Ham Gets 30 Days in the Slammer for On Air Harassment

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by N1FM, Jun 13, 2020.

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  1. N1FM

    N1FM Premium Subscriber QRZ Page


    In the second case of its kind, the first in Florida, the Tennessee Court of Appeals in Knoxville, has affirmed a 30 day jail term based on violation of a court order which directed a Tennessee ham (Michael J. Mgrdichian, N2FUV) to refrain from contacting another ham. The trial court, and now the appeals court, have declared that Michael J. Mgrdichian violated the court's directive on 3 occasions, resulting in 3 separate jail sentences for 10 days each.

    The victim in the case asked for a temporary order of protection, which was granted. The order specified that Michael Mgrdichian was not to contact the victim. The pertinent command for this appeal stated that Respondent Mgrdichian would “not contact the petitioner either directly or indirectly, by phone, email, messages, mail, or any other type of communication or contact.”

    After violating the order by contacting the victim on three occasions via ham radio, and being found guilty of criminal contempt of court, Mgrdichian argued in his appeal that the trial court lacked jurisdiction due to FCC preemption of radio matters, and that he did not know that he was facing three jail terms and three fines, by violating the court order on three occasions.

    In a June 4th hearing, the victim returned to court to complain that the perpetrator was continuing the behaviors previously complained about, and Michael J. Mgrdichian was found guilty and fined for two additional counts of civil contempt of court, adding to the three original counts of criminal contempt.

    The victim has also complained that Michael J. Mgrdichian lied to to the court in official documents, and asked the court to issue subpoenas regarding a number of emails, specifically to unmask the IP addresses of the senders, to match the IP addresses to Mr. Mgrdichian's IP address for future proceedings, either civil or criminal, or both. The victim was instructed by the court on how to obtain the subpoenas sought.

    On June 11, 2020, the state appeals court in TN found that Mgrdichian had received adequate notice in court documents, and that the trial court's jail sentences and fines were appropriate. The appeals court affirmed the trial court and remanded the case for further proceedings as deemed necessary. The court decisively found that FCC rules do not preclude a state court from preventing an amateur from stalking and harassing another amateur in the same state, and that in those cases, local courts have jurisdiction.

    In short, at least in TN and FL, the FCC rules do not prevent a local court from issuing an order of protection containing a penalty of jail time for violation, when one amateur is alleged to be harassing and stalking another amateur, within the same state. Moreover, TN and FL have now both affirmed the court's authority to jail perpetrators who violate said court orders, even when contact is via amateur radio.

    In reaching their decision, the Florida court relied heavily on the brief filed by the victim, and on their own analysis, which contained a previous Florida case, where the respondent also argued that the FCC preempted the local court's authority.


    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 14, 2020
    K6CDW, K7YB, N5IT and 17 others like this.
  2. AA7BQ

    AA7BQ QRZ Founder Administrator QRZ Page

    Note: The call sign N2FUV was removed from the QRZ database last year upon the licensee's insistence.
    NU4R, KG4BFR, KD0CAC and 7 others like this.
  3. AE7XG

    AE7XG Ham Member QRZ Page

    we can still look at fcc records...
    NK2U, KG4BFR, WA8MEA and 2 others like this.
  4. AE7XG

    AE7XG Ham Member QRZ Page

    You can run , but you can not hide. LOL
    K7YB, KD4AYU, KU4GW and 4 others like this.
  5. K4DL

    K4DL XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    His license has been canceled so that is good. Now if they would just cancel the convected and current registered sex offender who's victims were preteen girls that they are aware of I would consider the FCC to be doing their job.
    VP2EIH, N3PZZ, V44KBW and 11 others like this.
  6. K3XR

    K3XR Ham Member QRZ Page

    An interesting approach and perhaps more victims of harassment or interference via radio should consider that there may be violations of local or state laws beyond those of the FCC. The course of justice can sometimes follow a circuitous route.
    W7XLR, K8PG and K0UO like this.
  7. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page

    When the going gets tough, the tough need to chill...

    Seems that these days some of our 'volume' is set on 11.... with no 'off'' :-(

    Whatever happened to 'spin the knob'?

    There is plenty on the 'net, documenting various FCC infractions.

    Just an opinion that may not apply-- we (all should) keep the scotch away from the microphone. And there are plenty of positive OTA conversations happening, that none of us need to seek out negative ones.

    The call N2FUV was cancelled in 2016.

    Chip W1YW
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2020
    W7XLR, WB3EBN, KG5PFD and 2 others like this.
  8. AA5H

    AA5H Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    This is just a routine contempt of court charge for repeated violation of a local no-contact order. The FCC removal of his license is meaningless; he flagrant was violating the no-contact order, do you think he cares whether he has a valid amateur license?

    This really has nothing to do with amateur radio; the order prohibits contact via electronic media and the contact occurred within the court's jurisdiction. Contact could just as well been email or cell phone. His defense that he "did not know" he was facing jail time (for continued violations) is ridiculous, he should have hired an attorney. Obviously some mental health issues occurring.
    KM4BQM, W7XLR, K4BXX and 4 others like this.
  9. KC9EOQ

    KC9EOQ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I just looked up the N2FUV call sign and it is still on QRZ.
  10. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page

    K5RT likes this.
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