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Support Trial Notes

        Overview -  the evidence will show:

        A parent dedicated to supporting his son and providing him with the best things a parent has to offer, irrespective of personal sacrifice. His former spouse has created a difficult environment for a parent/child relationship to grow.

        When looking at “just money”, a parent who has spent thousands of dollars supporting his child. At a percentage much higher than current guidelines.

        No willful violation - A parent who himself was raised in humble circumstances by a loving mother and father who always had time for him.  Who has continued that tradition in his life, placing a concern for others above his own money.  This is no “11th hour conversion”, it has always been his priority, through his career as a military officer, and in commercial business.

        A parent who has started an entire Civil Right’s movement dedicated to the idea that parents and children have a fundamental right to each others care and affection, and that the state should have a high burden of proof before interfering with that bond.  He bears no one ill will and has earned the respect of those he has met. He seeks only one thing, “an equal relationship with his child.”

        The GOALS of the support laws in New York was for children to be supported by their parents – in totality that GOAL is certainly being met by this parent.  What we must examine is the strict adherence to rigid guidelines and past traditions which threaten this parent’s freedom.

  • I have been a practicing Catholic since I was a child, my entire life.  I was taught to obey the dictates of a 'well formed conscience'.  http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s1c1a6.htm

        1778. Conscience is a judgment of reason whereby the human person
        recognizes the moral quality of a concrete act that he is going to
        perform, is in the process of performing, or has already
        completed. In all he says and does, man is obliged to follow
        faithfully what he knows to be just and right....

        1782. Man has the right to act in conscience and in freedom so as
        personally to make moral decisions. "He must not be forced to act
        contrary to his conscience. Nor must he be prevented from acting
        according to his conscience...."

        A parent dedicated to supporting his son and providing him with the best things a parent has to offer, irrespective of personal sacrifice. His former spouse has created a difficult environment for a parent/child relationship to grow.

        During 1998 he had Domenic from 5pm Thur – 5pm Mon.  His work flexibility allowed him to spend all that time with Domenic – he NEVER had to hire a sitter. He NEVER missed time together.  The Internet nature of his business allows him to “sign on” from home via a laptop computer and manage business at night after Domenic has gone to bed, or early in the morning before he awakens.

        During this time he paid $60 a week (even though he was not happy with the amount of time he was seeing his child) based on his real income for the year 1998 of ?????   The imputed amount was $120.

        Domenic absolutely adores being with him and often cries at the end of their time together.   Now that he is in California, age 7, he communicates to his dad how much he want to be with him and that the visits could last forever. This child cherishes his bond with his father.

        His large extended family has been very supportive. Family members and friends have been a parade of witnesses at trials – they offer him their moral support in his desire to be an equal parent.

        The relocation to California precipitated a crisis.  John could no longer consider himself an “effective” parent. After considerable thought he developed a plan of action to call public attention to what had happened.   He moved out of his apartment and back home with his mother to minimize expenses.  In 1999 he made an early trip to California to reaffirm to Domenic that even after relocation, Daddy was still present and loved him the same.

        He has had no phone contact with Domenic in 18 months (John calls twice a week) only gotten ONE letter (John writes to him every week).  Never gotten a card for valentines day, easter, Christmas, his Birthday, or Father’s day from Domenic. No acknowledgement for the gifts he sends for the holidays.    If he does not see Domenic in person – there is no contact.  There was an attempt to block him from school access. His former spouse clearly does not value their relationship – he has brought a VIOLATION petition.

        SEE BELOW – in 1999, all his money went to support Domenic by visiting him at California, it was very expensive.  There was no money for direct payments, and offers to buy some clothes were not even acknowledged. 

        He knows that his spouse has great financial resources.  That Domenic is not wanting for food, shelter, or other material comforts. His former spouse has never told him Dom was in dire straights.  His focus has become emotional support for Domenic, basic parent contact.   IF Domenic was in need, other decisions would have been made.

        When looking at “just money”, a parent who has spent thousands of dollars supporting his child. At a percentage much higher than current guidelines.

        In 1999 he had a real income of approximately $12,000, of that:

        He made 3 trips to California to see Domenic in February, May, and October. 300 ticket, 150 car, 500 cabin, 100 food, 100 misc. (his mother would try to help with some of the costs, she also has limited means), about $1000/trip -- $3000

        In the summer he had to escort Domenic to/from California, paying for all tickets -- $1200  (got about $600 credit to support collection).

