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Unable to Pay Child Support, Poor Parents Land Behind Bars

Judges can jail alleged defaulters — who are not covered by the presumption of innocence — without a trial

by Mike Brunker

from MSNBC September 19, 2011

obama

Barack Obama

It may not be a crime to be poor, but it can land you behind bars if you also are behind on your child-support payments.

Thousands of so-called “deadbeat” parents are jailed each year in the U.S. after failing to pay court-ordered child support — the vast majority of them for withholding or hiding money out of spite or a feeling that they’ve been unfairly gouged by the courts.

But in what might seem like an un-American plot twist from a Charles Dickens’ novel, advocates for the poor say, some parents are wrongly being locked away without any regard for their ability to pay — sometimes without the benefit of legal representation.

Randy Miller, a 39-year-old Iraqi war vet, found himself in that situation in November, when a judge in Floyd County, Ga., sent him to jail for violating a court order to pay child support.

He said he was stunned when the judge rebuffed his argument that he had made regular payments for more than a decade before losing his job in July 2009 and had recently resumed working.

“I felt that with my payment history and that I had just started working, maybe I would be able to convince the judge to give me another month and a half to start making the payments again,” he told msnbc.com. “… But that didn’t sit too well with him because he went ahead and decided to lock me up.”

Miller, who spent three months in jail before being released, is one of six plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit filed in March that seeks to force the state of Georgia to provide lawyers for poor non-custodial parents facing the loss of their freedom for failing to pay child support.

‘Debtors’ prisons’?
“Languishing in jail for weeks, months, and sometimes over a year, these parents share one trait … besides their poverty: They went to jail without ever talking to an attorney,” according to the lawsuit filed by the nonprofit Southern Center of Human Rights in Atlanta.

While jailing non-paying parents — the vast majority of them men — does lead to payment in many cases, critics say that it unfairly penalizes poor and unemployed parents who have no ability to pay, even though federal law stipulates that they must have “willfully” violated a court order before being incarcerated.

They compare the plight of such parents to the poor people consigned to infamous “debtors’ prisons” before such institutions were outlawed in the early 1800s.

“I try very carefully not to exaggerate, but I do think that’s an apt comparison,” said Sarah Geraghty, the attorney handling the Georgia case for the Southern Center for Human Rights.

“And I think anyone who went down and watched one of these proceedings would agree with me. … You see a room full of indigent parents — most of them African-American — and you have a judge and attorney general, both of whom are white. The hearings often take only 15 seconds. The judge asks, ‘Do you have any money to pay?’ the person pleads and the judge says, ‘OK you’re going to jail,’” she added.

The threat of jailing delinquent parents is intended to coerce them to pay, but in rare cases it can have tragic results.

In June, a New Hampshire father and military veteran, Thomas Ball, died after dousing himself with gasoline and setting himself ablaze in front of the Cheshire County Court House.

In a long, rambling letter to the local Sentinel newspaper, the 58-year-old Ball stated that he did so to focus attention on what he considered unfair domestic violence laws and because he expected to be jailed at an upcoming hearing on his failure to pay up to $3,000 in delinquent child support, even though he had been out of work for two years.

The ability of judges to jail parents without a trial is possible because failure to pay child support is usually handled as a civil matter, meaning that the non-custodial parent — or the “contemnor” in legal terms — is found guilty of contempt of court and ordered to appear at a hearing.

He or she is not entitled to some constitutional protections that criminal defendants receive, including the presumption of innocence. And in five states — Florida, Georgia, Maine, South Carolina and Ohio — one of the omitted protections is the right to an attorney.

Randall Kessler, a family law attorney in Atlanta and chairman of the American Bar Association’s family law division, said states have a great deal of leeway in family law, which includes child support cases.

“The main reason states are patchwork is because family law is a local idea,” he said. “It’s very infrequent that the federal government gets into family law, except for international custody every now and then and violence against women. … Each community’s laws are different in the way they treat child support collection, and the right to a lawyer and the right to a jury trial varies.”

Supreme Court: No right to a lawyer
The child support program currently serves approximately 17 million U.S. children, or nearly a quarter of the nation’s minors, according to a recent study by Elaine Sorensen, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute.

Critics of incarceration without representation had hoped that the U.S. Supreme Court would end the practice in its ruling in Turner v. Rogers, a case involving a South Carolina man who was repeatedly jailed for up to a year after failing to pay child support.

But the court ruled 5-4 in June that poor parents are not entitled to a court-appointed lawyer when facing jail for non-payment of child support. Instead, the justices said, states should use “substantial procedural safeguards” to ensure that those who have no means to pay are not locked up.

That is likely to force the states that don’t guarantee the right to an attorney to tighten their policies, said Colleen Eubanks, executive director of the National Child Support Enforcement Association, which represents state agencies. “Obviously they’re going to have to look at changing the rules,” she said.

Ken Wolfe, a spokesman for the federal Administration for Children and Families, which imposes some rules on state child support enforcement agencies in exchange for funding, said the agency expects to issue guidance to the states next month regarding the Turner case. He declined to provide any details.

But Libba Patterson, a law professor at the University of South Carolina and a former director of the state Department of Social Services, said the Supreme Court ruling provides “very weak protections” for poor parents and is unlikely on its own to solve the problem of wrongful incarceration of poor parents.

“It depends on the extent to which the court is truly interested in making a full inquiry on the ability-to-pay issue and on the resources the court has and the amount of judicial time,” she said.

Even in states where the non-custodial parents do have the right to a lawyer, those without the financial resources to meet their child-support obligations still frequently land in jail.

A 2009 study by the Urban Institute, a nonpartisan policy think tank in Washington, D.C., found that only half of the child support debtors in California prisons had reported income in the two preceding years. And the median net income of the others was a mere $2,881.

65 percent of paycheck taken
Geraghty, the Southern Center for Human Rights attorney, said part of the problem is that courts often order poor parents to pay too much for child support in the first place, increasing the likelihood that they will fall behind on payments.

“One of my former clients worked at the Piggly Wiggly (supermarket) and they were taking 65 percent of her paycheck,” she said. “It left her in a position where there was simply no way that she could survive on the amount that she had left.”

No one can say how many parents are jailed each year for failing to pay child support, because states typically do not track such cases.

But an analysis of U.S. Bureau of Justice statistics in 2002 by the Urban Institute’s Sorensen found that approximately 10,000 men were in jail for non-payment of child support, representing 1.7 percent of the overall U.S. jail population.

Most observers believe that number has risen as a result of the troubled U.S. economy.

