FATHER FILES $3 BILLION SUIT AGAINST STATE OF OREGON
The civil case pending in California Central District Court, Western Division alleges violations of the father's civil rights, slander, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
The plaintiff is asking for $3 billion in various compensatory, punitive and aggravated damages.
It all stems from the Plaintiffs ex wife who filed fraudulent bankruptcies twice in ten years, went on welfare, and embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Plaintiffs business corporations, caused his businesses to collapse, ruined his public image and business reputation, then lied to the State of Oregon to again collect welfare almost a decade later, according to the suit filed on July 10th, 2006.
The suit names the three major credit bureaus, Experian, Transunion, and Equifax alleging that a fraudulent child support claim filed by one of the Defendants ruined the Plaintiffs chances of buying real estate during the hottest market in history.
Other parties named in the suit include Lane County, various law enforcement agencies in Oregon, the State Attorney General, and other public officials claiming negligence in dealing with the issues which the plaintiff apparently had sought to resolve for ten years.
The suit further alleges that the State of Oregon is engaging in a massive welfare fraud scheme in which fathers rights are trampled in order to receive funding from the Federal Government. The suit calls for criminal investigations into the entire welfare system being operated in the State of Oregon.
The Plaintiff says if he wins the case, he will set up a non profit public benefit foundation that helps fathers all over America with their legal issues and family rights.
The father says he is also considering filing class actions against any state on behalf of fathers in America who are faced with the problem of not being able to receive proper and competent legal assistance in dealing with child support, custody, and family rights issues, particularly when the mother has fraudulently obtained welfare benefits when the State knew or should have known they were being defrauded.
In March 2000, 60 percent of noncustodial parents in California owed back debt of $14.4 billion, according to a 2002 Center for Law and Social Policy report. In 2006, non custodial fathers in both Oregon and California owe an estimated $20 billion, mostly owed by low income fathers whose credit reports impact their ability to get higher than minimum or anything but under the table wages.
According to one father, the entire child custody, child support and welfare system in this country is a lose-lose proposition and the most damaged are the children.
FATHERS’ $3 BILLION SUIT BLOCKED BY JUDGE RONALD S.W. LEW
August 27, 2006
FOLLOW UP TO PREVIOUS ARTICLE
United States District Judge Ronald S.W. Lew has denied a plaintiffs motion to proceed in forma pauperis based on a magistrate judges recommendation and opinion that the suit was legally and/or factually patently frivolous and that the District Court of Central California lacked jurisdiction.
The civil rights lawsuit was originally filed on July 10th and was amended in a second filing docketed July 28th, 2006 against the State of Oregon, naming over a dozen of its employees, including Governor Kulongoski, the three major credit bureaus, a Federal Bankruptcy Court Judge in Oregon, an Administrative Law Judge, and half a dozen lawyers for multiple claims of civil rights violations, aggravated damages, declaratory and injunctive relief and punitive damages amounting to $3 billion.
The insolvent plaintiff, who is on the verge of filing for bankruptcy under the burden of over $2 million in liabilities from failed businesses and unpaid credit card debts allegedly fraudulently wracked up by his ex wife, plead to proceed without prepayment of the necessary $350 filing fee.
The civil case also alleges slander, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
The father has not determined whether he will appeal the order of the judge denying the request of the plaintiff to file the action without prepayment of the filing fee, which stated, “It is clear from a review of plaintiff’s complaint and the documents attached to his request to proceed in forma pauperis that plaintiff effectively seeks in this Court review of a judgement entered in a state court action. This court lacks jurisdiction to conduct such a review,” wrote the Magistrate on the attachment to the order.
The father is seriously contemplating the possibility of re-filing the suit under a second amended complaint and including Racketeering charges under RICO against the state of Oregon and various law enforcement agencies including the Oregon Department of Justice, Lane County Sheriffs, Eugene Police Department, and other defendants named in the suit.
