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  • Training Child Support Enforcement | M-Fix Family Courts

    Posts from Fix Family courts

    Training Child Support Enforcement

    By: RonBPalmer | September 13, 2023 | Last modified September 15, 2023

    Introduction to Turner and child support generally

    One thing I want to be sure you understand is that child support is a total scam. If you have NOT been declared
    unfit in a proper unfitness trial and you seek to care for your child directly yourself at least half of the
    time, then child support is total and complete garbage.

    1. Introduction to Turner and child support generally
    2. The Court’s holding and the key question resolved
    3. Judge ordered no time off for good behavior
    4. Mootness Issue
    5. Sixth Amendment
    6. The Child Support Scheme
    7. Federal Activism
    8. Mathews Balancing Test
    9. Determine what rules apply under Turner’s analysis
    10. TBD

    Child support has two components that are essential to understand. There is the minimum reasonable standard of
    care which determines if you are fit or not and then there is the enhanced standard of care States impose only
    on parents who have been through a custody suit. Here we have two unequal classes of parent in terms of the
    support they are required to provide for their children and two unequal classes of child in terms of the support
    the law entitles them to. Neither classification has ever been properly subjected to constitutional review and
    it is incredibly unlikely they could survive such review.

    While the State may have a point that parents have a duty to support their children, that duty can only be to the
    same minimum reasonable standard of care that all other parents are held to and the standard to which the state
    is held. Never ever let a government functionary in a robe shame you for not meeting a higher standard than
    applies to the state.

    Any child support payment above the minimum reasonable standard of care is discretionary care. That discretionary
    care is a matter of First Amendment right and the First Amendment protects you from having to pay other people
    to convey messages to your child that you disagree with.

    These arguments are for different training regarding defeating original or modified child support awards. We can
    help you prevent these illegal child support awards.

    The Court’s holding and the key question resolved

    Justice BREYER delivered the opinion of the Court in Turner v. Rogers, 131 S. Ct. 2507 (Supreme Court 2011):

    South Carolina’s Family Court enforces its child support orders by threatening with incarceration for
    civil contempt those who are (1) subject to a child support order, (2) able to comply with that order, but (3)
    fail to do so. We must decide whether the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause requires the State to
    provide counsel (at a civil contempt hearing) to an indigent person potentially faced with such incarceration.
    We conclude that whereas here the custodial parent (entitled to receive the support) is unrepresented by
    counsel, the State need not provide counsel to the noncustodial parent (required to provide the support).
    But we attach an important caveat, namely, that the State must nonetheless have in place alternative
    procedures that assure a fundamentally fair determination of the critical incarceration-related question,
    whether the supporting parent is able to comply with the support order.

    In just reading the central question the Court addressed and the Court’s holding one would get a very different
    impression regarding what this case is really about and how the Court’s holding effected the parties.

    The Court’s important caveat is really what this case is about and is what is most likely to help you in your
    case. The Father actually won this case and South Carolina was required to appoint him counsel because of the
    caveat. So, you need to understand this caveat to see how it will help you in your case.

    Warning:Be careful what you ask for. Family law attorneys are most often creatures of
    the system who are more interested in feeding the system so they can get paid rather than actually working to
    protect your rights and interests as is their fiduciary duty. My point being that if you get an attorney
    appointed, you need to be very careful NOT to let that attorney throw you under the bus and take the State’s
    money. You need to make sure that your attorney raises the core issue we raise here, which they are unlikely to
    do unless you force them to.

    That core is also one of fundamental fairness. The Turner Court holds that the state can place the
    burden on you to prove your inability to pay, but the court says nothing at all about the fundamental fairness
    of that standard, and we have never witnessed an attorney or a court raise this issue on their own.

    Put simply, you are being required to prove you have an inability to pay against an inability to pay
    standard that exists nowhere other than in your judge’s mind and your judge is very likely to adjust that
    standard in his own mind to produce whatever arbitrary result he wants to produce. That is fundamentally unfair
    for the same reason that ex post facto laws are fundamentally unfair. You have to have notice of the law or the
    standard before you can be compelled to meet the terms of that law or standard.

