So it is illegal to scan while in your car?

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mmartinfan

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Any of our SD members wanna advise me on this real quick I might be in Rapid City this week and would like to listen to the PD/FD there.
 

jpm

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I was that way in 2003 and it seems like I was breaking a law while scanning down there. Some law enforcement officials don't even know the law on that non important laws. Always use the BC780xlt as a cb radio and point to point through scanner law states for many years now and still do.
Like one of my Mayberry towns here in Illinois. They don't know forgery or improper lane usage when a semi- truck decides to change lanes in the middle of an intersection. Got to love them.
 
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billy245

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South Dakota Codified Law
Chapter 23-4: Safeguard of Law Enforcement Radio Communications
§23-4-2 No person who has been convicted of a felony in this state or elsewhere within the past ten years shall posses any frequency modulation receiving equipment capable of being so adjusted or tuned as to receive messages or signals on frequencies assigned by the federal communications commission to local or state law enforcement officers, or to the state or any of its agencies. Any person who violates this section is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor. Nothing in this section shall be constructed to affect any radio station licensed by the federal communications system.
§23-4-3 At the discretion of the attorney general or the legal licensee of each county or municipality, a permit to monitor said assigned frequencies may be issued. Such permit will apply to fixed monitors in authorized places of business. Application for such permit will be made in writing to the attorney general for frequencies assigned to the state of South Dakota and to the sheriff or fire chief for frequencies assigned to various counties and to the chief of police and fire chief of the various municipalities.
§23-4-4 This chapter does not apply to any holders of a valid amateur radio operator or station license issued by the federal communications commission.
 

loumaag

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South Dakota Codified Law
Chapter 23-4: Safeguard of Law Enforcement Radio Communications
§23-4-2 No person who has been convicted of a felony in this state or elsewhere within the past ten years shall posses any frequency modulation receiving equipment capable of being so adjusted or tuned as to receive messages or signals on frequencies assigned by the federal communications commission to local or state law enforcement officers, or to the state or any of its agencies. Any person who violates this section is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor. Nothing in this section shall be constructed to affect any radio station licensed by the federal communications system.
§23-4-3 At the discretion of the attorney general or the legal licensee of each county or municipality, a permit to monitor said assigned frequencies may be issued. Such permit will apply to fixed monitors in authorized places of business. Application for such permit will be made in writing to the attorney general for frequencies assigned to the state of South Dakota and to the sheriff or fire chief for frequencies assigned to various counties and to the chief of police and fire chief of the various municipalities.
§23-4-4 This chapter does not apply to any holders of a valid amateur radio operator or station license issued by the federal communications commission.
Interesting that you left out the section that the OP was asking about.
§23-4-5. Unlawful possession of receiving set or converter without permission--Seizure by peace officer. The possession of any receiving set or converter described in § 23-4-2 in any vehicle or business establishment, without permission pursuant to § 23-4-3, will constitute prima facie evidence of possession for unlawful purposes, and such receiving set shall be deemed contraband and shall be confiscated by any peace officer of this state and delivered to the attorney general for disposition.​
Based on that, it is illegal to have a scanner in a vehicle in the state of SD unless you have a permit (I never heard of one being issued) or a valid amateur radio license. BTW, it is no more illegal in Aberdeen than anywhere else in the state and the police chief that went on that tear in 2003 was removed from office. The fact is, most LE people in SD don't care, but I do know of at least one person (in Roberts Co.) who lost his Pro-96 for no other reason than it was in the vehicle when he was stopped for another reason (it was not on, just sitting in the cup holder.)

You can see the appropriate statue yourself here.
 

trixwagen

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Good stuff. Means I was breaking SD law the entire time I lived there.

Based on that, it is illegal to have a scanner in a vehicle in the state of SD unless you have a permit (I never heard of one being issued) or a valid amateur radio license.
 
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Lt51506

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Hamlin County treats it like a disease. I always knew the sheriff was hiding something, now I know.
 