In fiscal 2009, the most recent year for which statistics are available, the Child Support Enforcement program saw child support collections decline for the first time in the history of the program, dipping 1.8 percent, the GAO reported in January.

At the same time, payments collected from unemployment insurance benefits nearly tripled, and the number of cases in which children were receiving public assistance also rose.

Military veterans, who often struggle to find work when they leave the service, appear to be particularly at risk.

Lance Hendrix of Adel, Ga., an Army veteran, said he fell behind on child support for his 4-year-old daughter after he left the service and couldn’t find work.

“I was arrested and I went to jail and they asked me all sorts of questions,” said Hendrix, who also is a plaintiff in the Georgia lawsuit. “I was never told I was under arrest. And I was never read my rights. So I did not know what rights I had. Of course, I’ve seen all these movies, but half that isn’t true.”

Not having a lawyer in a civil contempt hearing increases the likelihood that the parent will be jailed, even if he or she is not guilty of “willfully” defying the court’s order, say critics of the policy.

‘Wrongfully imprisoned’
“In the absence of counsel … it appears that the opportunity to raise the defense is often missed, and large numbers of indigent parents are wrongfully imprisoned for failure to meet child support obligations every year,” according to a friend-of-the-court brief filed in the Turner case by the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups.

The deck is further stacked against the delinquent parent because the state often acts as the plaintiff, seeking to recover the cost of providing public assistance to the child, Geraghty said.

Officials of Georgia’s Child Support Services agency declined to comment on the state’s child support enforcement policies or the lawsuit.

But Seth Harp, a retired Georgia state senator and former member of the state’s Child Support Guidelines Commission, said the state’s judges use incarceration sparingly.

“The methodology to put someone in jail requires that the person be taken to court before a judge and there they have to be found in willful contempt — someone who actively refuses to seek work or is hiding assets, something like that,” he said. “Judges don’t want to put people in jail. … The whole purpose is to get these people to support their children.”

Harp said he’s seen the tactic work repeatedly in his long career as a family law attorney.

“You can’t get blood out of a turnip, but you can put the turnip in the cooler,” he said. “And in 34 years of doing this, it’s amazing, you put someone in the cooler and the money seems to come.”

Judge Janice M. Rosa, a supervising court judge in New York’s 8th Judicial District and a board member of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, said the system in her state adequately protects non-custodial parents by guaranteeing them a court-appointed lawyer if they cannot afford one and carefully determining that they have the ability to pay.

“No one here is going to jail when a factory closes down and you’re one of hundreds looking for a job,” she said. “… Every state has said that debtors’ prisons are illegal, and you have to give these people a way out. You can only put them in jail if they have money and won’t pay.”

Attempt to assist both parents
Eubanks, the National Child Support Enforcement Association official, said state programs in general are doing a better job in recent years of ensuring that the poor aren’t unfairly locked up by instituting programs to help non-custodial parents improve work, life and parenting skills.

“Five to 10 years ago, the program was pretty much about enforcing support. But now it’s moving to the understanding that if parents are going to support their children, they need assistance,” she said. “Our philosophy is to provide whatever tools we can to both parents to support their children.”

She also said the recent Supreme Court decision prompted the association to conduct training and outreach to ensure that state agencies are aware of the issue and have adequate safeguards in place to prevent indigent parents from being wrongly jailed.

That is no comfort to Miller, the Iraq war veteran who was jailed for three months. He said jailing parents who fall behind on their payments is counterproductive and should be reserved for only the most egregious violators.

“I feel like it’s more unfair to the kids, because now not only do the kids not get any money, nor do they even get to spend time with their fathers once they get locked up,” he said. “The closest you can get is visitation, and who wants their kids to see them behind bars or behind glass.”

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Can You Defend Yourself Against Civil Contempt & Non-Compliance?

kangaroo courtJudges abuse their power daily and the use of civil contempt is one of their greatest weapons. This is not simply because this action is powerful in its own right, but because people do not know how to defend themselves against its limits. If you do not speak up and demand your rights, you lose them. Most people don’t know their rights and most lawyers will not “fight” what the judge wants. This is our legal system today, especially in the kangaroo family courts.

Civil contempt in law today is authorized to compel someone to obey a court order in present tense whether in direct view of the court or indirect view of the court. The difference in regard to child support is the remedy of incarceration. This is intended to compel compliance to the court order, however only if you have the ability to comply and are not doing so. You may be held until you no longer have the ability to pay . When that happens, it is grounds for immediate release. In a civil contempt per the view of U.S. law, the punishment is viewed as a remedy, and for the benefit of the complainant, which can be and often is the court. In the event of criminal contempt, the sentence is punitive, to vindicate the authority of the court. A contempt proceeding is considered to be criminal in nature, with possible penalties that include a jail sentence. Fear is the tool.

Civil contempt is for something that is current that you may purge yourself of, while criminal contempt is seen as a past wrong you have committed. Under the civil contempt you must be provided with the option to purge yourself of the contumacious act. With regard to child support enforcement, most states have built into the statutes that civil contempt  and incarceration is a specific remedy for violation of the court’s order. This is not for the civil debt, but for specifically for the act of “willfully disobeying an order of the court while having the capacity to comply.” Even when the order is unjust, you must comply unless a stay of enforcement is granted, while you are challenging the “unjust” order. (Child Support: A Case Against Arrest)

Proof of Contempt

While the court’s power to punish through contempt is broad, contempt is meant to be exercised rarely and is presumed not to exist in many states, such as Texas. Three elements must be satisfied to prove contempt:

1) a reasonably specific order,

2) a violation of the order, and

3) the willful intent to violate the order.

To be specific enough to support a constructive contempt finding, an order must spell out the details of compliance in clear, unambiguous terms so that a person knows exactly what she must do to comply with it. Some courts have held that an oral order is never sufficiently specific; thus, only a written court order may support a constructive contempt finding. An oral order may support a direct contempt finding, but it must still be clear what the court has ordered the person to do. Finally, the person must be able to comply with the order.

Noncompliance with an unambiguous order of which a person has notice raises the inference that the violation was willful. But a person is in contempt only if he has the ability to comply with the court’s order but chooses not to. A person may not, for example, be jailed for failing to turn over property not in his possession. But for this exception to apply, the inability to comply must be involuntary. If a person puts himself in a position where he is unable to comply with the order, then he may still be held in contempt. Disability and mental capacity can impact the ability to comply.

During the past twenty years, both state and federal courts have examined the issue of whether parents who are seriously delinquent on their child support payments may be jailed for their failure to support their children. Nearly half of the state supreme courts and at least ten of the 11 federal circuit courts of appeals have heard cases concerning criminal penalties for failure to pay child support. As legislators and other policymakers debate the value and appropriateness of criminal sanctions for nonsupport, a review of the court holdings from state supreme courts and high level federal courts offers a legal perspective to the policy discussions in this area. Below, we examine some of the most commonly asked questions and how the courts have answered them.

