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Old 24-01-2015, 18:11   #61
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

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Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
You are really going to ask for legal advice on a boating web forum?

You need a lawyer to explain the law to you. Just as you would need a doctor for a serious illness or injury.
I get your point and would normally agree. I would have thought that after visiting with a lawyer and getting a BSOM (beats the **** out of me)(not a maritime lawyer) I have actually gotten some really good advise here. There is a large group of very knowlageable people on this forum, and if you can waid through the weed there are some gem's mixed in.
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Old 24-01-2015, 18:24   #62
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

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Originally Posted by Rocketman View Post
I get your point and would normally agree. I would have thought that after visiting with a lawyer and getting a BSOM (beats the **** out of me)(not a maritime lawyer) I have actually gotten some really good advise here. There is a large group of very knowlageable people on this forum, and if you can waid through the weed there are some gem's mixed in.
I don't think an actual lawyer told you that. Maybe in a bar late at night but not in an actual consultation.

If you are actually in charge of a marina, I would expect you would already have a lawyer to help you with legal problems.
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Old 24-01-2015, 18:28   #63
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

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When we get a boat into our marina that is staying for a month or more we have a very detailed 8 page contract that spells every possible detail out. But, up untill now our tranient contract is a very simple one page document that simply asks for minimal information and doesn't spell out what happens when someone dosen't pay. We have probably been a little naive and will have to learn from our mistakes on this one.

I have traveled around the keys and the Bahamas myself quite abit and do not ever recall filling out a contract to stay anywhere. Most often I am asked about registration information if that.
This is yet another example of how the bad actors are making things more difficult for everyone in an overly touchy world today.
A bad situation arises, the lawyers usually get into it, a mess ensues, then maybe some more rules and regs, and life gets more complicated for us all.

Similar scene: With rental properties that I handle myself, I've gone down this path. I used to have a simple tenant lease that was a couple of pages long when I started out many years ago.
After learning, both the hard way, with (paid) legal advice, and being pro-active with a lot of research, my lease is now as airtight in my favor as I can make it. And runs about 16 pages long*.
I've done much of the document on my own, but borrowed much (concepts..., heheh ) from commercial leases when I get a chance to analyze one. From the usual apartment and home lease ones that family and friends get (the pro mgmt companies have staff and belong to 'associations' and such that cover these things well-- but with oceans of legalese ).
The final lease product, when I'm done 'Word'ing' it up, gets a once over by a lawyer. But I'm always finding interesting new items to include, dang it.


* And it works. I once rented to a couple that turned out to be bad news within a couple days, real bad news (my fault screening I guess).
I evicted/got rid of them in less than two weeks .
The official legal process was started in a week or less, buuut, I did use a fair amount of sheer 'intimidation' ('nuf said, can be one mean hardass if necessary, and these were tough cookies themselves ).
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Old 24-01-2015, 18:52   #64
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

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Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
I don't think an actual lawyer told you that. Maybe in a bar late at night but not in an actual consultation.

If you are actually in charge of a marina, I would expect you would already have a lawyer to help you with legal problems.

You are right, I didn't get the BSOM directly but I can read between the lines, that he didn't have a clue of what we should do. A couple of days latter I got some advise that I could use, I got better advise within a couple of hours on this forum.

Yes we have a laywer on retainer for our marina, but he dosen't have a clue about maritime law.
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Old 24-01-2015, 18:59   #65
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

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Originally Posted by Rocketman View Post
......... Yes we have a laywer on retainer for our marina, but he dosen't have a clue about maritime law.
Think about that statement. Read it aloud to yourself. Now think some more.

I'm trying to help here but you're not letting me.

You have a legal issue regarding a boat. You need a lawyer who is familiar with maritime law. The expense is part of running a business just like having a dock repaired or having the showers cleaned.

Or I could give you some typical Internet advice to untie it in the middle of the night and let it drift away. Which would you choose?
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Old 24-01-2015, 19:10   #66
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

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Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
Think about that statement. Read it aloud to yourself. Now think some more.

I'm trying to help here but you're not letting me.

You have a legal issue regarding a boat. You need a lawyer who is familiar with maritime law. The expense is part of running a business just like having a dock repaired or having the showers cleaned.

Or I could give you some typical Internet advice to untie it in the middle of the night and let it drift away. Which would you choose?
I do get your point, and up until now, during the 15 year history of our marina, we have not had a maritime issue that we have had to deal with.

I have resorted to google to try to find a maritime lawyer, I have called at least 5, non of which could help me. They mainly deal with maritime slip and falls. You would think that in Florida they wouldn't be hard to find. If you know of one, please pass along the contact information.
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Old 24-01-2015, 19:55   #67
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

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Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
Think about that statement. Read it aloud to yourself. Now think some more.

I'm trying to help here but you're not letting me.

You have a legal issue regarding a boat. You need a lawyer who is familiar with maritime law. The expense is part of running a business just like having a dock repaired or having the showers cleaned.

Or I could give you some typical Internet advice to untie it in the middle of the night and let it drift away. Which would you choose?
Yep the way you put it I wouldn't want your help either. With the way Marco is take the boat out anchor it in most cases less than 1 day the cops will come and tow it away.

Sent from my SM-N910V using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
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Old 24-01-2015, 20:48   #68
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

From what has been posted, the cops, coasties, fla wildlife and Mildred, the local geriatric hooker know that the Marina has possession of the vessel. So it would be a good thing to NOT have it drift away, dissappear, or suddenly appear at anchor in Factory Bay. Which is a Federal Anchorage last time I was in MI. Now if it was in Goodland, and wandered off, that would be a completely different situation.

