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MURS operators who think frequencies belong to them

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stryker1

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I posted this here in the CB part of the forum since MURS is license free and doesn't seem to have it's own area on this site.
My neighbor recently received a letter from the borough claiming that the frequency he operates on, 151.820, is "licensed" and "owned" by them through the FCC for use by the auxiliary police, and that if he doesn't stop using it for personal communications, the police are going to file criminal charges, and the borough will file a complaint with the FCC.

Now, I can't seem to find, for the life of me, anywhere on the FCC website anything about 151.820 except that it's been license free since on or before 2002 and that NO ENTITY will be granted exclusive use.
If I go to the Universal Licensing System and do an advanced search for my state, I can locate frequencies I know the borough and county are licensed for when doing an exact frequency search.
If I put 151.820 in an exact frequency search for licensed operators. Guess what? NONE FOUND.

The borough manager was told by the borough fire chief and 1 police dispatcher (who both just listen on their scanners) that the frequency he's talking on is a licensed channel that belongs to auxiliary police (which have since been disbanded/absorbed by fire police/no longer use that frequency)

Their mistake began when the company that does the radios for them put a MURS frequency in their radios so they could start using them right away. Now the people who still listen there are under the impression that it "belongs" to them and instead of locking it out of their scanners, are complaining about people being there/the types of conversations that are held and are actually threatening this mans freedom because of their false information. How's that for local government at work?
 

Mtnrider

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Not a surprise.......Here in Eastern NY we have a high profile albany area repeater on 158.400 With zone alarms. And what appears to be a Body shop somewhere in ulster/dutchess county on 151.820 running a repeater from his house.. yelling at people etc..." i paid good money get off" . Both of these people spoil the whole idea behind it.
 

krokus

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Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry8530/5.0.0.973 Profile/MIDP-2.1 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/105)

Why doesn't someone just provide the agency in question a printout, and link to, the FCC Rules about MURS?

If your friend wants to really stir the pot, he could try filing a complaint with the FCC, claiming malicious interference from what appears to be a governmental agency.
 

SteveC0625

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If you just google MURS, you will find a bunch of info including:

From the FCC: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=murs&source=web&cd=18&ved=0CJoBEBYwEQ&url=http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/multi-use-radio-service-murs-0&ei=fNDcTtsdhPfSAfuyhPAN&usg=AFQjCNHECv4Zs-Qrl8YOKkGM9k8o_E4hZQ&cad=rja

From Wikipedia: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=murs&source=web&cd=4&ved=0CE0QFjAD&url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multi-Use_Radio_Service&ei=fNDcTtsdhPfSAfuyhPAN&usg=AFQjCNGpSvDNvwh3IT5lxICQXhYr8uizxg&cad=rja

And right here on RR: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=murs radio reference&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CFQQFjAB&url=http://wiki.radioreference.com/index.php/MURS&ei=5tDcTrCaCYjo0QHV6OTdDQ&usg=AFQjCNGlxjRrUl-KrTVI1rGA2unpiSgR1A&cad=rja

That should give you enough to adequately research chapter and verse from the FCC rules and regs.

Oh yeah, one other thing. Unless there is a state or local law to the contrary (like New York's no scanners in cars law) violations of the use of the airways is pretty much the exclusive province of the FCC. Threatening criminal action over non-malicious use of the channel is a hollow threat at best. Threatening criminal action over proper use of a MURS channel is, IMHO, bullying, abuse of office, and possibly illegal in itself.

As the previous poster said, it's time to get a lawyer involved and stand up to these bozos.

If it were me, I'd be in the Chief's office with lots of FCC paper in hand wanting to know why they are harassing me over something they know nothing about and have no jurisdiction in to begin with. I would also point out that if they file a complaint, it is ALL PUBLIC RECORD and that their wrongful accusations will come back to bite them in the butt. The media loves things like this.

I would also ask the Chief to do his own research including verifying his FCC licenses, the MURS rules, and how a MURS channel got into his scanner. Then I'd be suggesting to him that since they chose to send a threatening written letter, that an equally forceful letter of apology would be in order at a minimum.
 

