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Old 07-12-2013, 19:47   #61
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Originally Posted by DotDun View Post

I'm simply pointing out to those bemoaning the US as a police state there are others probably wishing some locales had a little more protection. Be careful what you wish for, it may come true.
Yes but there is also a better arrangement. One where the police , while having the power , respect your privacy, unless they have a very good reason to suspect otherwise.

Can you imagine a French or English policeman routinely shining lights into a boat at night. There'd be a riot or at the very least a strong letter of complaint to the The Times.

The fact that there are places with a deficit of policing , does not justify a place where there is too much.

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Old 07-12-2013, 20:04   #62
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Re: Civil Rights Attorney Needed Marathon FL

The Constitution says nothing about the Coast Guard's right to board.

The Coast Guard is using an interpretation of the 1790 Revenue Service Act that created the predecessor to the Coast Guard -- The Revenue Marine. The boarding right was to inspect ships to make sure they weren't trying to avoid customs duties.

Unlike the Constitution which is supposed to lay down unchanging principals, Laws are designed to be changed as circumstances change.
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Old 07-12-2013, 20:20   #63
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Re: Civil Rights Attorney Needed Marathon FL

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Originally Posted by AirBoyzT View Post
US Constitution actually gives them the right to board your vessel at any time without a warrant. Sadly when our founding fathers created the constitution, not many people had private vessels.
  1. While I'm not a lawyer, I believe the USCG has the right to board any vessel without a probable cause. dates back to its predecessor, the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service.
  2. When our founding fathers wrote the constitution, most vessels were private. Perhaps not many were pleasure yachts, but that's not really relevant.
  3. I haven't seen any mention of the Florida FWC in the U.S. Constitution and I don't believe they are empowered by the Feds to look for contraband. I think this is different from arresting people for possession of drug. Perhaps someone more familiar with the constitutional law can explain how the state and local law enforcement agencies acquired the powers originally bestowed on the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service.
  4. The Florida FCW has an independent Inspector General. There is a form on the FCW web site to report employee misconduct: Report Employee Misconduct. I think it would be best to start there rather than start a media war or hire lawyers. Reports of misconduct from multiple individuals might be enough to trigger an investigation.
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Old 07-12-2013, 20:24   #64
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Re: Civil Rights Attorney Needed Marathon FL

Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Yes but there is also a better arrangement. One where the police , while having the power , respect your privacy, unless they have a very good reason to suspect otherwise.

Can you imagine a French or English policeman routinely shining lights into a boat at night. There'd be a riot or at the very least a strong letter of complaint to the The Times.

The fact that there are places with a deficit of policing , does not justify a place where there is too much.

Dave
You should read what was written. I never stated a position on police state, good or bad. I was responding to inference that the USA is a militarized culture and everywhere else is nirvana. I pointed out the opposite end of the spectrum. There are some that believe everything they read.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lorenzo b View Post
There are vast areas of the world where cops don't exist, very calm, beautiful, and exiting. You have a boat, use it.
One really has to live outside the USA a few years to appreciate how militarized the culture there has become.
I'm also suspicious of the sensationalism. Typical Internet forum feeding frenzy.
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Old 07-12-2013, 20:49   #65
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Re: Civil Rights Attorney Needed Marathon FL

There has only been a few good posts on this thread that address the question instead of just mouthing off:

1 - the one about contacting the City to report the behavior
2 - the one about reporting it to the Inspector General of the FWC
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Old 07-12-2013, 21:03   #66
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Re: Civil Rights Attorney Needed Marathon FL

Quote:
Originally Posted by AirBoyzT View Post
US Constitution actually gives them the right to board your vessel at any time without a warrant. Sadly when our founding fathers created the constitution, not many people had private vessels.
You may be talking about the federal Coast Guard, but the OP's complaint was with local state water cops. The US constitution doesn't address them.

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Old 07-12-2013, 21:18   #67
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Re: Civil Rights Attorney Needed Marathon FL

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I don't think the Venezuela example is a good one. The government here (in Venezuela) is more militant than in the US.
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Old 08-12-2013, 04:06   #68
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Re: Civil Rights Attorney Needed Marathon FL

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Originally Posted by SV THIRD DAY View Post
The SSCA (Seven Seas Cruising Association) takes active rolls in these type of boater issues....I would recommend getting them involved!

If we don't stand up for our Rights...then we lose them.
Boat/US and SSCA are both actively engaged in the issue of anchoring rights in Florida (and elsewhere for that matter). Boat/US even has a staff person in a satellite office in Florida.

There is no question that there are problems in Florida. The Florida State government, including FWC, are painfully aware of the problem. The tourist board people know it also.

Boat/US Government Affairs (David Kennedy) and SSCA Concerned Cruisers Committee (Phil Johnson) stay on top of most specific issues. No organization can help without on site information. We would all rather have multiple reports than have people think we already know. On the other hand, second and third hand reports really don't help.

Feel free to contact me and I'll connect you with David and Phil.