This may bring it to the attention of the United States Attorney’s Office which usually prosecutes cases under RICO, if the Plaintiff can prove on the merits that there is any factual basis to his allegations.
“I’m not sure I’m competent enough to proceed with a case of this magnitude and it is unfortunate that in America, the cost of effectively pursuing justice in such individual civil matters has become so inflated that it may not be long before only billionaires will be able to afford to hire attorneys when they are wronged by such massive fraud and corruption rampant in our society,” said the father in a confidential interview.
It all stems from the Plaintiffs ex wife who the plaintiff alleges has filed fraudulent bankruptcies twice in ten years, went on welfare, caused his businesses to collapse through her actions, ruined his public image and business reputation, blackmailed him, extorted money from him, embezzled funds from his corporate bank account, lied to the State of Oregon to again collect welfare almost a decade later, and told him that he would never see his children again if he left her.
At the Oregon state level, the Plaintiff has filed a motion to vacate a judgement first entered in 1996 to pay child support. Unfortunately the plaintiff was homeless for almost six years before he remarried his ex in 2002.
A California Superior Court Judge, in the Plaintiffs dissolution of marriage filed last January, has ruled that its’ Court has no jurisdiction over the issues of child support, child custody or visitation because the children have lived with their mother in Oregon for more than six months.
The Oregon Department of Justice through its child support enforcement division has sought to collect back child support amounting to over $40,000 from the plaintiff and has not taken into consideration the fact that the father and mother had reconciled, the father was unemployed for most of 6 years due to a disease causing disability, and the couple later remarried having had a second child.
The parties are still legally married but have been separated for over two years. The father has not seen or been able to talk to his two minor sons for over a year because his ex has threatened him in the past with violence if he goes near his children or her home. She has allegedly in the past had him falsely arrested on five separate occasions based on false sworn testimony to law enforcement.
He has sought for over ten years to have the State of Oregon remove what the state and credit bureaus’ refer to as a “tax lien” on his credit report.
The suit further alleges that the State of Oregon is engaging in a massive negligent fraud scheme in which fathers rights are trampled in order to receive funding from the Federal Government. The suit calls for criminal investigations into the entire welfare system being operated in the State of Oregon.
The father says he has been approached by several other fathers around the country who are considering filing class actions against any state or county that denies a father his right to visit his children as a result of the bureaucracy that has built up around the issues of child support, custody, and visitation.
According to one father, “the entire child custody, child support and welfare system in this country is a lose-lose proposition and the most damaged are the children. It is a systemic problem that rewards mothers who chose to go on welfare instead of confronting and resolving real issues with fathers.”
A group calling itself the “Shared Parenting Initiative” says that their state government has taken an official stance in opposition to it which was formed as a response to the deteriorating situation for families in North Dakota.
The Initiative seeks to change the adversarial model of family law. The group was formed by dedicated volunteer citizens who joined together and crafted the “North Dakota Shared Parenting Initiative”.
Those North Dakotans believe that Congress never intended the state family courts to become a battle ground pitting good parents in ongoing conflict with children as the ‘prize’ to the winner of that conflict. They claim there is a better way to manage the tragedy of family dissolution.
“The current structure of our family courts provide few benefits to anyone other than the family law attorneys who generate significant fees from contested divorce and child custody cases.
“Many good parents, wanting to spare their children the trauma of court battles and knowing they cannot afford a court room fight, simply sign agreements that limit contact with their children,” said Mitch Sanderson, Chairman of the group.
Duane Houdek, a lawyer working in Governor Hoeven's office said, “It is the state of North Dakota's position that the shared parenting initiative would put North Dakota child support guidelines out of compliance with federal standards, something that would in turn cause North Dakota to lose some $70 million in annual federal funding.”
There is clearly a conflict of interest for the true welfare of children across the nation. Is any one fathers love for his children worth $70 million? Are children being denied the love of their fathers because money is more important than responsible fatherhood?
