Posts belonging to Category Courts and Legislatures



Man jailed for failure to pay child support released – Houston Chronicle

This is welcome news.  He should never have been jailed in the first place.  This case shows just how idiotic and dangerous the child support enforcement industry can be.  These types of people seem to lack a sense of basic humanity.

An attorney for a man who was jailed last week for failure to pay child support said her client was released late Wednesday.

Tyesha Elam said a Houston family court judge ordered Clifford Hall be released after a jail review hearing. The 43-year-old Houston man now gets to see his 12-year-old son.

“That was what he was most excited about,” Elam said.

The highly publicized case revolved around a clerical error which lead to Hall’s week-long stint in custody.

For several months Hall failed to pay the full amounts owed in child support for his son. But Hall said he was being punished just because of a clerical error at his workplace.

After exhausting his appeals options, the Houstonian surrendered himself to authorities at the Harris County Civil Courthouse on June 24 to serve a six-month sentence for failure to pay child support.

While Hall worked at AT&T, an employee in charge of garnishing his paycheck for child support withheld the incorrect amount for months, according to an affidavit signed by an AT&T employee who manages workers compensation benefits.

via Man jailed for failure to pay child support released – Houston Chronicle.

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That Texas Child Support Case: What Everyone Is Missing – The Root

What everyone is missing is that there are some places the law should not go.  Institutionalized child support is evil.  It was evil in its conception. It is evil in its execution.  The state should not be involved in the family.

I completely disagree with those who say the solution is in the legislatures.  The solution is with people just quitting.  People must simply not comply with an evil law.  People should break evil laws. Judges should resign rather than send someone to prison in order to conform to an evil law.  People should be rioting over this type of thing.  But they are not.

The corruption of this government is to the point of complete.  For example, we used to say that by simply jamming the jails full, it would collapse the corruption.  However these people – the people who believe they have the right to tell others how to live, how to take care of their children, etc. – these people have devised a diabolical fix: private for profit jails!  So now, counties and states get money from the federal government for putting people in jail.  Where does the federal government get the money?  The make it up as needed!  Therefore, sending someone to jail, even though no one has been harmed (except the father’s family by the actions of the state itself!) is now part of improving or stimulating the economy!

To buy into all this nonsense is utter maddness, yet it is the dominant view.  How sad.  The only way to cope is to comply and simply resign yourself to doing as you are told like a good slave, or simply  opt out.  Don’t participate in this rigged game.  Make your own game.

The problem, insists Hall’s lawyer Tyesha Elam, is the law—more specifically, a law that Texas passed in June 2013 repealing protections for parents paying child support who may fall behind.

“I think that people are not recognizing that we have a local change in the law that allowed this result. People are so desirous of blaming the judge or blaming [Hall] that they’re just not hearing when I say the problem is the law,” Elam told The Root on Friday, during the same week her client turned himself in. “Across the country when people get behind in child support, the desire is for them to purge by making a substantial or total payment. That’s universal, that’s the goal: Pay your child support.

“Here in Texas we had an actual statute passed in 2007 that says if you purge and pay all that you owe, then not only will we take jail off the table, we’ll just pursue other alternatives if you pay up. What happened June 14, 2013, is that protection was repealed, and so our laws legally said that if a person falls behind—and even if they paid up—they can still go to jail, and that’s what I think people are missing,” Elam explained.

“This couldn’t have happened in June 2012. This couldn’t have happened in May 2013, but [Hall’s case] happened November 2013, after the law changed, and so what I’m trying to do is get the word out because I want … federal purging protection,” she continued. “I want the Supreme Court or [Congress] to come down and say everybody has the right to fix [their payment problems]. … In Texas our parents lost that right in June 2013.”

via That Texas Child Support Case: What Everyone Is Missing – The Root.

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Dad begins jail sentence in complicated child support case | News – Home

These court rulings show decisively, that these child support enforcement laws have one goal: complete control.  They want to own you.  they want your willing obedience.  It has nothing to do with protecting children, it is all about control and money.  The child support industry is evil. In the long run, it harms children.  In the long run it destroys civil society.  It doesn’t work because it is wrong.  Nevertheless, there is a very mean spirit very much alive out there causing many to see things very differently.  This draconian ruling is indicative to me that things are becoming even more polarized, which could lead to civil unrest, and even more draconian measures.

 

Clifford Hall showed up to the Harris County civil courthouse prepared to serve his jail time.

Hall fell behind and owed more than $3,000 in child support, but his attorneys claim the money was garnished not from his paycheck, but his employer.

The company did not submit the money to the court for his son and ex-wife to collect.

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Man sentenced to jail in case of unpaid child support

Dad in controversial child support case begins jail sentence

Hall eventually paid what was due plus an extra $1,000, but by that time a change in the law made it impossible for him to avoid jail time. Hall is also facing accusations that he did not follow a court-ordered visitation schedule and kept the mother away from his son longer than allowed.

The case was appealed to the 14th Court of Appeals. Hall was unsuccessful and was ordered to begin serving a jail sentence.

