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Old 07-01-2013, 10:26   #151
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Re: Maltreatment By Homeland Security

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Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
This will vary slightly, from State to State.

Generally, State Boating Laws will fall under the authority of that State’s Department of:
Fish and Wildlife Resources,
Department of Parks and Recreation,
Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
and such.
With enforcement delegated to (mostly) any peace or law enforcement officer, such as:
Marine Patrols
County sheriffs and deputy sheriffs (within their jurisdiction or county)
etc.
Authorized enforcement personnel have the authority to stop and board vessels to check for compliance with state and federal laws.

The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) has enforcement authority on federally controlled waters.”

State-Specific Boating Safety Requirements

https://www.google.ca/search?q=State...ient=firefox-a

https://www.google.ca/search?q=boate...ient=firefox-a
So, pretty much anybody from da gubberment with a hat, a gun and a boat .
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Old 07-01-2013, 10:33   #152
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Re: Maltreatment By Homeland Security

I have researched this topic ad nauseum for the past year or so.
As far as I can tell their is no clearly and objectively defined law that regulates the boarding of private vessels.
Commercial vessels on the other hand (especially foreign flagged) enjoy much more protection.
I'm not going to rant here, I'm just trying to explain what I have found through researching this topic for over a year.
The USCG has a very clearly defined mandate to stop boats periodically for safety inspection. Which boats they stop is left to the discretion of the CO of the boarding vessel. The conduct of USCG personnel is also very clearly controled and meant to be preffesional, polite, and efficient.
USCG rules and regs regarding boarding practices are determined internally (i.e. they are set by USCG not DHS).
CBP, ICE, DEA, US Marshals Service, DHS, and any other federal agencie can do as they please on the water. It is only the "internal" polocies within these agencies that control their behavior and practices.
The constitution may say one thing, the courts may say another, then their are ACTs (i.e. NDAA) approved by congress that say yet anothor. Then you have executive orders that issue decrees that supersede all of these laws. DOJ and DHS have also granted themselves new powers just by issueing a statement/memo. WTF is that??
The water is so muddy because all of these ACTs, ExecOrders, decrees, etc. are written so vaguely that they can be interpereted to mean almost anything. It is then up to the boater to decide if he/she wants to challenge an issue in court. Then, that boater would have to "win" in court and on appeal depending on the case. The simple fact is that there have been so many new laws, acts, executive orders etc, regarding National Security since 9/11 that the federal government can point to over a dozen new laws to show their authority to board your boat any time any where. State, county, and municipal authorities have also granted themselves new powers under the banner of "national security". Then there's FEMA and National Guard who also have new powers.
The conduct of these agencies on the other hand is a different issue entirely. All of these departments have clearly defined rules as to how to conduct boardings. You can be sure that the conduct displayed during the boarding is in line with the procedures set forth by the respective agency. If they are proffesional and polite, it is because that is their procedure and training. If they are rude and controling, that is their procedure and training.
This is not a political rant. This is simply what I have found over the past year.
I've complained to my congessman (former congressman now) many times about similar issues. He fought the system and tried to draw attention to the issues but to no avail. My congressman's name was Ron Paul. He's retired now. Maybe their is another Rep who will take up the fight. Until then.....this is for your protection sir...bend over.
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Old 07-01-2013, 10:56   #153
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Re: Maltreatment By Homeland Security

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Dan-
It has in fact been tested by the courts, numerous times, numerous places. the problem is the word "unreasonable" has never been defined. In the early 70's there was a case that went up to the USSC over stopping motor vehicles on the highway. Court had previsouly ruled no, you can't just pull 'em over and take 'em apart at randomm that's unreasonable.
Then they changed their minds, if the cops want to look in your trunk and you say no, they an hold you till a drug dog comes along to discuss "reasonable".
Same thing with safety boardings, airline security...if you catch something once in a million times based on random numbers or every nth passerby, is it unreasonable? You and I and twelve jurors might say yes, but the courts say no. When the law is wrong and the enforcement based on it is wrong, the law says that is illegal but done "under the color of law".
No need to waste money taking that to court. If you want to change things, the problem is educating the voters. Or as an editorial some years ago in the New York Times once concluded, "Lions and tigers and bears in the streets? Oh yes, perhaps we do need some more of those."

When the folks at USYRU wre talking about changing the name to USSA in order to "make it sound less elitist" I said that if folks couldn't figure out how to get past the name, did we really want them to get on the water?

I prefer the old politics, the way Tip O'Neil spoke about how they were practiced in Boston. Your local party rep would buy anyone a drink on election day. He'd buy members of the other party drinks all day, to keep them drunk and out of the polls. He'd buy members of his own party drinks all day long--but only after they'd come back from voting. Both parties did it. Now, the bars are closed on election day. No wonder the economy is in the can!
Again, I'm not going on a rant here, just trying to clarify something for my fellow cruisers. I'm not an expert. Just a citizen with a computer on my boat.

