Court Confirms $10,000 Judgment against Glenn Baxter, K1MAN
Unable to find Baxter transmitted pecuniary communications.
On January 10, the US District Court for Maine issued a 38-page ruling in the FCC’s case (Case 1:10-cv-00435-JAW) against Glenn Baxter, K1MAN, of Belgrade Lakes, Maine. The FCC had fined Baxter $21,000 on three asserted violations of the Communications Act of 1934 and its regulations:
The FCC eventually amended its motion to seek only partial summary judgment in the amount of $14,000 for three specific violations of FCC regulations:
(1) Failure to respond to an FCC inquiry in violation of 47 U.S.C. § 308;
(2) Willful or malicious interference with other radio transmissions in violation of 47 C.F.R. § 97.101(d); and
(3) Communications in which an amateur licensee has a pecuniary interest in violation of 47 C.F.R. § 97.113(a)(3).
Chief United States District Judge John A. Woodcock Jr, in writing for the Court, agreed with the FCC on the first two counts -- willful or repeated failure to respond to FCC requests for information, and willful or malicious interference -- and upheld the FCC’s summary judgments in the amount of $3000 and $7000, respectively.
On the third count -- communications in which an amateur station licensee or control operator has a pecuniary interest -- the Court declined to agree to a ($4000) summary judgment, leaving it open for litigation before the Court .
The Court said “The FCC's findings suggest there is evidence from which the Court could make a factual finding that the website for K1MAN was selling products but, here, there is simply no evidence on this record from which the Court could make an independent determination that this was so. There is no screenshot of the website, no printout of its contents, no affidavit from someone with knowledge of its contents, no statement by a member of either the IARN or the AARA that he or she was led to the website and made a purchase.”
“The [FCC] contends that Mr. Baxter referred listeners to a subscription service at his website. Mr. Baxter denies he didso. The Court carefully reviewed the transcripts of the November 25, 2004 and March 30, 2005 transmissions and could locate no reference to a subscription service. Read the complete decision.