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FCC Denies Amateur Operator Appeal to File Petition in Excess of Maximum Length

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has denied a request from an amateur radio operator in California seeking to file an excessively long petition in connection with the dismissal of his amateur license renewal application.

According to an Order issued by the Commission in late August, the petitioner, William F. Crowell, sought permission to file a petition in excess of 25 pages related to an Order by a Chief Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) in early July dismissing his amateur license renewal application. Under Commission rules, appeals of a dismissal order issued by an ALJ are limited to 25 pages. But Crowell asserted that his appeal “involves approximately 16 important issues of Constitutional, statutory and regulatory interpretation applicable to the amateur radio service,” and requested permission to file a 35-page appeal.

Under the Order, the Commission denied Crowell’s request, stating that the ALJ’s six-page dismissal “does not suggest that the issues involved here are unusually complex.”

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Crowell has reportedly engaged with the FCC over a variety of issues related to his amateur status. According to a posting on the ARRL website, Crowell has sought the disqualification of the ALJ assigned in connection with his license renewal for 10 years, claiming bias. More recently, Crowell was also fined $25,000 by the FCC in 2016 for intentionally interfering with the transmission of other radio amateurs. Crowell did not deny making the transmissions, but argued that “those transmissions were protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution.”

The complete text of the FCC’s Order is available at https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-18-882A1.pdf.

Additional background on Crowell’s history with the Commission is available at the ARRL website at http://www.arrl.org/news/amateur-radio-case-attracts-attention-of-fcc-commissioner.

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