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Old 05-28-2004, 09:42 AM   #1
mcdude
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Default Watch Out for the Marine Patrol

Be on the lookout for the Marine Patrol OR wear your PFD or this could happen to you!
click here for story
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Old 05-28-2004, 10:22 AM   #2
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Default Interesting

If your not wearing your pdf, how does it save your life???

The next time someone drowns, will the marine patrol also be guilty of not enforcing the rules?

In my opinion, the judge has delivered an ill informed decission. Let's see: marine patrol can't ask if you have a pdf // if you don't have one your not guilty if they asked you first before giving you a ticket.

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Old 05-28-2004, 10:26 AM   #3
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You mean I would WIN the case in court like this man did? The MP parctice was found to be unconstitutional. The man won.

ToW
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Old 05-28-2004, 01:10 PM   #4
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Default Articulable suspicion.....

Just to clarify the misleading headlines and confusion generated by the different stories in different papers.....

The facts alleged in the case were not in dispute.

The case hinged on whether the idividual in the kayak was actually "in custody" of the MP officer when the violation was noted and whether that officer indeed had "articulable suspicion" to make the stop.

As has been pointed out, MP's have their own regulation stating that basically states vessels will not be stopped without articulable suspicion.

The State's argument was that the policy had not been violated, that the individual in the kayak was not being detained by the MP but had simply been asked a quetion.

The individual argued that he felt being asked that question inferred he was not free to go, therefore the MP would have needed articulable suspicion to make the stop. Since he felt that articulable suspicion for a stop had not occured, the subsequent summons was then invalid.

Two of the three judges hearing the case for the New Hampshire Supreme Court agreed with the defendant.

Simply put, the New Hampshire Supreme Court has stated what is common knowledge amongst the law enforcement community in New Hampshire, it requires articulable suspicion to stop and detain. It does not require "probable cause" (as stated in one statewide paper) as probable cause is the standard necessary to make an arrest.

The question before the court was simply that....did this case of asking a question from a distance rise to the level of a temporary custodial situation? In my opinion, this officer conducted himself appropriately and did nothing that any other officer in his position would (or does) do. The question for the Court was to dissect over a period of days the action that an officer made in the field in the matter of seconds. No complaint, as that is the nature of being in law enforcement, knowing that every decision you make on the street in the matter of seconds could be second guessed years (and many days of discussion) later by people who need to make decisions based on second hand information.

The MP's have excellent guidelines that cover the conduct of their officers. This case will allow them (and many other agencies) to re-examine their policies to make sure they comply with this latest ruling from the NH Supreme Court.

This case proves that the "system" does indeed work. A single individual with no legal background was able to argue his case before the NH Supreme Court and come away with a victory.

Unlike a handful of individuals who constantly post here anonymously with everything they claim is wrong with the legal system, the individual in question put his money where his mouth was and intelligently questioned the system.

The New Hampshire Marine Patrol (and all New Hampshire law enforcement agencies)will come away a better because of this ruling. The New Hampshire Supreme Court comes away with greater respect by allowing an average citizen to challenge and prevail within it's boudaries. And every citizen wins when they realize that by taking action (instead of simply griping....or typing), they too can effect positive change within our government.

Contrary to minority opininon, New Hampshire once more continues to uphold it's motto of the "Live Free or Die" State!
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Old 05-28-2004, 01:19 PM   #5
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In general I think that the Marine Patrol has too large of a presence on our lake. They are everywhere and to a law abiding boater like myself I find it annoying. MP being everywhere changes the atmosphere of the lake to a more uptight one. And do we really need unmarked MP boats and their very large MP 'ships'?
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Old 05-28-2004, 02:20 PM   #6
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Default

Art,

If you're law abiding, you have nothing to worry about, when I was younger I used to get nervous when a patrol car pulled behind me, then I realized if I'm doing nothing wrong they won't bother me. Now I don't even notice them. Same thing with MP, if I see them I wave, some wave back, some don't, so what? Don't worry about them, ignore them if you want and enjoy your time on the water,don't be uptight, life is too short.

Regardless of whether the guy won his case or not he's not too bright Kayaking w/o a life preserver. Too many people do this and die.


Skip, nice dissertation, well explained, good job.
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Old 05-30-2004, 08:47 PM   #7
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The last time I was out on the lake (2 weeks ago) I saw the Marine patrol, I waved, they waved, and my family and I had a great day on the lake.

Today when I was out on the lake, I didn't see the marine patrol, and my family and I had a great day on the lake.

I'm certainly not perfect, but I try to obey the law. I've never had any issue with the marine patrol or the way they conduct themselves. I assume they're professional and they've always acted that way when I've seen them.

Its fine if someone disagrees with a law, but if you disobey a law and get called on it, you really don't have much to complain about.

