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Old 08-07-2016, 16:18   #46
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Re: To board or not to board, that is the question

Think we have it bad? try "http://oklahomawatch.org/2016/06/07/new-front-in-civil-forfeiture-okla-authorities-get-devices-to-seize-funds-loaded-onto-prepaid-cards/".

Yep, that's right. Get pulled over on the highway and act nervous and, not only can they confiscate your cash, but clean out your credit cards too.

When I owned a trucking business, we always had at least $2K in the long haul vehicles for emergencies. Of course, that was years ago.
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Old 08-07-2016, 16:32   #47
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Re: To board or not to board, that is the question

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Originally Posted by oldsalt_1942 View Post
I know this is going to sound crazy, BUT, I worked for 18 years as a Coast Guard licensed skipper on yachts and small commercial craft. I've made five trips between Cape Cod and Key West. I've done the Great Loop. I ran crew boats in the Louisiana oil patch. I've been back and forth between Florida and the Bahamas several times. I sailed from Spain to Fort Lauderdale. I took a nine-month, single-handed vacation from Fort Lauderdale to Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and back, and I have NEVER ONCE been boarded except when anchored checking in in Mexico, and Guatemala. But NEVER ONCE while underway.
This doesn't surprise me at all. I started sailing dinghies as a kid in Fort Lauderdale in the 1950's and 60's. Since the early '70's I've been a full time live-aboard cruiser with over two dozen passages along the US Coast from Florida to New England and many trips to the Bahamas.

Like oldsalt above, I've never been boarded by the Coast Guard over these sixty years on the water. 'could be chance, but I'm often surprised by those that have repeated boardings.
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Old 08-07-2016, 16:42   #48
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Re: To board or not to board, that is the question

The only agency that has the authority to board a documented vessel of the United States anywhere, anytime without probably cause is the US Coast Guard. Not local law enforcement, not DEA, not anyone else. I have the information below on a plastic laminated card to handout to various Key Stone Cop agency personal who don't understand that.

WARNING
THIS IS A DOCUMENTED VESSEL OF THE UNITED STATES
YOU HAVE NO AUTHORITY TO BOARD THIS VESSEL WITHOUT PROBABLE CAUSE
IF YOU INSIST ON DOING SO THE MASTER OR OWNER RESERVES THE RIGHT TO ENTER A LEGAL COMPLAINT AGAINST YOU IN A FEDERAL COURT WHERE YOU WILL BE REQUIRED TO APPEAR AND SHOW CAUSE FOR YOUR ACTIONS.
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Old 08-07-2016, 16:46   #49
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Re: To board or not to board, that is the question

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Originally Posted by jmschmidt View Post
The only agency that has the authority to board a documented vessel of the United States anywhere, anytime without probably cause is the US Coast Guard. Not local law enforcement, not DEA, not anyone else. I have the information below on a plastic laminated card to handout to various Key Stone Cop agency personal who don't understand that.

WARNING
THIS IS A DOCUMENTED VESSEL OF THE UNITED STATES
YOU HAVE NO AUTHORITY TO BOARD THIS VESSEL WITHOUT PROBABLE CAUSE
IF YOU INSIST ON DOING SO THE MASTER OR OWNER RESERVES THE RIGHT TO ENTER A LEGAL COMPLAINT AGAINST YOU IN A FEDERAL COURT WHERE YOU WILL BE REQUIRED TO SHOW CAUSE FOR YOUR ACTIONS.
Hows that worked out for you in remote international waters?

Ive been approached (just along side for a chat) and boarded by foreign coasties and drug interdiction crews...all have always been professional, but I dont think a piece of paper would have even slowed them down...esp if not in a language they dont understand....I seriously doubt the DEA would be detered either.
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Old 08-07-2016, 16:50   #50
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Re: To board or not to board, that is the question

What is the relevant case law around this issue? Why don't they need probable cause and where has it been tested in court?


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Old 08-07-2016, 17:10   #51
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Re: To board or not to board, that is the question

Local (US) law enforcement, the DEA, etc. don't operate in foreign waters and obviously US case law, Supreme Court rulings, and our Constitution do apply in foreign jurisdictions. Any cruiser who doesn't understand this shouldn't be cruising.
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Old 08-07-2016, 17:50   #52
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Re: To board or not to board, that is the question

This discussion has happened numerous times here. The facts appear to be that the USCG can board any boat in US water, or any US flagged boat in open water, for any reason at a any time. No probable cause is required. In Canada my understanding of the law is that the authorities have to have at least some pretext of a probable cause before boarding. I'd be curious to hear about other nations.

Interestingly, I've only been accosted once by officials who were doing their "safety checks" as part of some training session for new recruits. The only other time we came close was when a big black RCMP boat came zipping up to us while we were sailing a remote area of Lake Superior. The boat came along side, and I thought they were going to "ask" to come aboard. But it turned out the officer was a fellow sailor from Montreal, and was just interested in how our Aries windvane worked. He rode along side while we sailed on and chatted about how the vane worked. Then he thanked us without asking a single official question.

