Non Payment of Child Support Indigent Defense | Turner v. Rogers

Turner v. Rogers and its Importance in Indigent Defensemoney-from-feds-2016

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I wanted to take some time out of my schedule to discuss Turner v. Rogers while it’s still recent and I remember my thoughts on the matter.  First, I will provide some basic background on the case.  Then, I will discuss the basic legal and policy arguments of the case.  Finally, I will turn attention to my predictions and the importance of this case for indigent advocacy in general.

I. HISTORY OF THE CASE

What is this Turner v. Rogers case I’m talking about?  The answer, thankfully, is rather straightforward.  This case involves two indigent parents involved in a dispute over child support.  The mother, Ms. Rogers, brought a straightforward court claim against Mr. Turner for child support he owed to their daughter.  So far, nothing out of the ordinary.

The noteworthy aspect of the case is that Mr. Turner is indigent, a formal term for a person who is poor; presumably below the poverty line.  In terms of full disclosure, both Ms. Rogers and Mr. Turner were indigent parents.

The court in this case held Mr. Turner in contempt for failing to pay for his child support obligations.  A proper defense to this failure is an inability to pay based upon lack of necessary income.  If that’s the case, why did the judge hold Mr. Turner in contempt?  There is both a broad and specific answer.  The broad one is that the poverty defense is an affirmative one — one that a defendant must prove in order to avoid being held in contempt.  The specific answer is that Mr. Turner lacked an attorney, who would have certainly asserted this defense.

In these situations, a person can typically be held in either civil or criminal contempt, the specifics of which vary by jurisdiction.  This case occurred in South Carolina, where a person facing civil contempt may be incarcerated as a result.  That’s what occurred with Mr. Turner, who was sentenced to serve jail time for being what most us know in lay terms as being “a deadbeat dad.”

Mr. Turner appealed his case all the way up to the South Carolina Supreme Court on the grounds that he was entitled to have an attorney appointed for him since he could not pay for one on his own.  The South Carolina Supreme Court disagreed with his claim and, as a result, he petitioned the US Supreme Court to hear his case.Family Court vs Criminal Court - 2016

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Lawyers would rather try heinous murder cases rather than one family law case.

Family law is not for the faint of heart, and institute teaches best principles and methods ~ Tulsa WorldAmerica legal system failure 2016

Family law is a tough practice.

Children’s futures are at stake. Homes and any monies involved are being divided. Cases turn ugly in a moment, and attorneys representing their clients must be prepared for these sometimes unexpected mood shifts.

Family Court vs Criminal Court - 2016.pngSome Tulsa attorneys admit they would rather try a number of heinous murder cases rather than one family law case.

Judges have been heard to say they dread the controversial and contested family law cases because no one clearly is the winner and everyone loses when all cards have been played.we-need-a-winner-2015

Even attorneys involved in a family law practice have difficult times because of the twists and turns a case might have. Shane Henry, who practices family law with the Fry and Elder Law Firm, said he consistently lost cases during his first three years in practice and knew he needed additional training.

The question was where to go.

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Confused about what “best interests of the child” means?

…so are judges, attorneys, and especially psychologists. So don’t worry, you’re not alone…

“Best Interests of the Child”
– Fact or Lyrical Poetry?

Family Court Professionals Disclose the Truth – Weightier Matter

Don’t worry, you’re not alone.  So are judges, attorneys, and especially psychologists.

AFCC_Tampa_Brochure_2006-3-1At AFCC’s 2006 national conference in Tampa, FL, family court professionals gathered to discuss whether “family” or “parents’” rights were compatible with the “best interests of the child” standard.  But in comparing “rights” to “best interests,” the discussion took an unexpected turn to a more fundamental question:

What does “best interests” really mean?

Does it take a Ph.D. to know the answer?

Do judges know any better than lawyers, psychologists, or parents themselves?

Does anyone really know what “bests interests” means and how to determine it for any child or family?

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A WEBSITE TO HELP PARENTS AND KIDS SUFFERING FROM PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME

Defending Our Children and Families

“Don’t worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition.” Abraham Lincoln.

The American Parents’ Pledge ( ESPAÑOL AQUÍ):

Please pass it forward. Buy someone else a booklet. Donate $1 here: https://www.paypal.com/signin/?country.x=US&locale.x=en_US Education is power!

Another Dad’s Story~

On June 6, 2012, DCF (Department of Children and Families) came to my house with yet another one of multiple false DCF calls alleging that my whole family, my parents, my brother, my new wife and I were mistreating our children. That afternoon, I called my children and prayed with them a prayer I had taught them and had posted on my refrigerator, and which I even use to teach Sunday school children with, The Spiritual Armor of God found in Ephesians 6. To my surprise, my ex-wife that same night was delusional and called police and DCF around midnight alleging that I was scaring her and my children by telling them that an evil spirit would come and kill them all, and that she was scared that I was the evil spirit that would come and kill them (see denied Domestic Violence petition).