Ken

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Old 05-30-2004, 09:29 PM   #8
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tired of Waiting
You mean I would WIN the case in court like this man did? The MP parctice was found to be unconstitutional. The man won. ToW
One could say the NH Supreme Court Justices (paid for by tax dollars) stumbled into the truth. In the process they reversed a different bunch of Justices, who are also paid for by tax dollars.

Law -- especially being a judge -- can be entertaining and profitable!

In very few cases, State Supreme Court decisions come at no cost to the citizen-plaintiff; in fact, State Supreme Court cases are prohibitively expensive for most citizen-plaintiffs. Small Claims Court is the Court for the "little guy" (no attorney needed). For a character-molding experience, try a Small Claims Court exercise without an attorney.

OK...a judgeship isn't always entertaining -- a NH Supreme Court Justice was impeached recently. This contributed to the minimalist, 2-to-1 court decision.

It's a good thing that capital punishment isn't meted out with such a ratio of dissent.


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Old 06-02-2004, 09:09 PM   #9
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Default MP presence

Quote:
Originally Posted by ART
In general I think that the Marine Patrol has too large of a presence on our lake.
Art, I would respectully disagree with that based on a totaly unscientific 2 hour observation by me last spring. From the boardwalk at the Weirs I noticed a flashing light a few hundred yards off the piers, it seemed to be a MP boat alongside another boat. ALL the boats headed for the channel came down off plane and slowed before the buoys at the Paugus channel. Every boat traveled at "no wake" speed, had good seperation, and proceeded in an orderly manner through the channel. An hour later the MP boat was gone and the view changed radically. All the boats seemed to be playing a game of chicken and racing to see who could get to the channel first. Some didn't come off plane untill they were next to the beach. Just my opinion, that short "presence" caused a few boaters to be law abiding, even if only for an hour. Maybe there needs to be more presence.
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Old 06-03-2004, 04:46 AM   #10
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Exclamation MP presence

Did you ever notice, that when they should or need to be around they are not. And when nothing is going on they are always there!
I think there presence on the lake is there for your protection.
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Old 06-03-2004, 02:41 PM   #11
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Thumbs up More MP!!

I agree with ITD >>If you're law abiding, you have nothing to worry about<<

How can anyone have an issue with their presence? They are the good guys who are trying to protect us from the occasional lunatic. We need more MP on the lake.
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Old 06-03-2004, 06:57 PM   #12
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Default Why do they seem to spend a majority of their time...

... up in the norther end of the lake? I am not around Weirs or Paugus Bay too much but I noticed an MP going back and forth from Chase Point down to the Barber's Pole and back again and again this past weekend. Most of the people in the area are just going to and from their island properties up around there except for the occasional BIG boat but they seem to be abiding by the laws as there is enough space to do so. I do not care that they do this but people get confused and scared and begin driving worse than if the MP was not around. I've noticed it. They slow way down and the guy behind them is not sure what is going on and slows down and then you get into trouble.

I noticed last year that an MP boat stayed "rafting" near the marker in the barbers pole. They made it so that there was not enough room to go through there because they in the middle of the channel and did not allow for the 150' law. It was a huge mess. People were being pulled over and boats were all over the place. I really have no gripes with the MPs but this seemed more dangerous and also seemed to be like entrapment. Did anyone else notice any of these things? Thanks.
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Old 06-04-2004, 08:20 AM   #13
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Default

Talk about too much time on his hands! While he won the argument ultimately that he couldn't be "pulled over" by the MP without good reason, he seems to have missed the point that he is required to have a life jacket with him and didn't.
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Old 06-04-2004, 10:16 AM   #14
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Default Missed the point?

I must respectfully disagree with your position.

I don't think he missed the point at all, as I feel the point never was about the life jacket.

The only issue before the court was the legality of the stop (if it was a stop at all).

I do not agree with the decision the majority of the court came to ( I tend to side with the minority, Justice Broderick, who felt it was not the intention of the MP to conduct a stop). But I do agree that not having a life preserver in this case was just plain stupid.

The individual in question felt he was not treated fairly. He didn't post an anonymous gripe to the Winni web site complaining about the MP's. He didn't write a letter to the editor. He didn't sit home and stew about his situation.

Nope, the gentleman in question simply excercised his constitutional rights to a fair trial and appeal process. And in the end a sole citizen was able, by himself, to prevail against the Government position.

That's the magnificent beauty of our system.

And if that is a waste of time, then one can only wish more citizens had that kind of time to waste!
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Old 06-04-2004, 01:53 PM   #15
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Exclamation Not a stop

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip
I must respectfully disagree with your position.

I don't think he missed the point at all, as I feel the point never was about the life jacket.

The only issue before the court was the legality of the stop (if it was a stop at all).

I do not agree with the decision the majority of the court came to ( I tend to side with the minority, Justice Broderick, who felt it was not the intention of the MP to conduct a stop). But I do agree that not having a life preserver in this case was just plain stupid.

