Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
February 26, 2010
Christopher D. Imlay
Booth, Freret, Imlay & Tepper, P.C.
14356 Cape May Road
Silver Spring, MD 20904-6011
Re: Request for Declaratory Ruling filed February 25, 2005, supplemented May 5, 2006
Dear Mr. Imlay:
This is in response to the Request for Declaratory Ruling (Request) that you filed on February 25,
2005 on behalf of ARRL, the National Association for Amateur Radio (ARRL), and supplemented on
May 5, 2006. ARRL seeks a declaratory ruling that Section 877.27 of the Florida Criminal Statutes and
Section C.2C:33-23.1 of the New Jersey Statutes, which make it a felony to make a radio transmission
without Commission authorization or to interfere with a licensed public or commercial radio station, are
preempted by federal law. ARRL states that the statutes were enacted to address unlicensed “pirate”
broadcasting facilities, but ARRL is concerned that it could be applied to Commission-licensed amateur
radio stations. We note that the Florida legislation has now been in effect for over five years and the New
Jersey legislation has been in effect for over four years, and we have received no reports of any amateur
operators being prosecuted or threatened with prosecution under either statute. Given our broad
discretion in determining whether to grant a petition for declaratory ruling, we decline to address the
Request, as it does not currently appear that a declaratory ruling is necessary to “terminat[e] a controversy
or remov[e] uncertainty”1 with respect to ARRL’s concerns.2 ARRL may file a new petition for
declaratory ruling in the event of changed circumstances.
Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to Section 4(i) of the Communications Act of 1934,
as amended, 47 U.S.C. §§ 154(i), and Section 1.2 of the Commission’s Rules, 47 C.F.R. § 1.2, the request
for declaratory ruling submitted by ARRL, the National Association for Amateur Radio on February 25,
2005 IS DENIED.
This action is taken under delegated authority pursuant to Sections 0.131 and 0.331 of the
Commission’s Rules, 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.131, 0.331.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Deputy Chief, Mobility Division
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau
1 47 C.F.R. § 1.2.
2 See, e.g.
, Petition for Declaratory Ruling on Issues Contained in Thorpe v. GTE, Memorandum Opinion and
, 23 FCC Rcd 6371, 6387 ¶ 29 (2008) (citing Yale Broadcasting Co. v. FCC
, 478 F.2d 594, 602 (D.C. Cir.