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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > Living Aboard
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Old 09-12-2003
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lowryjim is on a distinguished road
Boot Key Harbor Marathon Florida

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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Old 09-12-2003
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Magic_Moments is on a distinguished road
Boot Key Harbor Marathon Florida

Your post doesn''t say why the boat was seized, but the common reason a marina will impound a boat is for not paying the moorage fees. In my marina the Port attempts to contact the owners and if back moorage isn''t paid or something worked out, then the boat is impounded and held for a month or two. If the issue is not resolved then the boat is sold at auction.

One reason that the moorage fees are as high as they are is that an abandoned boat costs about $20,000 to dispose of since it is hazardous waste. That figure may not be as high on fiberglass or steel boats as it is for wood boats, but I am sure it is close.

If the boat in the above post was seized for some other reason, then just about any lawyer would make short work of them I would think. If it was seized for nonpayment, then work something out, because I can assure you that the port does not want your boat.

Ken
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Old 09-13-2003
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lowryjim is on a distinguished road
Boot Key Harbor Marathon Florida

The reason the vessel was seized;

Point one... I will give the reason; however, the reason is not the issue. The City of Marathon seized the vessel without due process and inviolation of Florida Statues. Yes they should have the right to take action; however, in taking action, they still must follow both Florida Law (705.102) and the Bill of Rights, to Due Process.

Point two... the City of Marathon is putting in a new mooring field. The vessel that was seized, happened to be in the area of the new field, and they wanted it moved.
There were no fees due on the vessel and according to Florida Law, the vessel had not been declared abandoned by any sworn officer.

This is now becoming common place in Marathon. Next months issue of "South Winds" reflects a story where the city says they made a mistake in boarding vessels illegally.
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Old 11-11-2003
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sailnaway is on a distinguished road
Boot Key Harbor Marathon Florida

I am not sure if this applies to the situation, however it would seem the Harbor Master is way out of order and has no power to do this.
From the U.S. Code Online via GPO Access
[wais.access.gpo.gov]
[Laws in effect as of January 2, 2001]
[Document not affected by Public Laws enacted between
January 2, 2001 and January 28, 2002]
[CITE: 33USC471]


TITLE 33--NAVIGATION AND NAVIGABLE WATERS

CHAPTER 10--ANCHORAGE GROUNDS AND HARBOR REGULATIONS GENERALLY

Sec. 471. Establishment by Secretary of Transportation of
anchorage grounds and regulations generally

The Secretary of Transportation is authorized, empowered, and
directed to define and establish anchorage grounds for vessels in all
harbors, rivers, bays, and other navigable waters of the United States
whenever it is manifest to the said Secretary that the maritime or
commercial interests of the United States require such anchorage grounds
for safe navigation and the establishment of such anchorage grounds
shall have been recommended by the Chief of Engineers, and to adopt
suitable rules and regulations in relation thereto; and such rules and
regulations shall be enforced by the Coast Guard under the direction of
the Secretary of Transportation: Provided, That at ports or places where
there is no Coast Guard vessel available such rules and regulations may
be enforced by the Chief of Engineers under the direction of the
Secretary of Transportation. In the event of the violation of any such
rules and regulations by the owner, master, or person in charge of any
vessel, such owner, master, or person in charge of such vessel shall be
liable to a penalty of $100; and the said vessel may be holden for the
payment of such penalty, and may be seized and proceeded against
summarily by libel for the recovery of the same in any United States
district court for the district within which such vessel may be and in
the name of the officer designated by the Secretary of Transportation.

(Mar. 4, 1915, ch. 142, Sec. 7, 38 Stat. 1053; Aug. 4, 1949, ch. 393,
Secs. 1, 20, 63 Stat. 496, 561; Pub. L. 89-670, Sec. 6(b)(1), Oct. 15,
1966, 80 Stat. 938; Pub. L. 97-449, Sec. 2(d)(1), Jan. 12, 1983, 96
Stat. 2440.)

Codification

Section was from the Rivers and Harbors Appropriation Act of 1915.


Prior Provisions

Section probably supersedes acts May 16, 1888, ch. 257, Secs. 1, 2,
25 Stat. 151, relative to anchorage grounds in port of New York, Mar. 3,
1899, ch. 424, Sec. 1, 30 Stat. 1074, extending anchorage regulations
for port of New York, Feb. 6, 1893, ch. 64, Secs. 1, 2, 27 Stat. 431,
relative to anchorage grounds in port of Chicago, and June 6, 1900, ch.
819, Secs. 1, 2, 31 Stat. 682, relative to anchorage grounds in Kennebec
River.