    Ex post facto laws are laws which establish the standard of conduct only after you have engaged in the
    conduct and these laws seek to punish you for conduct that was NOT unlawful when you engaged in it. In short,
    the legislature looks at the behavior you engaged in and decided you should be punished. Then the legislature
    created a law that punishes the behavior and applies it to your previous behavior. This is unfair. The judge
    looks at your abilities, decides whether or not he likes you, and then creates the standard in his mind to
    either reward you because he likes you or to punish you because he dislikes you. This is equally unfair for the
    same reasons. You had zero notice that the conduct would be subjected to punishment.

    This concept is also often covered in terms of overbreadth and vagueness where you cannot be punished
    under a law that is so vague or unclear that it leaves you guessing about what is legal and what is illegal.

    The take away warning point is this. If you get an attorney appointed for you, don’t don’t don’t stop
    acting to protect yourself, please. These attorneys will screw you in a heartbeat. If the attorney appointed to
    you decides he or she doesn’t like you, then they are more likely than not to just throw you under the bus
    because nobody will do anything at all about it if they do. They will face no punishment but you will be
    screwed. Always make sure you look out for number one and never ever leave that job to anyone else, even when
    you use them for their legal and procedural knowledge.

    Our discussion of Turner will involve a close analysis of the Court’s caveat and how it helps you.

    Judge ordered no time off for good behavior

    This statement comes from the Turner opinion, “The judge added that Turner would not receive good-time or work
    credits, but if you’ve got a job, I’ll make you eligible for work release. When Turner asked why he could not
    receive good-time or work credits, the judge said, because that’s my ruling.” The only reason we mention this is
    so that you know in a separate case where a judge did this same thing the courts overruled the judge and held
    that the judge did not have this power. Time off for good behavior is a power of the jailer not the courts.

    Mootness Issue

    There was an issue of mootness in this hearing where mootness means that there is no longer a live controversy
    for the court to resolve. There is an exception to this that is important in family law and that exception holds
    that if the state conduct is likely to be repeated and the harm is too short in duration to survive for the
    entire litigation, mootness does not apply. These situations occur a lot in family law. The Court stated it this
    way, “Our precedent makes clear that the challenged action, Turner’s imprisonment for up to 12 months, is in its
    duration too short to be fully litigated through the state courts (and arrive here) prior to its expiration. At
    the same time, there is a more than reasonable likelihood that Turner will again be subjected to the same
    action. These facts bring this case squarely within the special category of cases that are not moot because the
    underlying dispute is capable of repetition, yet evading review.”

    Sixth Amendment

    Under heading A the Court addresses the Sixth Amendment issues in relation to the question stated as, “We must
    decide whether the Due Process Clause grants an indigent defendant, such as Turner, a right to state-appointed
    counsel at a civil contempt proceeding, which may lead to his incarceration. This Court’s precedents provide no
    definitive answer to that question.”

    Here the Court distinguishes between criminal and civil cases as that applies to the Sixth Amendment in these
    terms, “But the Sixth Amendment does not govern civil cases. Civil contempt differs from criminal contempt in
    that it seeks only to coerce the defendant to do what a court had previously ordered him to do. A court may not
    impose punishment in a civil contempt proceeding when it is clearly established that the alleged contemnor is
    unable to comply with the terms of the order. And once a civil contemnor complies with the underlying order, he
    is purged of the contempt and is free.”

    This distinction between criminal and civil contempt is extremely important because the rules are different
    between the two.

    Decision Point:Here you have a decision to make. If you want clarity, you can ask the
    court to declare whether or not you are subject to criminal contempt in the enforcement proceedings. If the
    judge says you are, or even if the judge refuses to answer, then criminal contempt procedures must be applied.
    If you ask and the judge refuses to make a declaration, you have other appealable issues and you should
    definitely object properly to preserve these issues for appeal. You must object to preserve your right to appeal
    or you will likely be held to have waived it. The intent is to permit the trial court an opportunity to address
    the issues without needing to go to appeal. For this reason, we advise people to follow up any oral objections
    with written objections so that you can have time to phrase the objections precisely and so that the appeals
    court can read your words as you wrote them in the appeal.