K9WG

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If it were me, I would send a letter to them demanding that they provide a copy of their current active FCC license stating the authorized frequency in question. If their authorization is non-existent or expired the sound of crickets should ensue.
 

EC-7

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Saginaw Co. Michigan
If it were me, I would send a letter to them demanding that they provide a copy of their current active FCC license stating the authorized frequency in question. If their authorization is non-existent or expired the sound of crickets should ensue.
I agree, since all FCC licenses are public record anyway, they should prove that they are in the right, before they try to prove that you are in the wrong. Just because someone gave them radios to use, or they had a license at one time, doesnt mean they are licensed now.
 

K9WG

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Here is an example of what I would send:

DISCLAIMER : I am not a lawyer. This is an example only.

Dear Chief xxxx
Recently your department has sent me a letter informing me that I have been using a two way radio in violation of the Federal Communications Commission rules and regulations. Specifically you state that I have been transmitting on frequencies licensed to your department for exclusive use. You have furthered threatened to bring legal action against me for continuing to utilize these frequencies. I therefore demand that you provide proof that your department has exclusive use of the frequencies by providing a copy of the current active license granted to you by the Federal Communications Commission. Failure to do so will be an admittance that you do not have the authority to operate exclusively on this frequency.

Regards xxxx
 

rescue161

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I wouldn't demand anything and I'd just ignore the letter. If they file a complaint with the courts, then file an answer to the complaint and then file a counter suit for harrassment using a lawyer or just do it yourself.

I've found out over the years that it is always best to let the other side trip up on their mistakes. They're already in the wrong, so the less you interact with those idiots, the better off you'll be. Just let them keep being wrong and if you do have to go to court, you'll have a bunch of evidence against them.

This all depends on your friend's "shared" use of the frequency. If someone else is using it, then he just can't jump on the frequency and start using it over the top of them. Same goes for them. Even though the FCC says "no entity will be granted exclusive use," that does not mean that if someone else is using it first that your friend has the right to interfere with their use of the frequency. If that's the case, then he can get into trouble.
 

stryker1

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As soon as he gets off work today (monday) he says he's going to city hall with the printout from the FCC page.
 

jhooten

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A letter head from Dewey, Chetham, and Howe Attorneys at Law is less likely to end up in the round file as will one from Joe Blow, common citizen.

But what do I know?
 

W2PMX

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1) Almost no agency is ever granted exclusive right to any frequency. (Just read an actual commercial license - it states that the licensee has no exclusive right to the frequency.)

2) If the police bring charges, not only are they subject to a claim of false arrest, the city is subject to charges of harassment. (The city and the police, since it's legally mandatory that they're represented by counsel at all times, are expected - in the law - to know the law.) At the very least, they should have had their legal department research the situation before saying the first word about it.

3) If they do charge you with anything, be prepared for a long boring retirement. (After you finish suing them, you'll have enough money to retire, and I don't care if you're not yet of legal age. You'll get enough to last more than a single lifetime if you invest it even half-wisely.)

BTW, the FCC has been known to step into cases like this. (The local government is usurping the FCC's authority. Using a frequency you're not legally allowed to can't violate local or state law, since the federal government has reserved the right to enforce federal law. Since their demand that you stop using it is, in itself, illegal, the best they can do is get any such charge thrown out of court. If some local attorney-masquerading-as-a-judge finds you guilty, the appeal will keep him sleeping standing up for years. And flipping burgers for a living.)
 

stryker1

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Well, the police filing criminal charges portion has been nipped in the bud. The first human he showed the printout of the FCC page on MURS is the fire police captain. She looked it up for herself just to check the source I guess and make sure it wasn't some kind of trick. She called the police dispatcher, one of the original people making a stink, told him it was license free and says he said he "maybe made a mistake". My neighbor still wants to go show this borough manager guy the printout though just to be sure he knows.
 

K9WG

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2) If the police bring charges, not only are they subject to a claim of false arrest, the city is subject to charges of harassment. (The city and the police, since it's legally mandatory that they're represented by counsel at all times, are expected - in the law - to know the law.) At the very least, they should have had their legal department research the situation before saying the first word about it.

3) If they do charge you with anything, be prepared for a long boring retirement. (After you finish suing them, you'll have enough money to retire, and I don't care if you're not yet of legal age. You'll get enough to last more than a single lifetime if you invest it even half-wisely.)
So you are saying that Indiana law (and maybe the OP's state law) is not enforceable?

IC 35-44-3-12
Unlawful use of a police radio; exemptions; "police radio" defined
Sec. 12. (a) A person who knowingly or intentionally:
(1) possesses a police radio;
(2) transmits over a frequency assigned for police emergency purposes; or
(3) possesses or uses a police radio:
(A) while committing a crime;
(B) to further the commission of a crime; or
(C) to avoid detection by a law enforcement agency;
commits unlawful use of a police radio, a Class B misdemeanor.

I sure don't want you as my lawyer
 

travisd

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So you are saying that Indiana law (and maybe the OP's state law) is not enforceable?
IANAL, but I would expect that the "non-exclusive" thing means that if the FCC chooses to assign another user to a frequency, the other licensees can't do anything about it. This has nothing to do with someone who is *not* licensed for a frequency transmitting on it, which is what the Indiana law is really referring to.

In other words, if the FCC licenses two adjacent towns for the same frequency that there's not normally going to be interference due to the distance, but there happens to be, one city can't go sue another over it claiming that "they were there first" or such.

Just my guess...
 

ecps92

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You need to go back to the first messages and RE-READ them.

The discussion is about MURS not FCC allocated Police Frequencies.

If the Police want to use [and many have for Covert/Surv Ops] business band, FRS, GMRS and MURS they have no-more protection and/or authority than another legal user of the channel would.

So you are saying that Indiana law (and maybe the OP's state law) is not enforceable?

IC 35-44-3-12
Unlawful use of a police radio; exemptions; "police radio" defined
Sec. 12. (a) A person who knowingly or intentionally:
(1) possesses a police radio;
(2) transmits over a frequency assigned for police emergency purposes; or
(3) possesses or uses a police radio:
(A) while committing a crime;
(B) to further the commission of a crime; or
(C) to avoid detection by a law enforcement agency;
commits unlawful use of a police radio, a Class B misdemeanor.

I sure don't want you as my lawyer
 

W2PMX

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Fayetteville NC
So you are saying that Indiana law (and maybe the OP's state law) is not enforceable?

IC 35-44-3-12
Unlawful use of a police radio; exemptions; "police radio" defined
Sec. 12. (a) A person who knowingly or intentionally:
(1) possesses a police radio;
(2) transmits over a frequency assigned for police emergency purposes;
MURS frequencies are not assigned for police emergency purposes. They're assigned for the use of the public. If a police department wants to use them, being a member of "the public" it can. But that doesn't change the assignment of the frequency. (The FCC decides who and what it's assigned to/for. Indiana has no say in the matter.)
commits unlawful use of a police radio
A MURS radio is not "a police radio". A police radio is a radio owned by a police department. Transmitting on MURS frequencies is not, per se, unlawful. (Regardless of what Indiana says - the federal government says it's not, and when the federal government disagrees with the state, the state loses.)

And ... any local or state law that has been preempted by the federal government is not enforeceable. As a ham you should know that. State laws prohibiting ham transceivers in vehicles that can, inter alia, receive police frequencies are not enforceable - because the FCC says so, and for no other reason. (Federal regulations always trump local and state laws.)
 

com501

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127.0.0.1
There hasn't been a single license issued on 151.8200 in the continental United States since year 2000. ALL licenses on that frequency are expired or cancelled as of 2005 for the entire USA.

Without looking at the FRS, I am not even sure a public entity such as a municipal or state police agency can even use the MURS channels. Regardless of whether THEY can use it or not, the OP's friend CERTAINLY can, with impunity, and tell the PD to pound sand.

Personally, I would have continued to use it, let them charge me, and THEN had my attorney get rich on a contingency, with a small check for me in the bargain, say a nice retirement villa in the south of France.
 
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