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.

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  Forgive me if I do not quote the subject matter with complete accuracy as I did not bother to read the article due to being familiar with the leftist propaganda spouted by the moveon.org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!!!