Child Support Enforcement on Trail at the SCOTUS http://ping.fm/FL3zi
[direct links to the actual petition, some amicus briefs, and major media stories are included below]
(Washington, DC) -- On November 1st, 2010, the United States Supreme Court finally **GRANTED** direct review over the various States' unconstitutional patterns and practices of repeatedly jailing beat-dead [indigent] noncustodial parents under child support "contempt" and without providing the otherwise well-established right to have defense counsel appointed them.
Groups filing amicus briefs in NCP Turner's support, so far (hint, hint..), have included the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the National Legal Aid & Defender Association, the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law, and The Constitution Project. There are valid Letters from both principal opposing parties in this case, welcoming any and all amicus briefs, already on file with the Clerk of the US Supreme Court.
Amazingly, some of the professional amicus briefs filed by these groups have come straight out against this "modern form of debtor's prison" with very strong arguments, backed with solid case law... very promising, VERY exciting for all NCPs!!
While emerging from a plainly unconstitutional ruling of the South Carolina Supreme Court, which inexplicably affirmed the draconian tactics used repeatedly upon NCP Michael Turner, the various amicus briefs filed so far are *already* implicating like ALL of the States -- in general -- and particularly THESE seven (7) other States for being in similar noncompliance with indigent civil rights, regarding appointments of defense counsel within contempt and/or similar state court actions:
"Just four other States--Florida, Georgia, Maine, and Ohio--are in the same camp as South Carolina. Courts in three other States--Nevada, New Hampshire, and New Mexico--have adopted a third approach, requiring trial courts to determine on a caseby-case basis whether appointment of counsel is warranted."
Already, amicus briefs are involving both case law and statutes from many different States... A couple of new individual parties have been granted leave to intervene or otherwise participate, as well. This ***very important*** case is growing fast... I am confident that within 60-90 days from now, you will see that at least several other major, well-known civil rights organizations, and probably some 30-40 of the various States' Attorneys General in opposition, will have filed each of their own respective amicus briefs into this case, too... maybe even all 50 of the AGs, but we'll see yet how it goes...
Accordingly, *now* is the time for interested family rights legal scholars/organizations to crank out their own amicus briefs, and/or select representative plaintiff(s)/intervenor(s) to enter directly into this case -- either way, and hopefully both ways!
Sets of three (3) different-named family rights organizations should work together on 2-3 related constitutional/legal issues, and submit JOINTLY-NAMED amicus briefs. Even better, at least one male and one female, or more, who all happen to belong to, or work with, two or three different-named family rights organizations, should do the similar thing and move jointly to directly intervene, again with a purposefully JOINTLY-NAMED legal package submitted.
This important case has been filed primarily over the deprivation of the right to indigent defense counsel, the related "ability to pay" aspect in child support contempt proceedings, the jailings, and that general area of family court issues. However, in the recent Order by the US Supreme Court on Nov. 1st, the Court requested parties/amicus to also brief the new additional Question -- "whether or not" the US Supreme Court has jurisdiction to review the ruling of the SC Supreme Court (duh...).
It is this Question that has "opened up the door" to creative minds, because there are at least *several* legal angles that combine: providing the Court its own federal jurisdiction, by raising any *directly-related* constitutional issues, such as:
(1) -- the reason that South Carolina's actions are sooo unlawful against NCP Turner, is because South Carolina has directly violated both federal and its own state CCPA laws (Consumer Credit Protection Act), by issuing ANY child support orders against someone who the state court itself classified as "unemployed", since CCPA laws mandate that those child support orders exceeding max percentages of NCP Turner's any available "disposable" income (i.e., none..) are simply VOID, in the first place. In other words, most ALL of the States are routinely ignoring the mandatory protections of CCPA, and issuing onerous orders that far exceed the limits against available "disposable" income percentages, and all those orders are VOID, in the first place, and *cannot* be enforced, ever..., per the clearly express mandate of both federal *and* state CCPA laws!
(2) -- the federal Congress never had any *valid* authority, in the first place, to ever promulgate federal laws to manage and micro-manage family units, or the individuals of family units, so NONE of those programs (Title IV-A, IV-D, IV-E, etc., etc.) should even exist, in the first place... Family Law has *always* been the sole province of the States, and never the realm of the Federal Government... ever. See also, arguments within several of the pending Health Care Reform lawsuits out there, for the reality that the federal Congress has been far exceeding its Constitutional authority under the "Commerce Clause" for a long, long time... Therefore, since Congress' Title IV-D of the Social Security Act is unconstitutional, to begin with, then it is really the Federal Government's fault that poor NCP Turner is in such a pickle, in the first place, you see, by all the "carrot and stick" programs and activities funded by federal taxdollars. Again, ALL of the *federalizations* of Family Law are invalid.
