[AKidsRight.Org] Court April 10th - Jailed for contempt? / Your FEEDBACK

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From: John Murtari (jmurtari@AKidsRight.org)
Date: Thu Apr 06 2006 - 15:03:45 EDT

Good People & People of Faith,

I want to alert you that I have a firm Court Date for my support
contempt trial, It is April 10th, at 2 PM, in Syracuse, NY, with Judge
David Klim presiding (the same Judge that sentenced me to six months
in jail several years ago).  You are welcome to be there!

Many of you know that if sentenced to jail I plan on taking NonViolent
Action by non-cooperating. I will just lay down on the floor and be
polite, but passive. I will talk to them, but I won't help or answer
any processing questions. They can carry me.

I will also make them feed me and keep me hydrated. I'm not going to
cooperate by eating or drinking for them -- they can use an IV and
feeding tube. I'm their total responsibility. PLEASE UNDERSTAND this
in no suicide wish or hunger strike. My goal is not to hurt myself,
but to make them expend an uncomfortable amount of effort to keep me
in jail.

If this is new to you or for more details on what's happening, to see
court documents, or court directions, please go to:

What will happen.
I'm not looking forward to this.  It is certainly not a stunt or a
game. I'm 49 years old and fortunate to have never spent a day in a
hospital.  By not drinking a lot of bad things can start to happen
fairly quickly and they need to get that IV running.  After that comes
the feeding tube -- through the stomach. I'd like to say I was
overweight and carrying some extra fat, but I'm not.

This is the good scenario?  The idea of succumbing to these procedures
turns my stomach.  If everything goes well, maybe no long term health
effects -- if a mistake or infection happens, real trouble.

Jail officials will certainly isolate me and limit communication.
Some may try to avoid the 'civil rights' aspects of this, by just
saying "John is mentally ill -- we'll put him in a psych ward."

Why all this?
The issue is Civil Rights. Our ability to follow our consciences and
nurture our children.  Our right to be fit & equal parents:

The 'system' has financially destroyed me and I'm approaching
retirement with nothing.  That is certainly punishment. But now they
also want to throw me in jail for half a year any time they desire.
While at the same time ignoring the large amount of money I have spent
on my son, our loving relationship, and the value I have to him.

It is a terrible indignity -- and some of your stories (BELOW) are
much worse than mine!  At least I was able to spend Spring Break with
my son last week and have a great time together.  If I'm not in jail,
we should have six weeks together this summer...

I'm so thankful Domenic is now 13 years old and can begin to
understand what 'Dad does.' He (and I) are tired of 'counting days'.
How many more days of vacation?  How many days till the next visit?
How many days till....  I noticed on his laptop he has a countdown
timer -- it was set to show the days:hours:minutes:seconds till our
summer vacation.

His love keeps me motivated. I can't forget all the needless pain I
have seen him go through because of the 'system.'  Many of you have
kids who don't even want to see you -- I don't know how you stand it?
I would never trade places with you.

I will be thankful for lying hungry and thirsty on a jail cell floor,
or having a tube stuck in my gut, but having a son who loves me -- I
would not trade places with you...ever.

NonViolent Action (http://www.AKidsRight.Org/approach.htm), a good way
to show our response to indignity.  Being denigrated in jail, stuck
with a feeding tube, losing a job, being put in the 'crazy ward' --
pretty bad things?  Do any of them approach the 'badness' of being
unable to both give and receive love from your children?

When our actions begin to show that we are willing to embrace all that
voluntary suffering -- other people will begin to appreciate the great
love we have for our kids, and the wrongness in how we have been
treated.  Then our GREAT RIGHT to be parents will be recognized and

Your HELP is crucial.
Certainly, you are welcome to be present on Monday and I look forward
to putting a face with an email address.  I am fortunate to have a
good attorney who has volunteered to help in representing me and
hopefully I can walk out of Court a free man on Monday. I feel the
issue of 'proper venue' is being ignored and I recently filed a
criminal complaint against my former spouses attorney, Ms. Maureen
Walsh, http://www.AKidsRight.Org/support_jm.htm

I hope to be free and continue our efforts to get a meeting between
parents & Sen. Clinton.  http://www.AKidsRight.Org/actionc_syr.htm

If jailed, a list message will be sent out containing detailed contact
info for the following officials (the issue is Civil Rights). Your
suggestions and help in contacting others is welcome:

Senator Hillary R. Clinton &
Congressman James T. Walsh (Both up for reelection this fall).

Mr. Glenn Suddaby, US Attorney Northern District of NY (Syracuse)

Mr. William Fitzpatrick, Onondaga County DA

Judge David Klim

Local TV and newspaper for Syracuse.

