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Old 14-12-2013, 06:13   #226
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Re: Civil Rights Attorney Needed Marathon FL

Here is a link about the states that have found this unconstitutional. Dealer Outlook » Blog Archive » Is random boarding of vessels unconstitutional?

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Old 15-12-2013, 18:43   #227
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Re: Civil Rights Attorney Needed Marathon FL

We would be there if we were there. Might be down around Christmas
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Old 15-12-2013, 19:23   #228
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Re: Civil Rights Attorney Needed Marathon FL

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[The FWC] 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.
Not being able to have more than 18 lobsters on your boat keeps you up nights, does it?

Is it a maximum occupancy thing, or is it more to do with not having enough PFDs for the lobsters?
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Old 15-12-2013, 19:47   #229
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Re: Civil Rights Attorney Needed Marathon FL

If this story was coming from anywhere else in the world, wouldn't you be disgusted and so smug that you live in the USA - bastion of truth & justice?

Well, sorry for the reality check, but this story comes from right here; it is not uncommon, and there is nothing stopping it. What they do cannot possibly be Constitutionally protected behavior (something about SCOTUS and Reasonable Suspicion), but that won't stop them. And if their illegal actions are somehow put to a stop, no one will pay for the rights violations already committed. Just part of why I ceased reciting any pledges or singing any anthems years ago.

As the OP said, "if the following is "doing their job" then I don't even recognize the place I grew up."
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Old 15-12-2013, 21:38   #230
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Re: Civil Rights Attorney Needed Marathon FL

This topic keeps coming up. The USCG and Customs Service can board any vessel in the US and any US vessel anywhere/anytime This is an constitutional authority that is an exception to the 4th amendment and the SCOTUS has always found this. Local court rulings have no bearing on this. Local Law Enforcement Officers (LEO's) do not have this power unless they are sharing USCG authority and that is rare (Washington, DC is an example). Everytime I see someone raising this I worry that someone will get in trouble challenging legal authority. My boat is my home and I don't like it either but it's been the law of the land for 224 some years.
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Old 15-12-2013, 22:56   #231
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Re: Civil Rights Attorney Needed Marathon FL

As far as local law Inforcement boarding your boat, any of them can and will board ya if your at dock or mooring or anchor! If your underway, they are supossed to be enabled by the USCG. But how are ya gonna make em prove it ?? LOL Remember once in the good old USA we only had one agency to deal with when underway, the USCG, but 30 40 years ago the good old Gov changed the rules on us !! Heck Ive seem members of local law inforcement knocked overboard trying to board a crab boat underway in a harbor ! But that was then this is now and ya gotta live with what ya let get passed !!
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Old 16-12-2013, 07:16   #232
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Re: Civil Rights Attorney Needed Marathon FL

Most of my neighbors are not in the military or law enforcement, but some are. They seem to be among those that are buying food in the grocery store like everyone else. I don't respond to them any differently when I meet them at the local restaurant or on the water. The concept that they are less honorable or courteous than others in our community is foreign to me.
I'll remain with my stand and by my experience that law enforcement personnel are my peers in the community and if I react to them cordially, without confrontation, they will respond in the same manner.
I expect that those that confront them with anger, fear or disrespect develop a different relationship.
I'm not suggesting that there have not been events where people have been treated unfairly by authority, but I am suggesting that you can receive what you expect!
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Old 16-12-2013, 12:57   #233
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Re: Civil Rights Attorney Needed Marathon FL

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Originally Posted by Scott Berg View Post
This topic keeps coming up. The USCG and Customs Service can board any vessel in the US and any US vessel anywhere/anytime This is an constitutional authority that is an exception to the 4th amendment and the SCOTUS has always found this. Local court rulings have no bearing on this. Local Law Enforcement Officers (LEO's) do not have this power unless they are sharing USCG authority and that is rare (Washington, DC is an example). Everytime I see someone raising this I worry that someone will get in trouble challenging legal authority. My boat is my home and I don't like it either but it's been the law of the land for 224 some years.
I am surprised by the number of boaters who do not realize this; I am also surprised that local LEOs wrongly think they have that same blanket authority. I'm concerned on the practical level insofar as boots on deck in the middle of the night will likely cause many to appear topsides with a firearm; USCG may have a right to board, but we also have a right to protect ourselves. If someone approaches and boards in stealth mode how am I supposed to know they are the "good guys" and not criminals? (I guess I'll have to rig a webcam.)

From a political/philosophical level I am deeply troubled by our lack of Fourth Amendment protections on the water. Just because it has been the law for over 200 years does not make it right, nor permanent. It is a tough row to hoe in the post-9/11 world where freedom and privacy have been trampled in the name of national security, but an organized lobby of boaters is the only way this law has any hope of being changed. First step is perhaps to fight at the state level to ensure that local LEOs may only board with probable cause. Then amend the Revenue Service Act to find some compromise that will allow us to have reasonable assurance of privacy in our homes on the water while still allowing USCG to catch the drug-smugglers and human traffickers. I am afraid it may be hard to rally people together, however, because they fear crossing the USCG on this issue.

