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Squatter at our dock slip on North Captiva

Old 10-17-2018, 12:11 PM
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Default Squatter at our dock slip on North Captiva

We own a dock with two slips on North Captiva Island (SW Florida, Lee County, near Fort Meyers). The dock is clearly posted with a sign stating "Private Dock - No Trespassing." About two weeks ago a semi-decrepit center console appeared in one of the slips. We have tracked down a name for the owner, but he is nowhere to be found (apparently he hails from Australia). Tracing the registration number did us no good. The current owner purchased the boat a couple months earlier and still has not changed the title. Nobody on the island seems to have contact information for this guy. Local law enforcement refuses to do anything about the problem. I left a note politely asking that the boat be removed, but nothing has happened.

Needless to say, I want the boat moved. The bilge pump works, but the battery won't last forever. Given the sheriff's refusal to enforce private property rights, does anybody have any idea what my options might be at this point? Thanks.
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Old 10-17-2018, 12:15 PM
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Before you posted this to the world, you should have untied the lines to your dock and let the wind and current do their thing
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Old 10-17-2018, 12:15 PM
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Drag it out of your slip in the middle of the night and drop the anchor.
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Old 10-17-2018, 12:27 PM
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If your dock is inside Salty Harbor I would plant that thing on the flat south of the restaurant and call TowBoat US let them salvage and they will deal with the owners.
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Old 10-17-2018, 12:37 PM
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I would've just untied it. Well before you put in all that effort.
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Old 10-17-2018, 12:38 PM
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Can't understand why the Local law enforcement won't do anything if it is posted correctly. I would call again and ask the police chief himself why. If it was a car parked in a private lot and it was posted correctly they would act on it.
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Old 10-17-2018, 01:51 PM
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its so shallow around that area-- as stated move it off your dock and out of the way/view and drop its anchor. It'll be in a safe, shallow area where the owner can retrieve it easily without damage.
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Old 10-17-2018, 02:01 PM
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Simple Untie the lines
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Old 10-17-2018, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by acme54321 View Post
Drag it out of your slip in the middle of the night and drop the anchor.
this
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Old 10-17-2018, 02:07 PM
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Tie it up to a dock used by local law enforcement. They will deal with it then.
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Old 10-17-2018, 02:16 PM
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chain + lock + piling
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Old 10-17-2018, 02:23 PM
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Apply for title on salvaged vessel and then auction it off
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Old 10-17-2018, 02:28 PM
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Review Advisory Legal Opinion - Municipalities, trespass on private dock and Statutes & Constitution :View Statutes : Online Sunshine. I think another call to LE may be in order.
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Old 10-17-2018, 02:34 PM
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When you do catch with the owner they will owe substantially and the sheriff should have to impound the vessel until you are paid or appear before a judge to get the courts ruling.

I would think if they ignore you and the trespassers does not pay the department would be ordered by the court to satisfy you because of their inaction.
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Old 10-17-2018, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by bsh102 View Post
If your dock is inside Salty Harbor I would plant that thing on the flat south of the restaurant and call TowBoat US let them salvage and they will deal with the owners.
The dock is on a canal just off Safety Harbor. If I called TowBoat and told them there was an abandoned boat at our dock, would they come by to pick it up?
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Old 10-17-2018, 02:40 PM
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Unfortunately, the dock is at the end of a narrow canal. Set adrift it would go nowhere except a neighbor's dock. I do like the suggestion of safely anchoring it in shallow water nearby...
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Old 10-17-2018, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by CaptB412 View Post
It certainly sounds like this Aussie is in violation of FS 810.09(1). Armed with this information we will make another call to the Sheriff's office. Many thanks.
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Old 10-17-2018, 02:46 PM
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Before calling the cops I would have untied the boat and let it float back to Australia on its own...

Now that the word is out... smear peanut butter on the ropes and let nature take its course
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Old 10-17-2018, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by TTB View Post
Tie it up to a dock used by local law enforcement. They will deal with it then.
North Captiva is a barrier island with a tiny population of mostly non-Florida residents. We are used to being ignored. The county's attitude seems to be: extract the maximum tax money in return for the minimum services rendered. LE probably doesn't want to spend money on fuel helping a Yankee snowbird.
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Old 10-17-2018, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Tuvix View Post
Before calling the cops I would have untied the boat and let it float back to Australia on its own...

Now that the word is out... smear peanut butter on the ropes and let nature take its course
Attachment 1087659
I like both ideas. I've never seen a squirrel on the island, but we have some mean-a** raccoons!

We've heard that Aussies were getting soft and drifting leftward, but you would think they still understood the concept of private property rights...
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