Personal Visits - given the limited communication, these would be very
valuable in helping to get the word out.  The web site should have
information on where I am located and you can normally contact the
facility directly for visiting info.  I know I would certainly be very
happy to see you.

Your FEEDBACK, including support case law

--- carol webb <carolannwebb2001@yahoo.com>

> ... How about arrearage of $30,000 @ $50 per week? How about no
> visitation efforts by non-custodial parent, no phone calls, cards,
> letters, nada? How about all visitation facilitated by custodial
> parent -- aka begging dad to be a dad? I thought this was about KIDS
> RIGHTS, not cp vs ncp? Let's fix the system, yes. Let's NOT free
> NCPs from their physical, emotional and YES financial
> obligations.CPs have to pay, too. Can an ncp house, feed, and clothe
> a growing child on $50 per week? This doesn't take into account
> lights, gas, water, travel expense, misc. medical costs....

> BTW my Husband pays cs for 4 kids he doesn't see unless he flies
> them to and from another state. My ex live 3 miles away, never
> initiates contact and paid a whopping $50 LAST YEAR.

Sorry to hear about your former spouse not wanting to see the kids and
paying so little.  Sorry to hear about your husband paying for the
kids, and I assume not getting to see them as much as he wants.

What if both had been assumed equal parents with their kids, with the
opportunity for equal contact?  I'd welcome your feedback on a Family
Rights Act we have at the site, http://www.AKidsRight.Org/approach.htm

If a person does NOT want to fulfill their responsibilities and duties
as an equal parent -- then it makes sense they need to pay the other
parent for assuming those responsibilities and the expenses.

What is more difficult is what to do about 'water under the bridge?"
What if you, for whatever reasons, had decided to walk away from your
kids when they were younger?  Had little contact for several years,
and then decided you did want to be involved again as their mother.
Would you be satisfied with the every other weekend?  Do you feel that
once a parent 'walks away' -- that is that?

--- "John Speer" <js@rgv.rr.com>  (bounced email address)

> I am sorry to hear about your situation.  Mine is very similar.
> After my Ex-wife vowed to destroy me personally, financially,
> spiritually, socially, business-wise and in all ways possible, she
> launched a campaign of malicious prosecution (fictitious charge,
> after fictitious charge, after fictitious charge).  In my having to
> hire expensive attorneys in each case to defend me (and prevailing
> each time because there WAS no crime), she wasted what little
> remaining money I had left after already had been made to pay for
> her divorce attorney's $100,000 legal bill.  The court proceeded to
> assess me child support in excess of my pay check such that I could
> no longer even afford to live in a one-room YMCA rental.  

> I was forced to go homeless and lived in shelters for a while.
> Finally after stabilizing and starting to get back on my feet, they
> threw me in jail for 6 months for past due child support, supposedly
> for being "in contempt of court" for not paying when they had
> already taken all my money and there was nothing left to pay them
> with.  All this while, my visitation was repeatedly denied and there
> was no assistance or enforcement of my only remaining right with my
> children. Since that time, I have achieved at least telephone
> communication with my children from 1500 miles away and have become
> active supporting the Virtual Visitation initiative (supplemental
> visitation by webcam) since the cost of plane tickets, hotels,
> rental cars, etc., is more than I can afford (the child support
> courts currently take 95% of what I make).

Wow!  They can really grind you into the ground.  So many people just
don't believe this kind of stuff goes on.  It is a real tragedy and I
will certainly keep you in mind as I approach my 'trial' next Monday.

> The methodical demonization, demoralization, and systematic
> dismantling of fathers in divorce court and child support court
> thereafter is a horrible, horrible crime against humanity that has
> brought me to lose my faith in the American legal system.  The
> problems are so entrenched and the anti-male attitude in our media
> and our courts (you're a "DEADBEAT!") is so far-reaching that I'm
> not sure if this can be fixed in my lifetime or if living in America
> is even attractive anymore for divorced fathers.

Yes, but I hope we can broaden it to include all parents.  We have a
lot of members who are mothers, or who lost their kids to 'social
services'.  There are some who feel the government has the greater
right to determine 'the best interest of your child' than you do as a
fit parent == from that assumption, they can take any action they
desire, and they do.

--- Tom <tak2166@aol.com>

> I've been in this game since 1985, a long time by most standards.  A
> couple of months ago, I fed my court documents to the the shredder -
> one page at a time.  This activity was long overdue.  I can't begin
> to describe the release that was.  As I shredded, I relived the
> years of unspeakable grief my ex put me and my kids through - little
> details I had long forgotten about. Not surprisingly, it still
> continues, in one form or another.

> I don't begrudge anyone taking a non-violent approach.  A man's
> gotta do what a man's gotta do.  I've tried it too over the years,
> off and on, in one form or another.  Nothing changes.  If anything,
> the other side's become evermore entrenched, much more so than in my
> day.