“It’s a horrible feeling and it makes me sick to my stomach but I have to do it,” Hall said. “I don’t know how it got like this, but I just want to move forward with my life.”

Hall and his attorney hope his story can become a cautionary tale.

via Dad begins jail sentence in complicated child support case | News – Home.

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Bill Forces People Going Through Divorce To Get A Judge’s Permission Before Having Sex In Own Home | ThinkProgress

As ludicrous as this sounds, there are many fathers who would probably support such a law.  The reason is that there are millions of fathers who have been forced by the courts to make house payments, car payments and other debt payments, on top of having joint accounts frozen or closed, their paycheck garnished, such that they are impoverished, living in mom’s basement, or sometimes even in their car – and then, on top of that, these same fathers must attend anger management classes, parenting classes, under go drug testing, etc., just to get supervised visitation with their own children.  Then to top it all off, the mother moves her boyfriend into the house.  A complete stranger who is having sex with the mother in the house that the father continues to pay for, etc…..

Yes, this proposed law is ludicrous.  However, it is no more ludicrous than is the scenario outlined above, which, unfortunately, is not uncommon.

There’s nothing that sets the mood for a romantic evening like petitioning a judge for permission to have sex at the end of the night.

If Massachusetts State Sen. Richard J. Ross (R) gets his way, that’s exactly what many women (and men) would have to do if they have children and are going through a divorce. In fact, not only would permission-less coitus be banned, but so too would the romantic evening and many dating activities.

Ross’ bill seeks to amend Massachusetts divorce law with the following provision (emphasis added):

In divorce, separation, or 209A proceedings involving children and a marital home, the party remaining in the home shall not conduct a dating or sexual relationship within the home until a divorce is final and all financial and custody issues are resolved, unless the express permission is granted by the courts.

The legislation, S787, was first filed in early 2013. On Thursday, it received an extension for consideration in the State House until June 30. In its current state, the bill does not specify what the penalty is for pre-divorce copulation.

Massachusetts law currently mandates a waiting period of at least 120 days for divorces to become finalized, and that’s only after a judge has approved the separation agreement. In other words, it could take at least four months, if not longer, before a person getting a divorce is legally allowed to fornicate.

Ross, who serves as Minority Whip, took over former Sen. Scott Brown’s (R-MA) state Senate seat in 2010.

UPDATE

Ross’ staff told ThinkProgress that the senator is “not in support” of the bill. It was filed on behalf of a constituent, Robert LeClair, as a courtesy to him. Massachusetts law allows legislators to put forth a citizen’s piece of legislation, as Ross did in this case, though there is no requirement that they do so.

via Bill Forces People Going Through Divorce To Get A Judge’s Permission Before Having Sex In Own Home | ThinkProgress.

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Repeat child support offenders face more jail time | WISHTV.com

More draconian measures will only increase the police state. This amounts to a state imposed religion – the religion of conformity to the current power structure.  “Do as we say, or else…”

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Repeat offenders who don’t pay child support will face greater penalties in Indiana.

Gov. Mike Pence signed legislation this week to make repeated criminal nonsupport of a child punishable by two to eight years in prison.

Previous law only allowed such sentences for those owing more than $15,000 in back child support.

Other changes give judges more flexibility in lowering sentences if offenders pay their overdue support and serve probation. A lesser sentence also means judges have the option to clear offenders’ records.

Attorneys who specialize in family law say keeping a felony charge off someone’s record could help offenders find jobs and ultimately provide reliable support for their children.

via Repeat child support offenders face more jail time | WISHTV.com.

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Push to change custody laws: What’s best for kids? | 89.3 KPCC

The problem is that it is often the offending parent… the one who really wants to hurt the other, who can change everything by just a few carefully worded statements that invoke the domestic violence statutes.  Once you have run afoul of that, you are screwed.  It is an unholy situation brought about by some really man hating people over the last 25 years.

Fathers today spend more time than ever with their kids, experiencing just as much stress as women in balancing work and family, if not more. But when couples divorce and a custody dispute hits the courts, too many judges award custody to mom, according fathers’ rights groups.

Ned Holstein, head of the National Parents Organization, formerly called Fathers and Families, says research shows that children do better academically and emotionally when they see a lot of each parent.

“We believe family courts are actively hurting kids,” by not awarding joint custody more often, says Holstein. The best legislation, he says, favors joint custody, so long as both parents are fit and there’s been no domestic violence.

via Push to change custody laws: What’s best for kids? | 89.3 KPCC.

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Bill could let men sever child support with DNA test results | Legislature | The News Tribune

A female lawmaker from Port Orchard says men in Washington are being unfairly forced to pay child support for children who aren’t theirs, and the state should let them escape that burden.

A measure introduced by state Sen. Jan Angel, R-Port Orchard, would allow a man to challenge his status as a child’s legal parent in court if genetic tests prove he is not the father.

Current law in Washington generally only gives fathers four years to challenge a child’s parentage, and assumes a man is the father if he was married to the child’s mother close to the child’s birth date.

Angel’s bill would let a man try to sever his legal ties to a child at any time within two years of learning he is not the child’s biological father — whether the child’s age is 5 or 15.

