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UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY 
UNITED STATES COAST GUARD
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 
UNITED STATES COAST GUARD

vs.

MERCHANT MARfNER LICENSE

Issued to: ERIC NORMAN SHfNE
DECISION OF THE

VICE COMMANDANT

ON APPEAL

NO. 2689
This appeal is taken in accordance with 46 U.S.C. § 7701 et seq., 46 C.F.R. Part

5, and the procedures set forth in 33 C.F.R. Part 20.'

By a Decision and Order (hereinafter "D&O") dated November 13, 2008, Coast

Guard Administrative Law Judge (hereinafter "ALJ") Walter J. Brudzinski revoked the

merchant mariner license of Eric Norman Shine (hereinafter "Respondent) upon finding

proved the charge of incompetence. In finding the alleged violation proven, the ALJ

made 53 findings of fact, including several findings related to Respondent's actions

aboard two merchant vessels and others regarding Respondent's medical treatment

history. Respondent appeals.

APPEARANCE: Prior to filing his first appeal, Respondent was represented by

Forgie, Jacobs & Leonard (Peter S. Forgie, Esq.), 4165 E. Thousand Oaks Boulevard,

Suite 355, Westlake Village, CA 91362. From the time of his first appeal, Respondent

has appeared pro se. The Coast Guard was represented by LCDR Chris Tribolet of U.S.

Coast Guard Maintenance and Logistics Command Pacific, Alameda, California.

SHINE
PROCEDURE & FACTS
No.
.2689
The Coast Guard filed a Complaint, alleging that Respondent is medically 
incompetent due to a major depressive disorder, against Respondent's merchant mariner 
license on March 6,2003. [D&O at 3] The Complaint stemmed from incidents that 
occurred while Respondent acted under the authority of his merchant mariner license by 
serving as the Third Engineer (and/or Second Engineer) aboard the MN MAUl between 
March 6,2001, and June 11,2001, and while Respondent served as the Third Engineer 
aboard the M/V PRESIDENT JACKSON between December 2,2001, and January 5, 
2002. [Hearing Transcript (hereinafter "Tr.") at 61-63; 217-255]

At all times relevant herein, Respondent was the holder of the Coast Guard issued 
merchant mariner credential at issue in these proceedings. [Coast Guard Exhibit 
(hereinafter "Ex.") 2] The Coast Guard alleges that, while serving aboard the

M/V MAUl and the MN PRESIDENT JACKSON, Respondent engaged in behavior that 
was viewed by his supervisors and members of the crew as harassing, aggressive, 
litigious and unsafe. [D&O at 13-17] Testimony from the Chief Engineer onboard the 
MN MAUl alleged that at various times Respondent alternatively refused to work or was 
very difficult to supervise and direct. [Id. at 13-14] He testified that Respondent did not 
have the necessary skills to perform his duties and possessed an overall inability to work 
with other crewmembers. [!d.] The Chief Engineer onboard the MN PRESIDENT 
JACKSON testified that Respondent's presence onboard the ship created an un- 
seaworthy condition due to his insubordination, inability to follow orders, dangerous 
working practices, constant threats oflitigation, and aggressive behavior toward other 
crewmembers. [Id. at 15-17]

2

SHINE
No.
'j;?:, fJ f)

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What followed in this matter, after the Complaint was issued, is long and storied,

involving over two hundred motions, replies and orders. I Respondent's case was initially

assigned to Coast Guard ALJ Parlan McKenna who issued three Orders (on July 30,

2003, August 4,2003, and September 8,2003) requiring Respondent to submit to a

psychological examination by an independent doctor ofthe ALl's choosing. See Appeal

Decision 2661 (SHINE). Respondent did not comply with any of those orders to the

satisfaction of ALJ McKenna, and instead, on August 1 and August 22,2003, submitted

to a psychological evaluation by a medical doctor of his own choosing. [!d.] As a

consequence, on September 10, 2003, citing the negative inference created by

Respondent's failure to submit to the psychological examination ordered by the ALJ, as

well as many other pieces of evidence, the Coast Guard filed a "Contingent Motion for

Summary Decision" which Respondent replied to. [Jd.] Following the issuance of

numerous other orders, motions and replies, on February 20,2004, the ALJ issued a

Summary Decision, in favor of the Coast Guard. A hearing was not held before the

Summary Decision was issued. [Jd.]

Respondent properly appealed the Summary Decision and, as a result, Appeal

Decision 2661 (SHINE), which vacated ALJ McKenna's Summary Decision and

remanded the matter for a hearing, was issued on December 27,2006. Following the

remand, the case was re-assigned to a new ALJ (ALJ Brudzinski) on January 30,2007.

Citing 33 C.F.R. § 20.1313, ALJ Brudzinski ordered Respondent to undergo a

medical (psychiatric) examination on February 26,2008. Respondent refused, claiming

the designated psychiatrist was conflicted. [Tr. at 797-798]

1 To be precise, there were 179 pleadings (129 party filings) prior to the remand. Following the remand, there were 73 pleadings (41

3

SHINE
No.
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