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Old 13-12-2013, 13:58   #211
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Re: Civil Rights Attorney Needed Marathon FL

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Originally Posted by mikeod View Post
Does anyone know what happens if you simply tell them NO they can not board your vessel.
If they have probable cause to believe that a violation has occurred, then they can legally board your vessel without your permission. The USCG can legally board your vessel even without any probable cause.

There has been considerable discussion and debate about whether agencies like the FWC, or local law enforcement, can legally board your vessel without probable cause. I do not believe that they have that authority. Many of these agencies, however, seem to believe that they do.

One thing I know for sure is that the middle of the harbor is not the place to argue with a man carrying a gun and a badge. In a courtroom, after the fact, with an attorney at your side, is the place to argue about the legality of any boarding. My advice, if a law enforcement officer of any kind (including the USCG) asks to board your boat would be to respond with "I will cooperate fully with whatever action you choose to take."

Now, if he presses the matter, and asks whether you are, or are not, granting him permission to board, I would tell him that I am NOT granting him permission to board, but that--again--I am going to cooperate fully and will not do anything to stop him from boarding. Afterwards, if you think the boarding was not legal, you can file a complaint and/or press charges.

Oh yeah... And I'm really glad to hear that things seem to be working out okay in Marathon.
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Old 13-12-2013, 14:33   #212
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Re: Civil Rights Attorney Needed Marathon FL

I am a little worried about this issue. Or a lot worried. We sail with an autistic son, almost 30 yrs old, six foot 4. He can get upset and something like shining a light into his eyes or his bunk..would trigger or could trigger a reaction.We also sail with three little boat dogs, who ALERT bark; one has a bark like a rottwiler..deep and terrible. In either case, an officer boarding a vessel without permission, a vessel with pets loose on board at night or a special needs persons, that officer REQUIRES training. Special needs can run the gamit from heart issues to mobilty to autism. Can you raise these concerns in the meeting? I sure hope these private contractors have really good liability insurance for possible damage to crew..or vessel. I can frankly say if our son triggers, he has to be in a totally dark and quiet environment for hours without human intervention. He is big, and if touched in an episode can not be reasoned with; no contact or speech is critical. Our fear is an officer with a taser using it against a special needs person or animal while boarding a vessel without permission. Or causing issues in the process of a vessel boarding by FCW,which could escalate. These vessels are our homes after all.

Please tell the FCW what this can do to a boat boarded without due process. Not everyone is healthy, 21, and comfortable with a sudden late nighttime event..myself included. I am female, well over 60, small-- just over 5 ft tall, and do not LIKE young males climbing over the gunnels at night with or without uniforms on. We do, however, keep a twenty four hour webcam on the main mast and record events every night, I suggest others obtain and install something similar as a record. I mentally picture officers with our three 14 lb "rug "dogs, screaming and barking like pitbulls, a son shouting and trying to escape by climbing up the 65 ft mast, and myself trying to put clothes on and get up to the cockpit. IF I manage to get to the cockpit before falling and breaking my back again..I am sure the entire harbor would be awake taking photos and calling 911 for help within 5 minutes. Then the sensational magazines would have a hayday..and the FCW officers would have their faces posted world wide....
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Old 13-12-2013, 14:43   #213
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Re: Civil Rights Attorney Needed Marathon FL

Maybe a little OT, but FWC is also in charge of enforcing rules regulating the harvesting of fish, and more to the point lobsters.

They have never been able to directly answer the question concerning how many lobster one can have on their boat if one lives on the boat. In general one is allowed to have a maximum of 18 lobster on a boat. But if one has a house on land they can have more. So what happens if one lives on their boat.