    There are strategy choices in choosing whether or not you should seek clarification from the trial
    court. You may prefer to leave things vague so that you can argue that the court didn’t apply the correct
    criminal standards. This is a question best asked of an attorney with experience in contempt proceedings. We
    will teach you what we know but we are NOT technical experts on this precise choice.

    The court has made clear that in civil contempt proceedings, even though you may be jailed to coerce you to
    comply, the Sixth Amendment doesn’t apply. The Court used these words, “Consequently, the Court has made clear
    in a case not involving the right to counsel that, where civil contempt is at issue, the Fourteenth Amendment’s
    Due Process Clause allows a State to provide fewer procedural protections than in a criminal case. State may
    place the burden of proving inability to pay on the defendant.”

    What this tells us is that even though the Sixth Amendment doesn’t apply the Fourteenth Amendment still protects
    us, it just provides slightly less protection. One element of that slightly less protection is that the State
    can place on you the burden of proving your inability to pay in direct contradiction to all of its other
    fundamental rights burden of proof cases. We are going to show you how to use this against them.

    The distinctions between when appointed counsel is required and when it is not are complicated and we aren’t
    going to get into those details here beyond the following. The end result is that in civil cases “deprivation of
    physical liberty” is the criteria distinguishing between when appointed counsel is required and when it is not.
    However, not every deprivation of physical liberty will automatically establish a right to appointed counsel.
    The Court states it this way, “the Court previously had found a right to counsel only in cases involving
    incarceration, not that a right to counsel exists in all such cases.”

    The Child Support Scheme

    Under Heading B, the Court gives us a lot of information about federal and state child custody schemes that we
    are using to tear down these corrupt systems but some of this information is important for you in your
    enforcement case.

    One thing the Court makes clear is that the child is in NO danger of going without because these programs,
    including welfare, ensure that the child will be cared for. Why is this important? It is important because of
    the attitude these judges take as if they are purity standing on high casting moral judgment on you. We don’t
    have morality courts in this Country and your judges opinion of your moral character isn’t supposed to mean
    anything. It only matters if the judge is running a morality court like they do in the Middle East. Where the
    judge is running a morality court, the judge is corrupt.

    Federal Activism

    If you are involved as an activist seeking to change child support laws, this next will be helpful for you. We
    and others have addressed federal Senators and Representatives regarding the issues in family law only to
    receive form letter responses claiming that family law is entirely a State issue NOT a federal issue. This is of
    course a lie designed to deflect your activism in other directions. The Court was very kind in telling us with
    absolute certainty that the federal government has created, in coordination with the States, an elaborate family
    law scheme. These are the Court’s own words:

    The Federal Government has created an elaborate procedural mechanism designed to help both the
    government and custodial parents to secure the payments to which they are entitled. See generally Blessing v.
    Freestone, describing the interlocking set of cooperative federal-state welfare programs as they relate to child
    support enforcement. These systems often rely upon wage withholding, expedited procedures for modifying and
    enforcing child support orders, and automated data processing. But sometimes States will use contempt orders to
    ensure that the custodial parent receives support payments or the government receives reimbursement. Although
    some experts have criticized this last-mentioned procedure, and the Federal Government believes that the routine
    use of contempt for non-payment of child support is likely to be an ineffective strategy, the Government also
    tells us that coercive enforcement remedies, such as contempt, have a role to play.

    It just doesn’t get much more definitive than a direct statement from the United States Supreme Court, yet it
    does. Some of these statements actually come from the U.S. Solicitor General himself in the federal government’s
    amicus curiae brief, “Brief for United States as Amicus Curiae 21-22, and n. 8 (citing Dept. of Health and Human
    Services, National Child Support Enforcement, Strategic Plan: FY 2005-2009, pp. 2, 10). South Carolina, which
    relies heavily on contempt proceedings, agrees that they are an important tool.”