This series from SAILfeed provides interesting background on this issue and some good food for thought. The link is to part one, but the links to parts two and three are at the end of each respective section and there is a link to an interesting law review note on this issue, as well.
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Old 16-12-2013, 13:14   #234
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Re: Civil Rights Attorney Needed Marathon FL

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Originally Posted by RunningRabbit View Post
This series from SAILfeed provides interesting background on this issue and some good food for thought. The link is to part one, but the links to parts two and three are at the end of each respective section and there is a link to an interesting law review note on this issue, as well.
Link doesn't function.
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Old 16-12-2013, 13:24   #235
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Re: Civil Rights Attorney Needed Marathon FL

The courts in Ohio and Michigan have upheld the rights of individuals to refuse to allow local law enforcement to board their vessel without cause. But this MUST be challenged in court and not on the water. In those states, laws have been passed to stop boardings by LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT without cause. Anyone that has been written a citation can take the matter to court and file a brief to stop FWC and the local law enforcement from boarding without cause and take it up the court system if necessary. Unless someone is willing to pursue the matter as far as it takes, all we will have is complaints on boating discussion boards. The authorities count on the fact that boaters as a group are complainers but lack the will to take real positive action. That's why we are dealing with these issues in places like Boot Key Harbor again, after similar issues, spanning many years. Just my opinion. Chuck
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Old 16-12-2013, 13:46   #236
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Re: Civil Rights Attorney Needed Marathon FL

Florida already requires probable cause or consent to board your vessel. Here is a portion of Florida Statute 327.56;

 "No officer shall board any vessel to make a safety or marine sanitation equipment inspection if the owner or operator is not aboard. When the owner or operator is aboard, an officer may board a vessel with consent or when the officer has probable cause or knowledge to believe that a violation of a provision of this chapter has occurred or is occurring. An officer may board a vessel when the operator refuses or is unable to display the safety or marine sanitation equipment required by law, if requested to do so by a law enforcement officer, or when the safety or marine sanitation equipment to be inspected is permanently installed and is not visible for inspection unless the officer boards the vessel."


This law seems to be widely ignored by Florida Law enforcement officials. I guess what we need now in Florida is additional wording that prevents random stops as well as boardings.
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Old 16-12-2013, 13:51   #237
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Re: Civil Rights Attorney Needed Marathon FL

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"An officer may board a vessel when the operator refuses or is unable to display the safety or marine sanitation equipment required by law..."
So what am I supposed to do, bring my head up on deck to show the officer? This seems like a huge loophole, where the officer can board any boat they want if the marine sanitation equipment required by law happens to be below deck, where it can ONLY be "displayed" to the officer if you allow him to board!
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Old 16-12-2013, 14:01   #238
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Re: Civil Rights Attorney Needed Marathon FL

Being polite and submissive to LEOs is intelligent. Expecting bullies not to be bullies by being polite to LEOs is dumb. Bullies have to be restrained by their superiors who have to get feedback from the bullied.
Good on you Thin Line.
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Old 16-12-2013, 14:01   #239
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Re: Civil Rights Attorney Needed Marathon FL

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Unless someone is willing to pursue the matter as far as it takes, all we will have is complaints on boating discussion boards. The authorities count on the fact that boaters as a group are complainers but lack the will to take real positive action. That's why we are dealing with these issues in places like Boot Key Harbor again, after similar issues, spanning many years.
Agreed. Until folks decide to draw a line on this issue and fight for change, both in the legislatures and in the courts, we will not get Fourth Amendment protections aboard. We can be polite and hope law enforcement is polite in return, but politely invading the privacy of my home doesn't make it any less violating and offensive. But once this particular ruckus in Boot Key Harbor resolves, (temporarily), folks will probably just go back to business-as-usual and the bigger constitutional issue will fall by the wayside once again.

Trying again with the link for the SAILfeed article; sorry the earlier one didn't work! Coast Guard Boardings and Your Fourth Amendment Rights, Part 1 | Sailfeed
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Old 16-12-2013, 14:18   #240
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Re: Civil Rights Attorney Needed Marathon FL

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Originally Posted by RunningRabbit View Post
From a political/philosophical level I am deeply troubled by our lack of Fourth Amendment protections on the water. Just because it has been the law for over 200 years does not make it right, nor permanent. It is a tough row to hoe in the post-9/11 world where freedom and privacy have been trampled in the name of national security, but an organized lobby of boaters is the only way this law has any hope of being changed. First step is perhaps to fight at the state level to ensure that local LEOs may only board with probable cause. Then amend the Revenue Service Act to find some compromise that will allow us to have reasonable assurance of privacy in our homes on the water while still allowing USCG to catch the drug-smugglers and human traffickers. I am afraid it may be hard to rally people together, however, because they fear crossing the USCG on this issue.

This series from SAILfeed provides interesting background on this issue and some good food for thought. The link is to part one, but the links to parts two and three are at the end of each respective section and there is a link to an interesting law review note on this issue, as well.
In the face of modern technology, advances in both communications and monitoring/surveillance have made the underpinnings of this 200 year old exception to the 4th amendment obsolete. The law should be changed.
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