Welcome to my blog and the reference point in my fight against an archaic, unjust family court system in Marshall County, Alabama. I plan on posting my thoughts, items of interest, and resources I find helpful in hopes that it can be helpful to someone else. Now take a deep breath. Here I go...

Please visit http://www.alfra.org for the only organization in Alabama that promotes the concept that children need each of their fit parents.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

new article on Examiner.com!

Click below to view my most recent article on Examiner.com!

ALABAMA CHILDREN'S FAMILY ACT IS A 'FIT PARENT'S BILL OF EQUAL RIGHTS'

Saturday, December 24, 2011

my many thanks to you, my readers and others

I have been so blessed these last few days.  You would not believe the outpouring of support and incredible help I have been the recipient of this past week!  I don't feel worthy, but I am thankful for everyone's help.  It has been exciting, and eye opening.  I woke up on Monday with barely a dollar in my pocket.  I did not know how I was going to pay the bills, get my daughter a birthday present, or make sure the girls have presents to open on Christmas.  I was quite literally "Broke in Marshall County."  So I got down on my knees and prayed that the Good Lord would send me a few angels, expedited delivery requested.  Boy, did he ever!  He sent angels to me for inspiration and financial assistance.  Unable to appropriately express my thanks to these people and God himself in person, I have tried to find the words here.

First, I want to thank God.  Without him, none of this would be possible.  Without him, I would be nothing.  I have always felt that God intended me for big things.  Not that I am special, anyone has the potential for great things.  It is all in how you seize the opportunity.  God did not make you for nothing, we all have our own purpose in His Grand Design.  For a long time in my life, I thought I knew what God's plan for me is at various times.  I have since realized I know nothing of the sort.  I started out in high school wanting to be the first man on Mars.  I guess the Good Lord decided he needed me more on Earth.  Rather than asking Him for his help in my ambitions, I now ask Him to use me for good.  "Lord pick me up like a hammer or use me like glue, whatever is needed at the time."  I will try my best!

Next, I want to thank my angels in south Alabama who relieved me of a burden which had my stomach tied up in knots for a few weeks now.  We came into contact through Facebook and when they heard of my plight, they immediately offered to help.  One of them is a graduate from THE University and made a few calls to their friends who are likewise Bama alumni.  When they heard a "Bama Dad was in trouble and needed their help" they too came to my rescue.  Because of their generosity, I received a money order FedEx'd overnight.  With this gift, we were able to make sure the girls have a good Christmas.  Praise GOD!  What a blessing!  I couldn't sleep at night worrying about it.  In an instant, my prayers were answered and the load I am bearing lightened quite a bit.  Parents will understand how I feel.  There is no way to express the gratitute in my heart.

My friend has been in a custody battle that has not been fought fair to say the least.  She had her kids taken from her pursuant to an illegal emergency motion that a corrupt judge approved over a month ago.  When she filed her own emergency (well, her attorney filed it) motions to have her side heard and so that she could see her children, the judge refused to consider them.  He stated he would not consider any other motions until sometime in January.  This Mom was being prevented by this judge from spending Christmas with her children!  She is not a bad mom, not a criminal, or negligent.  There is good reason to believe it is all politically motivated.  Done to punish her for her involvement in the political process, and support of the judge's political opponents.

She came across my federal civil rights lawsuit, so she contacted me and told me her story.  I was shocked, but not surprised.  It is amazing how much power a judge wield's over our lives.  They are able to completely destroy someone or their family, basically at their own whim.  There are no cameras in court rooms, in family court often no court reporter, no transcripts.  You can request them, but a lot of folks don't know it.  They probably assume like I did that one of the ladies sitting around the judge is the court reporter.  Not true.  She said my stand against the tyranny and oppression of the Alabama family law system inspired her to take her own stand.  She took a public stand against the judge and called him out for what he was actually doing.  Within hours, the judge recused himself from the case, citing the recent publicity of the matter.  The new judge immediately considered the emergency motions the previous judge had refused to take up.  This brave mother got to see her children today.  Praise GOD! 

She still has a long road ahead of her, we all do, but she scored a major victory for her kids.  A small battle won, but we are sentenced to fight in the war zone that is the Alabama family courts until our children aren't children anymore.  The time we lost with our children is just gone.  We can't get it back.  Our adversary fights us to the end, in the name of our children, but with intentions of filling their own bottomless pockets.  It is disturbing, scary, and just plain morally wrong.  It makes us angry, then they (some legislators) criticize us because we are pushy or not as nice as we could be.

The anger is natural.  We are tired of hurting yes, but we are more so exhausted with our children hurting while so many stand by and allow it to happen. Understand that the anger is only instinct. We are their parents. We are suppose to be able to protect our children, but the State has stripped from us our ability to defend our children. We just have to hang a smile on our face, choke back the tears, and tell our kids we love them and everything will be ok. I told Representative Daniel Boman -D (HD 16) this a few nights and assured him, "Sir I have made that very same promise to my children a hundred times and I guarantee you one thing. I intend to keep it."

To understand our anger, I asked him, "Try an experiment for me. This Spring, when the flowers are in full bloom and the beautiful birds of song are in the trees, find a nest with baby birds in it and start poking around it. Don't actually hurt the birds of course, but poke around the nest a little bit and see what happens. Just a tip if you decide to test my hypothesis....wear a helmet and some thick clothes."

I can't flog my representatives' heads though, when they fail to act on parents rights legislation or pass bad legislation that further hurts Alabama's children.  When special interests buy their vote (quite literally) against us parents.  So we have to use words.  Sometimes those words are angry.  I guarantee you that when a mama bear mauls you for getting to close to her cubs, she ain't happy.  That mama bear thought you meant harm to her babies, and parents get angry when someone harms our little ones.  I am thankful that God has helped me channel my anger into constructive efforts.  Anger can destroy a person, but it can also change the history of the world.

I am thankful for the new wise friends I have made, who's counsel I greatly value.  They are not afraid to tell me what they really think and that is important.  They are not worried about my feelings, they want to win, and so do I.  We are going to be a force to be reckoned with, I feel great things happening.  That's not surprising though, I am a big ideas kind of guy.  You know how some folks "can't see the forest for the trees?"  Sometime I can't see the TREES for the FOREST.  My friends help me remember that you got to plant the seeds before you will ever have a forest so without the individual trees, there is no forest.  And there is no reason telling everyone to come see your forest when you have barely planted the seeds in the ground.  With a little care and effort though, it may be the grandest forest of them all (my optimism showing through again).

I am thankful for my family.  They stepped in and helped with bills.  My girlfriends works hard everyday taking care of things so I can focus on studying the law and connecting with people.  I would be lost without her.  My children are such an inspiration.  When I look into their eyes I get the strength and motivation to push forwards despite the odds and circumstances.  I am their Daddy and it is my job to protect them.  They need me and they are worth it.  Remember that Mr. Legislators.  My kids are just as good as yours and deserve just as much to have Daddy tuck them in at night at least half the time.  See you in Montgomery this session, I will be there to remind you of this.

