Four years ago, Fane Lozman won an improbable longshot victory when the U.S. Supreme Court agreed with him that his floating home was a house, not a vessel subject to seizure by a Florida city.
The justices set a new national legal standard: Not everything that floats is a boat.
It was far from certain that the nation's highest court would even take his case, and the verdict in January 2013 seemed a resounding victory for the little guy in battle with local officials. Now Lozman is asking the justices to enforce their ruling by forcing the city pay him legal fees and reimburse him for the home's value after it was seized and destroyed.
Lozman's 60-by-12-foot floating home had no engines, sails or rudder. It had to be towed to a Riviera Beach marina where Lozman took up residence in 2006 before becoming embroiled in a fight with that Florida city over its plans to turn the marina over to a developer. Lozman said the city's actions were in retaliation for his vocal opposition.
The city sought to evict him and, when that failed, sued under maritime law in federal court to have the floating home seized as a vessel. After a federal judge sided with the city in 2010, it had the home destroyed - launching the legal battle all the way to the Supreme Court.
Lozman contends in new filings that the city should reimburse him the estimated $165,000 value of the floating home destroyed, plus $200,000 in legal fees. The same district judge and appeals court whose rulings were overturned by the Supreme Court justices have essentially told Lozman to take a long walk on a short pier.
To Lozman, the rulings rejecting reimbursement fly in the face of the original Supreme Court decision, forcing him to return for a second longshot.
Monday, March 27, 2017
Fane Lozman wants back in the Supreme Court
You all remember him -- he's the guy who won the floating home case. Well, he's back. From Curt Anderson: