...and gave you only one guess who the pro se defendant was, who would you guess?
Yup, you got it -- Fane Lozman. The same Fane Lozman who has won twice in the Supreme Court.
The PBP covers his most recent case, before Judge Middlebrooks -- who patiently presided over a 5-hour hearing:Longtime Riviera Beach gadfly Fane Lozman this week towed his 20-foot-long floating home away from the banks of Singer Island to comply with a state court order saying that its bottom was damaging environmentally sensitive seagrasses that are protected by Florida law.
On Friday, federal officials told U.S. District Judge Donald Middlebrooks that Lozman is now running afoul of federal rules.
The floating container home, anchored in a cove south of John D. McArthur Beach State Park, poses a hazard to marine navigation and should be removed from the water immediately, an attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice said during a five-hour court hearing.
The dueling lawsuits — one filed against Lozman by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in Palm Beach County Circuit Court and the other by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in federal court — has put the former U.S. Marine and self-made millionaire in an untenable position, Middlebrooks said.
“Mr. Lozman is caught between state and federal regulatory agencies,” he said.
Further, Middlebrooks said, it appears Lozman may be the victim of selective enforcement.
The Army Corps cited Lozman for last year anchoring his 910-square-foot container home on submerged land he owns off Singer Island. Yet, Middlebrooks noted, it has done nothing to force the removal of a partially submerged rusted barge that has been in the Lake Worth Lagoon for at least four years and appears to pose a far greater risk to boaters.
“I realize that there’s a fair amount of regulatory discretion that the Corps has,” Middlebrooks said. “But seeing that barge and that metal and comparing it to what Mr. Lozman has, well, there’s no comparison.”
Further, he said, living on the Intracoastal Waterway, he is no stranger to local waters.
“Going down the Intracoastal Waterway, I’ve seen more structures that pose more harm than Mr. Lozman’s stripped-down container home,” he said.