My many thanks go to YOU.  Y'all read my posts, offer words of encouragement, share them on your facebooks pages which drives even more traffic.  I could not have gotten the message out like I have without you.  Please continue sharing my posts on facebook and twitter.  Everytime you share someone new reads it.  Even if you reshare an old post, you are helping to recruit new people to our cause.  Many of you have contacted me with stories of your own and you have no idea how much of an inspiration you are to me.  I am grateful for your support and proud to be standing next to you in battle.  We must stand together and get busy pushing for parents rights.  Thank you for calling your legislators, now call them again!

I have heard it out of legislators mouths that they rarely hear from folks that are FOR this or that particular bill, they mainly hear from those who are AGAINST something.  Your voice is more powerful than you know.  We have to strike now, early, and often.  We are still searching for a sponsor for the Alabama Children's Family Act which is such a huge step in the right direction, READ IT HERE.  I would be more than happy to answer or find the answer to any question you might have regarding the bill.  E-mail me anytime at bradleyspatterson@gmail.com!

We have to act now while the legislators are preparing for the new session and then follow up with them throughout the session until we get this legislation passed.  CALL YOUR LEGISLATORS!!! Find their contact information HERE.

It has been a good week, and I am very thankful to God and all of you.  Merry Christmas everyone!  I hope you get to spend it with your family, but if you are one of those who cannot see their kids this Christmas because of the State's actions, just hold on.  We're coming!  Contact me and help us get over our shared mountains.  This affects us all regardless of marital status.  We need everyone to take positive action to support us.  That is the only way the Legislature will ever listen.

TO MONTGOMERY!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

the voice of an Alabama parent...

Click below to read the most recent report of the investigation into alleged civil rights violations and corruption in the Alabama family law system.




Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A father's Christmas plea...

Having good reason to believe that it will be heard, I offer the following:

It being of common knowledge that it would be in the best interests of our daughter for us to discard our adversarial positions, and in an attempt to "bury the hatchet," I would be willing to release you from any and all legal actions I am taking, though I would continue to pursue my claims against the State for their trespasses.  I do not wish harm against you.  I am fully willing, as I have been, to participate and compromise in a responsible adult relationship, of which our daughter would be the sole intended beneficiary.  That is not to say we would not individually benefit from it.  If nothing else, I bet it'd do wonders for our blood pressure.  Mine is One Heart Attack over 99.  What's yours?  We cannot fight forever, you know.

Develop an equal, shared parenting plan that allows for more time with her Daddy who is more than just a paycheck and a visitor.  I do not wish to "take" her from you or whatever suspicion you may have.  When she's with me, the direct support burden is on me and not you.  It would make life easier for you.  Plus, I would never do something to hurt to our daughter.  You are her mother.  That was God's decision and I shall not interfere unless her safety is at risk.  I know you love our daughter, and I have no doubt that you do everything you can to protect her, just as I do.  Put down your weapons.  They only hurt the one we are trying to protect.  I am not asking for more or less than you.  I want to bear the burden equally, if you would only consent. 

It is an offer, take it for what it is, understand my intentions and motivations arise solely out of my love for our daughter and my concern for her well being, which I know is also of importance to you.  That is why I am hoping you will see the sincerity of my statements and agree to bury the hatchet with me.

- A loving Alabama father

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A man on a mission...

On our way to Birmingham to the Hugo Black Federal Courthouse. There, we file my civil rights complaint against the State of Alabama. Keep us in your prayers!!!


Monday, November 28, 2011

the investigation begins...

Click the link below to view Brad Patterson's investigative report on the corruption associated with the Title IV-D State incentive payment program:

Alabama parents rights groups allege State profits off of broken families


This is only the beginning...

Monday, November 14, 2011

legalized kidnapping, that is all you can call this...

In drafting and redrafting my civil rights complaint against the State of Alabama, and the Marshall County Department of Human Resources, I came across this little piece of disturbing case law.  Literally, my skin crawled.

I will post a more in depth explanation of what actually occurred here.  However, what you should read is that anyone can allege to DHR that you are abusive to your kids, and DHR will subsequently take your children from you and force you to undergo psychological examination without due process of law. This is just a couple years ago that it happened and from Marshall County, so it's current.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

voices of Alabama parents...

I have been ranting and raving on here for months about my story. It is important to understand that I am not alone. There are thousands of parents across this State, and quite literally millions across the world, that are suffering through similar civil rights violations at the hands of family courts and DHR-like govt agencies. This is not about me or my brothers and sisters in patient suffering. We are not going to get back the time we lost with our children because the State has acted, and is acting, in collusion with the "custodial parent" to prevent us from being good fathers and mothers to our children! Every other weekend is not a parent-child relationship, it is exactly what they call it: visitation. We will not be "visitors" in our childrens lives anymore! "Non-Custodial Parent" is a second class citizen status!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

actions speak louder than words...

The deadline for DHR to respond to my cease and desist letter passed on October 18, 2011. They failed to respond to my claims. In previous months they were quick to respond by simply telling me that I am wrong. This last time, nothing.

Of course, there's big changes going on at DHR. Their director tucked tail and ran shortly after I publicly held him accountable for his actions in the Arab Tribune. I made sure he got a copy of my last letter before taking early retirement. Must be nice to just up and quit your job. You would figure he'd be decent enough to stick around until his replacement got their feet wet in the job. Maybe he wasn't given that option.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Second Class Citizen

That is what fathers in Alabama are under current Alabama family law. It is not only fathers, also mothers who share the State enforced second class citizen status of "non-custodial parent." This, however, is only symptomatic of a much larger transgression by the State which has resulted in the State trampling over the rights of Alabama children and their parents. The State of Alabama is committing fraud against the United States government and I can prove it. These fraudulent actions, committed by the State of Alabama, against the people of the United States have increased the Federal deficit while financially benefitting the state agencies.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

my plea to the Governor

October 5, 2011

State of Alabama
ATTN: Governor Robert Bentley
State Capitol
600 Dexter Avenue
Montgomery, Alabama 36130

RE: Case Nos. 50DR2005000471, 48DR05000471, 48CS20100308; DHR Case No. 674434

Dear Governor Bentley:

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

a summary of my complaint...

On December 13, 2007 Amber Greenhaw, my ex-wife, walked into the Marshall County DHR and filed an affidavit of past-due child support which was notarized by Carla Clemons, a DHR child support enforcement caseworker. This affidavit was false. On January 9, 2008 Mrs. Clemons wrote me a letter informing me that Mrs. Greenhaw had filed the affidavit of past-due support and gave me until January 31, 2008 to contact them or they would take other measures to secure the payments. On January 11, 2008, just two days after sending the first notice of Mrs. Greenhaw's claim, the Marshall County DHR certified the past-due support amount at $1,083.50 and issued an administrative offset against me to confiscate the alleged past-due support. They mailed notice of this to my mother's house, an address I had not lived at for twelve years. On January 18, 2008 Carla Clemons issued an administrative wage garnishment against me for current support and the past-due support they alleged. I contacted Mrs. Clemons via telephone on January 21, 2008 and informed her that the affidavit was false and that I had proof of payment in the form of money order receipts. Mrs. Clemons denied my claim that the debt was not owed, despite my offer to provide copies of money order receipts proving payment.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

one step closer...