Evert

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……
§23-4-5. Unlawful possession of receiving set or converter without permission--Seizure by peace officer. The possession of any receiving set or converter described in § 23-4-2 in any vehicle or business establishment, without permission pursuant to § 23-4-3, will constitute prima facie evidence of possession for unlawful purposes, and such receiving set shall be deemed contraband and shall be confiscated by any peace officer of this state and delivered to the attorney general for disposition.​

Based on that, it is illegal to have a scanner in a vehicle in the state of SD unless you have a permit (I never heard of one being issued) ……
There is no permit to have a scanner in a vehicle, although 23-4-5 seems to imply that there is one. Note in 23-4-3 “Such permit will apply to fixed monitors in authorized places of business”.

I think the whole CHAPTER 23-4 is poorly worded and ambiguous. There are ways to read it overall and think the idea is that possession of a scanner or transceiver capable of receiving police frequencies by a felon is a misdemeanor and that if said felon is caught with said equipment in a vehicle the equipment will be confiscated.

I think that is what the intent really should be but Attorney General Long has publicly stated that “The law accomplishes the goal. The goal is to eliminate scanners from motor vehicles".
 

loumaag

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...
I think the whole CHAPTER 23-4 is poorly worded and ambiguous.
...
I will agree with that, but the part I like is:
§23-4-4 This chapter does not apply to any holders of a valid amateur radio operator or station license issued by the federal communications commission.
That removes the entire chapter (all of 23-4, including §23-4-2) if you happen to have a Ham license. I would guess that there are at least a few convicted felons in possession of a valid Ham license out there.

When I lived there (up in Sisseton), I always had my pocket version of the license with me, along with a printout of the Ch. 23-4. I am pretty sure every LE officer in the county knew I had scanners in the truck (including the one that confiscated that 96 I mentioned earlier) but other than a visit from a couple of DCI guys (out of Aberdeen interestingly enough) at the house looking into the source of my info on the state system, I was never questioned about my scanners or scanning.
 

Evert

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Yes, that apparent exempting a felonious ARS license holder is one of the poor/ambiguous wordings I had in mind.

The blanket exemption of ARS licensees shows how little they know about the FCC ruling on the matter.

The ARRL petitioned the FCC to over rule state laws that were worded in such a way that ARS fm scanning transceivers that included the capability of receiving police frequencies were being confiscated from licensed operators. These radios were said to be essential for Amateurs doing emergency communications.

The resulting FCC ruling actually only applies to exempting ARS transceivers (with "police band" scanning capabilities) operated by ARS licensees.

So the FCC required exemption does not include “scanners” that are not part of a transceiver. You can find several State’s scanner laws that were changed to accurately reflect that ruling but obviously South Dakota’s changes did not.

Nonetheless, I carry a copy of my ARS General Class ticket and a copy of Chapter 23-4 (I live in Rapid City, South Dakota) when I have simple scanners in my vehicle.
 
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Lt51506

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I hold a no-code tech license. It didn't matter. I had two mobiles confiscated with the only explaination being that I couldn't have a "mobile" under any circumstance. I was never cited or charged. Fortunately, the gear that was taken was very old RS receivers and weren't worth much. My only problem is the principal of the issue. My vehicle was a rolling antennea farm (like alot of our rigs) and the initial vehicle stop was unwarrented, but only for the fact that they wanted to see what gear I was using. They even questioned my 2 meter Kenwood, as to the freq's I was on and transmitting on. Being an active member of Skywarn in those years, I'd had my run-in's with the local LEO's, but never anything like this. Complaints filed to the State's Attorney's office got "lost".

I suppose, when a sheriff's dept has only 5 employees, things get confused. MAYBERRY RFD! It just amazes me that in this day and age, that a public service agency can still be so blind. I'd like to hear from other ARS licensed people in South Dakota about their experiences. I'm sure that I'm not the only one who has suffered from this type of embezzelment by the "local" sheriff.
 

loumaag

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It helps if you had carried the chapter of the law with you. You didn't say when this took place but it sounds (from you post) at least a number of years ago so it probably is too late to do anything further now. Fighting the system can get expensive and there is no guarantee that you will win in any case, even if you are in the right; I am sure Jason (from over Rapid City way) could provide details on the injustice of the SD legal system.
 