Q. Why are states and the federal government using criminal penalties for delinquent child support obligors?

A. State and federal laws aimed at criminally penalizing parents for not paying child support are gaining backing for several policy reasons. First, child support experts and state policymakers are detecting fundamental differences among parents who are delinquent in child support – dividing them into “can’t pay” and “won’t pay” parents. While millions of dollars nationwide are being invested into programs to help the very low-income “can’t pay” parents, states are developing more aggressive enforcement tools to pursue the “won’t pay” parents who simply refuse to acknowledge their child support obligation, despite having the financial resources to do so. The increasingly common use of criminal statutes and court contempt orders in child support cases reflects society’s growing frustration with “won’t pay” parents. A recent opinion by the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals aptly captured the prevailing judicial sentiment toward parents who evade child support obligations:

“It is just as much a violation of the CSRA [Child Support Recovery Act] for a non-custodial parent to fail to pay child support where his refusal to work is motivated by sloth, a change of lifestyles or pursuit of new career objectives. For most people, bringing children into the world does limit life choices by imposing certain long-term financial obligations.” [U.S. v. Ballek, 1999 WL 125955 (9th Cir. (Alaska), Mar. 11, 1999) (NO. 97-30326)].

State and federal prosecutors are selectively using their state criminal nonsupport laws to target parents who purposely hide assets, avoid employment or otherwise contrive to shirk their child support responsibilities. Some states, such as Kentucky, Ohio and Virginia, have conducted high profile trials and “sting” operations to locate and prosecute parents with large child support debts – in some cases several hundreds of thousands of dollars. Federal prosecutions are also becoming more common as federal officials crack down on wealthy child support obligors in interstate cases. The Inspector General’s Office and the Office of Child Support Enforcement of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, along with the U.S. Department of Justice, created Project Save Our Children (PSOC), “to create a nationwide comprehensive and coordinated health and human services and criminal justice response to unresolved child support enforcement cases.” PSOC investigates and prosecutes high-profile criminal nonsupport cases with interstate circumstances, typically under the Child Support Recovery Act of 1992. By focusing on high-profile cases, PSOC hopes to deliver a strong public message to delinquent obligors who consistently avoid paying child support. Most of the parents arrested and prosecuted by PSOC are wealthy individuals with substantial assets.

Q. Isn’t child support a matter of civil, not criminal, law?

A. Laws concerning child support guidelines and most child support enforcement mechanisms are civil in nature, but failure to pay child support may subject a parent to criminal sanctions in three situations: 1.) prosecution under a state criminal “failure to provide support” statute, 2.) prosecution under the federal Child Support Recovery Act of 1992 (CSRA), or 3.) a finding of contempt of court for failure to obey the court’s child support order.

All states have criminal laws setting felony or misdemeanor penalties for failure to support a child or family. Most of these laws were not specifically written with child support in mind, but were originally intended for parents who abandoned or neglected their children. Classifications of these statutes range from “desertion and nonsupport” (Michigan) to “nonsupport of a child or spouse” (Kansas) to “failure to meet an obligation to provide support to a minor”(West Virginia). Likewise, maximum penalties under these laws vary greatly, from 14 years in prison for a felony conviction in Idaho to six months in prison for a misdemeanor in Rhode Island.

Parents who willfully avoid child support payments for a child in another state and owe the greater of a year’s worth of child support or $5,000 may be prosecuted under the federal Child Support Recovery Act of 1992. When the statute originally was written, the crime was classified as a misdemeanor, and delinquent parents risked a maximum jail term of six months. With the passage of the Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act of 1998, this federal crime was upgraded to a felony and now carries a maximum prison sentence of two years for parents who owe at least $10,000, or are at least two years behind in their child support obligation and possess two contempt citations for failure to obey their child support order. The original offense also was expanded to include delinquent parents who cross state lines to evade child support responsibilities, in addition to those living in different states from the children.

Because child support orders are official court orders – with the same weight as orders such as subpoenas to appear in court – a parent disobeying the terms of the child support order risks a finding of contempt of court. Based on this, a contempt of court order is probably the most common avenue for a delinquent child support obligor to find himself or herself behind bars.

Q. Is contempt of court a civil or criminal violation?

A. Contempt of court orders can be either criminal or civil in nature, and criminal and civil contempt proceedings differ in several regards. Although most states have many laws concerning contempt of court powers, courts do not need explicit statutory authorization for issuing a civil contempt of court order and subsequent penalty for violation of a child support order; this contempt power is typically inherent in the court’s basic authorization to enforce its orders. Civil contempt of court may be punishable by jail time, restitution, or fines. Under a civil contempt order, the person guilty of contempt of court “holds the jailhouse keys” in that he can cure the contempt and gain release from jail by abiding by the order, e.g. by paying the overdue child support. In a civil contempt of court proceeding, the violation of the order must be proven by clear and convincing evidence and the burden of proof may be shifted to the defendant in some circumstances.

Despite carrying a criminal penalty of incarceration, civil contempt of court orders are not classified as criminal actions; criminal contempt is a different matter in several respects. Unlike in a civil contempt situation, under a criminal contempt order, the contemnor does not “hold the keys to the jailhouse door” — he or she cannot shorten the imprisonment period simply by paying the fine or complying with the order. Criminal contempt, rather, is a form of punishment; a penalty imposed and required to be served to its completion. Because of the punitive nature of these orders, they generally are accompanied by many of the same due process requirements as a criminal trial (e.g. right to notice, right to counsel, right to a jury trial, etc.), and criminal contempt powers must be statutorily authorized by the legislature. Finally, in criminal contempt hearings, the government bears the burden of proving the guilt of the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt.

Courts differ in their characterization of contempt orders for failure to pay child support. The lines between civil and criminal contempt are often blurred in failure to pay child support cases, particularly if the court does not explicitly clarify the charge facing the delinquent parent. Michigan’s supreme court decided that even though child support contempt proceedings were statutorily intended to be civil in nature, the proceedings become criminal if the defendant does not have the present ability to pay, and the defendant is then entitled to representation by an attorney [Mead v. Batchlor, 435 Mich. 480, 460 N.W.2d 493 (Mich. 1990)]. New Mexico’s state supreme court ruled that a jail sentence, which is typically considered a criminal punishment, could be imposed in a civil contempt proceeding for failure to pay child support [Niemyjski v. Niemyjski, 98 N.M. 176, 646 P.2d 1240 (N.M. 1982)]. The Supreme Court of Tennessee, however, held that child support contempt was a criminal offense with a criminal penalty; therefore, the obligor could not be incarcerated without a jury trial and a conviction [Brown v. Latham, Walker v. Walker, 914 S.W.2d 887 (Tenn. 1996)].