The following website has a wealth of information regarding filing 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 (Civil Rights) claims in federal court. It was exactly what I needed to refine my complaint:

Legal grounds for filing a Civil Rights complaint in Federal Court

I would be remissed if I did not mention the contribution of local attorney Shane Hollaway in refining my lawsuit in order to improve its effectiveness. He has done some legal work for me in the past when DHR tried to put me in jail for no reason, and he stopped them. He's an honest guy and cares about the people he represents. He has been a huge help for me. He practices in Guntersville, Alabama. He is also reasonable with his fees, the best I have found. Thanks Shane!

Monday, September 26, 2011

the lawsuit draft...

Now it is time to take it to a couple of attorneys who I respect...what do you think?

Patterson v. Alabama et al.
(currently under review/unavailable)

I pray to the Good Lord that I win.

Monday, September 19, 2011

the line in the sand has been drawn...

September 18, 2011

Marshall County Department of Human Resources
ATTN: Charlcie Thibodaux
70 Grimes Drive
Guntersville, Alabama 35976

RE: Amber L. Greenhaw
       000000000674434

Dear Mrs. Thibodaux:

Monday, September 12, 2011

DHR director ducks and runs...

Not for sure it is related, but Saturday's edition of the Advertiser-Gleam proclaims on the front page that J. Wayne Sellers, the do-nothing director who I have come to know pretty well...is resigning. They call it "retiring," and maybe that is how it can be looked at, BUT...

The timing is awful telling, it being only 2-3 weeks since I have started kicking up dust publicly, and very publicly naming his name as part of the problem. Nevertheless, this is a good thing for the fathers of Marshall County, Alabama. I've been hoping he'd leave for years. After dealing with him for 4 years...YAY!

Now if I could only get Carla Clemons and Charlcie Thibodeux to resign! They are the leaders of the rabid pack of hyenas that are after me.

Thanks Wayne. Don't worry...we won't miss you!

Monday, August 29, 2011

My friends, we need your help!

The Department of Human Resources and the State of Alabama have a dirty little secret when it comes to child custody and support cases. Though not actually secret, it is not well known either. Buried in amendments to the Social Security Act is a law which established the Title IV-D Program. It was designed to assist the States in enforcing uncollected child support obligations, thereby reducing the number of people receiving welfare benefits. Recent amendments brought changes to the Title IV-D Program which would destroy lives, trample upon due process rights, and provide incentive payments to the States, seemingly, most successful in doing the most damage in the lives of its citizens.

The law in its current form provides payment to any State which meets certain percentage rates of success in five different categories: establishing paternity, establishing child support orders, collection of current child support, collection of support arrearages, and cost-effectiveness. $70 billion of your Federal tax dollars is allocated for this incentive program yearly. The State of Alabama receives approx. $64 million per year.

This is how it works. If Alabama has at least an eighty percent success rate on all five categories, the Federal government pays the State two dollars for every one dollar of child support money collected under this program (accordingly, the incentive goes down in proportion with the success rate). The law stipulates that each state must create a central disbursement center through which all child support is to be paid. Under the law, the State's "incentive pool" is two times the amount of child support money paid into these disbursement centers for each fiscal year.

Through this program, the State is provided with massive financial incentives to separate the child and the non-custodial parent (often the father) as much as possible. The less time the non-custodial parent spends with the child providing direct support, the more child support that the State can enforce on Alabama fathers. Then Uncle Sam gives each State their take of Judas's thirty pieces of silver. The reason why the Alabama Children's Family Act (2011 Ala. Legislature Senate Bill 196), which provides for equal parenting time, died in the Senate is because the Court's often enforced "Standard Visitation" (a mere fifty-two days a year - "every other weekend") is a literal cash windfall for the State. Does this not represent a significant conflict of interest?

That's not all. In an effort to improve "cost-effectiveness" - the fifth incentive category, Congress has passed laws granting the States the power to circumvent the due process rights of non-custodial parents in the collection of child support. In my case, two false affidavits filed by my first ex-wife with DHR, was all the due process needed for that agency to wreak havoc upon my personal finances. Utilizing the nefarious administrative wage garnishment and administrative tax offset, DHR confiscated almost ten thousand dollars of my wages over three years without judicial review. Family court judges refused to meet with me, as did the district attorney's office. I have spent the last few years studying Federal and State law relating to child support and wage garnishment. However, there is one item I cannot find. Can someone point out to me the part of the U.S. Constitution that declares our rights are to be upheld only if it is cost-effective to the government?

What about those single moms it was suppose to help? There are many cases where DHR refuses to take action, due to it not being cost-effective to enforce the support. Apparently, if you do not have a regular paycheck, it becomes too difficult to enforce. Just ask my mother, she has been owed over $140,000 accumulating over twenty years for my sister and I. Our friends at DHR have had very little success enforcing that order. The difference? I am involved in my daughters' lives and hold down a regular job. Score one for the real deadbeat dads out there. "Doing the right thing" simply makes me an easy target for DHR's self-serving greed.

I would like to state my appreciation for Senator Clay Scofield's support of SB196. I hope our Senator will continue his support in the upcoming session and see it through to a full vote in both houses. This bill would break that conflict of interest which exists to deprive Alabama fathers of the precious time they have while their children are growing up. I am preparing to challenge the constitutionality of administrative garnishments and offsets in Federal court. The Constitution is specific, and the courts have repeatedly upheld the due process rights of citizens where deprivation of property rights are involved. It is not enough. I need your voice to add to the call for equal rights for parents in Alabama. Please check http://marshallcountybroke.blogspot.com for updates. You can contact me directly to help or if you have had a like experience.

In 2008, I told the Marshall County DHR director, Wayne Sellers, "I will not give up until these injustices are corrected" when I provided them with proof of payment for my child support. They ignored my receipts, and DHR took most of my money based upon a lie and pursuant to a Federal law which promotes the separation of fathers and their children along with unconstitutionally aggressive collection practices, both for the financial benefit of the State. This is our court system and our government. These people are too self-serving to not comply with the people's collective voice, if only for self-preservation. If you will stand with me, we can make this wheel the squeakiest. That oil of liberty, SB 196 and the demise of administrative garnishment orders would restore the rights of our neighbors and promote the best interests of Alabama children. My friends, we need your help!

Brad Patterson
bradleyspatterson@gmail.com

Friday, August 26, 2011

"...let Facts be submitted to a candid World."

On December 13, 2007 my first ex-wife filed a false affidavit with the Marshall County Department of Human Resources.  In said false affidavit, she claimed that at that time, I was in arrears on my child support for a total of $800.00 which was a fabrication.  The filing of the false affidavit constitutes perjury under the law.  DHR refused to prosecute her, despite - after some time - admitting that there had been a mistake when they determined I owed past due support.  It was only after I threatened the Marshall County DHR Director with filing a Writ of Mandamus which would force him to perform his official duties that I got some kind of relief.  Shortly thereafter I started receiving the first of many refund checks from the State of Alabama.