Amendments

1983--Pub. L. 97-449 substituted ``Secretary of Transportation'''' for
``Secretary of War'''' wherever appearing. See Transfer of Functions note
below.

Transfer of Functions

``Coast Guard'''' and ``Coast Guard vessel'''' substituted in text for
``Revenue Cutter Service'''' and ``revenue cutter'''', respectively, the
Revenue Cutter Service and Life-Saving Service having been combined to
form the Coast Guard by act Jan. 28, 1915, ch. 20, Sec. 1, 38 Stat. 800.
That act was repealed by act Aug. 4, 1949, ch. 393, Sec. 20, 63 Stat.
561, section 1 of which reestablished the Coast Guard by enacting Title
14, Coast Guard.
``Secretary of Transportation'''' substituted for ``Secretary of the
Treasury'''' in provision covering enforcement of rules and regulations by
Coast Guard pursuant to section 6(b)(1) of Pub. L. 89-670, which
transferred to Secretary of Transportation functions, powers, and duties
of Secretary of the Treasury and of other offices and officers of
Department of the Treasury relating to Coast Guard. Section 6(b)(2) of
Pub. L. 89-670, however, provided that notwithstanding such transfer of
functions, the Coast Guard shall operate as part of the Navy in time of
war or when President directs as provided in section 3 of Title 14,
Coast Guard. See section 108 of Title 49, Transportation.
Section 6(g)(1)(A) of Pub. L. 89-670, transferred functions, powers,
and duties of Secretary of the Army [formerly War] and other officers
and offices of Department of the Army [formerly War] relating generally
to water vessel anchorages under this section to Secretary of
Transportation. Pub. L. 97-449 amended this section to reflect the
transfer made by section 6(g)(1)(A) of Pub. L. 89-670, and repealed
section 6(g)(1)(A).



From the U.S. Code Online via GPO Access
[wais.access.gpo.gov]
[Laws in effect as of January 2, 2001]
[Document not affected by Public Laws enacted between
January 2, 2001 and January 28, 2002]
[CITE: 33USC472]


TITLE 33--NAVIGATION AND NAVIGABLE WATERS

CHAPTER 10--ANCHORAGE GROUNDS AND HARBOR REGULATIONS GENERALLY

Sec. 472. Marking anchorage grounds by Commandant of the Coast
Guard

The Commandant of the Coast Guard shall provide, establish, and
maintain, out of the annual appropriations for the Coast Guard, buoys or
other suitable marks for marking anchorage grounds for vessels in waters
of the United States, when such anchorage grounds have been defined and
established by proper authority in accordance with the laws of the
United States.

(Sept. 15, 1922, ch. 313, 42 Stat. 844; 1939 Reorg. Plan No. II,
Sec. 2(a), eff. July 1, 1939, 4 F.R. 2731, 53 Stat. 1432.)

Transfer of Functions

``Commandant of the Coast Guard'''' and ``Coast Guard'''' substituted in
text for ``Commissioner of Lighthouses'''' and ``Lighthouse Service'''',
respectively, on authority of Reorg. Plan No. II of 1939, Sec. 2(a), set
out in the Appendix to Title 5, Government Organization and Employees,
which transferred and consolidated the Bureau of Lighthouses (of which
the Lighthouse Service was a part and of which the Commissioner of
Lighthouses was the head) and its functions with the Coast Guard (of
which the Commandant was the Chief).
For transfer of functions of other officers, employees, and agencies
of Department of the Treasury, with certain exceptions, to Secretary of
the Treasury with power to delegate, see Reorg. Plan No. 26 of 1950,
Secs. 1, 2, eff. July 31, 1950, 15 F.R. 4935, 64 Stat. 1280, 1281, set
out in the Appendix to Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.
Functions of Coast Guard, and Commandant of Coast Guard, excepted from
transfer when Coast Guard is operating as part of Navy under sections 1
and 3 of Title 14, Coast Guard.
Coast Guard transferred to Department of Transportation, and
functions, powers, and duties relating to Coast Guard of Secretary of
the Treasury and of other officers and offices of Department of the
Treasury transferred to Secretary of Transportation by Pub. L. 89-670,
Sec. 6(b)(1), Oct. 15, 1966, 80 Stat. 938. Section 6(b)(2) of Pub. L.
89-670, however, provided that notwithstanding such transfer of
functions, Coast Guard shall operate as part of the Navy in time of war
or when President directs as provided in section 3 of Title 14, Coast
Guard. See section 108 of Title 49, Transportation.



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