The individual in question felt he was not treated fairly. He didn't post an anonymous gripe to the Winni web site complaining about the MP's. He didn't write a letter to the editor. He didn't sit home and stew about his situation.

Nope, the gentleman in question simply excercised his constitutional rights to a fair trial and appeal process. And in the end a sole citizen was able, by himself, to prevail against the Government position.

That's the magnificent beauty of our system.

And if that is a waste of time, then one can only wish more citizens had that kind of time to waste!

I agree with both your posts re: how well the "system" worked in this case. It's refreshing to hear that a non attorney can still argue a minor point before a court these days, rather than just be told to pay (sorry sir, the court's too busy to deal with your injustice) the fine w/o any recourse.

I disagree in that I (also not an attorney) would consider the MP's action to be a "stop". Consider that the officer went to the group (if you believe the news article) to conduct PFD "checks". He initiated contact with the defendant and basically asked if he had a PFD. If you don't consider this a "stop", hold the defendant responsible to respond (or at least stay put), you're saying he could just ignore the MP and/or just paddle away. Would you consider this behavior acceptable ? Moreover were I in the defendant's position I would wonder if doing the above would make me likely to face a charge of failing to obey a lawful order or evasion of some sort. If the MP, or some other LEO, intiates some contact with me, I guess I've always thought I was legally obligated to stay put. I might not have to open my mouth but I do have to stay put. If I were to agree with the minority ruling, I could "run". How would I know when I could "run" and when I can't ... blue lights on perhaps ? No I think it's reasonable to consider it a "stop", requiring you & I to stop. I agree with the majority ruling.
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Old 06-05-2004, 08:38 AM   #16
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Red face Live Free or Die?

Guess we should change the NH motto to "Live free or die drowning" in the Lakes Region.

It is great that the gentleman took the case to the highest court in NH and won. But not haveing a PFD on hand is just plain STUPID.

Just my opinion.....

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Old 06-06-2004, 11:55 AM   #17
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There is no doubt that the waterways are safer with the presence of the Marine Patrol. What I remain opposed to is getting waved over for safety checks at the whim of an officer. Out on the roadways of NH the police do not just randomly pull you over. My boats are always operated safely and in respect of the law. My children and I have obtained certification in Boating Safety. And, we always outfit our boats properly in regards to safety gear. So....I do not like being pulled over. I think it is an intrusion.

'Janie' sited congestion due to the MP around the Barber's Pole. This is also the case many summer weekend days in front of the Wolfeboro town docks to name just one other area.

Lastly, the very large boat that the MP has practically swamped me in my kid's Whaler when they went by me and threw up an enormous wake. I was fishing at trolling speed and the waves literally came over the bow of my boat!!! Do we really need this?
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Old 06-06-2004, 02:45 PM   #18
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Default No, Skip, I didn't miss the point

I guess if I got a ticket for not having a life jacket in my boat (which I am required to by law), rather than argue that the "stop" was illegal, I think I would have paid the modest fine and learned a lesson. Maybe to some it's a beautiful exercise of a citizen's right to appeal. Not me. Seems to me to support and even breed a view that rules are to be broken and, if caught, use any loophole available to avoid being held accountable.
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Old 06-06-2004, 03:07 PM   #19
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Default Loophole?

Wow,

I have never heard anyone refer to their Fourth Amendent rights granted under the United States Constitution as a "loophole".

Oh well......
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Old 06-07-2004, 05:27 AM   #20
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Question Watch Out ! Why?

Although my first inclination to "Watch out for the Marine Patrol" is to ask "Why?"

But Saturday, I watched the MPs "pull over" -- and detain for ˝ hour -- a wood Cris-Craft cruiser.

While this stop is a local "size" record for any stop (at about 26 feet) the cruiser was minding his own business at traditional Winnipesaukee cruiser speed -- about 8 knots.

He wasn't flying a martini-glass burgee, wasn't overturning small boats, making loud noise, annoying others, violating the 150' rule, or racing other boats -- which was going on all around the MP at the time.

Maybe it was a registration violation, but I'd still have to ask "Why?" -- with mayhem all about.

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Old 06-07-2004, 05:35 AM   #21
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Oh, please! Maybe to an attonery this is the stuff that gets your juices flowing; to me it was a pretty silly case. Maybe to NH bar could hold a parade for your new found defender of the fourth amendment!
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Old 06-07-2004, 06:23 AM   #22
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Default Why ask why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by madrasahs
Maybe it was a registration violation, but I'd still have to ask "Why?" -- with mayhem all about.
Good question.

Since you have implied in one of your many previous posts that you have spoke to Safety Services Director Dave Barrett on a number of occassions, why don't you simply disconnect from the Winni site (I know, it will hurt, but I promise it will only take a few minutes ) and just give him a call at (603) 293-2037? I am sure he would love to take your call and explain to you all about the stop in question....