Since that time I have been ridiculed for not paying my child support (which I actually had paid), mired in neverending debt with no help in sight due to excessive and unlawful wage garnishments, had my constitutional rights to own property and those of due process trampled upon or outright ignored, and was almost thrown in jail for not paying child support that I had in fact paid.  The following posts are ledgers detailing payments from July, 2006 when I was first ordered to pay child support, through the nightmare that was the administrative wage garnishment and tax offset, all the way to the present day.  To date, the Marshall County Department of Human Resources has forced me to overpay my child support by $1,221.50 without any regard for my due process or property rights.  They refuse my claims that I was forced to overpay though the following ledgers clearly show the financial oppression which I have lived through these last few years.  You make have to click below to see all the ledgers on the same page:

http://marshallcountybroke.blogspot.com/

"...let Facts be submitted to a candid World."          

THE YEAR IN TYRANNY...

Under review/being updated

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A person's wages are that person's property.

When a person enters into a work agreement with an employer, whether verbal or written, it is an agreement to exchange labor for pay.  In today's society, most workers are paid one of four ways, but almost always using the same unit of pay.  Workers are paid in U.S. Dollars in the form of cash, check, paycard, or direct deposit.  Some workers are paid an hourly wage, others are paid a salaried wage.  An hourly wage is paid in one hour increments, often with no guarantee of the number of hours to be worked.  An hourly wage worker is paid one-and-a-half times the originally agreed upon rate of hourly pay when their work hours exceed forty hours in a given workweek.  Salaried wage workers are paid a flat rate for a given period of time, despite the number of hours worked.  Salary wage workers are not paid overtime if they exceed forty hours in a given workweek.  However, most salary jobs have a minimum hours worked requirement and the employer will often times convert the employees wages to an equivalent hourly wage if the minimum hours requirement is not met.  My employer does it on a regular basis.  Therefore, in practical application, the distinction exists solely to prevent the employer from having to pay the employee the overtime wage for workweeks that exceed the forty hour threshold.

I am a salary worker.  I get paid on a biweekly basis at a previously agreed upon rate, which has been increased through merit raises.  According to the terms of the work agreement, I will be paid my salary as long as I work a minimum of forty-six hours per week for two weeks for as long as I continue my employment with the company.  The payweek is Sunday through Saturday, though I am not paid until the Thursday following the second Saturday in a pay cycle.  Due to having met the minimum hours worked requirement for the prior two weeks, reason may show that my pay becomes my property at the end of the last day of work for that pay period.  There is not a Court in this country that would allow an employer to not pay a person their wages when the employee is due the wages because the wages are earned, which is to say, he fulfilled his obligations in the work agreement.  The wages, therefore, become the property of the employee upon fulfillment of his obligations in the work agreement despite possession still being with the employer.  As a result, an employees wages fall under the protections of the Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution once they are earned.  Consequently, the employee enjoys to same due process rights for wages earned but unpaid as the person would if it was property already in his possession. 

In short, a person's wages become that person's property once they are earned, and despite that person not immediately having possession of them.

Monday, August 8, 2011

tyranny and oppression

This is its ugly face in America today...

31 U.S.C., 3720D, administrative wage garnishments

The continued destruction of American property rights

The history of nations show that when governments are of limited resources, often as a result of their own vices, the property of its citizens become subject to seizure through force or tax to pay “the public debt.” Our forefathers clearly understood this, and instituted constitutional protections to prevent deprivation of property rights without due process of law. Being among those sacred “certain unalienable Rights,” an American citizen's right to own property, and to be unimpaired in that ownership, is viewed as the foundation of individual liberty.

It is no secret that at this time, our Federal government is on the verge of insolvency. Reckless spending and unbalanced budgets by our national leaders have gripped the nation in the throes of recession. Now more than ever, my fellow citizens, we should be vigilant in taking the steps necessary to protect our interests and future happiness by voicing our concerns in the public councils. The ballot box is where the future of this country will be won or lost, but by no means should our cause start or end on election day. Our elected leaders should come to know us by name and opinion, not by party. Government abuses and usurpations should be resisted where ever they are found, so as to strengthen the position of the people.

It is in this spirit that I relate to you what I believe to be a grave injustice against the rights retained by the American people and protected in the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution. In violation of those provisions, Congress has passed laws granting the government the power to confiscate your property, in the form of your wages, without due process of law for any debt it says you owe. The sleight of hand which Congress utilizes for this purpose is the administrative wage garnishment.

31 U.S.C., 3720D grants government agencies sweeping powers to involuntarily confiscate your wages if the government believes you owe a debt, to the government or a person. This law provides for a mirage of due process-like requirements, stopping well short of actual due process and without any judicial review. Here is no such “strict scrutiny” as the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled must be applied regarding the constitutional rights of the people.

The tyranny and oppression of the administrative wage garnishment has affected me personally. Despite proof of payment and in violation of other Federal and State laws, two administrative wage garnishment orders have been enforced against me. The first resulted in the seizure of almost three thousand dollars by an agency of this State. After spending six infuriating months in a law library, I walked into the Marshall County DHR director's office, demanded repayment or threatened to file a court order against him and his agency. I started receiving refund checks a few days later. The second, by the state of Kentucky for a student loan I have struggled to pay due to the first administrative order, reduced me to poverty.

Since we no longer have a public law library in this county thanks to the actions of fence jumping Judge Howard Hawk, I did a week's worth of legal research online to put a stop to the second unlawful seizure which ended at $3,283.28. I recently received a refund check for almost two thousand dollars, well short of what was taken. As my struggle continues, I see plainly the danger these laws pose to our personal property rights. It is my most fervent wish that no one experience the nightmare that I have recently endured.

Please visit marshallcountybroke.blogspot.com or contact me so that together we may take action to preserve those rights endowed to us by our Creator, not government. What the government does not grant, the government cannot take away. That is, unless it is our wages. Hopefully, it will never happen to you, but shouldn't we stand together to stop it....just to make sure?

-as submitted to the Arab Tribune 8/8/11

Saturday, August 6, 2011

I won the battle, but this time it's war...

When I opened my mailbox the other day, I braced myself.  I knew the contents of the letter I now held in my hand would have a huge impact on my quality of life in the coming weeks, months, years.  It had travelled to me all the way from the Bluegrass State of Kentucky at the offices of the Kentucky Higher Education Association, "the Student Loan People."  They are a guaranty agency for federal student loans.  I have a student loan with them from my time at Wallace State Community College.

Under the seal of the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the name of the Governor of the State, Steven L. Beshear, Melissa F. Justice responded to my second cease and desist letter since the beginning of July, when I discovered that the administrative wage garnishment order they were executing against me not only violated Federal law, but very likely was altogether unconstitutional.  As is noted in this blog, I am garnished to the hilt in child support, how could it be that they could confiscate another $300 a month?  $3,283 is the total amount unlawfully taken.  You might remember an earlier post about another administrative garnishment order which resulted in the unlawful confiscation of $3,000 over a six month time period by our good friends at DHR.  This time it took ten months to shake KHEAA off (due to my ignorance of the law concerning garnishments).  You can't know everything.  I know quite a bit about wage garnishment law now, and this check for $1,915.19 from KHEAA can attest to it.