    When you speak to your federal Senator or federal Representative, be sure to include a copy of this opinion with
    these citations. They simply cannot dispute the U.S. Solicitor General and the Supreme Court itself telling them
    that this is a federal issue that they are directly responsible for and that they can directly change. Tell them
    you know they are lying about this being a State issue and you are unhappy with their lies. (Leondra R. Kruger,
    Acting Deputy Solicitor General, Washington, D.C., for United States as Amicus Curiae Supporting Reversal.)

    Mathews Balancing Test

    You will hear us speak a lot about the Mathews Test. This is a test that Court developed in a Social Security
    benefits case that the Court applied to a family law case the very next year. The Mathews Test is the general
    test the Court applies to balance rights in civil law. Unless the Court has established a more specific test for
    specific issues, the Mathews Test applies to all conflicts of constitutional rights in civil cases.

    The Court tells it this way:

    It is a civil proceeding. And we consequently determine the specific dictates of due process by
    examining the distinct factors that this Court has previously found useful in deciding what specific safeguards
    the Constitution’s Due Process Clause requires in order to make a civil proceeding fundamentally fair. Mathews
    v. Eldridge, 424 U.S. 319, 335, 96 S.Ct. 893, 47 L.Ed.2d 18 (1976) (considering fairness of an administrative
    proceeding). As relevant here those factors include (1) the nature of the private interest that will be
    affected, (2) the comparative risk of an erroneous deprivation of that interest with and without additional or
    substitute procedural safeguards, and (3) the nature and magnitude of any countervailing interest in not
    providing additional or substitute procedural requirement[s].

    The private interest that will be affected argues strongly for the right to counsel that Turner
    advocates. That interest consists of an indigent defendant’s loss of personal liberty through imprisonment. The
    interest in securing that freedom, the freedom from bodily restraint, lies at the core of the liberty protected
    by the Due Process Clause. And we have made clear that its threatened loss through legal proceedings demands due
    process protection.

    Given the importance of the interest at stake, it is obviously important to assure accurate
    decisionmaking in respect to the key ability to pay question. Moreover, the fact that ability to comply marks a
    dividing line between civil and criminal contempt reinforces the need for accuracy. That is because an incorrect
    decision (wrongly classifying the contempt proceeding as civil) can increase the risk of wrongful incarceration
    by depriving the defendant of the procedural protections (including counsel) that the Constitution would demand
    in a criminal proceeding.

    Here again, the Court applies the Mathews Test in the family law context and your court cannot legitimately deny
    that it is the test your court must apply in any analysis it performs.

    The Court uses the term “lies at the core of the liberty protected by the Due Process Clause.” This is critical
    wording because when a government action creates an evil that a right was specifically intended to protect
    against, that action is said to attack the core of the protected interest. This language is seen a lot in Second
    Amendment cases following Heller. When a government action strikes at the core of a protected interest, strict
    scrutiny is the standard of substantive constitutional review the State is required to overcome. Of course the
    Court never seems to apply any substantive guarantees to the loss of physical liberty but it does for all other
    substantive rights.

    The Court walks us through its Mathews analysis bringing up “ability to pay” as the critical issue. This is vital
    to your defense so pay attention. The Court addresses the prosecuting party issue, in this case a mother with no
    counsel of her own. Here the Court demonstrates its bias in favor of women with its wording, pay attention to
    those nuances. The Court tells us who the child support is for, and as we all already know, it is NOT for the
    child. It is for the mother, likely the mother who did everything she could to deprive you of your
    constitutional rights to your child. You owe zero duty to an individual who uses corrupt laws to attack your
    fundamental rights and only a corrupt court would hold otherwise.

    Ironically, if the State were limiting speech, the State would have to demonstrate compliance with
    strict scrutiny to impose the deprivation of right. But here, where the State is limiting physical liberty, no
    standard of substantive review is even mentioned. This is a huge hole in the Courts scheme of constitutional
    guarantees that demonstrates bias in the State’s favor.