The accusation was so outlandishly foolish and laughable, especially in light of my ex’s history of Bipolar Disorder with psychotic featuresParental Alienation, and sociopathic behavior such as repeated false accusations, having an affair and absconding with my children in another country  (see letter to ambassador to Nicaragua, and e-mail with State Department), and because my own son had denied this accusation in a legally obtained phone recording, that I thought that there was no way a Judge would even waste his/her time with it, especially since a Judge had already considered similar accusations before, and she had been caught on camera assaulting me, and then lying to police showing with bruises all over her body, and her own ex-boyfriend had confessed what she had done when she decided to alienate him from their yet not even born son and came back to the U.S. to have their child. Unfortunately,  the original Judged had been changed, and I was completely wrong for I did not realize that I was dealing with the Miami-Dade Family Court system, and with some Judges that are flat out either incompetent or corrupt, and should have never been in Family Court in the first place.

dysfunctional-family-courts-2015

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Kangaroo (Family) Court Corruption Commission

Judicial Conduct Commission Renamed Kangaroo Corruption Commission | Leon Koziol.Com

It’s been awhile since Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas depicted family courts in America as “Kangaroo” operations, see In re Gault, 387 US 1, 27-28. But Abe never came across New York’s Commission on Judicial Conduct. Now that’s a kangaroo commission if there ever was one. Its members are appointed by corrupt politicians such as Sheldon Silver (now in federal prison), Dean Skelos (convicted of federal crimes) and Andy Cuomo (currently under federal investigation). Governor Andrew Cuomo  prematurely dissolved his own corruption commission when testimony (i.e. me) began implicating the politicians who created it.

Another entity, the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, was created by the same trio of politicians in 2011 as part of a “Clean-Up Albany Act.” By 2015, state legislators were decrying it as “J-Joke” for its impotence. The chair of that Commission was recently named Chief Justice of New York’s high court by the same Governor Andy Cuomo who created both commissions. That should have all people visiting or doing business here very concerned.

Yeah there are so many taxpayer financed commissions these days that the public cannot figure them all out. Hell they all sound good, but what are they accomplishing? The third one (featured here) has kicked legitimate complaints against judges to the curb faster than its kangaroo sister commission in California (reported to have rejected more than 90% filed). It’s a nationwide epidemic calling upon the citizenry to make a stand. A rally has been set for September 17, 2016 at Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.  Be there !

As a result, this Judicial Conduct Commission has been renamed the Kangaroo Corruption Commission (KCC) by victimized litigants to accurately  describe the entity’s true character. Okay it’s not official yet, but we commoners who pay taxes and put up with their circus show like to be graphic with what’s really going on. We’re not so easily duped into believing that a catchy title with elite law firm members verify a genuine commitment to public service. They’re the foxes watching the chicken coup. So we call it as we see it.

Today I received yet another letter from “Jean M. Savanyu” clerk of the Commission advising me once again that Lewis County Family Judge Daniel King (“Dan King” as he introduced himself to my family court opponent on the phone) is just a-okay. Now for our 6,000 followers, you all know this can’t be right. Dan King has committed so much misconduct that anyone coming into “his” court should bring along a recorder (since he caused one of my secret custody proceedings to be unrecorded so his misconduct could be concealed).

Appealing such clear misconduct is equally impotent. In my case, the “honorable” Nancy Smith of the Fourth Department denied recourse against King when he issued a support violation order impossible to comply with because it required support payments to an agency without legal authority to accept it.

Dan King was simply abusing judicial office in retaliation for my (accurate) public criticisms of his incompetence (see listing below). Nancy is the only judge above trial level ever to be slapped on the wrist by the KCC for giving a glowing reference to a person she never met for personal and political gain as a judge. Does anyone seriously think she could be impartial here?

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Lawyers and Politicians Actually Want You and Your Children To Suffer

Why Lawyers & Politicians Actually Want You and Your Children To Suffer

You might have noticed that the theme of our most recent publicity messages center around “sharing the truth”.

And there’s a reason for this: we’ve been seeing a rather robust effort on the part of our opposition to blatantly lie to the Public in an attempt to thwart Family Law reform.

In reality, this is not new.  Because they’ve been doing this for the last forty years or so.

Never the less, you’re probably seeing a ridiculous talking point come up a lot lately.  I’ve seen it all over, and it’s probably best described by a Facebook post I saw in the Love and Iron newsfeed from NC Fathers.  Here is the opening post:

“In speaking w/ a NC Legislator yesterday, she exclaimed that in many cases the only reason a non-custodial parent would want shared parenting or joint custody is so that they could lower child support payments.”