The issue is further muddled by court decisions that not all child support contempt proceedings classified as criminal are entitled to a jury trial [see International Union, United Mine Workers of America v. Bagwell, 512 U.S. 821 (1994) [jury trial not constitutionally required for criminal contempt proceedings]]. For example, in a criminal prosecution under the CSRA, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decided that a jury trial was not necessary because the restitution penalty was not so severe as to convert the petty offense – a misdemeanor – into a serious one deserving of a jury trial [U.S. v. Ballek, 1999 WL 125955 (9th Cir. (Alaska), Mar. 11, 1999)(NO. 97-30326)].

State supreme court cases suggest that additional limits on the use of the contempt power in the child support context exist. At least one state supreme court has decided that if the delinquent parent proves he is financially unable to “cure” the contempt, the court may not continue the incarceration [Hughes v. Dept. of Human Resources, 269 GA. 587, 502 S.E.2d 233 (Ga. 1998)]. The California supreme court adopted a more narrow reading of this concept, holding that a delinquent parent’s incarceration may continue “when the parent’s financial inability to comply with the order is the result of the parent’s willful failure to seek and accept available employment that is commensurate with his or her skills and abilities” [Moss v. Superior Court, 17 Cal.4th 396, 950 P.2d 59 (Cal. 1998)]. Finally, the Supreme Court of Texas ruled that the contempt order must consist of a written judgment of contempt or written order of commitment before a parent may be incarcerated [Ex parte Strickland, 723 S.W.2d 668 (Tex. 1987)].

The only U.S. Supreme Court case to examine the issue of contempt for failure to pay child support pivoted on this very question of whether the contempt was criminal or civil in nature [Hicks v. Fieock, 485 U.S. 624 (1988)]. The Court held that the California statute in question, which had a legal presumption that the obligated parent was able to pay the required child support, was an unconstitutional violation of the Due Process Clause of the U.S. Constitution if the proceeding was a criminal contempt proceeding. The statute’s legal presumption reduced the burden of proof on the government and transferred that burden to the delinquent parent, which is not permissible in a criminal trial. On the other hand, the Court reasoned, if the statute were being applied in a civil proceeding, the transfer of the burden of proof would be constitutionally valid. Therefore, the Court remanded the case back to the lower court to determine whether the contempt proceedings were civil or criminal in nature. The Supreme Court also offered guidance to the lower court by more clearly delineating some of the characteristics distinguishing civil and criminal contempt orders and outlining examples of both.

Q. Does the child support obligor always have the right to an attorney during contempt proceedings?

A. State courts have reached conflicting conclusions regarding the question of the delinquent obligor’s right to counsel in child support contempt proceedings. Several state supreme courts, including Delaware, Michigan, North Dakota, Texas, and Vermont, have ruled that noncustodial parents facing incarceration for contempt of a child support order have the right to be represented by a lawyer during the contempt proceeding [Black v. Division of Child Support Enforcement, 686 A.2d 164 (Del. 1996)[civil contempt]; Mead v. Batchlor, 435 Mich. 480, 460 N.S.2d 493 (Mich. 1990) [civil contempt]; State v. Gruchalla, 467 N.W.2d 451 (N.D. 1991) [civil contempt]; Ex parte Gunther, 758 S.W.2d 226 (Tex. 1988) [unclear whether civil or criminal]; Choiniere v. Brooks, 163 Vt. 625, 660 A.2d 289 (Vt. 1995) [civil contempt]. The Delaware supreme court specifically found that “the presumption that an indigent defendant has the right to appointed counsel applies when, if he loses, he may be deprived of his personal liberty,” but did not apply if the state sought punishment of something less than incarceration.

Other state supreme courts, including Florida, Missouri, New Mexico and North Carolina, have decided that parents subject to child support civil contempt sanctions are not entitled to legal representation [Andrews v. Walton, 428 So.2d 663 (Fla. 1983); State ex rel. Sterling, 719 S.W.2d 455 (Mo. 1986); State ex rel. Dept. of Human Services v. Rael, 97 N.M. 640, 642 P.2d 1099 (N.M. 1982); Jolly v. Wright, 300 N.C. 83, 265 S.E.2d 135 (N.C. 1980)]. The Florida Supreme Court found that in a situation where the father had the ability to pay the child support but willfully refused to do so, and thus was not indigent, the father’s due process rights were not violated when the trial court ordered incarceration without appointing counsel for him in the civil contempt proceeding.

Even indigent obligors are not necessarily entitled to a lawyer. The North Carolina court ruled that “since the nature of nonsupport civil contempt cases usually is not complex, due process does not require that counsel be automatically appointed for indigents in such cases” and that counsel would only need to be appointed in cases where it was “necessary for an adequate presentation of the merits [of the case], or to otherwise ensure fundamental fairness” [Jolly v. Wright, 300 N.C. 83, 265 S.E.2d 135 (N.C. 1980)].

Proving indigency in order to obtain court-appointed counsel can place the delinquent parent in a potentially self-incriminating position if the he or she is not found to be indigent. If the court rules that the parent is not indigent, that ruling could lend credibility to a charge that the parent had the resources to pay the child support and chose not to. Recognizing this, the Supreme Court of North Dakota required that a father found in contempt for failure to pay child support should have had the opportunity to prove his indigence for purposes of appointment of counsel in private meetings with the judge and lawyers, rather than in open court, since the disclosure of facts relative to proof of his indigence could have been used against him in the contempt proceedings [State v. Gruchalla, 467 N.W.2d 451 (N.D. 1991)].

Even if the defendant is entitled to counsel, he may not be entitled to have the state pay for it. Missouri’s Supreme Court held that the trial court in a civil child support contempt proceeding “could not compel the state to expend public funds by appointment of a public defender to represent the alleged indigent father” [State ex rel. Sterling v. Long, 719 S.W.2d 455 (Mo. 1986)]. Similarly, the Delaware supreme court ruled that the Office of the Public Defender could not be appointed to represent an indigent defendant in criminal contempt proceedings arising out of child support orders [Black v. Division of Child Support Enforcement, 686 A.2d 164 (Del. 1996)].

