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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Fathers for Equal Rights! #FatherlessDay

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Lawyers and Bureaucrats Get Child $upport Billions

Billions in Child Support Going to Lawyers and Bureaucrats | Leon Koziol.Com

Public Apathy and Lack of Accountability in Family Court are Damaging Our Children

REFORM CHILD SUPPORT NOW FLORIDA - 2016

While federal and state prosecutors focus on high profile politicians for public accountability, our third branch of government remains self regulated and largely overlooked. As a result, parents, children and extended families are being fleeced by lawyers and third party beneficiaries every day to unconscionable levels. It’s all part of a lucrative child control industry.

Consider the recent custody case reported by the New York Post involving Dr. Eric Braverman, a highly committed father and respected neuro-surgeon in Manhattan who spent more than $4.5 million in an unsuccessful attempt to retain a meaningful relationship with his children. A judge-appointed attorney for those same children went to horrendous lengths to pervert this man’s efforts with fees approximating a half million dollars.d5ba7-florida2bchild2bsupport2bsystem2breform2bcyber2bprotest2b-2b2016

Now come on folks, let’s not lose sight of sanity here! How can one lawyer acting on behalf of immature and unsuspecting children be worth so much on a single case? Was this lawyer truly committed to “client” interests or was he seeking to justify his gigantic personal pay-out for a dubious role in a sensitive matter?

More disturbing, while this lawyer was busy racking up billable hours in his agenda against the father, those fees were being exacted from the same children’s college funds. Once again, it all goes back to our earlier posts warning followers of Leon Koziol.com that no amount of fees is enough once you enter divorce and family court.We even offer a program to convince would-be victims to choose mediation, counseling and alternative resolutions.Enforce Visitation NOT Child Support - 2016

Compounding this uncontrolled greed is the lawyer glut entering the market. There are more than 1.25 million licensed attorneys in the United States today with about  300,000 in California alone and at least that many seeking a law school education each year. These people have to work somewhere and the bureaucrats are making room for them in family court. This is where apprentices typically learn their trade and marginal lawyers can concoct litigation to last an entire career.

The public is generally unaware that our federal government rewards the states by the number and magnitude of support awards generated in their family courts. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to conclude that such incentive grants make the decision makers inherently biased against fathers.  Support obligations are artificially hiked through such judge-created fictions as imputed income. Fathers comprise 82% of support debtors per our Census Bureau. Child Support - 2014

To give an appearance of ethics, many states impose rules which prohibit lawyers from executing contingent fee arrangements in domestic relations cases. However, exceptions have been crafted which allow them for support collection purposes. This gets very interesting when you look deeper into the deceptions and the greed.

Think of it! A lawyer can now charge thousands of dollars in up front fees and billable hours during protracted litigation and then double dip on the back side by getting a third of the actual support intended for the children. The state typically gets all the interest generated off these awards in addition to a custodial fee and the federal incentive money.

In New York, the tax department is assigned support enforcement authority. In effect the state is intervening with all its machinery on the side of the so-called “custodial parent” while no similar powers are offered to the lower class parent to remedy child access deprivations. It prompted one state Supreme Court justice to question the state’s involvement in a private debt between self sufficient parents.

If you’re a debtor, you could be charged with your lawyer’s fees, the children’s lawyer, opposing fees, the contingency collection fee and court costs such as counseling, supervision and “parent education” as they call it. In countless cases, particularly those involving veterans and minorities, the debtor fathers will never be able to complete their servitude, landing them in debtor prisons. This will only add to our tax burdens and a dubious distinction as the most imprisoned population in the “free” world.

This kind of piling-on caused one police investigator to commit a murder-suicide, leaving three children without parents and city taxpayers with a $2 million liability. Nowhere in the civil rights case will you read about this father leaving support court living on $28 per week, see Pearce v Longo, 766 F. Supp. 2d 367. It begs the question: what would make a law man resort to such extremes after following the “proper” channels?

We’ve been doing our best to inform you of these alarming developments because the media is ignoring this crisis. But we cannot continue to do so without your financial support in a war against a trillion dollar industry. Public apathy has allowed this to happen along with the lawyer greed shockingly rationalized to be in our children’s best interests. It is a gold mine of unparalleled proportion that is causing so many of our social ills today.

And who pays for that?

By Dr. Leon R. Koziol

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Petition to Congress: Family Court Corruption and to Abolish Title IV-D Funding from States to have incentives to illegally courtnp children, CPS corruption, judicial corruption

Source: Billions in Child Support Going to Lawyers and Bureaucrats | Leon Koziol.ComChild Support Truth - 2015What child support looks like - 2015