A big part of this problem is that there is a much different set of rights associated with a house on land one lives on than a boat on the water that one lives on.
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Old 13-12-2013, 15:04   #214
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With homes on land you own the property and have some expected rights, on the water you may own the boat but are parked in a public area ie water and thus regulated by the gov. We were in a private gated marina and some owners got a ticket from marine patrol for stickers. When asked how they were allowed in they were told they can't stop them from coming in because they own the slip but not the water under the boat. Look up Marco island the were sued for chasing away boaters and lost and they still so it now.
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Old 13-12-2013, 15:16   #215
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Re: Civil Rights Attorney Needed Marathon FL

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Originally Posted by WCX8757 View Post
I am a little worried about this issue. Or a lot worried. We sail with an autistic son, almost 30 yrs old, six foot 4. He can get upset and something like shining a light into his eyes or his bunk..would trigger or could trigger a reaction.We also sail with three little boat dogs, who ALERT bark; one has a bark like a rottwiler..deep and terrible. In either case, an officer boarding a vessel without permission, a vessel with pets loose on board at night or a special needs persons, that officer REQUIRES training. Special needs can run the gamit from heart issues to mobilty to autism. Can you raise these concerns in the meeting? I sure hope these private contractors have really good liability insurance for possible damage to crew..or vessel. I can frankly say if our son triggers, he has to be in a totally dark and quiet environment for hours without human intervention. He is big, and if touched in an episode can not be reasoned with; no contact or speech is critical. Our fear is an officer with a taser using it against a special needs person or animal while boarding a vessel without permission. Or causing issues in the process of a vessel boarding by FCW,which could escalate. These vessels are our homes after all.

Please tell the FCW what this can do to a boat boarded without due process. Not everyone is healthy, 21, and comfortable with a sudden late nighttime event..myself included. I am female, well over 60, small-- just over 5 ft tall, and do not LIKE young males climbing over the gunnels at night with or without uniforms on. We do, however, keep a twenty four hour webcam on the main mast and record events every night, I suggest others obtain and install something similar as a record. I mentally picture officers with our three 14 lb "rug "dogs, screaming and barking like pitbulls, a son shouting and trying to escape by climbing up the 65 ft mast, and myself trying to put clothes on and get up to the cockpit. IF I manage to get to the cockpit before falling and breaking my back again..I am sure the entire harbor would be awake taking photos and calling 911 for help within 5 minutes. Then the sensational magazines would have a hayday..and the FCW officers would have their faces posted world wide....
I feel for your specific concerns but think they probably don't. They probably have sovereign immunity.
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Old 13-12-2013, 17:19   #216
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Thumbs up Re: Civil Rights Attorney Needed Marathon FL

First and foremost,

A big Kudos to Thin Line! You sir, are a credit to Sailors everywhere. The folk posting disparaging comments to you early on in this thread ought to be ashamed.

" They came for my neighbor and i said nothing" attitude has GOT to stop. Great work Thin Line, I had not planned to include Marathon in my travels this year but may just have no make a special trip to hunt you down and buy you a cold one.
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Old 13-12-2013, 17:25   #217
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Re: Civil Rights Attorney Needed Marathon FL

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, WCX8757.

Thanks for your informative input.
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Old 13-12-2013, 17:28   #218
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Re: Civil Rights Attorney Needed Marathon FL

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Originally Posted by JusDreaming View Post
This is the response from the FWC. If more of us contact them it may have an effect!!!
Report Employee Misconduct

Absolutely!


Dear Mr. and Mrs. Deranek:

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Office of Inspector General (OIG) received your email concerning FWC officers in Marathon, i.e. harassing boaters in Boot Key Harbor. We will look into the allegations and inform you of the outcome.

Excellent!

Sincerely,

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Office of Inspector General
620 S. Meridian Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1600
(850)488-6068 (office)
(850)488-6414 (FAX)
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Originally Posted by Bash View Post
A dilemma indeed. Every time another cruiser skips Marathon, the FWC wins another victory.
Great point. I am unfortunately in the Bahamas right now (ok, that is a lie... It is not unfortunate that I am here ).... But if I were headed to Marathon I would not change my plans.... Thanks to Thin Line and others who will be there to "fight the good fight"! If my observations on the number of boats heading south are any indication it ought to get crowded down there soon!

