally with the Wireless Association of South Hills over the N3SH call several years ago. It was not pleasant, to say the least. Especially when, in our case, the individuals involved made fraudulent statements before the FCC. No enforcement action was taken, in part because we asked for nothing more than the return of the call. A rerprimand was issued, and we have had no trouble since then. Something similar may have happened in this case.

    Yes, this is only a hobby to each of us individually, and yes, some of us take it too seriously at times. But that is not justification for letting someone walk all over you, and that is not justification for standing by and letting some violate FCC rules for personal gain.

    Sorry Fred, but Jim and the others are exactly right. This had to be done and it was handled better than the offender(s)deserved. Should there be a recurrence, may they get the book thrown at them.

    73
     
  7. N2RJ

    N2RJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Fred, I agree with the general consensus here, simply because the FCC assigns callsigns and has the responsibility to resolve disputes concerning them.
     
  8. N3BIF

    N3BIF Guest

    For once Riley gets a bit of good press here !   I for one am glad to see the FCC stance .
     
  9. KB3DRF

    KB3DRF Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hello Fred and Hams,
    Sorry Fred I have to agree with Jim and the rest.But I think it is
    time that these club calls be terminated,but then again I am a new ham
    and do not understand the importance of a club call.It seems most members of a club are hams so they should just use there own call signs.
    Terminating these club calls (wich are abused) would stop the nonsense
    and free up the fcc for other more important enforcement issues and taxpayers money! 73 kb3drf Mat [​IMG]
     
  10. N8ARY

    N8ARY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Club calls are used on club repeaters and at field days. They are important and have a place. Sometimes they are silent key's callsigns and are used in memory of them.
     
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