Evert

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I wonder if they have sent poor Jason up the river? His link to ge-stinks.org seems to be to a website under construction and his “South Dakota Scanner Page” has not been updated since 2005.
 

Lt51506

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jlm,
First time was in 1999 and again in 2001.
The scanners themselves were 1st gen programmables, so I wasn't too upset about loosing them, but the principal of the issue was what bothered me. I quoted the statuate, produced my license, and cooperated in every way. All the deputy produced was a pair of side-cutters and a nut driver. After he removed the gear, I was told "I'm keeping an eye on you...now hit the road".
I've dealt with many different public service agencies over the years, both in an official capacity and "off duty" get togethers, but I've never seen anything like this. I broached the topic of illegal seizure of property to an attorney at one point and was told to walk away from it. I'd never win.
I don't live in SD anymore and have no plans to go back.
 
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loumaag

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I wonder if they have sent poor Jason up the river? His link to ge-stinks.org seems to be to a website under construction and his “South Dakota Scanner Page” has not been updated since 2005.
No, I don't think so. He was last here (in the forums) in February, 2006 and the page I linked earlier was actually updated in 2007. However he has been on the ScanSD Yahoo list as recently as late as this past May.
 

Evert

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When I made my last post I had applied for membership in the ScanSD Group. Today I got in, so now I know quite a bit of “the rest of the story”. It was good to learn that Jason came out reasonably well but it is troubling to see an innocent person nearly get into deep trouble so easily.

I should have read a lot more before I started posting – I acted like I was breaking trail but was on a heavily traveled path.
 

B_Mitchell

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What county did this happen in ?
I've had a mobile scanner for probaly over 15 years, without any problems.
Been stopped twice (Rapid City PD) officer didn't say anything about my scanners.
Used my scanners in several other states with no problems.
I even brought a scanner into Canada (traveling on the airlines after 9-11) without any problems.
 

Evert

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From what I can tell so far from a lot of searching on the topic, “All is quiet on the Western Front” (no recent cases involving scanners found in motor vehicles in South Dakota). Additionally there seems to be only a few cases ever, and most of those were involved with that Aberdeen thing.

Maybe the officials have learned a few things after Aberdeen and perhaps also from Jason’s involvement with the "system" related to his scanner at home.

But the SD law remains and is there ready to bite you in the butt if you have a scanner in your vehicle and any policeman, sheriff, deputy sheriff etc. takes a notion to write you up on it, or to simply confiscate your radio and not charge you with anything.

Having an ARS license may not save your radio either. If the LEO takes your radio, it probably will have disappeared by the time you convince anyone that it was inappropriately confiscated. The radio is supposed to be sent to the Attorney General, but there is no tracking of the radio required nor is there any accountability for what happens to it. To me CHAPTER 23-4 is a license for officials to steal from innocent citizens.
 
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billy245

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Interesting that you left out the section that the OP was asking about.
§23-4-5. Unlawful possession of receiving set or converter without permission--Seizure by peace officer. The possession of any receiving set or converter described in § 23-4-2 in any vehicle or business establishment, without permission pursuant to § 23-4-3, will constitute prima facie evidence of possession for unlawful purposes, and such receiving set shall be deemed contraband and shall be confiscated by any peace officer of this state and delivered to the attorney general for disposition.​
Based on that, it is illegal to have a scanner in a vehicle in the state of SD unless you have a permit (I never heard of one being issued) or a valid amateur radio license. BTW, it is no more illegal in Aberdeen than anywhere else in the state and the police chief that went on that tear in 2003 was removed from office. The fact is, most LE people in SD don't care, but I do know of at least one person (in Roberts Co.) who lost his Pro-96 for no other reason than it was in the vehicle when he was stopped for another reason (it was not on, just sitting in the cup holder.)

You can see the appropriate statue yourself here.
Sorry, to disappoint you. I want perfection just as you do. However, this is all I had and was trying to share. Maybe some day I will measure up.....
 
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