Just don't tell him your nickname is Madrasahs...

Let us know how you make out!
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Old 06-07-2004, 11:53 AM   #23
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mee-n-Mac
If the MP, or some other LEO, intiates some contact with me, I guess I've always thought I was legally obligated to stay put. I might not have to open my mouth but I do have to stay put. If I were to agree with the minority ruling, I could "run". How would I know when I could "run" and when I can't ... blue lights on perhaps ? No I think it's reasonable to consider it a "stop", requiring you & I to stop. I agree with the majority ruling.
This is where most people go wrong and LEO's take advantage of that fact. They do not have to read you your rights under general contact. They can ask any question they want. If you answer, oh well. They don't have to tell you, "you have the right to walk away, the right not to talk to me, etc, etc.".

Most folks don't know this, and the LEO's use your lack of knowledge to their advantage.

In this case it didn't work out for them.

ToW
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Old 06-07-2004, 12:34 PM   #24
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Default to ToW....or not to ToW

Shhhhhhhh,

You're letting out all the best secrets!
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Old 06-07-2004, 09:29 PM   #25
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tired of Waiting
This is where most people go wrong and LEO's [Law Enforcement Officer] take advantage of that fact. They do not have to read you your rights under general contact...Most folks don't know this, and the LEO's use your lack of knowledge to their advantage.

In this case it didn't work out for them.

ToW
A Florida attorney used this secret to sell a $125 "Drunk Driving Kit" about ten years ago. The instructions say to "do not open your window more than an inch...just slip this card to the officer through the narrow opening".

I found an analogous "Kit" at an Arizona lawyer's website: http://www.arizona-dui-defense.com/A...ers-Rights.htm

This site gets more Byzantine as one browses it -- such is our legal ethic today.
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Old 06-08-2004, 05:02 AM   #26
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Default Who you gonna call....

Quote:
Originally Posted by madrasahs
A Florida attorney used this secret...
Sorry folks.

This isn't Florida (Arizona either).

I would suggest getting legal advice from your own attorney vice an anonymous poster.

However, if you tell the arresting officer that "Madrasahs said so....", maybe you'll get a break!

By the way, how did that call to Director Barrett go?

Also, still anxiously awaiting for the citation of the New Hampshire law that gave ten feet of shore front property to the public. Perhaps you could get the skinny on both issues for us?

Thanks!
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Old 06-08-2004, 11:51 AM   #27
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Question Should the MP obey the "rules" ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mink Islander
I guess if I got a ticket for not having a life jacket in my boat (which I am required to by law), rather than argue that the "stop" was illegal, I think I would have paid the modest fine and learned a lesson. Maybe to some it's a beautiful exercise of a citizen's right to appeal. Not me. Seems to me to support and even breed a view that rules are to be broken and, if caught, use any loophole available to avoid being held accountable.
I agree this is a pretty minor case but there are important priniciples involved, and not just the right to a trial. Would you have the MP ignore it's own rule about "articulable suspicion" ? If the courts don't hold the various policing agencies accountable it won't be very long before we're being stopped for no reason whatsoever (see Supreme Court ruling vs Cinncinatti PD). Would this be acceptable to you ? Now I might be amenble to both parties commiting a "crime" to being fined and/or punished as a way of holding everyone accountable whilst not ignoring the evidence ....
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Old 06-08-2004, 12:15 PM   #28
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Question "Official" Stop / Detain & your rights ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tired of Waiting
This is where most people go wrong and LEO's take advantage of that fact. They do not have to read you your rights under general contact. They can ask any question they want. If you answer, oh well. They don't have to tell you, "you have the right to walk away, the right not to talk to me, etc, etc.".

Most folks don't know this, and the LEO's use your lack of knowledge to their advantage.

In this case it didn't work out for them.

ToW

I agree with what you said but am still left pondering how I, John Q Public, is supposed to know when I'm being "stopped" and when I just engaging in friendly banter. Two examples at the extremes would be a MP running down my wake with it's blue lights and siren on, and the 2'nd being the MP at the gas dock asking me about the weather (or donuts ). In the first case it's seems obvious to me that I am required to stop (and can face additional penalties if I don't) and in the 2'nd, obvious that I'm free to leave. But when, as in this case, the MP asks about something that's in his perview to enforce, how am I to know it's the 2'nd type and not the 1'st ? Where is the dividing line ? I don't expect to be read my rights until/unless I'm under arrest and the LEOs are allowed to detain w/o arrest.

p.s. - An aside, if the PD pulls you over and asks "Son, do you know how fast you were going ?", obviously you should just shut up and say nothing (been there, done that). That said, I always have thought there should be an additional fine for the person who says "No officer, I have no idea how fast I was going !". Either they're lying or they're clueless about how they're driving. Personally I think the latter is worse than both the former (and perhaps the offence).
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Old 06-08-2004, 01:49 PM   #29
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mee-n-Mac
I agree with what you said but am still left pondering how I, John Q Public, is supposed to know when I'm being "stopped" and when I just engaging in friendly banter...
Very good question!