It took DHR a year and a half before they came close to paying back all my money (a few hundred dollars in interest was not refunded).  KHEAA acted a little faster, beating the deadline I gave them in my first letter by three days.  You do the math, though, it is way short of what they took.  So the fight continues.  You would think that getting the check in the mail would be an enjoyable experience, and while I can say I have definitely gotten worse things in the mail than an almost $2,000 check, it really was bittersweet.  Sure, I may have been able to fight off the hydra which is the administrative garnishment order, now for a second time.  However, I am sure there are many others, especially in this economy, who are living under the oppression of this type of garnishment and have not taken the legal classes I have nor are as interested in the U.S. Constitution.  So why exactly are these administrative wage garnishment orders so nefarious?  Simply put, they are unconstitutional.

Congress recently granted the government and student loan guaranty agencies the ability to garnish a person's wages for any debt they claim is owed to the government or child support without any judicial oversight or approval.  They claim that seeking approval through the court system is too burdensome on the government and it is an effort to increase collection rates.  On the face of it, it sounds reasonable.  Doing anything in the Court system is costly and time consuming.  It probably does slow down collections and probably prevents some of them as well.  Everybody knows the U.S. government is broke.  Sounds great right?  Well, there's one problem...the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution:

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.           

Yes, it may be costly and burdensome, but the fact of the matter remains that it is required by the U.S. Constitution.  It matters not that Congress passed the law for any reason granting this tyrannical power to unlawfully confiscate a person's wages, which is his property.  Congress is bound by the chains of the Constitution more so than any.  The laws they pass cannot circumvent constitutional protections.  It flies in the face of everything this country was founded upon. 

I have had my property unlawfully confiscated with no regard for my rights of due process by two separate state government agencies.  It is time I attempt to put a stop to it once and for all.  I believe if I can get this before a Federal judge (with the intention of going all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary), it will ultimately be found to violate the Constitution.  That would be a major victory in favor of American property rights.  Hopefully, it would also prevent anyone from ever experiencing the nightmare I have lived the last three and a half years due to false affidavits and unlawful garnishment orders.  They have been garnishing me into poverty with no regard for my rights of due process.  Even worse, they openly acknowledge that the due process clause of the Constitution is being circumvented.

I am not going to take it anymore and I will not rest until I make sure no one else has to take it either.  It is certainly a complex situation, and I am going to need all the help of friends, family, and attorneys I can get.  Most of all, with God's blessing and guidance, I believe I can see this through to the end and be successful in overturning the tyrannical and oppressive monster that is the adminstrative garnishment order.  It can wreak havoc on your life, destroy your sense of security, and literally force you into poverty.  It has done all and more to me.

Never again, and not to anyone.  That is the goal.  I believe in the U.S. Constitution.  As a southern man, the only two documents I hold closer to my heart is the Holy Bible and the Declaration of Independence, in that order.  How could it be that they think they can just trample all over something so revered?  Indeed, the sole source of their authority for any action.  To confiscate a citizen's property without due process of law is despicable not to mention specifically prohibited.

This is my Lexington and Concord.  The States of Alabama and Kentucky have run roughshod over my rights long enough.  I will not back down until they are stopped in their designs to circumvent the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution.  Join me!  Ben Franklin's famous revolutionary drawing stated, "Join or Die."  Luckily in our day and time, hopefully nothing fatal will result from the battles to come on this issue.  However, it is oddly appropriate when slightly altered...

JOIN or PAY.            

The right of property is essential to individual liberty.  This is a founding principle upon which the American government was built, and it has been reaffirmed countless times by the judiciary.  Yet, our right or property, and individual liberty, is constantly under attack and currently being infringed upon.  This infuriates me.  As my brother Patrick Henry once said:

"Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"
 

Friday, July 29, 2011

Is your money YOUR property, or does it REALLY belong to the government?

A close personal friend of mine recently shared a moveon.org article and stated his opinion on the matter which was basically that he did not agree with cutting welfare programs while keeping in place the so-called "Bush" tax cuts.  Forgive me if I do not quote the subject matter with complete accuracy as I did not bother to read the article due to being familiar with the leftist propaganda spouted by the moveon.org folks.  I did feel compelled to comment that infamous Lincoln quote about how you are not helping a man when you do for him what he could do, and should do, for himself.  Like how if you catch a fish for someone, you feed him for a day.  Teach him how to fish, you will feed him for the rest of his life.  My friend, though, is a Democrat and therefore believes strongly in the welfare programs and while we do not agree on their extent or form, he brought up an interesting thought which has stuck with me.    Which is, "Who owns my (and your) paycheck?"

I would like to think that I do.  They are my wages and I work hard for them, often spending many hours away from my family in order to obtain them.  Why would I devote so much of my time and energy in obtaining something unless it was very important to have.  Why is it so important?  Despite money being traditionally held as the root of all evil, it has become a central concern in our innate desire to survive.  Think about it, what if tomorrow, suddenly all that paper money you have and all the money you have in the bank was worth absolutely nothing due to the collapse of the American dollar?  Not to mention that is not such a far stretch considering our current situation with possibly defaulting on our national debt on 8/2/11.  It would be devastating.  How are you going to buy the necessities to survive?

So I think it is safe to say that, though maybe unfortunately, but money has become a necessity for survival in our modern, capitalistic society.  That's why we spend so much time working for it.  Not to say that when you punch that clock, you are getting anything "extra" out of the deal.  There is NO PROFIT in my paycheck.  It is an even exchange.  I lend my time, energy, and talents to produce a product or provide a service for someone, and my employer pays me a previously agreed upon amount of pay.  So why is it that Federal law states that my "disposable earnings" are any wages earned after mandatory deductions required by law?  Disposable?  That's news to me.  There is nothing "disposable" about my paycheck.

Think about how another piece of property is viewed by the law.  Is not your house your castle?  The government cannot penetrate its walls until they have properly complied with your rights of due process which requires a fair hearing in court before action is taken.  That is not so with your paycheck.  Nor with your bank account or your income tax refund.  Why is it that a man's house is held sacred and inviolable under the law, but his wages are not?  Are they not both equally necessary for survival in these days and times?  Just remember back to that terrible day in April when multiple tornadic storms tore swaths of destruction through Alabama and knocked out electricity to most of us for five days or more.  It was a very expensive five days for me.  In everyday life as well, money is required for utilities, food, gas, rent/house payment, repairs, your child's education, saviing for retirement, etc.  These may not all be neccessities for survival per se, but they are no less necessary.

The Declaration of Independence declares that all men are endowed with certain, unalienable rights.  Among those are "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."  In the Constitutional Convention of 1787, this was shortened to, "life, liberty, and property."  Our founding fathers rightly believed that a man's right to own personal property, and to not be unlawfully molested in that ownership, as a pillar of individual liberty.  They therefore made it a central tenet of our democracy, protecting it within that staunch defender of our rights and liberty which is aptly entitled the "Bill of Rights."  They went so far as to enumerate certain items such as our persons, papers, houses and effects.  You would think that a man's wages would be included within this definition, but I have found it is not.

You see, I am one of many Americans currently living under the oppression of a wage garnishment order.  They are not just for deadbeat Dads anymore.  If you owe anybody money for anything, they can garnish your wages to make you pay it.  And they do not always have to go before a judge to get it.  What about due process?   That's what I have been asking for years.

