Folks - it's time for cruisers to look at - and to make clear to these municipalities that we are willing to use - the civil rights legislation known as U.S. Code 42 Section 1983, which is available to cruisers who feel their right to anchor has been abused. This is the legislation that was invoked in Stuart, and more recently, in Sarasota
dropped a prosecution against an anchored boater, after the NMMA contacted them regarding the issue, as well as a phone
call from the law firm that defended that issue.
For more details, see Claiborne's site, Cruiser's Net
In its essence, Section 1983 removes the right of ‘qualified immunity’ from any government
employee who violates another person’s rights. As well, "a plaintiff in an action under Section 1983 may sue the governmental entity or the municipality itself, in addition to or instead of suing individual agents in their official and/or individual capacities."
Jon Loevy of the Dupage County Bar Association notes about Section 1983: "Congress reasoned that where a governmental entity is forced to defend (and therefore face) unconstitutional policies and practices in open court, changes tend to be made."
In other words, if someone hands you an anchoring
ticket illegally, he might as well hand you the deed to his house - and that applies to his sergeant, his lieutenant, captain
, the chief of police and the mayor of whatever municipality which is out of line on this issue.
It's time to fight back. If you want more details, contact me via pm.