Score another victory for renowned entrepreneur Fane Lozeman. Lozeman was accused of criminal mischief after he kicked a neighbor’s fence. The case was dismissed after the judge found the prosecution had little or no basis for pursuing a cause of action. Prosecutorial targeting does happen, but usually prosecutors find a stronger basis for criminal conduct than kicking a fence.
Lozman was renowned for his battles with Riviera Beach. In one case, Lozman entered a dispute over his floating home with the marina landlord. Lozman wanted to place a wheelchair ramp at the marina so a disabled veteran could access his boat home. The landlord fought the attempt and evicted Lozman. Lozman fought back, digging into the landlord and exposing his connection to corrupt transactions with government officials. In retaliation, Lozman was arrested twice and ejected from council meetings. The state attorney declined to pursue Lozman in those cases. His efforts led to the arrest of the mayor and three council members.
In another case, Lozman was required by the city to move the floating home in case of an emergency. Lozman declined and a lawsuit was filed against him. Lozman (representing himself) moved to dismiss the lawsuit on the grounds that the floating home was not a vessel, but a home, and thus the admiralty court had no jurisdiction. The court found against Lozman and the case made it all the way to SCOTUS where they found in favor of Lozman.
Thanks to Lozman, federal structures are not subject to federal jurisdiction.
Six jurors were forced to listen to three hours' worth of testimony before the judge shut the entire case down and granted Lozman’s motion to dismiss. Lozman had not called a single witness. The entire thing boiled down to two neighbors squabbling over where their land ends. So, how does a guy with a personal gripe against specific individual rally prosecutors to try a misdemeanor case involving a maximum $1,000 fine and 1 year in jail (which never happens)? Bad blood between city officials and Lozman obviously played a part.
In this case, the prosecutor simply took up the claims of the aggrieved party. Lozman argued that since the fence was on his property, it didn’t matter if he kicked it or not. The prosecution presented a case involving only elements of whether or not Lozman kicked the fence, thus never addressing the property dispute. The prosecution would have needed to establish that the property was indeed someone else’s. This is America and you are allowed to kick your own property if you want.
Talk to a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney
If you’re charged with damaging your own property or any other crime in West Palm Beach, call The Skier Law Firm, P.A. today and we can help you resolve the matter in a favorable way. Our West Palm Beach criminal attorneys are eager to assist you today.