LPFM Legal Reference


Eligibility Requirements

Not filed as a non-proft at the time of application. Unincorporated entities.
Applicant failed to show any documents establishing its non-profit status as of the date that it filed the LPFM applicant.  The applicant admitted they were not a recognized non-profit but was waiting to receive their CP before filing for non-profit status.  On reconsideration, the FCC states that if unincorporated entities are recognized, then the applicant must provide a letter signed by a local attorney licensed to practice in the state where the applicant proposes to operate, the citation and text of a state statute permitting unincorporated entities or other documents showing applicant's existence as a separate legal entity.
Tri-Burourgh Communication, BNPL-20131022ALG, Letter from Peter Doyle, 1800B3-PPD (April 1, 2014, dismissed). Letter from Peter Doyle, 1800B3-ATS (October 27, 2014, denied on recon.) Also see M&M Community Development, Inc., Letter, 21 FCC Rcd 7983, 7984 (MB 2006). 

Alleged "de-facto" (undisclosed) party of interest.
Use of state grant funding.
Application certifier's role in operation of the station.
Non-officer signing the application may be amended.

A full power broadcaster claims that the LPFM applicant did not have any experience in media and that the applicant was only putting their name on the organization for another individual to control it.  The FCC finds that allegations consisting merely of ultimate, conclusory facts are insufficent to sustain a petition to deny.  Addressing an allegation that the organization is not permitted to use state grant funding to build an FM station, the FCC does not see any incompatibility and if they did, such evidence would not raise a substantial and material question calling for further inquiry. The full power broadcaster claims that the party who is alleged to have de-facto control prepared the application and the mailed  the opposition to the petitioner.  The Commission states that the record only shows that the person assisted the organization in preparing the application and that was disclosed in the tech box.  Attributable interest can not be ascribed merely because they assisted in the filing of the application or even who mailed the opposition. In this case, the person of interest also signed the appliction in Section V. The Commission ha sheld that as long as an application is "substantally complete", curative amendments to correct signature deffencies will be accepted. 
Somerset County Arts Council, BNPL-20131025AFF. Letter from Peter Doyle, 1800B3-RSS (May 8, 2014). 

Filing of Applications/Filing Deadlines

Knolwedge of procedures and rules. 
It is well settled that applicants are charged with knowledge of the Commission's processing rules.  
See, e.g, L. T Simes II and Raymond Siines, Letter, 21 FCC Rcd 1421, 1422 (MB 2006) (burden of providing information and demonstrating qualifications by the applicable deadline falls upon the applicant). See also 47 C.F.R. § 0.406 ("Persons having business with the Commission should familiarize themselves with those portions of its rules and regulations pertinent to such business").

Making mistakes on applications - Lack of Knowledge
A professed lack of knowledge of and/or failure to understand the rules and policies does not excuse the failure to saitsfy a filing requirement or meet a filing deadline.
See Alamo Navajo School Board, Inc., Forfeiture Order, 25 FCC Rcd 17057, 17059 (MB 2010) (rejecting argument that late-filing should be excused because licensee's staff was "simply daunted and confused by the arcane requirements of the [Commission's] electronic filing system"); Community-First Broadcasters, Inc., Forfeiture Order, 23 FCC Rcd 10923, 10923-24 (MB 2008) (same, for licensee who was "flummoxed" by the Commission's electronic filing procedures).

Filing of Objections/Petitions to Deny/Oppositions/Replies

Opposition to Petition to Deny lacking affadavit of facts.
Failure to file an opposition or reply does not imply admission of fact.

Just as the way the Commission considers an Informal Objection lacking the formal procedural requirements of a Petition to Deny, they may consider an opposition lacking in the same as part of our overall public interest analysis.
See 47 C.F.R. §73.3587 (removing numerous procedural and pleading requirements needed for a petition to deny); 47 C.F.R. §73.3584(b) ("[t]he failure to file an opposition or a reply will not necessarily be construed as an admission of fact or argument contained in a pleading"); see, e.g., Martin Broad. Co., 11 FCC Rcd 1732 (1996) (Commission may consider a pleading as part of its overall public interest analysis under 47 U.S.C. §309(a) even if the pleading is not expicitly authorized by 47 C.F.R. §1.45 of the Commission's Rules).

Inconsistent Applications

Board member resigned before filing the LPFM application.
Applicant provided evidence that prior to the filing date, the officers in question resigned from the applicant's board and therefore, there was no inconsistency found. LPFM application was granted.
Talk Radio of Pahrump Inc., BNPL-20131012AAE, Letter from Peter Doyle, 1800B3-PPD (March 14, 2014).

Minimum distance separation (73.807)

Predicted interference to translator desite being properly spaced.
FCC upholds that regardless of contour interference to a translator, the LPFM meets minimum §73.807 minimum spacing.
Casa Vida, Inc., BNPL-20130711AAZ (by public notice).

Predicted interference to another LPFM station despite being properly spaced.
Dispute between applicant and existing LPFM.  Existing LPFM claims new LPFM will cause permanent and real harm to their listening audience and station's prosperity, interfernce and competitive harm.  The two stations are separated 35.2 km and meet the minimum 73.807 requirement.
Rochester Radio, BNPL-20131112CEX, Letter from Peter Doyle, 1800B3-PPD (March 21, 2014).

Second adjacent channel waiver issues

FCC denies Petitions to Deny in two cases. Petitioner fails to demonstrate that grant of this application would violate any Commission rule or policy. Applicant satisfies all applicable spacing and interference requirements of 47 CFR Section 73.807. If this LPFM facility causes any actual interference, it will be obligated to resolve any complaints from listeners per the requirements of 47 CFR Section 73.807(e)(2).  FCC found that the interference reaches a height above 3 meters and there are no tall structures.
Tohono O'odham Nation, BNPL-20131113BMC (by public notice).
West End Church of Christ, BNPL-20131113BQK (by public notice).

Failure to provide a waiver document with the initial filing.