    The Court demonstrates concern for the mother not having an attorney when the accused father would have an
    attorney, which would be legitimate if the entire system weren’t rigged against the non-custodial parent. You
    need to make sure that you raise these underlying flaws in the system itself. Be careful NOT to raise a
    collateral attack on the underlying order unless you are absolutely ready to do so. Collateral attacks are
    extremely technically difficult and you get one and only one shot. If your judge asks if you are raising a
    collateral attack your answer should be ABSOLUTELY NOT, NO, NOT AT THIS TIME AND MAYBE NEVER. Tell the judge you
    would need the advice of counsel to decide if a collateral attack is appropriate and you can’t afford to defend
    yourself against the State’s indirect attacks on you while defending yourself here.

    Please do NOT attempt a collateral attack on your own unless you could teach classes like this. I
    wouldn’t do it myself without extensive preparation.

    The Acting Deputy Solicitor General, Leondra R. Kruger, raised the issue that there existed a set of “substitute
    procedural safeguards” that satisfied the requirements of due process in this case. This is where the Court’s
    caveat comes from:

    Third, as the Solicitor General points out, there is available a set of “substitute procedural
    safeguards,” which, if employed together, can significantly reduce the risk of an erroneous deprivation of
    liberty. They can do so, moreover, without incurring some of the drawbacks inherent in recognizing an automatic
    right to counsel. Those safeguards include (1) notice to the defendant that his “ability to pay” is a critical
    issue in the contempt proceeding; (2) the use of a form (or the equivalent) to elicit relevant financial
    information; (3) an opportunity at the hearing for the defendant to respond to statements and questions about
    his financial status, (e.g., those triggered by his responses on the form); and (4) an express finding by the
    court that the defendant has the ability to pay. See Tr. of Oral Arg. 26-27; Brief for United States as Amicus
    Curiae 23-25.

    The Court says of the Deputy Solicitor General’s statements:

    In presenting these alternatives, the Government draws upon considerable experience in helping to manage
    statutorily mandated federal-state efforts to enforce child support orders. It does not claim that they are the
    only possible alternatives, and this Court’s cases suggest, for example, that sometimes assistance other than
    purely legal assistance (here, say, that of a neutral social worker) can prove constitutionally sufficient. But
    the Government does claim that these alternatives can assure the “fundamental fairness” of the proceeding even
    where the State does not pay for counsel for an indigent defendant.

    Note that the Court claims that the federal government has “considerable experience in helping manage statutorily
    mandated federal-state efforts to enforce child support orders.” Not only does this statement demonstrate that
    the federal government is involved in the family law hustle but that the involvement is “statutorily mandated.”
    This means that your Senator and your Representative are directly responsible for federal involvement in state
    family law issues.

    But back to the point of this training, the substitute procedural safeguards are what the Court held necessary to
    ensure fundamental fairness and ultimately in Turner, the Court held that the substitute procedural safeguards
    that were applied in Turner’s case were insufficient. The Court holds that alternatives can be sufficient, they
    just weren’t sufficient in Turner and that is exactly how you are going to win your case if you truly cannot

    Determine what rules apply under Turner’s analysis

    The first thing you should do is to examine the nature of the opposition against you and the difficulty of the
    case in terms of fundamental fairness. In Turner, the Court first looked to see who the child support was owed
    to and thus who was prosecuting. Because the mother and not the state was prosecuting, that weighed against
    requiring counsel for the father.

    The Court differentiated this case from cases where the State is prosecuting by stating, “We do not address civil
    contempt proceedings where the underlying child support payment is owed to the State, for example, for
    reimbursement of welfare funds paid to the parent with custody. See supra, at 2517. Those proceedings more
    closely resemble debt-collection proceedings. The government is likely to have counsel or some other competent

    So when the government is prosecuting, it is safe to presume that the government is represented by counsel or by
    someone trained and experienced in these types of proceedings who is therefore far more competent than the
    father. The Court is balancing the interests of the parties in terms of fundamental fairness and telling us that
    when one side has counsel or a trained representative, the balancing the Court applies will be different. While
    Turner balanced in favor of NOT appointing counsel, even though Turner ultimately won, the State can expect
    different results when it is a party.

