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lowryjim 09-12-2003 11:41 AM

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..

mdougan 09-12-2003 11:52 AM

Boaters Rights, Boot Key Harbor
just how many kilos of cocaine were on board anyway?

Nereus32 09-12-2003 11:38 PM

Boaters Rights, Boot Key Harbor
Your sighting of "Florida Statutes 810.08 Trespass in structure or conveyance" won''t apply here as it pertains to real property. Boats are personal property (like your car) and don''t enjoy the same protections under the law.

Basically, any "authority" can "trespass" aboard your vessel, or in your car, pretty much whenever they want. And, like it or not, if you park your car in a no parking zone as established by city ordinance, or leave it in a public parking lot for an unreasonable amount of time, the city will tow and impound the car.

Unfortunately, people who live aboard, don''t have the same rights as land based home owners. Same goes for folks traveling around in RVs. The laws of real estate don''t apply, so my guess is the city wins and their ordinance stands.

Boaters rights is a great idea, but the reality is we don''t have many. If the lawmakers decide to move towards some sort of boater licensing, we''ll have even fewer. As drivers licenses are priviledged licenses (not rights), the priviledge of operating a vessel would be granted, but not guaranteed, by some law. So you see just how fine a line it really is.

Perhaps there''s an attorney on this board who can shed more light on this topic (and hopefully prove me wrong).

lowryjim 09-13-2003 02:22 PM

Boaters Rights, Boot Key Harbor
Yes... Boaters do have rights..

Point 1... a boat according to Federal Law can be your primary res.

Point 2... Florida Statutes 810.08 Trespass in structure or conveyance.. states a conveyance is a vessel.

Point 3... That is why you can not be boarded unless you allow them to do so, or they have cause.

Point 4... This is only being brought to your attention, because we the boaters here in Marathon are winning the fight.

At the start of our fight, many people said we could not win. Well we are winning and have won many fights for our Live Aboard boaters in the pass several weeks.

For maore about Marathon Florida Boaters and Boot Key Harbor, look at

mjname 12-13-2006 10:23 PM

Uhm this link doesn't work, or rather it does work and nothing really comes of it.


labatt 12-13-2006 10:46 PM

Probably due to the fact that this is from September of 2003

Johnrb 12-13-2006 10:48 PM

Matthew: This thread is over three years old.

Fstbttms 12-13-2006 11:59 PM


Originally Posted by mdougan
just how many kilos of cocaine were on board anyway?


poopdeckpappy 12-14-2006 01:01 AM

Just thinking out loud here but, could it be that the Boat neither fall under Real Property protection or Personal property protection under the 4th and/or 5th amendment due to th fact the a vessel is considered a seperate entity in and of itself, could this be a loophole or crack in the system that the Marathon Florida City Officials are exploiting for whatever reason

sgaterboy 12-14-2006 06:26 AM

my boats in boot key harbor. it looks like crap. I hope it hasnt been towed.

we saw them demolishing boats there last week. heart wrenching to see them haul a boat out of the water and crush it up.

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