Q. What if the child support obligor claims that he or she doesn’t have the resources to pay the required child support?

A. Many parents delinquent in their child support payments and subject to contempt citations claim that they are unable to financially meet their support obligations. At least three state supreme courts – California, Oregon, and Texas – have ruled that it is the obligor’s responsibility to raise an inability to pay as a defense, and to prove that inability by a preponderance of the evidence [Moss v. Superior Court, 17 Cal.4th 396, 950 P.2d 59 (Cal. 1998); State ex rel. Mikkelsen v. Hill, 315 Or. 452, 847 P.2d 402 (Or. 1993); Ex parte Roosth, 881 S.W.2d 300 (Tex. 1994)]. It is not, according to the courts, the responsibility of the custodial parent or the state to prove that the noncustodial parent has the financial resources to meet his or her child support obligation. The U.S. Supreme Court, in Fieock, also found that allocating the burden of proof in this manner was constitutional and reasonable in child support contempt proceedings.

Whether or not a parent has the financial ability to comply with the child support order is particularly important in prosecutions under the CSRA, which requires that the parent’s failure to pay support must be “willful” in order to warrant a conviction. In other words, in order to obtain a conviction under this federal law, the government must prove that the parent has the resources to comply and simply chose not to do so. See U.S. v. Mathes, 151 F.3d 251 (5th Cir. 1998); U.S. v. Brand, 163 F.3d 1268 (11th Cir. 1998). The Ballek court examined the CRSA and Congressional legislative history in order to clarify the willfullness requirement and determined that “a noncustodial parent who does not have the funds to satisfy the child support award, and who does not obtain a reduction or remission of the award because of inability to pay, will almost certainly be engaged in willful defiance of the state court’s child support order” [U.S. v. Ballek, 1999 WL 125955, 1999 Daily Journal D.A.R. 2325 (9th Cir. (Alaska), Mar. 11, 1999)(NO. 97-30326)].

Noncustodial parents who truly lack the ability to meet their child support obligations have the right in every state to request a downward modification of their child support order based on a change in circumstances. Also, many states offer parents who cannot meet their obligations and have amassed arrearages the opportunity to negotiate a payment plan and avoid severe sanctions, such as prosecution, revocation of certain licenses, or liens on their property. With these alternatives available, many courts and state agencies are adopting a tougher stance against parents who ignore their child support obligations.

Q. Isn’t it unconstitutional for the court to order a person to work just to pay off a child support debt?

A. Some delinquent parents have argued that requiring an obligor to meet a court-ordered child support obligation, without consideration of his or her current employment status, is unconstitutional because it violates the U.S. Constitution’s prohibition on slavery and involuntary servitude or because it creates a criminal penalty for a civil debt. In a recent case, the California state supreme court examined this argument in detail and ruled that enforcement of a child support order did not run afoul of the Thirteenth Amendment’s slavery and involuntary servitude prohibition [Moss v. Superior Court, 17 Cal. 4th 396, 950 P.2d 59 (Cal. 1998)]. Specifically, the court found that “there is no constitutional impediment to imposition of contempt sanctions on a parent for violation of a judicial child support order when the parent’s financial inability to comply with the order is the result of the parent’s willful failure to seek and accept available employment that is commensurate with his or her skills and ability.” In reaching this conclusion, the court distinguished child support from other types of family support and narrowed 100 years of the state’s common law in this area. California’s highest court also reviewed U.S. Supreme Court and U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals cases, Congressional legislative history, the state constitution, and analogous areas of common law in order to reach its holding. Based on this review, the court determined that the crucial element in slavery or involuntary servitude is the requirement that the oppressed person be bound to one employer or one form of employment. Since child support orders do not require the obligor to work for a specific person or in a particular line of work, the court held that enforcement of such orders does not rise to the level or slavery or involuntary servitude. The court also noted that the U.S. Supreme Court has outlined exceptions for the performance of other civil duties, such as jury service, military service, road work, and enforced labor as punishment for a crime, such as work camps.

In March 1999, the Supreme Court for the State of Colorado likewise ruled against a father’s claim that a criminal contempt sanction for failure to pay child support violated the state constitution’s prohibition against imprisonment for debt [In re Marriage of Nussbeck, 1999 WL 112188 (Colo., Mar 01, 1999) (NO. 97SC540)]. In this case, the father argued that because his child support arrearage was converted automatically to a judgment against him under Colorado child support law, he was being imprisoned for a standing debt. The court rejected this argument, holding that the father may be imprisoned for failure to pay child support because the contempt order was predicated on his failure to comply with the order, not on the existence of a judgment against him. The fact that the arrearage converted to a judgment against him, the court stated, was immaterial to the contempt order for noncompliance.

At least one federal circuit court of appeals has also ruled that enforcement of a child support order is not akin to slavery [U.S. v. Ballek, 1999 WL 125955, 1999 Daily Journal D.A.R. 2325 (9th Cir. (Alaska), Mar. 11, 1999)(NO. 97-30326)]. The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals cited three reasons for distinguishing child support enforcement from involuntary servitude and slavery: 1.) “the relationship between parent and child is much more than the ordinary relationship between debtor and creditor”; 2.) “the state’s strong concern for the welfare of minor children is…manifested by the fact that parental obligations at the dissolution of marriage are not left to private agreement”; and 3.) “the state has an interest in protecting the public [funds] by ensuring that the children not become wards of the state.” Furthermore, the court declined to “interpret the Thirteenth Amendment in a way that would so drastically interfere with one of the most important and sensitive exercises of the police power – ensuring that persons too young to take care of themselves can count on both their parents for material support.” This holding illustrates courts’ reluctance to create a constitutional loophole in child support enforcement.

Q. Did Congress have the constitutional authority to enact the Child Support Recovery Act of 1992?

A. Many parents with delinquent child support obligations have challenged Congressional authority to enact the CSRA in the first place, but none have been successful. At least ten of the 11 federal circuit courts of appeal have heard cases of this kind. The most common claim is that Congress exceeded its Constitutional authority when it enacted the CSRA, violating the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution in the process. All ten U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal rejected this argument and further found that passage of the CSRA was a proper exercise of Congress’ broad authority under the Commerce Clause [U.S. v. Bongiorno, 106 F.3d 1027 (1st Cir. 1997); U.S. v. Sage, 92 F.3d 101 (2nd Cir. 1996); U.S. v. Parker, 108 F.3d 28 (3rd Cir. 1997); U.S. v. Johnson, 114 F.3d 476 (4th Cir. 1997); U.S. v. Bailey, 115 F.3d 1222 (5th Cir. 1997); U.S. v. Black, 125 F.3d 454 (7th Cir. 1997); U.S. v. Crawford, 115 F.3d 1397 (8th Cir. 1997); U.S. v. Mussari, 95 F.3d 787 (9th Cir. 1996); U.S. v. Hampshire, 95 F.3d 999 (10th Cir. 1996); U.S. v. Williams, 121 F.3d 615 (11th Cir. 1997)].

