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post #1 of Old 09-12-2003 Thread Starter
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Boaters Rights, Boot Key Harbor

Yet another boater, has his vessel boarded and seized by Marathon Florida City Officials, without Due Process. That is correct, there was NO COURT ORDER, NO HEARING, NOTHING, the vessel was seized not by any sworn law enforcement personnel, but by the Harbor Manager.

Marathon Florida City officials claim they have the right to board, seize and impound vessels in Boot Key Harbor. They claim they have that right as granted in Marathon City Ordnance 02-01-08.

What they are trying to say is that Marathon’s Ordnance takes precedents over our Civil Rights, over Florida State Law and over Florida Fish and Wildlife Regulation.

You see, according to the U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, Amendment IV;The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

And according to Florida Statues 701.103; Whenever a law enforcement officer ascertains that an article of lost or abandoned property is present on public property and is of such nature that it can be easily removed, the officer shall take such article into custody and shall make a reasonable attempt to ascertain the rightful owner or lienholder pursuant to the provisions of this section.

And according to Florida Statutes 810.08 Trespass in structure or conveyance.—Whoever, without being authorized, licensed, or invited, willfully enters or remains in any structure or conveyance, or, having been authorized, licensed, or invited, is warned by the owner or lessee of the premises, or by a person authorized by the owner or lessee, to depart and refuses to do so, commits the offense of trespass in a structure or conveyance

In addition, according to Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, Law Enforcement, GENERAL ORDER 21, DERELICT VESSELS; The F.W.C., Division of Law Enforcement has been designated as the state agency authorized and empowered to remove any derelict vessel, as described in section 823.11, Florida Statutes, from public waters.

Once an abandoned vessel has been located, the sworn member responding to the scene must determine if the vessel is a recovered stolen boat, lost property, abandoned property, or a derelict vessel. In order to make this determination, the sworn member shall conduct an investigation, apply the definitions in chapters 705 and 823, Florida Statutes, and discuss the findings with a regional supervisor. A regional supervisor will make the final determination of the vessel''s status.

So as you see there is a LEGAL PROCESS that is to be followed before any action is taken. But not in Boot Key Harbor, not in Marathon Florida. It appears boaters have no rights when in Boot Key Harbor,. No right to due process. No right to protection from illegal search and seizures. Currently there is no protection from City Officials who violate your civil rights.

To agree that the cities ordinance takes precedents, would mean that the city does not have to ahear to the U.S. Constitution or any Florida State Statue. Well if that is true, than why are we submitting a comprehensive plan to the DCA..
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