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Old 06-12-2013, 21:04   #1
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Civil Rights Attorney Needed Marathon FL

Every night for the past two weeks the boaters in Boot Key Harbor have been harassed by the FWC. I understand they need to do their job, however if the following is "doing their job" then I don't even recognize the place I grew up.

Shining lights in boat windows at 10:30PM, boarding boats when people are fast asleep. This is my home and my daughters bed is right by the window, what right do they have to shine lights in my house waking us up when not investigating anything, it's become a nightly occurrence.

Tonight they tried to tell a group of us on land to leave the area at the city marina. We stood fast and refused to leave since we were in no way interfering with their duties and we paid to be there. Dictating our actions on land when not on the water seems a slight overstep. The boaters of Boot Key Harbor are being harassed by the FWC, they have written unwarranted tickets to people just arriving and boats are leaving because of it. They even forced someone to FL register their boat, the person actually got a refund from the tax collectors because the FWC was absolutely wrong. A boat that was here 19 days received a ticket for not being FL registered, 19 days in the state and they wrote a ticket. The best one I've heard was them tell a person they were giving them a warning for having wet life jackets, apparently wet life jackets don't float

I understand Marathon is a training ground for the FWC, but if this is the training they are receiving it scares me to think what's coming. The boaters in Marathon are sick of it and ready to take a stand, we need an attorney to stop the midnight searches, blinding spotlights and floating checkpoints that harass law abiding boaters, we are not the enemy. If anyone can suggest someone in the local area, it would be very much appreciated.
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Old 06-12-2013, 21:16   #2
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Re: Civil Rights Attorney Needed Marathon FL

Sounds frustrating, not my idea of a nice anchorage.

Have you had any dialogue with FWC?

I am curious to know what the issues are here? Why are they boarding boats?
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Old 06-12-2013, 21:23   #3
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Re: Civil Rights Attorney Needed Marathon FL

Just a WAG but I would say its because some politician(s) have told them to get rid of certain people and that they weren't to interested in how they did it.

I know, I know...its to obvious, but hey...
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Old 06-12-2013, 22:02   #4
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Are they harassing boats that are anchored out, or on a mooring ball, or both?
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Old 06-12-2013, 22:16   #5
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Direct them to their own website where it states that an out of state vessel only has to register there if in state over 90 days.

http://www.flhsmv.gov/dmv/faqboat.html#5
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Old 06-12-2013, 22:35   #6
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Re: Civil Rights Attorney Needed Marathon FL

Sorry, but whats "FWC"?
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Old 06-12-2013, 22:37   #7
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Re: Civil Rights Attorney Needed Marathon FL

Just a guess f Florida w water c cops.
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Old 06-12-2013, 22:39   #8
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Re: Civil Rights Attorney Needed Marathon FL

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
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Old 06-12-2013, 22:48   #9
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Re: Civil Rights Attorney Needed Marathon FL

Forgot the smiley face. Our fish police (DNR) are busy chasing the jet skis. Never heard of them checking dark boats anchored at night. What reason do they give for repeated boarding of the same boats in the same spot?
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Old 07-12-2013, 04:46   #10
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Re: Civil Rights Attorney Needed Marathon FL

We plan on stopping in Marathon in a month or so. I would be furious if someone woke us up just to check if we legit. Our 2 yr old is a light sleeper and would be up for a good while after they left. Not cool, FWC
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Old 07-12-2013, 04:55   #11
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Re: Civil Rights Attorney Needed Marathon FL

Maybe contacting the Salty Southeast Cruisers net would help. They have a history of standing up for cruisers' rights in Florida.

CruisersNet [at] triad.twcbc [dot] com
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Old 07-12-2013, 05:40   #12
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Re: Civil Rights Attorney Needed Marathon FL

Maybe they feel they have special rights.

Picture of Boot Key Harbor
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Old 07-12-2013, 06:04   #13
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Re: Civil Rights Attorney Needed Marathon FL

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.
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Old 07-12-2013, 06:20   #14
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Re: Civil Rights Attorney Needed Marathon FL

While I don't doubt the FWC is being heavy handed, I'm sure there is more to the story.

Hard to say if lawyering up is the appropriate response without more details (who are the targets, how often, is it trainees or established agents, etc...)

You might try talking to the local govt officials. While the FWC is not under their jurisdiction, they likely would have a lot more pull to solve it without lawyers.
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Old 07-12-2013, 06:37   #15
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Re: Civil Rights Attorney Needed Marathon FL

Quote:
Originally Posted by lorenzo b View Post
One really has to live outside the USA a few years to appreciate how militarized the culture there has become.
Amen. You don't realize this until you leave for a while. It is difficult to explain to someone in the US just how understated your comment really is.

We are shocked whenever we fly home for a visit. The irony is all our family think we are living in places with no rules and dangerous people, while we are afraid of the arbitrary rules and dangerous law enforcement personnel in the US!

Mark
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