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Old 05-11-2018, 10:34 AM   #1
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Penn State LEO Boarding Case

I know we have talked about this in another thread. Saw this article from Soundings.

I wish this guy luck. About time the ACLU represents a good case!

https://www.soundingsonline.com/vide...nless-searches
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Old 05-11-2018, 10:47 AM   #2
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Read this one this morning as well. Have to agree, boarding without cause is like the police or fire department entering your home on demand, for no reason to check your gas lines, fire extinguishers and ensure you've changed your CO detector batteries.

That said, I'm also surprised the average state registration process doesn't require a vessel equipment/safety inspection.
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Old 05-11-2018, 12:14 PM   #3
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The article was quoted mentioning the number of state laws that allow safety inspections without cause. Anyone know where a list of those state could be found?
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Old 05-11-2018, 12:16 PM   #4
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Perhaps that will be the resolution to this issue. Here in MA we have to have our car inspected every year for safety and emissions compliance at cost of $30( i think ). If boats are required to get a sticker, it would ensure equipment was on the boat, and provide the revenue that the state wants. Boaters will resent the fee, and police will resent having their authority checked...sometimes "lose-lose" is the best solution for both sides.
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Old 05-11-2018, 12:30 PM   #5
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That said, I'm also surprised the average state registration process doesn't require a vessel equipment/safety inspection.
S-H-H-H-H-H-H-H. If you speak too loudly about that Governor Tax-and-Spend will hear you and implement that program, and naturally would charge a healthy fee for it.
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Old 05-11-2018, 12:32 PM   #6
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A few things. We're talking state, not federal, laws here. I think it'll be a long time before you see the feds reverse their right to board and inspect.

And what was that crap about the LEO's not accepting a type 2 PFD? It's hard to believe they're that poorly trained. If true, that would be the easier case to fight. What was the motivation to go after the legality of the boarding? There may be more to the story.
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Old 05-11-2018, 12:44 PM   #7
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I must agree that not excepting a legal Type 2 PDF was the fault LEO. I think that there must be more to this story... Why did his friends refuse to go boating with him again?
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Old 05-11-2018, 01:01 PM   #8
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I think he chose to fight the boarding rather than the PFD because that's the bigger constitutional issue. Whether the LEO or the Boater was mistaken, whether the PFD was acceptible is an easily determined case and of minor importance. Whether the state needs to change its boarding process is a very big deal.

I'm not too familiar with inflatables, but don't they have to actually be worn, where as a traditional PFD can just be "easily accessible" ?

Also, the article mentions the packaging for the life jacket. If it was still in the package, it would be considered "not wearable". However, the boater said he had more life jackets, so even if that one was not legitimate, why not pull out another one ?
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Old 05-11-2018, 02:52 PM   #9
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I agree on more to the story. Find it interesting that the guy isn't fighting the legitimacy of the charge but wants to fight the right to search. That's typically the approach when one is guilty of the charge itself. I have no sympathy at all with the guy.
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Old 05-11-2018, 03:44 PM   #10
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S-H-H-H-H-H-H-H. If you speak too loudly about that Governor Tax-and-Spend will hear you and implement that program, and naturally would charge a healthy fee for it.
so true!
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Old 05-11-2018, 03:55 PM   #11
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I'm not too familiar with inflatables, but don't they have to actually be worn, where as a traditional PFD can just be "easily accessible" ?
We have six inflatable PFDs. All are type 2 for recreational use. Bought them specifically for the rating.
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Old 05-11-2018, 03:57 PM   #12
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A few inflatables dont have to be worn to count...its on the tag.

Type IIs should be acceptable for passengers, but are not for certain watercraft or watersport activity.

Yes some LEOs are pretty poorly trained, as even some Coasties and USCGAUX dont know the intricacies of MSDs regulations, types of placards, other requirements for vessels above 12M.
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Old 05-11-2018, 08:30 PM   #13
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I agree on more to the story. Find it interesting that the guy isn't fighting the legitimacy of the charge but wants to fight the right to search. That's typically the approach when one is guilty of the charge itself. I have no sympathy at all with the guy.
Not necessarily. Fighting the search is fighting the charge. If the evidence from the search is suppressed, the case is over.
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Old 05-11-2018, 09:54 PM   #14
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Not necessarily. Fighting the search is fighting the charge. If the evidence from the search is suppressed, the case is over.
But one resorts to fighting the search, only when they know they can't fight the charge on it's on merits. Good legal tactic, but also makes it clear they were not in compliance.
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Old 05-12-2018, 12:00 AM   #15
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Here, and I hope over there,there is a presumption of innocence until found guilty. Unless a defence is clearly hopeless, many defend on all issues.The prosecution can surprisingly fail to prove an element of an offence, if so that`s an end to it.

If evidence relied on was improperly obtained,such as in an illegal search, the evidence should be excluded and the prosecution may fail, never reaching the merits of the charge issue. It`s a perfectly proper approach,and requires a plea of 'not guilty".
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Old 05-12-2018, 01:25 AM   #16
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It is possible to get "ramped" by the FAA etc. on an airport where you must allow an inspector or a law-enforcement person to look at your airplane and all your documents. They can also require the pilot to pee in a bottle or have a blood test. This is common in my old industry, even with private planes, its not much of a stretch to apply this to boats. I don't like it though, its like those barriers in Crappy Tire, they assume you are a thief until you can prove you are not and the Coast Guard takes the same attitude.
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Old 05-12-2018, 01:32 AM   #17
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its like those barriers in Crappy Tire, they assume you are a thief until you can prove you are not .
Barriers in Crappy Tire? Can you please translate for those of us who have no idea what you're talking about?
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Old 05-12-2018, 01:59 AM   #18
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I agree on more to the story. Find it interesting that the guy isn't fighting the legitimacy of the charge but wants to fight the right to search. That's typically the approach when one is guilty of the charge itself. I have no sympathy at all with the guy.


If you beat the charge on another basis, I.e. Compliance, you lose your opportunity to challenge the search. So, if you want to test the search you challenge it. That's just the way it works.
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Old 05-12-2018, 02:02 AM   #19
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Barriers in Crappy Tire? Can you please translate for those of us who have no idea what you're talking about?


He's speaking Canadian. Crappy Tires is Canadian Tires, a big chain store.
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Old 05-12-2018, 07:18 AM   #20
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But one resorts to fighting the search, only when they know they can't fight the charge on it's on merits. Good legal tactic, but also makes it clear they were not in compliance.
I'm not aware of any legal jurisdiction where challenging a search and asking for suppression of evidence is allowed to be viewed as a defendant's admission of fact, or taken as being despositive of his guilt, by the trier of fact.

Even in an attempt to suppress a confession for being involuntary ( where the defendant is required to admit that he made the confession to proceed), the trier of fact is not allowed to consider any admission made in the pleadings in determining guilt (unless impeachment issues arise later).

You'll have to cite me some cases on that.
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