In 2011, the City of Holmes Beach allowed us to build a treehouse in our grand Australian pine tree by the sea. You cannot live and sleep in this treehouse as it is built as an open deck to enjoy the outdoors and nature. We decorated it like a Robinson Crusoe treehouse to remind us of a favorite childhood fantasy. While others enjoy the beach under big umbrellas and tents, we enjoy it from our treehouse. Permit was not required at that time. The treehouse brings smiles to many beachgoers as it adds character to the island getaway lifestyle. But by the end of 2011, an anonymous person complained to the government about building without a permit. This call started a lengthy 9 years of legal struggle that is still ongoing.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection refused to give us a permit because the City objected and because we have a few posts in the ground to strengthen and support both the tree and treehouse. The City admitted that they gave us permission at first. But two years later, the City had a new building official who ordered us to remove the treehouse because the tree and the treehouse is too close to the beach and could fly away harming others during a storm. The City fined us a daily fine of $50.00 since July 2015 while we still have pending trial and petition in the state and federal courts. The City also sued us after we successfully completed a petition to gather community support to allow our treehouse to remain.
The City required us to exhaust the legal administrative process before we can file claims in courts to enforce our constitutional rights. This legal process is called the "exhaustion of administrative remedies." To date, we spent over $170,000 with this required exhaustion with no remedy available. This is not including and counting the emotional exhaustion, the hours our attorneys have put in pro bono or without pay and Lynn's time researching and filing claims on her own as "pro se". Unfortunately, because Lynn is not a lawyer, her complaint in the federal court was dismissed with prejudice because her pleading is "shotgun" and the courts are not allowed to decide on constitutional issues. More on this "shotgun" and constitutional issue later.
We also have four vacation rental dwelling units. Although we still have the State vacation rental license, the City refused to renew the City vacation rental license until we pay the City the nearly $100,000 accumulated fines that are still pending court trial and judgment. In effect the City is taking away our livelihood so we can no longer follow the legal process to challenge their unconstitutional regulations and to protect our land, our tree and treehouse from unreasonable rules, coercive code enforcement and taking of our property without just compensation.
We still have pending issues awaiting trial in state court. We also filed a petition to the Supreme Court requesting the court to review issues that are of importance to many civil rights litigants and to many small property owners who cannot afford many years of high lawyers' fees to defend against government taking and/or severe restrictions of the use of their property under color of laws.
The City is squeezing us to give up our rights. We need your support and funding to continue seeking equal and fair justice. Please feed Our Tree of Love for Justice and Liberty.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly." Martin Luther King
There is a higher court than courts of justice and that is the court of conscience. It supersedes all other courts. Mahatma Gandhi
There are many ways to support our cause:
1/ Please donate online here or if by check, please mail to:
Angelinos Sea Lodge
2818 Ave E.
Holmes Beach, FL 34217
2/ We also donate and raise fund for Arbor Day Foundation. Help plant a tree here:
Community Tree Recovery Cause
3/ Little budgets, No lawyer, No problem. Follow the link below to this simple quick course on how to represent yourself. Lots of learning and work, not easy. It's a long road to claim back the rights guaranteed by our constitution.
To contact us
- Rocco Marrone
- Alice McArdle
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more