Join Date: May 2001
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Pirate of Pine Island is Alive!!!
Ahoy, me mateys the legal position is this : Florida statue in adherence to Federal Maritime law has clearly preserved the right of non liveaboard vessels from any and all restriction. The statue clearly resricts any local goverment from legislation of any kind. In addition a second statue also restricts local goverment from laws restricting any waterway with out prior state approval and the application for and a permit to do so.
However Federal law grants the States the power to restrict the live aboards under the guise of enviromental water quality standards (sanitation) and residency of citizens within its state (states rights). The City of Cape Coral has an ordinance specifically restricting anchorage to two basins and imposes a two week limit for live aboards.
My case was simpler in the respect that I anchored my vessel in a one of these land locked basins near to my home after snapping my Mizzen mast to make repairs. I was in transit to a Marina in Fort Myers from me pirates hideout on Pine Island for a much needed haul out.
While there some miscretents pulled my stern anchor and my vessel floated over the flats on high tide and grounded hard. It took several weeks to free me vessel and it was during this time that the City started issuing citations. From that point on the battle was joined. Within a few days of refloating of my vessel, it was again tampered with and this time she sat it 30 inches of water on hard botton. When I say tampered with I mean the stern anchor hauled up and neatly coiled on the aft deck. It was clear to me that the local residents did not like my use of puplic waters. The other important fact in this story is that my vessel was anchored in front of a public water acess park, so I was not trespassing when I rowed to shore, taking my dinghy with me. (two blocks form home)
The Cape Coral Police were very beligerent and ignorant of common courtesies and the law. The City of Cape Coral Marine Police Unit is completely inept and cannot even tie a proper knot. Frankly the millon dollar budjet for this unit is little more than a boys club for the Police. And boys they are, sad little children with big egos and little brains. The local newspapers even featured my vessl while aground.
There were many more issues raised in reguards to the citations I was issued and the manner of prosecution and enforcement which I continue to adress in the political process. I have offered the city the chance to make a free slip available for any Pirate Vessel that calls in the future as my terms to let it drop. I suspect they will try to arrest me for extortion next. The attorney for a civil suit I am persuing is drouling. He thinks I should quit fooling around with the Mayor and City Council but I''m still looking for a little paypack in front of an audience before I take them to the bank.
The live aboard rule is undefined but if you are a Florida resident and maintain a legal residence in the state you are not a liveaboard. The state cannot restrict how much time you spend on your vessel, Life Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness, means something even today. If you are from out of state you have 30 days before Florida claims you as a resident. Ten days after that you must change your drivers license. and so on. However as an out-of state resident I believe Cape Coral''s 2 week restriction to be invalid under federal law.
The records of my trials can be viewed at the Lee County Court Clerk''s web page Click on criminal records and search by name (Redden), then (Michael Joseph), your going to have to scroll down the list to find me. Once you see the two lines with my name click on the case number and the entire file opens . This is an excellent web site and it is great fun to snoop your neighbors. By the way there is another person with a very similar name to mine so look for the middle initial (J).
I have some very amusing Letters that have been sent to the Mayor and City council in my efforts to get them to drop the citations prior to trial, but the stupid twits walked right into a civil rights problem they could not get out of. They cannot publicly admit what they did and in the end the taxpayers will have to foot the bill. It is sad that our goverment has sunk to this level but I''m a Pirate so who am I to talk about Honor? AARRGGHH . Pirate of Pine Island