These are some thoughts to consider about surviving federal child support as you live out your life in the USA.
You can not be held in contempt for child support if you can not afford to pay. The burden of proof that you can afford to pay is on the other side, but judges ignore this fact every day by playing ignorant unless you bring this up.
Contempt is supposed to be to get compliance. Jail will not get compliance. Demand immediate reduction in support amount if jailed.
Demand it. If criminal you have an absolute right. Civil if over $20.
The Sixth Amendment provides the right to ‘…trial by an impartial jury…’ Also under Article II, Section 2, the trial of all crimes except in cases of impeachment, shall be by jury. The power of the jury acts as a check and balance related to criminal charges and the enforcement of criminal laws. The jury is theorized to gives the people absolute power over the enforcement of criminal laws. (note: criminal)
Ask about jurisdiction:
Supreme Justice Court had Common Law Jurisdiction until 1877 and exclusive jurisdiction until 1889 on divorce and custody issues. Wrong venue and jurisdiction voids all orders.
* BLOOM V. ILLINOIS, 88 S.Ct. 1477
in Bloom v. Illinois, 73 the Court announced that ”[o]ur deliberations have convinced us . . . that serious contempts are so nearly like other serious crimes that they are subject to the jury trial provisions of the Constitution . . . and that the traditional rule is constitutionally infirm insofar as it permits other than petty contempts to be tried without honoring a demand for a jury trial.”
* DUNCAN V. LOUISIANA, 88 S.Ct. 1444
Duncan v. Louisiana, 391 U.S. 145, 153, 155-156 (1968).
in the Eighteenth Century, Blackstone could commemorate the institution as part of a ”strong and two-fold barrier . . . between the liberties of the people and the prerogative of the crown” because ”the truth of every accusation . . . . [must] be confirmed by the unanimous suffrage of twelve of his equals and neighbors indifferently chosen and superior to all suspicion.”
Contempt of Court is quasi-criminal, merits all constitutional protections:
* EX PARTE DAVIS, 344
SW 2d 925 (1976)
update per reader: the correct reporter cite for Ex Parte Davis is 344 S.W. 2d 153 (Tex. 1961)
A civil action to collect statutory penalties and punitive damages, although not technically criminal, has been held to implicate no right to jury trial. (1) But more recently the Court has held denationalization to be punishment which Congress may not impose without adhering to the guarantees of the Fifth and Sixth Amendments, (2) and the same type of analysis could be used with regard to other sanctions.
(1) Id. See also Oceanic Steam Navigation Co. v. Stranahan, 214 U.S. 320 (1909); Hepner v. United States, 213 U.S. 103 (1909).
(2) Kennedy v. Mendoza-Martinez, 372 U.S. 144 (1963).
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.
Right to Trial in Contempt Cases by E.J. Manning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
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