        He calls his child twice a week by phone. Has never been able to talk to Domenic on the phone, can only leave a message on an answering machine.  He writes to him once a week, also sends him small gifts/magazines for his age.   Dollar amount ??

        He has wanted to help out by buying Domenic some clothes prior to visiting. Had asked his spouse for some shirt/pants/ size information, but got no reply.

        He has never tried to lie about his finances. He has nothing to hide and has always disclosed whatever was required in prior court proceedings. When unable to make any type of “payments” in 1999, he wrote to Judge Klim and explained the difficulty of the situation facing him (the response returned: no motion pending).

        A parent who himself was raised in humble circumstances by a loving mother and father who always had time for him.  Who has continued that tradition in his life, placing a concern for others above his own money.  This is no “11th hour conversion”, it has always been his priority, through his career as a military officer, and in commercial business.

        Not a lot of money in childhood, both parents were very affectionate and always available.   Much of what I learned of generosity and faith was from observing my father’s actions – he never talked about it, he just did it.

        An honor graduate from the Air Force Academy and an Instructor Pilot, I had a promising career in the military.  But willingly gave that all up when I realized my aging parents needed me back at home (they never asked me to come back, I knew it was my duty to them).  Some of my friends in the Air Force disagreed with me (that I should live MY life) – Everyone has to decide for themselves, it is a personal decision – no right/wrong answer.

        I learned honor, ethics, and integrity in the Military. This was reinforced by my short time spent in a pre-seminary program.   In “commercial business” as I began to approach management positions ethical problems began to arise.  On two occasions I had to confront management about unethical operations.  I tried to be as “polite” as possible on a sensitive topic, but the second occasion cost me my job.

        I had also worked for a small startup company started by friends. I realized that it was a good time to strike out on my own and start a business:

          It would give me more stable and enjoyable employment with greater financial rewards.

        It would allow me to have more time for a growing family.

        I did volunteer work bring sandwiches which I made to a local homeless shelter.  The last Sunday of the month for approximately 14 years.   I was able to share making sandwiches for the “poor people” with Domenic, he realized it was something we made time for.   That simple example, even at the age of 5, made him want to share a Popsicle!

        A parent who has started an entire Civil Right’s movement dedicated to the idea that parents and children have a fundamental right to each others care and affection, and that the state should have a high burden of proof before interfering with that bond.  He bears no one ill will and has earned the respect of those he has met. He seeks only one thing, “an equal relationship with his child.”

        A leader whose commitment to NonViolent Action has won him the right to carry a sign and walk the halls not only of this County Courthouse, but also the Federal Building.  His manner is not one of protest.  He is trying to take a very positive approach to reform. He has NO criminal convictions – although it took over a dozen arrests and some 50 days in jail [few 40 hr a week jobs would have been able to tolerate his efforts].

        After his summer vacation with Domenic, he will be returning to walk the halls of the Federal Building and County Courthouse.

        It is a simple fact that he will continue these efforts. When not involved in NonViolent action he will work hard to generate some income. He firmly believes the status quo represents a  fundamental violation of the Civil Rights of both he and his child – it cannot be “accepted” by a concerned parent and citizen.

        For him this is an issue of Civil Rights, his goal is not to violate this or any other court order.  He does NOT approve of withholding support money as a form of “protest” – it is counterproductive. He is pursuing a course of action which he feels will do the best for his child in the long run.

        He has received very positive media attention:

        a 15 minute segment on the local cable channel.

        a report on Channel 9 and the Post standard.

        the front page of his home town paper.

        Interviewed by a German Writer for GEO Magazine.

        Delivered a paper on non violence to a converence on Men’s Issues in the Canadian Capital Ottowa.

        This case has no analog in all the case law of support.  WE have the opportunity to participate in an infrequent event, when the heart of the law expands. An opportunity to realize that the GOALS of the support laws in New York was for children to be supported by their parents – in totality that GOAL is certainly being met by this parent.  What we must examine is the strict adherence to rigid guidelines and past traditions which threaten this parent’s freedom.


Bob, this statement captures it in a nut shell. Klim needs to “expand” his reasoning – there’s probably a 1% chance of that, but we have to try.

 

MISCELLANEOUS:

o       My vacation with Domenic is from July 12 – August 24, I hope the judge will refrain from any action till that is over.   I want to spend some time working on English with him, when I was in California his teacher suggested some books I could use with him as he prepares for second grade.  My mother is also looking forward to seeing her grandson, July 21 is her Birthday (84).