Yes, you are right there.  Just taking action doesn't guarantee we get
a fix.  We have to find the value in the action itself.  I think about
segregation, and I'm sure a lot of Blacks were beat up for demanding
their rights (and we don't even know their names), but eventually it

> The fact of the matter is this.  Family Court is forcibly changing
> the very fabric of society, one family at a time - all at the
> expense of fathers and children.  As a result, the other side's
> created a culture of violence unheard of in my day.  These so-called
> "violators" share one common factor.  One way or another, their
> fathers were forced out of their childhood.

> Sooner or later, this issue's gonna reach the critical mass I
> described earlier.  Our national security hangs in the balance.

The fabric of society is being violated as you say. I would like to
broaden it and say that not just 'fathers' are hurt.  Many parents are
hurt; not only through divorce, but also child 'protective' actions.
The concept that the 'state' has the superior right to determine the
'best interest' of your child than a fit parent is disturbing.

--- "Elizabeth Barranco" <lizbarranco@gmail.com>

> I worked in the criminal justice system for over 22 years as a
> lawyer and I am always astounded when parents who have been deprived
> of custody see violence as an option.  While non-violent protest may
> lead to jail, violence leads to prison and not just for a couple of
> nights.  You think you can't see your kids now?  How much contact
> will you have when the person who has custody of them has to drive
> over an hour to bumfuck Egypt and stand in line for two or three
> hours so they can see you for one more hour in a room with 100 other
> inmates and their families and one TV and eat sandwiches from
> vending machines?  That's if you have contact visits or even visits
> at all.  Think you can't talk to your kids now?  How would you like
> every phone call to be recorded and rudely cut off after you exceed
> your alloted 15 mins. per week? ...

> I believe in fighting but doing it the smart way which is to make it
> uncomfortable and embarrassing for the people who make these awful
> decisions about our families to keep making them.  In CA, in Santa
> Rosa, parents united and through peaceful (and embarrassing)
> demonstrations, they changed the way that courthouse operates.  

> In San Diego, on the other hand, where I live, we have had numerous
> acts of violence--everything from outright murder to suicide on the
> courthouse steps.  And you know what? They just keep on keepin' on.
> Actually, things got worse, if that's possible, after the violence
> started.  In fact, I lost three of my kids after the courthouse
> suicide and the murder of a 14 year old boy who was the target of a
> custody battle by his lame father who then shot himself in the head,
> no doubt because while he had the "balls" to shoot an unarmed,
> unsuspecting kid, he didn't have the balls to do the time for it ...

> After that, the players in the system didn't just back off and cower
> in a corner.  They hit other parents with everything they have.  Why
> do you think there are so many "'psych evals" with predictable
> outcomes and biased evaluators in family court?  The authorities
> have developed "profiles" about violent parents and they are willing
> to spend years figuring out if every other similarly situated parent
> fits that profile.  Since most violent parents begin the same way we
> all do--outraged, desperate, making certain comments or acting a
> certain way, we all fit the profile in the beginning so it subjects
> us all to being labeled that way, and studied.  Meanwhile, as the
> "study" goes on indefinitely, the kids are deprived of a parent.
> When parents become violent, it hurts them, their kids and all the
> other similarly situated parents and kids.  I think the solution is
> to encourage lawyers to run against bad judges when they are up for
> re-election, to find sympathetic people in the media to tell the
> stories and to otherwise shine a light on what is happening.  If
> enough regular people really knew how bad it was, it would end.
> That's the whole premise of our democracy and while it may not work
> fast enough or seem fair enough, it's better than the alternative.
> I also think more cases need to reach the courts of appeal but I
> know that can be too expensive and that by the time they're done
> messing with you, it's difficult to find the energy for yet another
> battle in a forum that so far hasn't been much help.  Still, the
> reason the lower courts think they can violate the law with impunity
> is because they don't get challenged enough for doing it on appeal.

> I think the money spent on a the criminal defense lawyer you'll need
> after taking violent action, if you survive, would be WAY better
> spent on an appellate lawyer.

--- Jeff <headsurfer@networkwarriors.com>

> Good Luck in your fight against the 'Apparatchik" and their
> tyranny. I have included the below which my or may not help in your
> strategy for court. At the very least it addresses the 'Antipeonage
> Act" and illustrates the waste of time and strategic initiative as
> there is so much precedent against it:

> 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 arrearages 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.

                                       John Murtari
Coordinator                            AKidsRight.Org
jmurtari@AKidsRight.Org                "A Kid's Right to BOTH parents"
Toll Free (877) 635-1968(x-211)        http://www.AKidsRight.Org/
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