Q. Can parents be prosecuted under the Child Support Recovery Act for any arrearage that accrued before the federal law was enacted in 1992?

A. A few obligor parents have argued that prosecutions under the CSRA for child support arrearages that accrued prior to enactment of the federal law violate the U.S. Constitution’s protection that a person not be found criminally liable for an action that was not criminal when it was committed. These challenges to an ex post facto application of the CSRA have generated limited success in the courts. In at least five of the cases at the federal court of appeals level, the courts ruled that the prosecutions did not violate the ex post facto clause of the U.S. Constitution [U.S. v. Rose, 153 F.3d 208 (5th Cir. 1998); U.S. v. Black, 125 F.3d 454 (7th Cir. 1997); U.S. v. Crawford, 115 F.3d 1397 (8th Cir. 1997); U.S. v. Hampshire, 95 F.3d 999 (10th Cir. 1996); U.S. v. Muench, 153 F.3d 1298 (11th Cir. 1998)] Only the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the defendant that the retroactive application of the CSRA, which subjected the defendant to federal criminal penalties for failure to pay support without differentiating between delinquencies alleged to have occurred before and after the CSRA’s date of enactment, was an unconstitutional ex post facto enforcement of the CSRA [U.S. v. Mussari, 152 F.3d 1156 (9th Cir. 1998). Ex post facto challenges are examined in the context of the circumstances giving rise to the case; therefore, any of these courts, given different circumstances, could rule differently.

Notice: This article is not legal counsel. You will need an attorney and your own wits to supply you with the details of your case.

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Contempt of Court: One Line of Thinking

violation of due process and civil rightsCivil contempt sanctions are designed to compel future compliance with a court order. In the eyes of the court, they are coercive and avoidable through obedience, and “thus may be imposed in an ordinary civil proceeding upon notice and an opportunity to be heard. Neither a jury trial nor proof beyond a reasonable doubt is required.” International Union, UMWA v. Bagwell, 512 U.S. 821, 114 S.Ct. 2552, 2557 (1994).

One line of reasoning is that once a civil contempt ruling is made by the judge, that ruling is criminal, which then falls under criminal jurisdiction. In this event, your rights change.

“Criminal contempt is a crime in the ordinary sense” claims Bloom v. Illinois, 391 U.S. 194, 201 (1968), and “criminal penalties may not be imposed on someone who has not been afforded the protections that the Constitution requires of such criminal proceedings.” Hicks v. Feiock, 485 U.S. 624, 632 (1988).

These constitutional protections include the right

(1) not to be subject to double jeopardy, see United States v. Dixon, 509 U.S. 688, 695 (1993); In re Bradley, 318 U.S. 50 (1943);

(2) to receive notice of the charges,

(3) to receive assistance of counsel;

(4) to receive summary process;

(5) to present a defense, Cooke v. United States, 267 U.S. 515, 537 (1925);

(6) not to self-incriminate oneself, and

(7) to proof beyond a reasonable doubt, Gompers v. Bucks Stove & Range Co., 221 U.S. 418, 444 (1911). For serious criminal contempts involving imprisonment of more than six months, these protections include the right to a jury trial. Bloom, 391 U.S. at 199.

One problem is that some judges have ruled that contempt of court is not a serious crime. This outlook continues to overshadow your civil rights. However, it can be argued that since this is not a serious crime, that the punishment does not fit the crime.

Notice: This article is not legal counsel.
You will need an attorney and your own wits
to supply you with the details of your case.

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Fair Child Support: The Audacity of Hope

Not a few of us have come to personally wonder, even mourn the loss of our true national identity. The personal identity of Americans is even more challenged. We have come to a place of oppression and circumstances over which we have no control, but we are going to have it all rubbed in our faces by oppressive law and unfettered government application. Mistakes aren’t permitted unless you have influence and a hefty bank account. Justice is bought and sold like a revel at Bourbon Street. It’s cheapened the nation and weakened the fabric of society instead of strengthening it. We are a nation that encourages vile and predatory behaviors which reject the core of what builds and strengthens the strong nations of the past for the rhetoric of despots that seek to wield unlimited power.

But …social conservatives…want a return to a bygone era, in which sexuality outside of marriage was subject to both punishment and shame, obtaining a divorce was far more difficult, and marriage offered not merely personal fulfillment but also well-defined social roles for men and for women. In their view, any government policy that appears to reward or even express neutrality toward what they consider to be immoral behavior whether providing birth control to young people, abortion services to women, welfare support for unwed mothers, or legal recognition of same-sex unions-inherently devalues the marital bond. Such policies take us one step closer, the argument goes, to a brave new world in which gender differences have been erased, sex is purely recreational, marriage is disposable, motherhood is an inconvenience, and civilization itself rests on shifting sands.

In this missive posted in his book Audacity of Hope, Barack Obama pretends to be reasonable by acknowledging the feelings of the opposition. He spends a chapter acknowledging the beauty of the Constitution, while dismissing it for something better, likely because of his status as a attorney that specializes in constitutional law. Instead, he talks around it as if to say, the Constitution is nice to study and a great document to thump on when you want to make a point, but it is a quaint tool of the past. Too bad the nation didn’t read his books before they voted him into office, not that it really matters anyway. John McCain, with ties to banking fraud, wasn’t a better choice, just a different one. Presidents have become cheerleaders of what sounds good while allowing Congress to pass predatory legislation without so much as a wimper. They have become complicit with the criminals that pretend to protect the nation.

Many politicians say that they see life as an issue of sexual behavior instead of the ability to maintain relationships, which government is loathe to do. It reinforces the negative instead of the good. It lies and distorts for the powerful and well-to-do. It favors mothers over fathers based on the timeworn models that it seeks to reject through the politics of empowerment. It has transferred this evil to divorced or rejected non-custodial parents. They are simply work horses that will sustain the children of the state as the elite look after their own interests.

“But all in all, I have little sympathy for those who would enlist the government in the task of enforcing sexual morality. Like most Americans, I consider decisions about sex, marriage, divorce, and childbearing to be highly personal-at the very core of our system of individual liberty. Where such personal decisions raise the prospect of significant harm to others-as is true with child abuse, incest, bigamy, domestic violence, or failure to pay child support-society has a right and duty to step in. (Those who believe in the personhood of the fetus would put abortion in this category.) Beyond that, I have no interest in seeing the president, Congress, or a government bureaucracy regulating what goes on in America’s bedrooms.