The TSA gets around the 4th amendment because what they do is considered an "Administrative Procedure" and screening process that EVERYONE must go through prior to boarding a plane.

As far as the roadside "search your car" issue goes, you have the right to refuse the search. If the officer says he's calling a K-9 unit, you simply have to aske the officer if he is detaining you there or, are you free to go? If he says he is detaining you (without cause) you win that one in court every time. He can only keep you on the side of the road (detain you) for a very short time without cause. If it takes over 20-30 min for a K9 to get there and you didn't consent, you'll win that.

However, none of this applies on the water. I'm looking forward to the article by Boat US. I hope it's not some watered down puff-peace.
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Old 07-01-2013, 14:44   #154
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Re: Maltreatment By Homeland Security

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Originally Posted by flink View Post
However, none of this applies on the water. I'm looking forward to the article by Boat US. I hope it's not some watered down puff-peace.
I am too.

(nice pun)
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Old 07-01-2013, 15:58   #155
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Re: Maltreatment By Homeland Security

Probably not related, but conspiracy theorists might wonder if the recent arrest of the Marathon Marina owner on attempted murder and drug charges might indicate there were strange goings on at night in those parts? I can remember being anchored there at night and hearing go-fast boats roaring by but I could see no lights at all.
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Old 08-01-2013, 06:07   #156
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Re: Maltreatment By Homeland Security

I'd think any person having the powers of arrest (not a citizen's right, but sworn officer) has the authority to stop you in thier jurisdiction, and since states allow reciprocal agreements allowing neighboring jurisdictions to detain an offender until those from that juridiction arrive would complicate your refusal to stop.

This reminds me of a story by Matt Layden with his Little Cruiser, when a Mexican official attemted to board and the boat tilted as he stepped on the small decked boat and decided not to go abord. Maybe your boat is too big......
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Old 08-01-2013, 07:49   #157
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Re: Maltreatment By Homeland Security

If you're interested in how much help you can expect from the US Congress on this topic, consider this quote from Sen Lindsey Graham: " Free speech is a great idea, but we're in a war."

Drop anything you like in there in place of "free speech" (like "freedom from unreasonable search and seizure") and you get the general idea.
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Old 08-01-2013, 09:09   #158
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Re: Maltreatment By Homeland Security

"consider this quote from Sen Lindsey Graham: " Free speech is a great idea, but we're in a war.""

That man needs to be ejected from public office and barred from any future office. The US hasn't been in a war since WW2.

Plenty of military actions, but that's the last time Congress issued a declaration of war, and without that, we're not in a war. Apparently the Senator forgot to read the Constitution.
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Old 08-01-2013, 09:58   #159
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Re: Maltreatment By Homeland Security

Just so you all don't feel that America is out of control, I sail in northern Europe and keep my boat on the IJsselmeer. I am a US citizen, my boat is US-flagged although I paid 20% import tax to the EU.

My US flag is like a red bull fighter's cape to the Dutch Marchausee (immigration, drug control and the Dutch Queen's gardeners). Several times a summer, I am boarded while sailing. The officers are always polite and check my boat's papers, tax receipt, radio licenses, etc.

Last summer, I was sailing with my wife and two small sons from the Dutch mainland to Vlieland, one of the Dutch Friesen islands bordering the North Sea. A Marchausee cutter passed us in a channel in the Wattensee. The cutter turned around and launched a RIB with four officers in black SWAT gear, carrying full auto weapons.

Two of the officers boarded my sailboat, asked for my ship's papers and then one of them went into the cabin for 10 minutes. He came back to the companionway holding a small baggy containing 3 grams of cannabis and my heavy duty switchblade.

"Where did you get this?" holding the weed?

"I bought it in a coffeeshop in my marina's town."

"Do you have any more?"

"No."

"What do your kids think about this?" holding the baggy with 3 grams.

"I think it's the first time that they have ever seen it." I replied.

"What about this?" holding up my switchblade.

"That's my sailing knife for emergencies. I can open it with one hand and hold the ship with the other. It was in my sailing jacket, where it stays..."

It was the first time I ever had my "stash" returned by a law enforcement officer. Cannabis is legal in The Netherlands and I was completely sober.