Back in late 2007, my ex-wfe filed a false affidavit of past-due child support with DHR.  They notified me in late January 2008, to my surprise since I had paid my child support as ordered and even had the money order receipts to prove it.  I called my case worker and informed her of this error yet before we could meet, she issued and served an administrative wage garnishment order on my employer which stated I was behind on my child support by $1,000.00 and demanded they garnish my wages by $115.38 every paycheck.  It was signed by Carla Clemons, a DHR caseworker.  It never saw a judge.  Yet, here they were confiscating my wages, my property, to pay a debt which I had paid and was paying on.  Like I said, I had every money order receipt going back three years.

I showed up at DHR, with proof of my case in hand, and demanded that someone meet with me regarding the matter.  They initially refused.  However, upon my refusal to leave they finally conceded to hear my story, but took no action despite the evidence presented.  By then they had put in motion what resulted in the confiscation of over $3,000.00 of my wages over the course of six months.  All done by the hand of a DHR caseworker without judicial review and no clear way to obtain any.  You can imagine the financial burden is caused.  I fell behind on my bills and my student loan.  That comes back to get me eventually as well.  Only after threatening the file a writ of mandamus against the director of DHR in circuit court, did I begin to receive refund checks and they finally acknowledged that they made a mistake.  They reduced the amount of the IWO to current support only, but left it in place.  So it has remained since that day.  Throughout the ordeal, I tried to meet with the judge and the DA, they refused.  Attorneys I met with said leave it alone once I started receiving refund money because taking the matter to court would only result in the rasing of my child support.  They were right.

Most recently, I was living under the oppression of four wage garnishment orders.  They were withholding almost $1,100 a month from my pay which after insurance and taxes was more than I brought home.  I was actually being garnished into poverty.  I was bringing home what amounted to a little over $12,000 a year.  The Federal poverty level for a family of four is around $21,000.  I can honestly say that without my girlfriend, I would not have been able to survive on that amount of money.   

Not having any "disposable" money left over at the end of the week to hire an attorney, I did what Americans have historically done when faced with similar situations.  I rolled up my sleeves and started studying garnishment law.  I took a week's vacation from my 46+ hour a week job, and dove into the electronic version of a law library.  This blog bears many of the fruits of those labors.

Now I have always been interested in the founding of our Nation and the rest of its storied history.  I have read countless books, watched documentaries and listened to audio books about the republican principles upon which this country was founded so as to provide expansive protection of an individual's "unalienable rights."  This country was founded on providing individual liberty to its citizens with the foundation cemented by an individual's right to property as the bedrock of freedom.  The King of Britain, that despicable tyrant so reviled by generations of Americans, had not even the power to garnish a man's wages.  He simply required that addtional money be paid whenever a colonist volunatarily made a purchase of certain items and goods.  He stated it was for a debt owed by the colonists to the Crown for the expense of the French and Indian Wars.  When the King said you owed him money, you had no recourse.  However, even he could not involuntarily take the colonists money.  Yet, our Federal government has passed laws granting it and other agencies the ability to forcefully and involuntarily confiscate your wages, and without judicial review.

Simply put, the current wage garnishment law is unAmerican.  The Fourth Amendment is clear.  The government, however, likes to try to muddy it up.  How can it be that the governmentt can take from me the fruits of my labor, and give to another for any reason? It makes no more sense for the government to commandeer a room in your house to provide shelter for a homeless person than it does for them to confiscate your wages to give to another.  I am also talking about Social Security, Medicare, and the income taxes we pay.  What more are they than involuntary wage garnishments to pay our so-called "debt to society?"  It is common knowledge that both programs will go bankrupt well before I am ever of age to use them, yet I pay, pay, pay.  I don't have a choice.

So who owns my paycheck?  It looks increasingly as if the government thinks it does.  Who owns
yours?  There must be a revolution in our thought processes regarding a man's wages if we are to continue to enjoy the liberty our forefathers fought and died for.  I can attest to the oppressive nature of wage garnishment orders and the tyranny which it has wrought on my life.  Hopefully, it will never happen to you, but shouldn't we stand together to stop it....just to make sure?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I hit the GOLD mine for Alabama legal forms!!!

Alabama Rules of the Court

Ok, so click above and then select which court system you are dealing with (Civil, Criminal, Juvenile, Appellate, or Judicial Administration).  Most sections have a form appendix at the bottom.  For child support, the forms are partially in Judicial Administration (look at Rule 32) and also in Civil.

Of course, you have to know what you are looking for and I have found a little "how to" query on Google will solve that problem generally.  This is literally an f'in gold mine if you are trying to get something done in the Alabama court system.  There is enough information here that not only will you know what forms you need to file, but also what type of information is required.  Keep in mind that MOST legal documents are forms and can be easily copied IF you know which form to use.  Now, some of the more routine court actions (like complaints and most motions for example) are NOT listed but that is because it is governed by common law.  In other words, the form is the same in most all states.  If you find a form in California, it MIGHT work in Alabama, but more than likely you can take the California form, add a few items, and then it will work in Alabama (like stating that you are a resident in a particular county in Alabama, in Alabama that is a requirement to establish the Court's jurisdiction over your legal matter).

As they say, knowledge is power, and if that is true then this is a very powerful web resource for Alabamians!!! 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

the Birdman responds...and the cat is out of the bag!

Today I received a letter from the Marshall County Circuit Court clerk and our favorite judge, "the Birdman" Howard Hawk.  I knew it would be in reference to my petition to the Court asking it to enforce my constitutionally protected right to exempt my wages from garnishment (see previous post - Art. X Sec. 204 Alabama Constitution).  I might point out that this provision was written and adopted in 1868.  Put it in perspective... just how much was $1,000 worth of property back in 1868?  What was the INTENT of the provision?  I think it would be safe to say that when the citizens of this State ratified the Constitution, they intended for what amounted to $1,000 worth of property in 1868 to be protected.  They knew a little of inflation and speculation of currencies back then, but saw it, correctly, as an evil and an enemy of democracy.  I have seen it HERE that an 1868 dollar is worth $16.293 of today's dollars.  If we use that as a guide then we are talking about  $16,293.00.  

So the paltry assets and wages I provided the Court as part of my Declaration doesn't come that close to $1,000 much less $16,293!  So I opened the envelope, and knew part of my plan had been foiled.  I have a civil relationship with ex #2, and had hoped convincing her of the necessity of this exemption would help speed it along by preventing a contest of the exemption.  She agreed and took delivery of her court documents with her assurance she would not turn it over to her attorney who would hopefully not hear of my claim until after the allowed time to respond had expired.  So that my wages would automatically be protected.  I was confident that in the event of a contest the judge would have to rule in my favor due to the demonstrated lack of financial resources.  I can show that exactly what I take home is exactly what I need to survive.  The Court let the cat out of the bag because if they sent this to me, they sent it to her attorney as well.  That's not the bad part though...