Rocketman, Judge Judy has a place over Bay Colony in Pelican Bay, Naples if it gets that desperate!!
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Old 24-01-2015, 21:22   #69
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

There are a few posts here but you can easily contact the Bahamas Maritime Authority - Welcome - The Bahamas Maritime Authority

If it was flagged they can identify the owner.

IN CASE OF EMERGENCY, please contact the BMA Emergency Response Officer at:
]+44 7977 471220
If the Duty Officer is not available or does not return your call in 15 minutes:
Emergency Email: ero@bahamasmaritime.co
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Old 24-01-2015, 21:26   #70
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

My opinion, lawyers will always give you a worst case scenario, stay the hell away. Buy a $20. trac-phone with 1 month usage, place an ad on Craigslist for free 34 ft sailboat, tell the person who takes boat the only requirement for boat is to tow it away in three days. Throw away the trac-phone. You are welcome for the free advice. I want a beer to.
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Old 24-01-2015, 21:36   #71
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

I faced similar problems on a number of occasions and successfully took title to the boats and sold them as Treasure of a sailing club in SE Florida that had both dry and wet storage. What you need is someone who does this kind of work all the time and knows all the ins and outs cold, not a lawyer. I always used Bernie at Federal Lien Corp (954) 384-7171. He can handle the whole process.

I had a number of boats that were in arrears in their dockage/mooring rental fees. When they didn't pay I had no choice but to lien the vessels, get title to it and we sold the boat. As long as we got more $ than was owed, we were happy. Bernie will walk you through he process.
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Old 24-01-2015, 22:06   #72
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

Rocket-I am an attorney, but have to give the usual disclaimer that I am not licensed to practice in Fla so this is not legal advice. That said, you have two options (1) a maritime lien under federal maritime law or (2) a state law lien, a "mechanics or tradesman's lien". tTere are significant differences between the two. A federal maritime lien is a lien against the boat itself, not the owner. You file a complaint in the nearest federal court, the court issues an arrest warrant against the boat (not the owner), and the US Marshalls come and chain it to the dock. The effect on the owner is that he may not move it until the lien is either satisfied or he wins at a trial. Assuming the owner does not show, the Court issues a sale order and the boat is sold at auction. Normally, the lienholder bids the amount of his lien (depending on the actual value of the boat, it could be a valuable boat!). If no one outbids you, the court issues you an order giving you the boat. You can get a state title with that court order. If it ells for more than what you are owed, you get paid and the Court handles the excess. This can be an expensive and somewhat time consuming process. There are more details that cost $$, including attorney's fees.

A state law lien is a lien against the person rather than the boat. Again, it requires a filing in a local court. In general requirements will be showing proof of attempts to provide notice to the owner, proof of attempts at collection and the like. If no payment is forthcoming, the court will issue a judgment against the owner. You have to show an inability to collect and then the court can order the sale of the boat to satisfy the lien. Again, you can bid the amount you are owed. If you win the bidding, as with federal court, the state court issues an order awarding you the boat. With that order, the state will issue a new title.

Either can work. You need someone much more familiar with Fla law than I to advise you as to which will work better in your circumstance. As was noted in a prior post, there are lien services that can help. They still cost $$, but are a good bit cheaper than lawyers. I would call the name given and at least explore the options with them. They are experienced and can get you through whichever process will work better for you.

Good luck!
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Old 24-01-2015, 22:30   #73
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

Crikeys! Two useful posts in a row, full of good advice from knowledgeable people... well done, both of you!

Jim
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Old 24-01-2015, 23:35   #74
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

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Originally Posted by JayCall View Post
Rocket-I am an attorney, but have to give the usual disclaimer that I am not licensed to practice in Fla so this is not legal advice. That said, you have two options (1) a maritime lien under federal maritime law or (2) a state law lien, a "mechanics or tradesman's lien". tTere are significant differences between the two. A federal maritime lien is a lien against the boat itself, not the owner. You file a complaint in the nearest federal court, the court issues an arrest warrant against the boat (not the owner), and the US Marshalls come and chain it to the dock. The effect on the owner is that he may not move it until the lien is either satisfied or he wins at a trial. Assuming the owner does not show, the Court issues a sale order and the boat is sold at auction. Normally, the lienholder bids the amount of his lien (depending on the actual value of the boat, it could be a valuable boat!). If no one outbids you, the court issues you an order giving you the boat. You can get a state title with that court order. If it ells for more than what you are owed, you get paid and the Court handles the excess. This can be an expensive and somewhat time consuming process. There are more details that cost $$, including attorney's fees.
..........
Good luck!
I clearly can't help with US maritime law but I did have a small insight a couple years back to how Aussie maritime law works and I suspect it will sort of be similar in USA.

It the boat is arrested by the US Marshall, the Marshall becomes responsible for maintaining the boat in the same condition as when it was arrested. Guess who pays for this - yep, you do. If you win at trial, you can add these costs to the settlement, if you lose, you are out of pocket. If the owner wants to and has deep pockets, he can keep the trial going for years while you maintain his boat.

He can also ask the court to order you to stump up a large sum of money as an surety (held by the court) that you can pay him if he does happen to win. The maritime court likes to see that both parties have some skin in the game.

Not saying that is how it happens in your woods but that is how it happens down under.

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Crikeys! Two useful posts in a row, full of good advice from knowledgeable people... well done, both of you!

Jim
Here ya go Jim, a not so useful post to restore the balance
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Old 24-01-2015, 23:49   #75
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Re: Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida

Not so useless, Wottie, it's more 'baccy for Rocketman's pipe.

Ann
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