    Where the prosecuting party is represented by counsel, the Court stated, “The average defendant does not have the
    professional legal skill to protect himself when brought before a tribunal with power to take his life or
    liberty, wherein the prosecution is presented by experienced and learned counsel.” while NOT a core holding with
    controlling authority, this statement is nevertheless an distinguishing statement because the Court draws a line
    in the sand telling the States that this is the point where the balance can start to go badly for the State.

    Point of Decision:This is where you must analyze your case and determine who the child
    support is owed to and who is prosecuting. If you are facing a fundamentally unfair prosecution, Turner holds
    that you cannot be jailed. This is where you would want to raise an objection to the prosecution and move to
    have an attorney appointed for you. The question to raise is whether the manner in which the deck is stacked
    against you rises to the level of fundamental unfairness.

    Each state handles these issues differently, however, anywhere the State is involved in the prosecution
    either directly as the party or indirectly in supporting the entitled parent, you have a right to have an
    attorney appointed for you under the terms of Turner. Now, because these points under turner aren’t holdings and
    aren’t controlling, you may have to win on these points through appeal, nevertheless, the Court tells us in
    which direction it is likely to rule if this issue does come before them.

    Winning on this point would be to have an attorney appointed for you. Losing on this point would result
    in you applying the remainder of this training in your defense.

    As part of this argument, I would argue that the litigation question of whether or not you should be
    entitled to an attorney in this case is so complex and esoteric that you require the assistance of an attorney
    to represent you in this challenge. That throws a monkey wrench into their system and forces them to rule in
    very simple terms or risk being overturned on this objection. If they rule in complicated esoteric terms, then
    they demonstrate just how complex the question really is and how unfair it is for you not to be represented. If
    they rule too simply, they are much more likely to make a critical error that you can get overturned.

    Make your judge work and fight for every single inch of ground that you withdraw from. The simple fact
    is that if divorce and child custody become too expensive for the State, the State will get out of the divorce
    and child custody business. It is in our collective best interests to make the process as difficult and
    expensive on the court as you lawfully can. Make the cost to the State of screwing with you very high, they
    might just leave you alone and go after easier prey.

    Next, the Court looked to see if the mother was represented by council and finding that she was not, argued in
    balancing that it would be unfair to her for the father to get state council where she did not receive council.
    This significantly tilted the balance against the father receiving counsel.

    I disagree with the Court’s analysis:on this point because she isn’t facing
    incarceration. The risk to her physical liberty is zero. If the trial court errs against her, she stands to lose
    money. If the trial court errs against the father, he stands to lose physical liberty through state action
    enforcing a state policy under color of state law.

    It is absurd to hold that the state is not the opposing party, because in establishing her entitlement
    to the money the state stacks the deck against the father and then directs the judge to deal from the bottom of
    the deck as well. The result of a child support order is that one parent is entitled to all government benefits
    while the other parent is entitled to none and in addition, that parent is now subject to state and federal
    criminal penalties that other parents are not subjected to. We would very much love to show you how to destroy
    child support at the point where child support hearings are taking place either to initiate child support or to
    modify child support. We haven’t seen a child support statute yet that we believe can survive a true
    constitutional analysis.

    The Court routinely treats the loss of physical liberty from government action to a much less stringent
    test than it subjects other rights of liberty or even property. If the State seeks to take away your
    non-physical liberty in terms of a fundamental right, the Court imposes the strict scrutiny standard on the
    substantive liberty right itself. If the State seeks to take away your physical liberty, the Court doesn’t seem
    to require any substantive standard of review at all. The Court in Turner does NOT say that because the State
    seeks to infringe the fundamental right of physical liberty, the State must demonstrate its justifications can
    survive a strict scrutiny standard.

