Floating home not covered under maritime law

Posted at 10:24 AM, Jan 15, 2013
and last updated 2014-08-26 14:10:49-04

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court says a Florida man's floating home was a house, not a boat, and not covered under maritime law.

The high court on Tuesday ruled 7-2 for Fane Lozman, who argued that his gray, two-story vessel in the marina in Riviera Beach, Fla., should not have been affected by maritime law.

City officials used U.S. maritime law to impose a lien on Lozman's property. Lozman argued that it was a house, which would have given it some protection from seizure under state law. Federal judges sided with the city, and the property was seized and destroyed.

The court, in an opinion by Justice Stephen Breyer, said that decision was wrong. Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Anthony Kennedy dissented.

More than 5,000 Americans own floating homes.