To be detained obviously means you are not free to leave.

If you believe you are not free to leave (and can articulate that belief), then you are being detained. That was the basis of the aforementioned case, whether the defendant could reasonably believe that he was being detained and if so, for what reason. It is what you believe based on the actions of the officer you are in contact with.

And you can be detained without being arrested. A car or boat stop is an example of that.

The obvious cases have been list previously, as being told to stop, blue lights, siren etc.

But simple contact with a law enforcement officer does not equal being detained. Say you are going through the toll booth at night and an officer stationed there tells you to turn on your lights. He had contact with you, but you were not being detained.

Every law enforcement official walks a fine line each and every time they interract with the public. That is why cases like the one we've discussed still continue to appear in courts across the nation.

This is a tough subject for me, as I can see both sides of each argument. It is unfortunate, though, that a handful here continually find fault with the MP's in particular and the law enforcement community in general. Sure, mistakes are made....cops are human too. But by & large we have an extremely professional law enforcement community in the State of New Hampshire that deeply respects the State's motto of Live Free or Die. They work hard with the meager funding that a small State like ours can afford to spend. For many of the posters on this site, they are friends, neighbors, co-workers or relatives.

Take a moment to say hello to one of them next chance you get. I bet they won't complain about the short time you detain them to says "thanks".
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Old 06-08-2004, 06:58 PM   #30
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Default A little Mps goes along way with me.

Here’s where the rubber meets the road, sort of speak… Years ago when I was a naive young captain I was illegally park (anchored) where I should not have been, I didn’t know about the house boat law… Who would have though they would have such a law? How well I know the law today, I can recite it word of word even in the middle of the night…. So here is the drill: every one on deck and don the life vests, god help those the grew to big for them in the last growth spurt… Well one of my daughters had just such a problem (good to find out then and not when we really needed them the most)… But, 2AM was not a good time either, but nonetheless I got a DE tag and escorted to the nearest dock and told not to be caught without them or it would be a big fine, not the $32 one I just got. So, the next morning I hot footed it, 3 miles corss lots to the nearest store and got the right size one. I then proceeded to hunt down the next MP I saw and get the DE tag checked off. And the next day sent in my payment for the fine and the guilty plea to the Laconia district court… After all, I was clearly in the wrong and it was a lesson well learned… So I thought….

Three years later I didn’t get the renewal form in the mail for my driver license, so I call Concord to see what was up. That’s when they said there was a bench warrant out on me for failure to pay an out standing traffic complaint…. Well, after a little investigation I found it was for the life preservers issue some three years earlier…. Yes, they did cash my check; they didn’t know what it was for since the paper work was not turned in by the MPs and when it was finally turned in a year later they long since closed the books on the receipt of my check. It took weeks to get it sorted out and a trip to the courthouse to boot to prove my case. So, what do I think of the MPs now? Well, not much, they are a force to be reckoned with… Today, I’d take names and document everything. If they press an issue, I make sure they follow through. Although, I haven’t had to, since that incident, I now go out of my way to avoid and contact with them because you can’t win, no mater how right you think you are for what ever reason. It’s to bad to live in such a police state, but I can see their point… They have to show such a strong present or every one would walk all other them.
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Old 06-08-2004, 09:05 PM   #31
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip
Since you have implied...that you have spoke to Safety Services Director Dave Barrett on a number of occassions
Let us know how you make out!
I have never spoken to Director Barrett, nor stated as much, nor implied it.

I have only a letter from Director Barrett documenting that my boat conforms to a certain RSA -- and that I was correct -- and that MP Officer Westergren was incorrect. (And I've laminated the letter to keep in my boat for future reference).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip
Also, still anxiously awaiting for the citation of the New Hampshire law that gave ten feet of shore front property to the public.
I remain unaware of such a law.

It is merely that, upon leaving my front door, I must cross about ten feet of New Hampshire state waterfront soil (soil that does not belong to me) before I can use my dock and boats. I also stated that the MPs could technically make an arrest "while on land".

Maybe somebody else can express -- better than I have expressed -- these two concepts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip
This isn't Florida (Arizona either). I would suggest getting legal advice from your own attorney vice an anonymous poster.
I agree.

On drunk driving, however, there are very few attorneys who advertise in New Hampshire; however, Twomey & Sisti is on page 145 of the Verison Yellow Pages.

I guess they'd help you out as skillfully as Florida and Arizona lawyers can.

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Old 06-09-2004, 05:06 AM   #32
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Default a trip down memory lane.....