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Originally Posted by Auspicious View Post
If you choose to head for the islands please take a few moments to write the Florida Tourist Bureau and tell them why.


A excellent suggestion (as usual) I am going to send an email as soon as I finish this post... The least I can do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shanedennis View Post
The exclusion zones for most of the naval installations on the East Coast we past seem to be enforced by private contractors.
When I upgraded my license to 200 tons I met a group of these folks. They are contractors, and they delight in making the exclusion zones as painful for us as they can.... They had several stories told with great relish about how much they liked to conduct their "warnings" in such a way as to make it sting,

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Good one guys, this is what democracy is about; peoples representatives restraining the ruling class, enforcers, and tax spenders.
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Old 13-12-2013, 17:48   #219
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v 'Faith' View Post
First and foremost, A big Kudos to Thin Line! You sir, are a credit to Sailors everywhere. The folk posting disparaging comments to you early on in this thread ought to be ashamed. " They came for my neighbor and i said nothing" attitude has GOT to stop. Great work Thin Line, I had not planned to include Marathon in my travels this year but may just have no make a special trip to hunt you down and buy you a cold one.
I agree kudos to Thin Line. We have considered Marathon our second home for well over twenty years. Occasionally this type of harassment always seems to pop it's ugly head up in Marathon. I for one appreciate what Thin Line has done to protect the rights of the boaters in this great harbor.
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Old 13-12-2013, 18:05   #220
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Re: Civil Rights Attorney Needed Marathon FL

Thank you Thin Line for your hard work and guts to stand up to injustice. And thanks to Marathon Mayor Ramsay and the Marathon council members! And thanks to all the boaters who spoke up! What a hopeful start.
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Old 13-12-2013, 18:16   #221
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Re: Civil Rights Attorney Needed Marathon FL

My wife and I discussed the issue in length and will be stopping by Marathon after all. See yall in a week or two!
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Old 13-12-2013, 19:10   #222
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Make the FWC Christmas cookies and say you baked them for them, because you see them all out there working so hard, and that they deserve a cookie. You would be so surprised how much power a small thing like a cookie has on an homesick 20 year old.
Most cops of any kind won't eat anything given to them by the public. Just too much of a chance of getting poisoned.
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Old 14-12-2013, 05:05   #223
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Re: Civil Rights Attorney Needed Marathon FL

I couldn't even get them to take a cup of coffee.
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Old 14-12-2013, 05:39   #224
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Re: Civil Rights Attorney Needed Marathon FL

I am aware the FWC can board with cause. When they board at anchor to do a safety or toilet check, what is there probable cause? It seems to me they are looking for cause. What if you were to tell them you would like Coast Guard to do the boarding because they have a legal right to do so. Just because the FWC says they will stop it does not fix the problem. This happens all over Florida and not just by FWC but also every sherrifs dept. I think the only way to realy fix this is with a court ruling just like the anchoring problem a few years back. Unfortunatly someone will probably have to refuse a boarding and go to court.

Mike
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Old 14-12-2013, 06:07   #225
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Re: Civil Rights Attorney Needed Marathon FL

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Originally Posted by s/v 'Faith' View Post
First and foremost,

A big Kudos to Thin Line! You sir, are a credit to Sailors everywhere. The folk posting disparaging comments to you early on in this thread ought to be ashamed.

" They came for my neighbor and i said nothing" attitude has GOT to stop. Great work Thin Line, I had not planned to include Marathon in my travels this year but may just have no make a special trip to hunt you down and buy you a cold one.
I'd like to echo this sentiment.

I'm currently kicking around the idea of making the trip to the Keys (from NC) this winter, and have been following this thread. Originally, I figured "well, that puts a Marathon anchorage off the possible list." But, now I'm more inclined to follow Faith's plan. How much can you drink, Thin Line?

Seriously, I hope your conference with the officials gets positive results, and I look forward to the report.

-Jeff

p.s. Are other cruisers joining Thin Line's presence? I think it's harder for elected officials to poo-poo and guffaw away someone's concerns if there are reinforcements along.
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