(3) -- also, the entire federalized Title IV-D child support enforcement scheme is a HUGELY fraudulent financial waste and catastrophic drain upon America, for 35 years now, costing **Trillions** of taxdollars over that span, to net back only in the very small Billions of extra C$ actually collected... In other words, America would still have continued the prior ~80% paid in full of all child support out there, as America already had before the Fed got involved, yet, instead, America has poured out **Trillions** of taxdollars to collect only a few small extra Billions -- an actual return-of-investment that is NEGATIVE to the tune of at least hundreds-to-one, if not over 1000-to-1, in monetary LOSSES, every minute, of every hour, of every day... The entire federal child support program is a HUGE financial fraud upon America, and always WAS..., from the mid-1970s start.
and, etc., each of which gives square and solid federal jurisdiction to a US Supreme Court that already well knows that it has jurisdiction.... You may also know of one or more other strong legal challenge angles into this very important case.
It also just so happens, that I have very direct and recent (May-June 2010) experience in the US Supreme Court over a few of these exact same issues, although my own client's Petition for Writ of Certiorari was another one of the 10,000 or 99% not picked this year for review (perhaps also because I scared the crap out of them with CCPA arguments, see this link):
http://unitedcivilrights.org/worksamples/USSupCt-Pet4Cert1stAmended-CCPA.pdf (directly relevant to THIS case)
Therefore, the organization that I created and co-founded, United Civil Rights Councils of America, will be surely seeking to cooperate jointly with another pair of willing/participating family rights organizations, using one or more of the above theories to file into this very important case, under either an amicus angle, or the straight-up intervention method, if the right one or more people are found to be intervenors fitting this case well. Please contact me via email directly if you are interested.
LINKS TO LEGAL FILINGS AND ONLINE MEDIA STORIES:
(provided in chronological order, more or less)
Here is the original SC State Supreme Court ruling being reviewed by SCOTUS:
or, the same on FindLaw:
or, the official SC advance sheet containing the ruling, with other cases:
For interest, a November 30, 2009 ACLU article on the original defiant SC Supreme Court in this case:
The New York Times online story about this case:
Constitutional Law Blog story about this case:
ABA Journal's article on this case:
The Nerve's *very* informative and up-to-date article, detailing the total factual background on this case well:
and, the Nerve's previous related story, published after the SC State Supreme Court's ruling was issued:
Here is the current SCOTUS Docket online listing:
Including this same Turner v Price case, an outlined organization of most/all other cases being reviewed by SCOTUS during this 2010-2011 Term - i.e., what other current SCOTUS cases might be either directly and/or indirectly related and useful:
One of few online places to normally get copies of, or to review, the various Briefs filed into SCOTUS cases:
(unfortunately, briefs not there for this case yet - has the Questions, though)
Turner v. Price, Docket No. 10-10
Questions Presented -- Whether the Supreme Court of South Carolina erred in holding - in conflict with twenty-two federal courts of appeals and state courts of last resort - that an indigent defendant has no constitutional right to appointed counsel at a civil contempt proceeding that results in his incarceration.
Questions presented -- In addition to the question presented by the petition the parties are directed to brief and argue the following question: "does this US Supreme Court have jurisdiction to review the decision of the South Carolina Supreme Court?"
BRIEFS FOUND ONLINE:
The original Turner petition for writ of certiorari in the US Supreme Court (3.67mb):
The older combo ACLU-NACDL-etc-etc amicus brief, filed in NCP Turner's support, at the SC State Supreme Court:
Their newer amicus brief filed into the US Supreme Court recently:
Snipets/links to all of NACDL's current/recent briefs, fyi:
An amicus brief filed by The Constitution Project into this SCOTUS case:
One of the authorities cited in the original Petition for Writ of Certiorari, the Urban Institute's report on child support arrears:
http://www.urban.org/publications/1001242.html (excerpt, with link for full report download in PDF)
The recent US Supreme Court's interim/new Order, from the free version of Lexus-Nexus, i.e, http://LexisOne.com
2010 U.S. LEXIS 8485,*
Michael D. Turner, Petitioner v. Rebecca Price, et al.
SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
2010 U.S. LEXIS 8485
November 1, 2010, Decided
PRIOR HISTORY: Price v. Turner, 387 S.C. 142, 691 S.E.2d 470, 2010 S.C. LEXIS 83 (S.C., 2010)
JUDGES: [*1] Roberts, Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, Ginsburg, Breyer, Alito, Sotomayor, Kagan.
The motion of Larry E. Price, Sr. for leave to intervene is granted. The motion of respondents for leave to proceed in forma pauperis is granted. The petition for a writ of certiorari is granted. In addition to the question presented by the petition the parties is directed to brief and argue the following question: "Does the Court have jurisdiction to review the decision of the South Carolina Supreme Court?"
Related, I have provided this online Publix Law Schools legal learning center, free for everyone's use and benefit:
Mr. Torm Howse
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United Civil Rights Councils of America
Co-Founder, National Board Director, Trustee,
Parental Alienation Awareness Organization - US
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