In reference to the claimed 10 foot rule;

Quote:
Originally Posted by madrasahs
...I remain unaware of such a law.

It is merely that, upon leaving my front door, I must cross about ten feet of New Hampshire state waterfront soil (soil that does not belong to me) before I can use my dock and boats. I also stated that the MPs could technically make an arrest "while on land"...
Interesting twist on your own words, because in an April 25th post of this year you state (and I quote);


The State of New Hampshire has designated about 10± feet of Winnipesaukee shoreline for use by "citizens" -- so citizens and their pets are presumably allowed to use a narrow portion of lakefront property.

Quite frankly, after easily discovering your first faux pas, I decided it isn't fair (or sporting) to wade threw the plethora of your other posts pointing out similar examples of mis-speak, the audience may feel I am picking on you.

However, we still await confirmation details of the alleged boat stop. Perhaps you could get your friend (I know, you've never alleged him a friend in all your posts) Director Barrett to send you a laminated copy of the details. Scan it in and we'll all be better informed.

I did hear a rumor that maybe they were taking an extra few minutes to check the engine for defaced or missing serial numbers, considering the area it was spotted in!

I have already gave you the Director's phone number. Just let me know if you need any extra laminating paper, glad to help out there also.

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Old 06-09-2004, 07:13 AM   #33
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Default

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Originally Posted by ART
In general I think that the Marine Patrol has too large of a presence on our lake.
The article referred to an incident on Squam. Are you on Squam or Winni. We live on the North side and rarely ever see Marine Patrol. I would love to see a large presence on our part of the lake. Once the summer is in full swing, we see an incredible amount of dangerous boating. We always wish that the Marine Patrol would be around to enlighten those boaters on safe boating practices.

Last year, we were heading to shore. We were probably 200 to 300 feet from shore. A ski boat with a water skier in tow came up on our right side and actually crossed our bow. We immediately stopped so as to avoid a collision with the water skier that was crossing our bow. He just missed us by only a few feet. The water skier yelled "sorry" to us as he passed.

When we got to shore, quite a few people had seen it. They all asked us if it was as close as it looked.

I wish there was a presence at that time. The boat sped away too quickly to get bow numbers, but that's the type of thing we see on our end of the lake on a daily basis.
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Old 06-09-2004, 11:31 AM   #34
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Default Your VERY close...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mee-n-Mac
I agree with what you said but am still left pondering how I, John Q Public, is supposed to know when I'm being "stopped" and when I just engaging in friendly banter. .
Mee-n-Mac,

OK, let me try and help here.

You already know you are detained when blue lights are used to stop you.. Good. And at those times you are not free to leave. Good again.

I agree it's the other times nearly ALL folks have trouble with. Simple rules of thumb.

1. Blue light used = detained.
2. Officer says you are being detained = detained.
3. Officer lays hand/s on you = detained and by constitution, seized.

In ALL other cases you should not consider yourself detained. If you turn to leave and they say "wait a minute" or something of that nature, the first words out of your mouth should be " I'm sorry but I don't have time to talk right now" turn and keep going. The officer’s next words or actions will tell you what your status is.

I agree it takes gumption to do this. We all have been trained from childhood to respect (I hope), trust, and look at Police as authority figures. In essence we have also been trained to fear them for what we THINK they can do and the power we THINK they have.

Now comes the problem. If you implement your constitutional rights and turn to leave, will the police officer know you have the right to leave? Comes up to his/her training.

Also be aware that many officers are trained in Verbal Judo. It’s best just to say “I don't have time right now" and keep going. Do not answer the next question or statement from the officer. If you give a verbal judo trained officer an answer they will turn it around on you so you have to answer yet another question and before you know it you have willingly detained yourself. If during this exchange the officers tells you can't go then you know your status.

I hope this helps.

ToW
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Old 06-09-2004, 01:01 PM   #35
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Default being the redundant pundit......

Let me take one last stab at this thing.....

There is not set list of specific circumstances to answer an all encompassing question as to "am I being detained, or am I under arrest, or am I free to go".

There is one simple standard that a court will use;

Given the circumstances articulated, would a reasonable person feel they were not free to go (or under arrest).

And remember, while their must be an articulable suspicion present for an officer to detain..it requires probable cause be present for an officer to make an arrest.

It is really as simple as that...no more, no less.

Remember, it is possible for a person who is not being detained (or arrested) to believe, do to the actions of the officer(s) involved, that they are being detained (or arrested) even if that is not the intent of the officer.

And now we have come full circle again and are back to the case at hand that originally started this thread.

The individual in the kayak alleged, by the action expressed by the MP officer present, that he was being detained by the MP . The MP officer's alleged intent was not to detain anyone, but make a non-custodial safety inquiry.