If a man’s request to sever paternity were granted by a judge, he would no longer have to pay child support for the child, even if he previously acknowledged himself to be the parent or was married to the mother at the time of the child’s birth. (more…)

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Clerical Error In Child Support Payments Leads To Six-Month Jail Sentence For Clifford Hall (VIDEO)

Due to a clerical error, Texas father Clifford Hall received a bill charging him nearly $3,000 in overdue child support last year. Hall quickly repaid the amount, even paying an additional $1,000 to balance his debt. But despite his repayment, Hall was sentenced to six months in jail. He and his attorney Tyesha Elam joined host Nancy Redd to share his story on HuffPost Live.

Errors in the automated child support withdrawal amounts from Hall’s paycheck caused a payment shortage, but when Hall discovered this imbalance, he worked to pay it immediately.

Elam explained, “I assumed as soon as he brought me the receipt catching him up as well as the letter advising him of the overpayment, I thought, ‘oh this one will be easy.’ I’m thinking, ‘let me let the opposing counsel know and we’ll be done with this matter.’”

“But the opposing counsel informed me that she wasn’t willing to settle the case. She wanted $3,500 in attorney’s fees and she was confident from this judge that she could get it. So she refused to settle. So we had to move forward.”

The situation escalated due to a law in Texas, which stipulates that overdue child support could lead to jail time, Elam explained. “As of June 14, 2013, in the state of Texas, a person can get behind on their child support, show up to court, paid up, and still go to jail. The maximum sentence is 6 months in jail, and that is exactly what Mr. Hall was sentenced to.”

When he heard the verdict, Hall was shocked. “My mouth just dropped. I’m looking around–I looked at my attorney like, ‘she’s joking, she can’t be serious,’” he explained. “We’re just sitting there like, ‘wow, I’m going to jail for six months. I’m going to jail for six months. I’m going to jail. This is so unfair, this is not right, this isn’t justice. This is not right.’ How is this in my son’s best interest? That doesn’t even make sense.”

Elam was unable to appeal the judge’s decision, so Hall was left with no choice but to turn himself in. His sentence began on Jan. 21, 2014.

via Clerical Error In Child Support Payments Leads To Six-Month Jail Sentence For Clifford Hall (VIDEO).

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Child Support: Increasing obligations likely to backfire – Richmond Times-Dispatch: Guest-columnists

Virginia is on the verge of substantially increasing child-support obligations for the first time since 1988. But the proposed increase, which recently passed a legislative committee as a bill called HB 933, would result in excessive obligations for many parents, more unpaid child support and more jailings for nonpayment at taxpayer expense. Some noncustodial parents already pay more than 50 percent of their income in child support.

Order people to pay more than they can afford, and they may simply give up and not pay at all. Even the drafter of the increased child-support schedule, Dr. Jane Venohr, admitted in 2012 that “Research shows that noncustodial parents whose child support obligations are more than 20 percent of their income are less likely to pay.”

But such high obligations are commonplace even under Virginia’s existing child-support guidelines. In Herring v. Herring (2000), Virginia’s existing child-support guidelines set the obligation of John Herring, a father of two, at $673 per month, more than half his monthly salary of $1,300. He was so poor that he lived in his sister’s basement. When a trial judge reduced his obligation to a more reasonable $484 per month — 37 percent of his income — the Virginia Court of Appeals reversed that reduction, because it was contrary to Virginia’s existing child-support guidelines. Under the increased child-support schedule drafted by Venohr, this poor man’s child-support obligation would go up even further.

Her increased child-support schedule inflates the obligations of many poor and working-class parents: It makes noncustodial parents pay for costs that custodial parents have already effectively been reimbursed for by the federal tax code. That includes payments like the $1,000 per-child refundable tax credit, the earned-income tax credit and the personal exemption of $3,900 in income from tax per child. For many lower-income households, these tax benefits amount to most of the cost of raising a child.

via Child Support: Increasing obligations likely to backfire – Richmond Times-Dispatch: Guest-columnists.

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Sperm donor or deadbeat dad? Donor owes child support, says judge. – CSMonitor.com

Good argument to never get involved with any kind of activity that includes the words “Craigslist” and “sperm”.

TOPEKA, Kan. — A man who provided sperm to a lesbian couple in response to an online ad is the father of a child born to one of the women and must pay child support, a Kansas judge ruled Wednesday.

Topeka resident William Marotta had argued that he had waived his parental rights and didn’t intend to be a father. Shawnee County District Court Judge Mary Mattivi rejected that claim, saying the parties didn’t involve a licensed physician in the artificial insemination process and thus Marotta didn’t qualify as a sperm donor, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported.

“In this case, quite simply, the parties failed to perform to statutory requirement of the Kansas Parentage Act in not enlisting a licensed physician at some point in the artificial insemination process, and the parties’ self-designation of (Marotta) as a sperm donor is insufficient to relieve (Marotta) of parental right and responsibilities to the child,” Mattivi wrote.

via Sperm donor or deadbeat dad? Donor owes child support, says judge. – CSMonitor.com.

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