Tuesday, October 05, 2021

If I told you that a pro se defendant beat back a temporary injunction request against 4 DOJ lawyers....

 ...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.

In other SDFLA news, Judge Kathy Williams presided over a civil trial last week.  The plaintiff, represented by Mark Schweikert, won $6 million against the Miami-Dade School Board.  From the Herald:

A federal jury has ordered the Miami-Dade School Board to pay $6 million to a former student of an ex-Palmetto High teacher accused of harassing and sexually abusing a string of female students. In a verdict late Friday, jurors concluded the school district, despite multiple warnings, did nothing to stop Jason Edward Meyers, a creative writing teacher. 

The verdict found Meyers “posed a substantial risk of sexual abuse or harassment to female students,” yet the district was “deliberately indifferent” in how it handled the accusations. The federal lawsuit was filed on behalf of an unidentified student in 2019. It was the second lawsuit filed in the Meyers saga — an earlier lawsuit from another former student settled for $1.1 million.

Jurors deliberated less than two hours in ruling in favor of the young woman, who was about 16 and 17 when she was groomed into having sex with Meyers on campus. Now 23, the woman testified during last week’s trial, as did several other victims. “She was one who was brave and courageous to be scrutinized in that way,” said her attorney, Mark Schweikert. “To win it in the eyes of the jurors — members of this community — is incredibly cathartic for her and for myself as her advocate.”
Meyers, 46, is still awaiting trial in Miami-Dade criminal court in a case involving the same victim from last week’s trial — she will have to testify again. To the frustration of his victims, the criminal trial has been pending for more than five years, because Meyers changed attorneys — and then because of the pandemic. He’s awaiting trial on three felony counts of engaging in sex with a minor. 

Meyers was not named in the federal lawsuit. “No one was interested in hearing his side of the story in that civil case,” said his criminal defense attorney, Bradley Horenstein. “Jason Meyers is innocent. Looking forward to our day in court.” 

The Miami-Dade school district, in a statement on Monday, did not say whether it will appeal.


Anonymous said...

How many DOJ lawyers does it take .....

Anonymous said...

No post about pryor's new clerk

Anonymous said...

The news about Pryor hiring that particular clerk is pretty appalling.

Anonymous said...

Who's the new clerk and why does it matter? Don't be vague people.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the Pryor clerk:

Anonymous said...

Florida, man says thank goodness for Alabama. Roll tide.