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!"