Congratulations to corruption fighter Fane Lozman from the Palm Beach Sun and its readers for this momentous achievement! The United States Supreme Court agrees to hear about 90 out of 10,000 cases that come before it each year. To fight your way through the federal district and appellate courts is an overwhelming experience for many Americans who are willing to stand by their ideals. To then have your case accepted by the U.S. Supreme Court is a once in a many lifetimes occurrence. Out of the 1.2 million lawyers in the United States, perhaps 150 will end up arguing before the Supreme Court each year! Fane is represented by the renown Supreme Court practitioner, Jeffrey L. Fisher, who heads up the Supreme Court program at Stanford Law School. Mr. Fisher shocked the legal establishment when he won two historic cases before the Supreme Court in 2003, at the unheard of age of 33. Mr. Fisher has gone on to argue many more cases, his most recent of which before the U.S. Supreme Court was just last month!
HOW FANE’S CASE GOT TO THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT
After failing to get relief at the Federal District Court and United States Court of Appeals for the 11th District, Fane filed a “Writ of Certiorari” with the U.S. Supreme Court. Fane’s path to the U.S. Supreme Court has been protracted and expensive, costing more than $100,000 in assorted fees and expenses. The odds were stacked heavily against the Court even hearing Fane’s case. On Tuesday, February 21, 2012, however, Fane bucked the odds when the highest court in the nation announced its desire to consider case No. 11-626, Fane Lozman v. City of Riviera Beach. Fane’s case is now in the briefing stage along with preparations for oral argument before the most famous court on the planet.
The February 21st announcement has created a firestorm of media activity. While Fane has been writing about his case in the Palm Beach Sun since 2009, it has been covered by multiple media sources including the Palm Beach Post and New Times locally, as well as many other media outlets nationally. Today when you Google the name Fane Lozman Supreme Court, it generates an astounding 21,600 results!
HOW DID THE CASE START?
Here are some quotes from previous articles about this case:
Broward & Palm Beach New Times
Feds Seize Man’s Home, Tow It Away
By Bob Norman
Tuesday, Apr. 21 2009 @ 8:38AM
Marshals Seize Man’s Home
Federal marshals stole city activist Fane Lozman’s home yesterday. In a true jack-booted thug moment, four armed marshals in black raided Lozman’s houseboat at the Riviera Beach Municipal Marina and towed it down to Miami , leaving Lozman homeless and without all his possessions. They also seized the former U.S. Marine pilot’s three
guns, which he owns legally.
Lozman’s only crime: fighting city hall.
“I don’t even have any clothes to wear, man,” said Lozman, who has been paying rent to live at the city marina for three years. “All my clothes are on my homesteaded floating home. I’m just glad my dog wasn’t on there.”
The marshals seized the floating home just hours after the City of Riviera Beach filed a federal complaint against Lozman claiming his boat didn’t legally belong at the marina. Before Lozman had any chance to answer the complaint – in fact, before he was even served with the papers – U.S. District Judge William Dimitrouleas signed an order to seize it. The same afternoon, the federal agents raided the home and took it away.
Retribution by City Officials for stopping use of Eminent Domain seizures.
Lozman filed suit against the city and found a powerful ally in his fight, then-Gov. Jeb Bush. In the end, Lozman almost single-handedly killed the $2.4 billion plan (which likely would have been a disaster considering today’s economy). And that apparently earned him the undying enmity of city officials. In what can only be described as pure political retribution, city police began harassing Lozman and the city sued him for eviction. The city trumped up some ludicrous reasons to try to kick Lozman out of the marina (including the absurd allegation that his little dachsund, Lady, was a menace to society). It would have been funny if it wasn’t such a raw abuse of public power.
Lozman represented himself in court on that case and, for the first time in my career, I voluntarily took the witness stand. I saw the harassment first-hand and, in fact, came under brief threat of arrest myself simply for standing near the dock. It was pure vengeance on the part of the city.
Palm Beach Sun
The $270,515.91 (And Counting) Cover-Up by the Riviera Beach City Council
By Fane Lozman
May 4, 2010
(Publishers note – by May of 2010 the City of Riviera Beach’s City Attorney Pam Ryan had spent $270,515.91 of taxpayer money on this case. It took months of informational request and arguments with numerous Riviera Beach city officials by Palm Beach Sun staff to obtain this information, which was published in the Palm Beach Sun)
$270,515.91. Twenty thousand dollars more than a quarter million dollars. What did this taxpayer money buy? It didn’t
buy 10 new police cars. It didn’t pay the salaries for five firemen for a year. It didn’t give fifty-four $5000 scholarships to deserving Riviera Beach students. Instead, it was spent on legal fees and storage costs to remove Fane Lozman’s floating home from the City of Riviera Beach municipal marina. A closer look at the numbers shows that only $86,083.88 was even spent in Palm Beach County. An astounding $137,298.59 was spent with a Tampa admiralty law firm. To make sure that Lozman’s floating home was as far away from Riviera Beach as feasibly possible, the City towed it 80 miles to Miami, at an unfathomable cost of $47,133.44 for towing and storage. This money clock is still
ticking, as storage charges of $2845 a month continue to be incurred after the City went to a U. S. Marshal auction in February to buy the floating home that it said had no value.
Palm Beach Sun
PB Commish “CryBaby” Koons Now a Convicted Felon
By Fane Lozman
August 5, 2010
(Publishers note: In what now looks like the words of a Prophet, Fane Lozman predicted the outcome of this case
two years ago. In an article titled “PB Commish “CryBaby” Koons Now a Convicted Felon” he briefly lamented the failure of the City Attorney Pam Ryan & the City Council to safeguard and wisely spend taxpayers money)
The City is now funding the defense of my appeal before the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, a case that could wind up at the Supreme Court one day, along with defending a minimal counterclaim to the State eviction action.