What I received was a copy of the case action summary which has the clerk's and the judge's hand written notes in reference to the case.  It shows on 12/2/2010 the IWO was enforced against me which was for child support.  It also has a stamp on it which show that the process of garnishment was issued on 6/1/2011 and that I filed my declaration and claim of exemption for wages on 6/7/2011.  On 6/8/2011, the Birdman wrote the following:

"6-8-11 (Declaration and Claim of Exemption for Wages) Noted; however this case was closed 8-5-2010.  (The Defendent) is encouraged to seek advice from an Attorney. H"

Which probably means a few things...the judge is refusing to protect my ability to support myself, even though it is guaranteed by the Alabama State Constitution.  Therefore, this is an unconstitutional garnishment handed down by the hands of a State judge who's job it is to uphold and protect the Constitution.
It also means that the Birdman is continuing what I have found to be a pattern in Marshall County judges...they do not like a man that represents himself in their court.  The judge will not talk to you, he will refuse most all of your petitions while he's telling you that you need to get an attorney, and just in general try to make things as difficult as possible.  I might take this opportunity to remind the Birdman (just in case he knows about this blog) that according to the Alabama Canons of Judicial Ethics, he is bound by duty to abide by the following:

CANON 3.

A JUDGE SHOULD PERFORM THE DUTIES OF HIS OFFICE IMPARTIALLY AND DILIGENTLY.
 
The judicial activities of a judge take precedence over his other activities. His judicial duties include all the duties of his office prescribed by law. In the performance of these duties, the following standards apply:

A. ADJUDICATIVE RESPONSIBILITIES:

(1) A judge should be faithful to the law and maintain professional
competence in it. He should be unswayed by partisan interests, public
clamor, or fear of criticism.

(2) A judge should maintain order and decorum in proceedings
before him.

(3) A judge should be patient, dignified, and courteous to litigants,
jurors, witnesses, lawyers, and others with whom he deals in his official
capacity, and should require similar conduct of lawyers, and of his staff,
court officials, and others subject, to his direction and control.

(4) A judge should accord to every person who is legally interested in a proceeding, or his lawyer, full right to be heard according to law, and, except as authorized by law, neither initiate nor consider ex parte communications concerning a pending or impending proceeding. A judge, however, may obtain the advice of a disinterested and impartial expert on the law applicable to a proceeding before him; provided however, a judge should use discretion in such cases and, if the judge considers that justice would require it, and should give notice to the parties of the person consulted and the substance of the advice, and afford the parties reasonable opportunity to respond.

(as published on the website of the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission)

I, as a citizen of this State, have the right to represent myself in all legal proceedings.  I have this right because not everyone can afford an attorney to represent their interests.  Some of us are poor, when you are poor you do not have an extra $500 or $1,000 laying around for an attorney.  I have provided evidence to the judge that my financial resources, or lack thereof due to this court's actions, do not permit me the luxury of any disposable income to spend on an attorney or even the ability to save any money for one.  I AM BROKE! 
It also means that sleep isn't going to come any easier.  Surely, in spite of the garnishment, they will follow federal law in its application and I will only be reduced to $217.50 weekly, but I will probably have to scrape and fight to have that enforced as well.  Even if that is as low as they will go, I am still $100 or so short on my monthly bills. 

It's a good thing I refuse to lay down without a fight!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Sometimes if you want to be heard you have to scream...

beta.news.yahoo.com
Jilted ex-boyfriend puts up abortion billboard' on Yahoo! News. A New Mexico man's decision to lash out with a billboard ad saying his ex-girlfriend had an abortion against his wishes has touched off a legal debate over free speech and privacy rights.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Article X, Alabama State Constitution

Text of Section 204: Personal Property of Value of One Thousand Dollars Exempt from Sale, Execution or Other Process of Court Issued for Collection of Debt

The personal property of any resident of this state to the value of one thousand dollars, to be selected by such resident, shall be exempt from sale or execution, or other process of any court, issued for the collection of any debt contracted since the thirteenth day of July, eighteen hundred and sixty-eight or after the ratification of this Constitution

Interesting Dept of Labor publication...

...regarding Federal wage garnishment law. 

http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs30.pdf

Here's the Federal Wage Garnishment Law

Federal Wage Garnishment Law Sec. 1673: Restriction on garnishment
(a) Maximum allowable garnishment
Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section and in section 1675 of this title, the maximum part of the aggregate disposable earnings of an individual for any work week which is subjected to garnishment may not exceed
(1) 25 per cent of disposable earnings for that week, or
(2) the amount by which disposable earnings for that week exceed thirty times the Federal minimum hourly wage prescribed by section 206(a)(1) of title 29 in effect at the time the earnings are payable, whichever is less.
In the case of earnings for any pay period other than a week, the Secretary of Labor shall by regulation prescribe a multiple of the Federal minimum hourly wage equivalent in effect to that set forth in paragraph (2).
(b) Exceptions
(1) The restrictions of subsection (a) of this section do not apply in the case of
(A) any order for the support of any person issued by a court of competent jurisdiction or in accordance with an administrative procedure, which is established by State law, which affords substantial due process, and which is subject to judicial review.
(B) any order of any court of the United States having jurisdiction over cases under chapter 13 of title 11.
(C) any debt due for any State or Federal tax.
(2) The maximum part of the aggregate disposable earnings of an individual for any workweek which is subject to garnishment to enforce any order for the support of any person shall not exceed -
(A) where such individual is supporting his spouse or dependent child (other than a spouse or child with respect to whose support such order is used), 50 per cent of such individual's disposable earnings for that week; and
(B) where such individual is not supporting such a spouse or dependent child described in clause (A), 60 per cent of such individual's disposable earnings for that week; except that, with respect to the disposable earnings of any individual for any workweek, the 50 per cent specified in clause (A) shall be deemed to be 55 per cent and the 60 per cent specified in clause (B) shall be deemed to be 65 per cent, if and to the extent that such earnings are subject to garnishment to enforce a support order with respect to a period which is prior to the twelve-week period which ends with the beginning of such workweek.
(c) Execution or enforcement of garnishment order or process prohibited
No court of the United States or any State, and no State (or officer or agency thereof), may make, execute, or enforce any order or process in violation of this section
2. Federal Wage Garnishment Law Sec. 1674: Restriction on discharge from employment by reason of garnishment
(a) Termination of employment :
No employer may discharge any employee by reason of the fact that his earnings have been subjected to garnishment for any one indebtedness.
(b) Penalties :
Whoever willfully violates subsection (a) of this section shall be fined not more than $1,000, or imprisoned not more than one year, or both
3. Federal Wage Garnishment Law Sec. 1675. - Exemption for State-regulated garnishments
The Secretary of Labor may by regulation exempt from the provisions of section 1673(a) and (b)(2) of this title garnishments issued under the laws of any State if he determines that the laws of that State provide restrictions on garnishment which are substantially similar to those provided in section 1673(a) and (b)(2) of this title
4. Federal Wage Garnishment Law Sec. 1676: Enforcement by Secretary of Labor
The Secretary of Labor, acting through the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor, shall enforce the provisions of this subchapter
5. Federal Wage Garnishment Law Sec. 1677. - Effect on State laws
This subchapter does not annul, alter, or affect, or exempt any person from complying with, the laws of any State
(1) prohibiting garnishments or providing for more limited garnishment than are allowed under this subchapter, or
(2) prohibiting the discharge of any employee by reason of the fact that his earnings have been subjected to garnishment for more than one indebtedness
Wow, on my way to the courthouse, I helped pull a woman out of a SUV she flipped about 4 times. About a mile from the courthouse on 205 in Albertville...

happy birthday president davis!