I then followed up with a post to that thread describing my disgust with National Organization for Women (NOW) and other anti-equal parenting lobbying groups; because it’s become apparent that this is one of the universal talking points that’s being injected into the public commentary – I’m simply seeing it all over.  Basically, here’s  what they’re saying:

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Fathers for Equal Rights! #FatherlessDay

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Judicial Accountability Coup d’Etat in America

HARVESTING JUSTICE starting with the Low Hanging Fruit Opt-in USA NFJA - 2016Low Hanging Fruit, i.e. Senate reconfirmation hearings on Special Counsel Carolyn Lerner  —  OPT-IN-USA

The prospect of Joseph P. Carson securing the support of our national grassroots legal/judicial reform community transforms his 25 year long quest for OSC and MSPB accountability into a potential judicial accountability coup d’etat in America.

We identified it as an international human rights issue. We learned that a potentially insurmountable obstacle to relief was America’s failure to ratify the Optional Protocols to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT). With all these U.S. foreign policy considerations swirling in the air, it can be difficult to remember that Opt IN USA is a grassroots campaign to redress unchecked judicial misconduct in America.

Our goal is appropriate judicial accountability. There should be substantive and procedural mechanisms by which it is supplied on a case-by-case basis in America. And, of course, America is no stranger to appropriate judicial accountability. But many (too many) Americans are denied that measure of good government. Yet that injustice should not and, in fact, cannot be our Swan Song. We are not swans. We are Phoenixes!
  • Opt IN USA will continue coordinating meetings between its campaign participants and their U.S. Representatives.
  • Campaign coordinators will assist campaign participants in following up with whomever they met at those meetings.
  • Already Opt IN USA is teaming up with some of the world’s most accomplished human rights activists to address the relative isolation of Americans from the international human rights community and the corresponding threat for current and potential targets of The Third Degree.
  • Opt IN USA and its sister organization, NFOJA (National Forum On Judicial Accountability) will assist any and all willing Opt IN USA participants in organizing and mobilizing for local and/or state-focused judicial reform advocacy.
  • IN THE MEANTIME, we should try to get a wi
    n for judicial accountability under our belts, and the U.S. Senate reconfirmation hearings on Special Counsel Carolyn N. Lerner presents an opportunity for us to do just that!

Family Court Judges2 - 2016

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WHAT OF GRANDPARENTS’ “RIGHTS”?

WHAT’S THE SOURCE OF GRANDPARENTS’ “RIGHTS”?

what-of-grandparent-rights-2016– thefitparentsrights

A fit parent’s “liberty” is defined as the right to establish a home and direct the upbringing of one’s children.  Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390, 399 (1923). Such is what makes it a “liberty interest”. This liberty interest is fundamental to the citizens of the United States of America.Washington v. Glucksberg, 117 S.Ct. 2258, 2268, 521 U.S. 702, 720-21 (U.S.Wash.,1997).

Therefore, this right is protected by the Due Process Clause of 14th Amendment to the  United States Constitution.

This means, if the state-as in a judge- wants to infringe or terminate this fundamental liberty interest, he or she had better apply the process due to a parent first. Otherwise, its action is explicitly forbidden. Id. at 721. If the state cannot show that it has a narrowly tailored compelling interest, then the state cannot touch the fit parent’s right at all. Ibid. No other avenue is constitutionally available to accomplish state action, which will adversely affect a parent’s fundamental liberty interest.

grandparent-alienation-2016

If a parent appeals an adverse action by a state which has affected his or her fundamental liberty interest, the reviewing Court must apply the Strict Scrutiny standard of review, to determine whether the state action was indeed achieved without the state showing that it had a narrowly tailored compelling interest to take the action it did. Id. Grandparent Family Bond Obstryction - Public Health Crisis -- 2016This is a compulsory standard. It’s not an option. Nowhere does it say that if the reviewing Court has sat down and collectively decided, for whatever arbitrary reasoning, that it should apply a lesser standard, that it can do so.

That being said, tell me. Where exactly do Grandparents’ “Rights”, come from? When a parent is brought before a Court and his or her fundamental liberty interest is at stake, there are only TWO competing interests here- the parent’s and the state’s. Santosky v. Kramer, 455 U.S. 745, 759-60 (U.S.N.Y., 1982). If the parent is fit, then the child’s interest, coincides with his or her fit parent’s. Id. at 745, 748, 760-761 (1982). The child’s interest does not stand alone. As such is the case, where exactly-constitutionally- does the Grandparent’s so called “interest” fit into the equation? I can tell you where-nowhere- because they don’t have any “rights”- not under these United States’ Constitution..

no-system-ever-devised-to-cause-so-much-harm-as-family-court-2016

The Justices who decided Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57 (2000), deliberately failed to apply the Strict Scrutiny standard of review, to the threatened fundamental liberty interest of the mother in that case for this precise reason.

