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Supreme Court to Decide: Is a Floating Home a Boat?

posted: 10/2/2012
WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) -- The U.S. Supreme Court seems torn on when the law should treat some floating homes as houseboats and when it should treat them as houses.                        

The question came up Oct. 1 as the court was trying to figure out whether Riviera Beach, Fla. should have used maritime law to seize Fane Lozman’s floating home.                        

Lozman said the gray, two-story floating structure was not a boat, so he should have had some of the same protection against seizure as a land-based house. But the city and the lower courts said that since it had been towed several times to different marinas across hundreds of miles, it was a vessel, like a houseboat.                        

A ruling, which will be watched closely by operators of floating casinos, hotels and restaurants, will come later this year.

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