All in all, a very Canadian experience.
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Old 08-07-2016, 18:15   #53
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Re: To board or not to board, that is the question

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Local (US) law enforcement, the DEA, etc. don't operate in foreign waters and obviously US case law, Supreme Court rulings, and our Constitution do apply in foreign jurisdictions. Any cruiser who doesn't understand this shouldn't be cruising.
DEA does. They even visited my place in Guatemala once (fortunately not looking for me). Full on Women in Black (all female crew)...not gonna argue with that, but they were friendly and professional. Also saw them often in the Bahamas in the 80s...Google "Blue Thunder".

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmschmidt View Post
The only agency that has the authority to board a documented vessel of the United States anywhere, anytime without probably cause is the US Coast Guard. ...
You said it not me: ".. anywhere, anytime..". You can wave USA constitutional rights around all you want, but foreign authorities will board you anyway...good luck with that law suit.

US Constitutional rights don't mean diddly if you are not in the USA. You are subject to the laws of that country. Just ask any US Consulate...who will advise you to engage a local attorney in preparation for your prosecution under local law...zero knowledge of USA constitution needed.

Do you ever sail outside USA waters?
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Old 08-07-2016, 18:41   #54
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Re: To board or not to board, that is the question

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Who's denying that they get away with illegal search and seizure? I readily admit they do it, they have the guns to let them do it and the courts support their illegal actions.

Until you show me the clause in the Constitution where I says "except for the CG", it's illegal to conduct a search without reasonable cause.
Constitutional Law has two primary components: the actual letter of the law and legal precedent. Some of the case law was referenced earlier in this thread.
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Old 08-07-2016, 18:42   #55
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Re: To board or not to board, that is the question

[QUOTE=jmschmidt;2162333]The only agency that has the authority to board a documented vessel of the United States anywhere, anytime without probably cause is the US Coast Guard. -----


The devil is in the details. "anywhere, anytime"

To give you a farfetched example, do you think the Cuban coast guard has the right to board a US vessel in US waters?
That's what you are saying if you disagree with jmschmidt's post.

Now if I can figure out how to get out of this bold face type.
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Old 08-07-2016, 19:04   #56
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Re: To board or not to board, that is the question

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The condemnation of the Coasties and LEOs seems plan ass stupid. If you are in compliance with the law what is your bitch. Both are probably under paid, and don't want to give you any **** more than you want some. Yep, I guess Constitutionality could be argued. I hope if you need them they worry about that. JMHO
Here's my problem. I have several times been a full time liveaboard, for a couple of years with a wife and daughter. At those times the boat was our home, our only home.

So would you have a problem if some law enforcement agency had the right to come to your personal home on land with a team of armed agents, at any time of the day or night, without a warrant, without probable cause, without your permission, to enter and search your home or do a "safety inspection"? I'm pretty sure you would have a bitch with that.

I understand the USCG has, under the current laws, legal right to board my boat. I also understand that the seamen boarding my boat are just following orders and should be treated politely. Doesn't mean I like it or agree with that law.
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Old 08-07-2016, 21:16   #57
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Re: To board or not to board, that is the question

My perception is America has become a target and maybe the men in uniform should be supported that is doing their bit to keep you oke's safe.
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Old 09-07-2016, 04:05   #58
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Re: To board or not to board, that is the question

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The condemnation of the Coasties and LEOs seems plan ass stupid. If you are in compliance with the law what is your bitch. Both are probably under paid, and don't want to give you any **** more than you want some. Yep, I guess Constitutionality could be argued. I hope if you need them they worry about that. JMHO
First, no one is condemning the individual LEOs (of which the CG is acting as in this discussion). It's the organization that is claiming they have a right to conduct illegal search and seizure.

Second, you seem to be suggesting we should accept our rights being violated if we expect LEO's to do their job? There would be no reason for the amendment if the founding fathers though it was fine to bust into someone's home and search the place...because "what's your bitch as long as they don't find anything."

Keep in mind with the 1700's examples, they were acting primarily in their border patrol roll. The CG has multiple rolls. If there is reasonable suspicion that you just crossed a border that is far different from them stopping a boat heading out of Muskegon Lake (into Lake Michigan where you are hundreds of miles from the Canadian border).

Again, no one is questioning that they get away with it and they have gotten away with it for a long time.
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Old 09-07-2016, 04:11   #59
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Re: To board or not to board, that is the question

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Originally Posted by oldsalt_1942 View Post
If you are a U.S. registered vessel the Coast Guard CAN board you anywhere in the world!
Here we go again. It is unlikely that they (USCG) would find themselves in Australian Waters but if they did they CANNOT board any vessel here US flagged or otherwise.
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Old 09-07-2016, 04:19   #60
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Re: To board or not to board, that is the question

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our Constitution do apply in foreign jurisdictions.
Seriously mate, I mean Seriously. E.G. Turn up in my country with a firearm and quote your second amendment - see how that works for you.

You constitution - as marvellous as it is, has no effect in my country or its waters. Zero Zip Zilch Nada.

In my days as a Police Officer, I do recall a visiting merricun who I pulled over in a traffic stop suggesting that I had no right to search his vehicle, (strong smell of cannabis), He expressed this view quite forcefully, so after he was arrested for Obstruct Police we got on with searching the vehicle, all the while with him screaming "probable Cause" Probable Cause" . I smiled quite a lot that day.
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