Grandparent Child Relationship Obstruction - 2016Instead, it applied a less stringent standard, having nothing to do with the 14th Amendment, so that it could leave room for the individual states, to concoct their own particular processes by which each could infringe or even, as in my case, terminate the liberty interests of fit parents, by averting the Due Process Clause. In other words, applying the wrong standard gave state legislatures the power to enact laws granting such “rights” to grandparents to intervene into divorce and custody disputes. Under the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution, this “standing” does not exist.

Because of the Troxel Court’s “instructions” as the state of Georgia refers to the case, Clark v. Wade, 273 Ga. 587,  603-604 (2001), this state claimed that it had the power to sever my custodial relationship with my child, remove her from my home, terminate my legal rights to her and “award” “custody”, to her paternal grandparents- all without finding me unfit. Isn’t that something? After serving my country and vowing to die if need be, to defend the United States Constitution, my own rights were snatched right from under me. It said that it had the parens patriae power to do what it thought was “best” for my child. It had and has, no such power. Neither does any other state.

Here’s why.

Number 1., Washington, 521 U.S. at 721 says the state can’t do anything with a child without first proving that it has a narrowly tailored compelling interest.

2. The state can’t achieve such interest without following the bifurcated steps established in Santosky, 455 U.S. at 745, 748, 760-761 .

3. Before we even get to any of all this, the state is explicitly prohibited from applying the best interest standard between a parent and a third party to begin with. Reno v. Flores, 507 U.S. 292, 303-304 (1993).

Nevertheless, there are parents across America whose constitutional rights to their children have been deprived by state action, under color of law. This has been a collective, nationwide violation, extending from the top of our judicial system, to the bottom. This is the state of America today.

But for the United States Supreme Court’s decision in 2000, I would not have been robbed of my right to continue to have the home that I had established for my child, or my right to continue to raise her, so long as I was fit. Grandparent Contact Denial - 2016

I know that such willful deprivation is actionable under federal civil and criminal law against state officials. I also know that one must request relief from the very defendants and perpetrators who have violated him or her- a futile effort that I learned the hard way.  My question is, what happens when the willful deprivation comes from the top?

***I am a paralegal. I am not a licensed attorney. Anything I’ve posted here or on this site, may not and should not be construed as legal advice. If you are in need of legal advice, please consult with a licensed attorney. If you are in Cobb County, Georgia, good luck.

Source: WHAT’S THE SOURCE OF GRANDPARENTS’ “RIGHTS”? – thefitparentsrights

The BEST Parent is BOTH Parents

A million sports fans are descending on San Francisco to celebrate the Super Bowl and so are Family Rights and Father’s Rights activist, homeless advocates, Black Lives Matter protesters and dozens of other activist groups.https://www.facebook.com/TheLoveAndIronProject/photos/a.256371791120035.62529.256359997787881/405790026178210/?type=1&permPage=1

If the issue has ever made headlines, expect to see a protest about it in the Bay Area next week.

The protesters hope to use the national spotlight from the Super Bowl to draw attention to everything from immigration and urban farming to police brutality and the rights of African Americans.

Lisa Marie Alatorre, from the Coalition on Homelessness, told the San Francisco Chronicle her group is hoping to capitalize on the Super Bowl to get the word out about their message.

“A lot of people are upset, and having millions of eyes on San Francisco is an opportunity to get national and international solidarity with the people and causes here.”

51933-policethepoliceEarlier this month, Black Lives Matter protesters shut down the San Francisco Bay Bridge during rush hour by chaining themselves and their cars to the freeway to protest the city’s handling of the Mario Woods police shooting.

Now, in the lead up to the Super Bowl, some law enforcement officials are worried about copycat rallies that could disrupt traffic and hamper week-long festivities.

Cat Brooks, co-founder of the Anti-Police Terror Project, told the Mercury News she would be shocked if there were no protests during Super Bowl weekend.

“It would behoove organizers who want to get the message out about the atrocities happening to black and brown people to utilize that weekend when there will be so many people here from around the world.”
Read morewww.facebook.com/ParentalAlienationMiamiFlorida

Source: Activists Flock To Super Bowl 50 For Massive Protests

Biggest Civil Rights Problem - Most Urgent Social Cause - 2015

Injustice against one American is injustice against all Americans. Help us put the Justice back into Child Protective Services and get them focused on finding and saving abused children. It’s time we removed them from the profitable business of tearing loving non-offending families apart.