The NH Supreme Court heard both arguments. Three of the four justices then determined that the defendant had successfully articulated that he felt he was indeed being detained. They further determined that there was not enough articulable suspicion present to determine the "stop" warranted. Therefore evidence of the life jacket violation was inadmissable as the stop was not based on reasonable grounds.

Having had first hand experience with this particular subject uncountable times over a number of years, I welcome any off-line inquiries about this interesting issue. That said, I have exhausted my kindly alloted bandwidth granted by Don on this particular subject!

Skip
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Old 06-09-2004, 04:15 PM   #36
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Exclamation More to this story - The MP swamped the kayak

It is interesting to read the discussion about the MP and what is considered an official stop. I applaud McKeown (the kayaker) for standing up for his (our) rights. Sorry to disagree with Skip. I think it is a good check and balance. I think he made a poor choice by not having a PFD in the kayak but he does have a right to be wrong. MP officer Cook should also be praised for not spinning the story of the events and for his help in draining and righting a tipped kayak. OK, Here is my issue with this event:

from the Concord Monitor Online
Quote:
... However, McKeown's kayak tipped over, at least in part from the wake caused by Cook's approaching boat. ...
That part of the story jumped right out at me. The wake from MP officer Cook's boat was part or the reason the kayak tipped over. MP swamped the kayak in the name of a safety check. Is the Marine Patrol exempt from responsibility for the wake they make (specially in a non-emergency situation)?

I would love to see more Marine Patrol activity around the lake. Like others here, I too see more well behaved boaters when the MP are in sight. When they are out of view it is a different situation with many boaters. Like automobile violations. You don't do them when you see the police cars are around, do you? If you have ever been a (land) driving violator, when did/do you usually break the law (speeding, illegal turns, parking, crossing the solid lines, illegal passing and such)? When the cops or MP are NOT in sight. Cars/boats same type of driving habits but not the same situations and consequences. Unfortunately, while one patrol boat is busy with a boat stop, other boaters get away with violations.

Back to this story. The actions of the MP officer is questionable IMO because his method of operation helped cause the kayak to tip over. What would we be talking about if that action lead to the kayaker drowning? Yeh he should have had a life jacket from a legal and practical standpoint. But the MP officer should have been more careful of his wake. I think that is also an important component of this particular story.

As Skip indicated, it is a fine line officers have to walk and none of us are perfect. Not citizens, not law enforcement persons. We must also stand up for each and every right we have as citizens so as to not gradually let our freedoms erode.

Lets us ALL boat safely all the time


Skipper

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Last edited by Skipper; 06-09-2004 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 06-09-2004, 04:23 PM   #37
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Default Your very close

Tired of waiting
This whole tread has me crying. It isn't often mad*%# whatever his name is getting shut down so convincingly he has no reply.
As for the MP. I respect some of them. But it gets very hard to have respect for the summer rentals as I refer to some of them. Twice, when coming from West Alton Marine past Glendale an MP boat drove right across my bow forcing me to shut down. It's hard to have respect for someone who doesn't demonstrate compliance to the rules.
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Old 06-09-2004, 09:01 PM   #38
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip
In reference to the claimed 10 foot rule;



Interesting twist on your own words, because in an April 25th post of this year you state (and I quote);


The State of New Hampshire has designated about 10± feet of Winnipesaukee shoreline for use by "citizens" -- so citizens and their pets are presumably allowed to use a narrow portion of waterfront/lakefront property.

Quite frankly, after easily discovering your first faux pas, I decided it isn't fair (or sporting) to wade threw [sic] the plethora of your other posts pointing out similar examples of mis-speak, the audience may feel I am picking on you.



Skip
So many invitations....

I'll decline your "invitation" to call Director Barrett (603) 293-2037 (But maybe interview the vintage cruiser's captain, as he is a regular in this locale).

I'll decline your "invitation" to cite New Hampshire law.
The law is, after all, malleable. (McKeown was thrown out in a prior hearing).

My quote was plucked from a previous thread regarding New Hampshire's littoral Rights of the People. (Persons walking on private lakefront property -- or the MP's legal arrest powers thereupon).

I think it was OK to express an opinion, and some day the NH Supreme Court could join this private citizen in that same opinion -- just as they did in McKeown.
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Old 06-09-2004, 09:16 PM   #39
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Default Decline, decline, decline....

...and did we expect any less?

It would be a great service to the reader if in the future you clearly dileneated fact from your opinion. Your statement about the 10 foot rule was indeed made as a matter of fact, not a matter of opinion. In doing so you risked needlessly causing angst amongst readers trying to differentiate fact from fiction from opinion.

But if you ever do decide to stand by your statements, I'll still be happy to provide the laminating paper!
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Old 06-10-2004, 05:27 AM   #40
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip
"It would be a great service to the reader if in the future you clearly dileneated [sic] fact from your opinion. Your statement about the 10 foot rule was indeed made as a matter of fact, not a matter of opinion. In doing so you risked needlessly causing angst amongst readers trying to differentiate fact from fiction from opinion".
'Dunno.