Moreover, I don’t believe we strengthen the family by bullying or coercing people into the relationships we think are best for them-or by punishing those who fail to meet our standards of sexual propriety. I want to encourage young people to show more reverence toward sex and intimacy, and I applaud parents, congregations, and community programs that transmit that message. But I’m not willing to consign a teenage girl to a lifetime of struggle because of lack of access to birth control. I want couples to understand the value of commitment and the sacrifices marriage entails. But I’m not willing to use the force of law to keep couples together regardless of their personal circumstances.” – (Audacity of Hope, Barack Obama, page 335)

No Mr. Obama, instead we bully them after the fact with law that only the most wealthy can manage. In the article “Deviance and Society in Child Support Law,” I detail how behavior has been stigmatized and grouped into types of addicted behavior. Politics ignores the truth about its’ role in the process as it seeks the “common good,” pretending to be above all matters of humanity. It treats single mothers and their children as wards of the state and celebrates its’ role in the matter. It treats fathers as workhorses, slaves which must forever pay for the mistakes of the relationship without due process and the standards that built the nation. Remember that these standards only apply to criminal law. The possibility of innocence only applies to criminals, but not to the non-custodial parent of children that the  government owns.

Family law has carefully been maintained as civil law, the law of lying ex-spouses and courthouse escapades, even though the non-custodial behavior has been criminalized in a world without the assurance of justice on any level. Judges can’t stand the irreverent carping of the ‘human trash’ they serve. Government has sanctioned the same predatory behavior in families and relationships that it holds as precious in its worldview of control. Manipulation has become the reality of all relationships, while soft words such a diversity and peace are espoused. They sell the virtues of sacrifice without possessing that virtue. Diversity and peace are the watchwords of society, as that society is gripped by social engineers that claim “common good.” We don’t need society. Government is the holder of punishment and shame.

You know the solution. Be a good slave, stay employed at all costs in the name of fear and don’t make waves- or face the consequences. Economics don’t matter, nor does unemployment. Good men and women know what they have to do. Playing into the system isn’t necessarily the best answer. Otherwise, there isn’t even the audacity of hope, the kind of hope that President Obama claims to live by.

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Applying Tort Law to Your Case

This should not be construed as legal advice.

A body of rights, obligations, and remedies that is applied by courts in civil proceedings to provide relief for persons who have suffered harm from the wrongful acts of others. The person who sustains injury or suffers pecuniary damage as the result of tortious conduct is known as the plaintiff, and the person who is responsible for inflicting the injury and incurs liability for the damage is known as the defendant or tortfeasor.

Three elements must be established in every tort action. First, the plaintiff must establish that the defendant was under a legal duty to act in a particular fashion. Second, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant breached this duty by failing to conform his or her behavior accordingly. Third, the plaintiff must prove that he suffered injury or loss as a direct result of the defendant’s breach.

The law of torts is derived from a combination of common-law principles and legislative enactments. Unlike actions for breach of contract, tort actions are not dependent upon an agreement between the parties to a lawsuit. Unlike criminal prosecutions, which are brought by the government, tort actions are brought by private citizens. Remedies for tortious acts include money damages and injunctions (court orders compelling or forbidding particular conduct). Tortfeasors are subject to neither fine nor incarceration in civil court.

The word tort comes from the Latin term torquere, which means “twisted or wrong.” The English Common Law recognized no separate legal action in tort. Instead, the British legal system afforded litigants two central avenues of redress: Trespass for direct injuries, and actions “on the case” for indirect injuries. Gradually, the common law recognized other civil actions, including Defamation, libel, and slander. Most of the American colonies adopted the English common law in the eighteenth century. During the nineteenth century, the first U.S. legal treatises were published in which a portion of the common law was synthesized under the heading of torts.

Over the last century, tort law has touched on nearly every aspect of life in the United States. In economic affairs, tort law provides remedies for businesses that are harmed by the unfair and deceptive trade practices of a competitor. In the workplace, tort law protects employees from the intentional or negligent infliction of emotional distress. Tort law also helps regulate the environment, providing remedies against both individuals and businesses that pollute the air, land, and water to such an extent that it amounts to a Nuisance.

Sometimes tort law governs life’s most intimate relations, as when individuals are held liable for knowingly transmitting communicable diseases to their sexual partners. When a loved one is killed by a tortious act, surviving family members may bring a Wrongful Death action to recover pecuniary loss. Tort law also governs a wide array of behavior in less intimate settings, including the operation of motor vehicles on public roadways.

The law of torts serves four objectives. First, it seeks to compensate victims for injuries suffered by the culpable action or inaction of others. Second, it seeks to shift the cost of such injuries to the person or persons who are legally responsible for inflicting them. Third, it seeks to discourage injurious, careless, and risky behavior in the future. Fourth, it seeks to vindicate legal rights and interests that have been compromised, diminished, or emasculated. In theory these objectives are served when tort liability is imposed on tortfeasors for intentional wrongdoing, Negligence, and ultrahazardous activities.

Intentional Torts

An intentional tort is any deliberate interference with a legally recognized interest, such as the rights to bodily integrity, emotional tranquility, dominion over property, seclusion from public scrutiny, and freedom from confinement or deception. These interests are violated by the intentional torts of assault, Battery, trespass, False Imprisonment, invasion of privacy, conversion, Misrepresentation, and Fraud. The intent element of these torts is satisfied when the tortfeasor acts with the desire to bring about harmful consequences and is substantially certain that such consequences will follow. Mere reckless behavior, sometimes called willful and wanton behavior, does not rise to the level of an intentional tort.

Under certain circumstances the law permits individuals to intentionally pursue a course of conduct that will necessarily result in harm to others. The harm that results from such conduct is said to be outweighed by more important interests. Self-preservation is one such interest and is embodied in the right of Self-Defense. Individuals may exert sufficient force in self-defense.

Remember:

Three elements must be established in every tort action. First, the plaintiff must establish that the defendant was under a legal duty to act in a particular fashion. Second, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant breached this duty by failing to conform his or her behavior accordingly. Third, the plaintiff must prove that he suffered injury or loss as a direct result of the defendant’s breach.

The Battle Continues: Slavery and American Politics

by E.J. Manning

slavery to children

American politics has always had a difficult time dealing with slavery of all kinds, which descended from the roots of the founding of the nation. While Abraham Lincoln ultimately did his best to transcend the racism and abuse that has infected this nation. Lincoln commonly evidenced a soft spot for people when it was not popular. When Lincoln spoke out in public office (1856) against the continuation of national slavery, Illinois politicians accused him of “the most ultra abolitionism” in reaction to Lincoln’s verbage: “Your race are suffering, in my judgment, the greatest wrong inflicted on any people.” The media of day was hardly sympathetic either, evidenced by the Illinois State Register that proclaimed “his niggerism has as dark a hue as that of (William) Garrison or Fred Douglas.” Lincoln’s opposers, like unscrupulous Stephen Douglas, scoffed at Lincoln and the plight of slaves.