I tried filing the exemption yesterday, June 6, but the courthouse was closed for Jefferson Davis's birthday. At least I got it notarized for $5 across the street from the Guntersville Courthouse at Impressions Art/Frame Gallery.

wages being garnished? check this out...

The following link is to the website lawhelp.org and is a form used to stop wage garnishments by debt collectors.  It does not apply to child support or court fines though.

Alabama Declaration and Claim of Exemption for Wages

It was made by the Alabama State Bar Association.  I am going to file one on my behalf today at the Marshall County Courthouse.  Because of Article X, Section 204 of the Alabama State Constitution (1901), you can exempt up to $1,000 in property and wages from being garnished for a debt. 

Once filed, the plaintiff has 10 days to contest the claim of exemption.  If they fail to do so, then those wages and property are automatically protected from garnishment.  If they do file a contest in time, then a hearing is set and a judge has to determine if the wages should be protected.  Basically, unless you have lied, he is constitutionally bound to grant the exemption.  That'll help keep those damn hyenas out of your paycheck!

Also, if you are getting your wages garnished, child support or any other, the minimum amount of money you can legally take home after all deductions and taxes is $217.50 per week.  This is mandated by federal law and is based on being 30 times the current minimum wage.

The above form will help you take home a little more to your family and maybe help you rest a little easier at night.  And they say our state constitution is outdated and draconian.  Well, I guess they are right if by that you mean that it protects too many of the private citizen's rights and doesn't let em tax us enough!   

you can't bleed a turnip...or can you?

Welcome in to the first installment of my blog.  Like I said above I am going to use it to remember useful information in my fight for the best interests of my daughters with the three-headed monster that is Marshall County family court.  I thought the above photo was appropriate because the path on which I embark certainly appears to be the road less travelled.  The end is uncertain, there are forests to traverse and mountains to move.  However, when I get through, maybe that forest doesn't seem so dark for the next father, maybe those mountains aren't so tall for his children.

Those forests are mighty dark in real life.  I cannot describe to you the feeling one gets when this weight is on your shoulders.  It makes me uneasy most of the time, and I don't sleep very well.  I am very anxious to do something, anything, most of the time but have no idea where to start.  It is overwhelming to say the least.  I have found it helps to pray.

When you find yourself being abused by the family court system, they make it hard on you to remedy the wrongs.  A judge will not talk to you at all, but would be more than happy to talk to the attorney you can't afford because they are taking half your paycheck in child support.  You pay your child support, yet a false affidavit filed by a vindictive ex outweighs stacks of money order receipts proving payment and they confiscate your wages and tax returns with no due process of law.  All it took to happen was the signature of an overzealous DHR caseworker and a mother willing to lie under oath.

A couple years later, and another false affidavit puts you in front of a judge with hopes of putting you in jail.  Nevermind that your child support was withheld from your paycheck since the first mugging.  An attorney paid for with borrowed money fights off the attempt at incarceration, but they succeed in raising the child support which helps to push you further into the poor house.  When payday comes around, now you only take home thirty percent of your earnings due to child support, court ordered insurance premiums, and taxes.  I guess you can add one more to life's certainties.  It is now "Death, Child Support, and Taxes."

That's just ex-wife #1.  Yep, that's right, there's more. 

#2 left and shortly after her daddy picks her out a high powered attorney.  To make a long story short, she files for divorce yet neither her nor her attorney show up for the first court hearing in front of "the Birdman" Judge Howard Hawk, I sit there all morning (after filing with the court my answer and counterclaim) and then he decides he just wants to reschedule it because her attorney finally answers his phone and said he "didn't know if the defendent was notified" so he decided to not show up.  Obviously, I had been since I was there as ordered by the court.  So he resets the court hearing date because the plaintiff failed to appear.  Sound fishy to you?  Yeah, it did to me too. 

"Driftwood" Dave Beuoy, the aforementioned "high powered" attorney, makes no attempt to negotiate or settle out of court.  He's content with putting it before the judge, and rightly so since he is a judge himself, so you might say he has connections I do not.  He sends out a huge package of interrogatories, hoping to pad his attorney's fees and asking all kinds of information not related to the proceedings.  I refused to fill them out.  When the judge ordered me to, I decided it was time to get an attorney involved, but before I could save enough money, a contempt hearing was set. 

So four days before the hearing I call down there on a Friday to let them know I would not be able to be present at the hearing due to pressing business matters and that I would like to request a continuance.  Nothing more than her attorney had done the first time, except I was giving them ample notice.  I was told by the clerk to call back on Monday because neither the judge nor his secretary were in their office that day.  So I called back on Monday and repeated my situation, only to be told that I would have to request a continuance in person or I would be expected to be in court the next day.  I explained I was at work, and as the manager on duty would not be able to leave the store until the next manager arrived late that afternoon, after the court had closed for the day.  Didn't matter.  Request the continuance in person or show up for court.

Three or four days later, I get two envelopes from Marshall County Circuit Court.  One is the Birdman's notes and states that the court notes my answer and counterclaim, but that they had not received them (even though I can prove I filed them on the day of the first hearing, when Driftwood failed to appear).  The second was the final judgement of divorce, decided before a scheduled pendente lite hearing on the divorce.  In it, the Birdman gave Driftwood a default judgement against me, ordering me to pay over $500 a month in child support with no regard whatsoever to Rule 32 of the Alabama Rules for Judicial Administration.  He also ordered me to pay Driftwood's fees and gave me only joint legal custody of my daughter with no schedule of visitation.  He stated he issued his judgement because I failed to appear or plead (yet I can prove I did both on the day of the first hearing) and it was "ore tenus" or based on verbal testimony yet he gave me no notice of the time or place that verbal testimony would be taken on the divorce.  I had the dates for the contempt hearing and the later scheduled pendente lite hearing, but had heard nothing of the day he made his decision.  I guess he decided to go ahead, take the ball and run with it...my due process rights be damned!

So now they take most of the money I make and give it to my ex-wives.  Just the other day, though, I was served with yet another stack of papers.  This time it is a Process of Garnishment from old Driftwood.  Apparently, the $20 I have paid him so far for raping me wasn't sufficient.  He wants 25% of what little crumbs I am bringing home now to pay for her attorney bill.  Are you kidding me?  Nope, it is true, but don't worry your little head.  God made me smart and strong.  God gave me a plan.  I end with two quotes:

"There, but by the Grace of God, go I."

“Unfortunately, until you are affected, sometimes you don't want to get involved. It seems it has to be personal,” he said. “This should be personal for everyone.  "You look around and see the devastation and destruction and say ‘where do I start, what do I do?' The thing is you have to start so you can start getting over this. There is a tremendous amount of support and help here.”

Like I said, "There, but by the Grace of God, go I."