So, I am used to being boarded. I just keep everything in a legal format and my seasickness meds in their original containers.
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Old 08-01-2013, 10:24   #160
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Re: Maltreatment By Homeland Security

wow - that's quite a warning - I think I was planning to be polite anyway but I'll try even harder now

I've watched the loss of freedom in the US post-911 with increasing alarm. We crossed the US/Canadian border exactly 1 week after 911 and I was struck by how the US rallied together behind the flag and at the time I was encouraged and supportive. Unfortunately they have allowed an erosion of freedom in the name of security. I think it was Benjamin Franklin who said "Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one"

We've been shaken down by Homeland Security on more than one occasion. Once they refused us entry by road for three days. Since that episode I can count on wasting 2 hours out of my life every time I cross the border - no matter whether that crossing is by air, land or sea. The net effect has been that we avoid travelling in a country where we have many pleasant memories and many good friends. I think our experience is just a metaphor for the loss of enjoyment that the USA as a whole experiences because of the focus on security.

As far as I'm concerned if somebody with a badge and a gun stops me they have the right to search me, whether I'm in my car, bus or boat. You have to pick the hills you want to die on. I guess ultimately that's how freedom gets eroded because nobody is prepared to die on the smaller hills.
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Old 08-01-2013, 11:52   #161
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Re: Maltreatment By Homeland Security

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Originally Posted by bobofthenorth View Post
....

As far as I'm concerned if somebody with a badge and a gun stops me they have the right to search me, whether I'm in my car, bus or boat. You have to pick the hills you want to die on. I guess ultimately that's how freedom gets eroded because nobody is prepared to die on the smaller hills.
...That's not to say you won't be approached in Canada by people carrying guns.
But, you needn't die on the small hills. Just Use what laws you (still) have to build, at the least, a small picket fence around your hill. Use em (your Rights) or lose em.
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Old 08-01-2013, 12:16   #162
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Re: Maltreatment By Homeland Security

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Originally Posted by George DuBose View Post
Just so you all don't feel that America is out of control, I sail in northern Europe and keep my boat on the IJsselmeer. I am a US citizen, my boat is US-flagged although I paid 20% import tax to the EU.

My US flag is like a red bull fighter's cape to the Dutch Marchausee (immigration, drug control and the Dutch Queen's gardeners).
Or they just wan't you to feel like home
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Old 10-01-2013, 08:50   #163
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@hellosailor - Yes, auto stops have been tested but I think vessel stops not so much. Flink appears to have done some research and it seems very likely that the rules are very fragmented as he states.

I view the TS airport stop as a different circumstance. It is voluntary, as I "choose" to travel by air, and I know I am going submit to being searched if I choose air travel.
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Old 10-01-2013, 09:18   #164
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Re: Maltreatment By Homeland Security

Dan, I would disagree about air travel being a voluntary choice. For most of us air travel is not a choice, it is the only means of getting someplace within any rational time frame. It may be a necessity for business or eldercare or other reasons.

The choice of traveling, by any means, is still a choice, or not. No one "has to" take a car or other alternate means of transportation, you have the freedom to stay home. Trying to rationalize air travel--which is federally and locally subsidized and uses the public commons instead of private right of way--is ridiculous. All goes back to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of..." and the freedom to move about and travel freely has been derived from that basic "liberty" thing.

If anything, the states found a better way to intrude on traffic stops. As a public safety issue, they require you to be licensed. As a part of the license terms, you have consented to a number of things--including traffic stops. Or so the logic goes, and the courts have upheld it. Now that's a clever if somewhat weaselish way to construe things. But it also sets up a standard which is in direct contrast to using commercial aviation, where I do not have to be licensed to be a passenger, and I do not have to consent to give up any of my Constitutional rights in order to make a commercial purchase, of my passage contract. In fact, it is generally and widely upheld that any commercial transaction or purchase which requires the sacrifice of any legal right, is generally prohibited. If the airline required me to give up my right to vote in order to be a passenger? I'd own the airline by the time the lawsuit was over, and we both know that.

Fourth amendment rights? No different from the vote. You can't legally require me to waive any part of them as part of a commercial sale.

Of course, these are the same airlines that successfully lobbied Congress and shut down the US domestic sky marshal program in the 80's, because "it costs too much". And we all know what having no sky marshalls cost us 11 years ago. How conveniently everyone forgets.

Now, if the TSA would only get on the program, wash my feet (pedicures for the ladies) while I'm having my shoes x-rayed, shine the shoes while they're in there, pass it off as a service rather than a dog-n-pony show...It isn't hard to respect the customers and take advantage of them at the same time. Heck, even PT Barnum said you've got to show the rubes some respect if you want them to come back again. And if they don't come back, you're out of business.

Voluntary choice? It isn't voluntary when there are no options to choose.
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Old 10-01-2013, 09:22   #165
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Re: Maltreatment By Homeland Security

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We've been shaken down by Homeland Security on more than one occasion. Once they refused us entry by road for three days.
We have not experienced such delays. When we are able to use our NEXUS cards there is no delay. All aboard must have them, or clear with the none aboard have them process.

What reason was given for such treatment?
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