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Old 08-12-2013, 04:29   #69
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Re: Civil Rights Attorney Needed Marathon FL

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Rainbowdash, and Horror Hotel.
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Old 08-12-2013, 11:59   #70
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Re: Civil Rights Attorney Needed Marathon FL

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post
  1. While I'm not a lawyer, I believe the USCG has the right to board any vessel without a probable cause. dates back to its predecessor, the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service.
  2. When our founding fathers wrote the constitution, most vessels were private. Perhaps not many were pleasure yachts, but that's not really relevant.
  3. I haven't seen any mention of the Florida FWC in the U.S. Constitution and I don't believe they are empowered by the Feds to look for contraband. I think this is different from arresting people for possession of drug. Perhaps someone more familiar with the constitutional law can explain how the state and local law enforcement agencies acquired the powers originally bestowed on the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service.
  4. The Florida FCW has an independent Inspector General. There is a form on the FCW web site to report employee misconduct: Report Employee Misconduct. I think it would be best to start there rather than start a media war or hire lawyers. Reports of misconduct from multiple individuals might be enough to trigger an investigation.
I agree that I was thinking of the act of 1790. I disagree that most vessels were private, most vessels were commercial back then. The act was also controversial even then, the US needed money. I agree it needs to be repealed, not sure if Florida law gives FWC the authority or not.
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Old 08-12-2013, 12:30   #71
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Re: Civil Rights Attorney Needed Marathon FL

First of all I have no problem with the USCG and their authority, this strictly has to do with the FWC in Marathon please try to stay on topic.

I am sorry I haven't had a whole lot of time to respond but I have been actively organizing several things including a presence at the Marathon city council meeting this Thursday at 5:30pm. We have contacted the mayor, Keynoter newspaper as well as other media outlets. The harassment has been of ALL boats in Boot Key, both anchored and moored. The city marina is aware but has no pull, the local sheriff also has his hands tied and can do nothing to call them off. The harbormaster attempted to arrange a meeting with a FWC representative and was denied.

We are encouraging everyone to record any and all interactions with FWC via smartphone, camera etc. People are not enjoying this wonderful community, afraid to simply dinghy to shore, even legally. They are writing "warning" tickets to people for things that do not exist, things they couldn't actually cite or write an actual ticket for. They hover around the dinghy dock and point to people that aren't even operating a vessel and shout "come here". The roaming of the harbor past 11pm while randomly spotlighting vessels, shining their lights in ports and boarding boats without owners is where I draw the line. My 8 year old daughters bed is right at our port window, what right do they have to wake me, or my family for no reason?

The other night we had a potluck and they hovered around stopping any and all dinghies they could. Once as they were leaving the canal at WELL over idle speed (idle speed in all manmade canals is posted right there) we told them to slow down and they did only to tell us "Hey guys, catch ya later" while laughing and resuming their harassment.

A few nights ago I called FWC dispatch to report a manatee in distress entangled in crab traps, I was told they were busy and the dispatcher did not even take all of my information. They did call back the next afternoon to find out more, however they were there later that night to harass boaters. I thought they were the Florida Fish & Wildlife? Yet they have no concern when I call for that exact thing? They were too busy writing a ticket for someone having "wet lifejackets" Yep that's right wet life jackets.. Did you know according to FWC if your lifejackets are wet they won't float..

We need help, we need to show them we know the limit of their power and will not accept abuse. I am in a unique position because I am a city employee, however I am also a resident here in Boot Key, but first and foremost I'm a boater and this is my neighborhood too.

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Old 08-12-2013, 12:42   #72
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Re: Civil Rights Attorney Needed Marathon FL

Thinline:

Keep a journal about these events, also, document all the behaviors that you and the other cruisers object to. Do be careful.

The suggestion to enlist the help of the SSCA may be useful, as well.

Good luck with this one.

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Old 08-12-2013, 13:04   #73
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Re: Civil Rights Attorney Needed Marathon FL

Best method of attack is to aim at their budget. Write to those controlling the city budget and tell them the water police have too many staff with idle time.
Always send a copy to another department particularly one whose budget is deficient. If you want a bureaucrat to read your letter make sure they know a copy has gone to a department they worry about.
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Old 08-12-2013, 13:08   #74
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Re: Civil Rights Attorney Needed Marathon FL

If you squeeze nylon live jacket and it deflates or the inside matterial is wet its not a legal live jacket.

On lake union, Seattle, the police boat routinly entered the marine and check the boats. We got to know them, they would stop chat and wave. Maybe be positve and friendly. Same with the Everett police.

I find the best is to be informed and known Most know me by name, Phil.
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Old 08-12-2013, 13:14   #75
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Re: Civil Rights Attorney Needed Marathon FL

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....

On lake union, Seattle, the police boat routinly entered the marine and check the boats. We got to know them, they would stop chat and wave. Maybe be positve and friendly. Same with the Everett police.
...
Well said and the clue that the OP apparently does not have.
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