    Instead, the Court simply presumes the State’s authority to deprive you of your fundamental right to
    physical liberty completely reversing the substantive burden of proof. The Court addresses only fundamental
    fairness in terms of procedural due process, not substantive standards. The Court often addresses the standard
    of evidence that must be higher when the State deprives one of physical liberty, but that is NOT the same
    mechanism and does NOT provide the same protections that substantive guarantees provide.

    I believe the Court is deeply and fundamentally biased towards the government’s interests when the issue
    of physical liberty is at issue and I think the Court’s divergent approaches violates the equal protection
    clause. If anything, the loss of physical liberty should be subjected to and even stricter standard than strict
    scrutiny when in reality, it is subjected to only the rational basis test. The Court simply presumes the State’s
    right violate your fundamental right to physical liberty and to put you in prison for anything the State wants
    so long as the State does NOT infringe upon one of the other lesser fundamental “liberty” rights.

    This last point in my disagreement, unlike the previous points, is a massive nut to crack that will take
    decades of dedicated effort that won’t help you today.

    Ability to Pay Standard

    Turner tells us that to avoid providing you with an attorney that the state must clearly provide alternative procedures sufficient to protect your rights and the Court stops there.

    The reason the court stops here is the idea that the Court will not generally address more constitutional issues than necessary to resolve a given case. This is partially a jurisdictional concern in that the Court doesn’t want to resolve issues that haven’t been fully litigated. However, there are some serious problems created by this doctrine. First it helps the states intentionally violate your rights by simply focusing on the next step in the constitutional mandate chain and violating your rights at that step. This places the burden on you or whoever comes next to fight yet another, possibly never ending battle against the default of state corruption.

    I believe that this Doctrine of Judicial Restraint needs some improvements in the face of widespread intentional violation of fundamental rights by all three branches of government. They all seem to be conspiring to remove freedom as the default starting position and replace it with needing government permission as the default.

    In your case, you absolutely need to focus on the next step after Turner which is the state’s standard of ability to pay.

    If you are required to prove you have an inability to pay, then you are constitutionally entitled to notice of the Ability to Pay Standard against which you will be judged. While Notice is not strictly a jurisdictional challenge, it is about as close to jurisdictional as you can get without actually crossing that line. Without adequate notice, practically everything else that follows is treated as a nullity.

    Prior to your contempt hearing, you need to demand in written motion to be provided with the state’s ability to pay standard. You can find our example Ability to Pay Child Support Motion ( https://www.fixfamilycourts.com/products#m-de-atp  ) here.

    At your hearing, the first thing you will want to do is to Object to the failure to provide constitutionally adequate notice of the state’s ability to pay standard which makes the trial court’s orders unconstitutionally vague because it deprives you of knowledge regarding how you might avoid being punished for not paying.


    There is more that can be analyzed in this case, but rather than wait until that analysis is completely written,
    I wanted to make sure you have access to the vital content already completed. The following is simply raw notes:

    The Court distinguished Given that the mother was the prosecuting party and the mother was NOT represented by council, the Court took a less
    restrictive approach in Turner than it would have taken in the other two scenarios. • Different rules depending upon who the opposing party is and whether they are represented by counsel
    ○ Turner was a case where the opposing party was the mother who was NOT represented by counsel
    ○ The Court addressed cases where the State is the opposing party and stated that an individual could not receive
    fundamental fairness if unrepresented, "
    • Different rules if the case is complex
    ○ "Neither do we address what due process requires in an unusually complex case where a defendant can fairly be
    represented only by a trained advocate."
    Ron B Palmer Small Bio image

    Written by RonBPalmer

    Ron has a 25 year history solving complex governance and process problems for the largest companies in the world as a consultant working for some of the largest consulting companies in the world. He has a background in economics, complex systems design, and business operations management. Decades of high level industry consulting skills have been focused on family law for over a decade and Ron has identified the key flaws and devised solutions that you can apply today to help you keep your rights over your child and help ensure that your child never faces the same corrupt system.