Yet, even Lincoln was hardly a favorite among abolitionists of the day. He was not a god. He wavered consistently, uncertain at to how to deal the plague of national sin. Such is the plight of national politics where human and civil rights are concerned, even today. After the election, Lincoln avidly supported the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, which gave full authority to apprehend slaves and to carry out slave-killing pledges by various parties of slavers. On the other hand, Lincoln was involved in colonization schemes of the day. Reacting to the racial fears of the time, Lincoln sought indirect opportunities for slave emancipation. Lincoln summoned a committee of free blacks (1862) from the District of Columbia to the White House. “You are cut off from many of the advantages which other race enjoy.” Lincoln told the members of the delegation that the black presence was to blame for the Civil War, lecturing them on their duty to persuade their people to emigrate to the coal mines of Central America. He urged them to go where they would be treated best.

The abolitionists were enraged by these comments and rampaged against Lincoln as missing the “spark of humanity.” Frederick Douglass called Lincoln a “genuine representative of American prejudice.” Douglass rightly attacked the “tardy, hesitating and vacillating policy of the President of the United States.” Lincoln defended himself by stressing the importance of timing and preparation, reasoning that the victims of racism were hated men. We don’t have a similar champion of human or civil rights in the United States today, despite notorious attacks on the civil freedoms of Americans across the board. Instead, this abuse is justified by carefully crafted manipulation by politicians and corporate powers that expect to benefit from money and authority behind the scenes to feather their nests.

kangaroo court

Repeal Bradley Law

In the corporate mind of fascist America, we still need slaves and serfs to serve the needs of the elite. They seek the restoration of the original Industrial America. In their minds, the American Experiment has failed them, and so, they have elected to subvert it entirely for another world order where a man is a dog. This greed and lack of respect for human beings is evidenced by the outsourcing of jobs wholesale from the nation that made so many corporations wealthy, in order to further pad their bottom lines. The same greed and lack of respect exists for those that fabricated and have continued to support the Bradley Amendment for Social Security, which advocates the use of Federal money to encourage the States to aggressively enforce child support by any means, using loopholes in civil law and promoting the using of debtor’s prison. In civil law, there is no professed innocence before guilt. That legal dogma only exists in criminal law.

As a result, the poorest of Americans are routinely oppressed without representation in a system that requires it to get anything approaching a “fair shake.” Slavery has returned to the nation through legal sanction, if it every really left to begin with. We still have the wisdom of ages that speaks against this abuse of power by the old writer of Lincoln’s Day, Horace Greeley: “Enslave a man and you destroy his ambition, his enterprise, his capacity. In the constitution of human nature, the desire of bettering one’s condition is mainspring of effort.” This observation is clearly more right than most American’s today care to acknowledge. The remnants of a middle class of Americans are distracted, grieved and fearful, carefully cultivated by the politics of 9/11. They are owned lock, stock and barrel by the company store, brainwashed by decades of corporate fascism, political favoritism and the lust for power.

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Criminal Child Support Delinquency?

by E.J. Manning

child support checkThe Child Support System continues to promote itself as the salvation of family rights. The system says that child support payments help families become stronger. They claim to favor responsibility, even as they deny their own. As part of Child Support Awareness Month, the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services has released a feature on its website that allows the public to easily search a database of non-custodial parents who owe child support, in violation of their civil rights as American citizens. Undoubtedly, other states are doing much the same thing in order to curry favor, influence and cash flow. The government agencies hope that increased child support payments will reduce the need for public assistance, although this has not been proved. To them, it is all about stemming the tide of government welfare payments and they won’t hesitate to take money any way they can get it from those state residents that are subject to them.

So what is the grand promotion? The “Child Support Delinquent Payors Search” allows users to search nearly 53,000 delinquent non-custodial parents by first or last name, city, amount owed and parish where the court order was established in Louisiana. These sanctimonious folks want the name of delinquent non-custodials besmirched no matter what the cause. The system must be “right” through the authority of underground control mechanisms of eugenics and government control. To them, it is about evasion, about criminality, the definitions of which they will fashion to suit their authority. Anyone that is late with child support may ultimately be due for more prison than many murderers, rapists and most white collar criminals. The system wants your compliance and will do anything possible to put you under their thumb, even when the charges aren’t proved, but “alleged.”  Meanwhile, the national government speaks of the marvels of freedom and democracy as it bends and breaks its’ own rules. They don’t care. They see this as an opportunity to track men and women who evade child support obligations to the state. The attack against American citizens ranges from seizure of assets, suspension of driver’s, business, professional, hunting or fishing licenses, interception of state and federal tax returns, passport denial and contempt of court charges, plus whatever they can dream in the course of creating new law through renegade judges. You owe the state and you’re gonna pay. Never mind whether they commit mail fraud or break any law. They are in authority. They have the power. At least, that is what they have convinced most Americans. That is called exploitation folks.

Money is what the entire process is really about: a child support industry where the state receives 2 dollars in matching federal funds for every dollar collected. Non-custodial parents aren’t people, they are simply “payors.” Amounts owed by delinquent “payors” range from hundreds of dollars to more than $100,000. For example, Louisiana’s unpaid child support claims are about $1.2 billion, with approximately half of that total considered delinquent. Think of the money the state of Louisiana (or any other state) can generate from the government entrenched child support industry. Wily members of Congress often see the opportunity to win brownie points from a complaining populace of women that often fail to be accountable for their actions, wishing to push their errors off on others or to have higher authorities help them clean up their lousy lives.

The system continues to peddle their services to the unfortunate and the deluded.They can help everyone they advertise! Why? They like federal money and to receive whatever acclaim they can garner. They must justify their existence through undermining the American family and rebuilding society to their liking through the redistribution of wealth. Violating the rights of American citizens isn’t their concern, especially since these citizens have been relegated to deadbeat status. It’s time to stand up and be counted. Only you can stand up for yourself and the rights that a new age of government seeks to take away from you, even as they whittle away at the rights and privacy of everyone in the nation in the process…all in the name of children’s rights, which are non-existent in any founding document. Remember that the children’s rights movement was created by the eugenics movement, a nasty and racist underground agenda that has already done huge damage to the human race.

For more details, read more on this website.

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