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Lozman v. City of Riviera Beach, Florida
United States Supreme Court
568 U.S. 115, 133 S. Ct. 735, 184 L. Ed. 2d 604 (2013)
Fane Lozman (defendant) owned a two-story floating home. The home, which contained a bedroom, a bathroom, a sitting room, and an office, as well as ordinary windows and French doors, was made of plywood and sat on an empty bilge space that allowed it to float. Lozman had the home, which was not self-propelled and contained no steering mechanism, towed to a series of four Florida marinas, staying at each marina for various amounts of time. On one occasion the home was towed 70 miles, and on another occasion, it was towed 200 miles. Lozman eventually had the home towed to a marina owned by the City of Riviera Beach, Florida (city), where it was docked. Lozman and the city had a series of disputes, and the city tried unsuccessfully to evict Lozman from the home. The city then brought a federal in rem lawsuit against the floating home pursuant to admiralty law, seeking a lien for dockage fees as well as damages for criminal trespass. The district court found for the city, reasoning that the floating home was a vessel and was therefore subject to the court’s admiralty jurisdiction. The court of appeals affirmed, and the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Breyer, J.)
Dissent (Sotomayor, J.)
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