Did McKeown walk into court with a fact -- and walk out with an opinion?

...Or did he walk in with an opinion -- and walk out with a fact?

Seems any "angst" in this thread is between the MP's fact and McKeown's opinion -- as it should be.
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Old 06-10-2004, 11:25 AM   #41
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip
Given the circumstances articulated, would a reasonable person feel they were not free to go (or under arrest).

Skip
Skip,

We agree, at least I agree with you. I was trying to give Mee-n-Mac some general rules of thumb. The whole issue boils down to your one quoted sentence above. The whole issue is, what is the definition of a "reasonable person?"

You and I are one level of reasonable person whilst Mee-n-Mac is another. I have no problem discerning when I'm detained or under arrest (not that I ever have been mind you) and I don't think you would either. However, for the vast majority of folks I would bet they would feel detained much sooner than you or I.

I still think knowledge of your rights is the most important part of this whole equation. A well informed public, what their rights are, would go a long way in preventing the original subject of this thread from happening.


ToW
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Old 06-12-2004, 07:24 AM   #42
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Default One Simple Question

Now that I have waded through all of these posts (Skip and Mada...oh who cares obviously have issues) I have one simple question.

If stopped by the MP can/should I ask, "Am I being detained?" If yes, I stay put. If no, I turn and move away.
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Old 06-12-2004, 08:41 AM   #43
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Default Is there truly is no such thing as a dumb question?

Sure,

Ask the officer who just stopped you if you are being detained. Maybe right after he asks for your operator license & boat registration.

His response will probably be somewhere along the line of "your grasp of the obvious is amazing".

Let us know how you make out!

(Hope you don't take offense with my warped sense of humor, you know how us people with issues are
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Old 06-12-2004, 11:43 PM   #44
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Lightbulb MP swamps the kayak. The rights of private citizens

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skipper
That part of the story jumped right out at me. The wake from MP officer Cook's boat was part or the reason the kayak tipped over. MP swamped the kayak in the name of a safety check. Is the Marine Patrol exempt from responsibility for the wake they make (specially in a non-emergency situation)?
I think it is atrocious that the patrol boat wake rocked the kayak so much that it tipped. How is that justified? Loads of debate about the decision of the judges but only one mention in all this about the patrol boat wake. Even if they gave him a ticket for no PFD the Marine Patrol should consider itself lucky the guy didn't sue them for contributing to the swamping of his boat. Does this happen often? Are there boating mishaps that are caused by Marine Patrol?

A lot of discussion about the intent of the law and protection of citizen's rights. Those in law enforcement generally seem to look askew at anyone exercising their rights in lieu of full cooperation. We are required to show ID when asked to do so by law enforcement but when do they have the right to ask? We do not live in a police state.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip
Ask the officer who just stopped you if you are being detained. Maybe right after he asks for your operator license & boat registration.
Sure if an officer just stopped you you are being detained. Detained = stopped. They are the same in this instance. Can you leave before the officer sayss OK? You can try but I think that invites further scrutiny at the least or could even lead to an arrest. Officers can usually find some reason to justify a stop to their superiors. Ask a professional, like a lawyer specializing in criminal law, what to do when stopped for routine questioning (like vehicle stops) or other types of questioning. Know your rights and how and when to use them.

Having rights does not mean it is always wise to use them.


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Old 06-13-2004, 06:02 AM   #45
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Arrow A quote from the news article itself...

Quote:
"New Hampshire Marine Patrol Officer Wesley Cook noticed many canoes, kayaks and water bikes in the northwest part of the lake on Aug. 31, 2002. Cook piloted his marked Marine Patrol boat in that direction to conduct checks for personal floatation devices aboard those boats..."
McKeown's testimony appears to state that the MP was in part responsible for "swamping" the kayak. McKeown's tesimony has some very suspect wording, IMO, even though this was likely sworn testimony -- "under oath":

Kayaks are relatively stabile craft that are used in whitewater conditions -- even high waterfalls. Kayakers practice rolling their kayaks for such extreme conditions (e.g., "The Pawlata Roll").

McKeown's brother was alongside, also in a kayak, and didn't "swamp". Usually a wake sufficient to "swamp" is produced by a large passing boat. Kayaks have huge flotation areas fore and aft and are difficult to "swamp" in the first place.

Cook used the word "piloted" to indicate a careful approach. I believe Cook's testimony.

Was McKeown kayaking (for pleasure)...or trolling (for publicity)?
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Old 06-13-2004, 06:22 AM   #46
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Default See , we're not so bad after all....

Geesh Madrasahs,

We have found an area we are in total agreement on!

Not bad for a couple of old geezers with issues...

But don't worry folks, I'm sure we'll soon be at loggerheads again!

Have a great day,

Skip
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