A former official with the State of Oregon said on condition of anonymity that the “Federal Government pays all the salaries of all the judges, lawyers, secretaries and clerks of the welfare system in the State and then some.”
Carol Olson, executive director of the North Dakota Department of Human Services says her job is to administer both the child support enforcement program that serves about 60,000 children monthly and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, which each month helps financially support about 5,000 qualifying low-income children who live with single parents or other relatives.
The federal funding for these programs comes with federal requirements. According to Olson, federal Department of Health and Human Services regional administrator Thomas Sullivan wrote a letter to state Sen. Tom Fischer, R-Fargo, confirming that either of the measures, if approved, "would put North Dakota's child support enforcement program out of compliance with federal requirements."
The entirety of that letter has not been made public and may contain misleading information that is skewed toward defeating the measure coming before the voters this November. Federal and State government jobs are clearly at stake in this hotly debated issue.
Federal law requires courts or administrative agencies, as neutral third parties, to determine child support using state guidelines that must be based, in part, on a percentage of all of a noncustodial parent's income.
In some states, it requires the income of both parents to determine how much a non-custodial parent pays.
Under the initiated North Dakotan measures, child support would instead be based on the undefined "needs of the child" instead of uniform guidelines and would be determined by a "parenting plan" instead of an order of a court or administrative agency.
One father questions whether State Courts can be neutral third parties when their paychecks depend on how much money they collect on behalf of the Federal Government in child support cases and says the “Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act is a complete failure on the part of our government to amicably help children”.
A family lawyer in Tennessee says “That law is one of the most complicated areas of the law and is a fertile field for appeals. The law purports to make child custody matters across State lines more uniform and easier, it does neither, because each State seems to modify the "uniform law" to suit itself.
“It is particularly socially disturbing when vast amounts of federal funds are provided to the States based on the amount of outstanding debts owed by homeless, unemployed, and often times disabled fathers whose credit is destroyed by frivolous and vexatious tax liens placed on them by such agencies,” said another.
Most employers now order a credit report before hiring and those with low credit ratings due to support enforcement judgments tend to be overlooked for good higher paying positions which might in fact benefit children whose fathers are honestly seeking employment. “It amounts to double jeopardy,” says another father.
According to the Sullivan letter to Fischer it warns: "Due to the gravity of the consequences that may result, we urge you to take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that initiated measures are not enacted that would render the state's statutes out of compliance with the federal law."
It would appear that this is clearly becoming a national federal question that must per se eventually be resolved in the Federal Courts. Do the States and Federal governments have a conflict of interest in funding State sponsored child welfare programs when those States are paid to enforce child support orders generated by the same tribunals?
For example, 3000 class action suits being organized by one group of fathers calling itself the Indiana Civil Rights Council, but led by its President, Torm L. Howse, who in 2004 tried but failed to file class action suits against 40 States, are purportedly about to be filed against each and every county government that has had any hand in child support or family law cases.
The States funnel federal funding to each respective county and each county has a child support enforcement office as part of its agency with the respective State.
According to Howse, “they will all be filed during "Constitution Week" (Sept 17-23) in the various federal courts... basically, every federal court in the entire country, with most federal courts necessarily receiving multiple class action filings, one from each of the county groups within that court's locale... It happens that "Equal Parenting Week" follows that week...”
Howse, who has been incarcerated before as a result of his own domestic divorce and child support cases was denied this last May by Federal Judge Hamilton to remove his case from State to Federal Court.
The judge ruled that Federal Courts lack jurisdiction over dissolution and child custody matters. Howse tried two previous times to remove his case to the Federal Court level but was twice struck down.
The actions of abusive judges in family law and dissolution hearings is another issue that is fast becoming part and parcel of the national movement to reform the problems created at the Federal level and may require some new laws being passed by Congress to address those issues.
According to the leader of Fathers for Justice, a Minneapolis Minnesota based father’s rights group, “a Franklin County Ohio judge is currently on trial for judicial misconduct. Several parents filed complaints through the Disciplinary Counsel of the Supreme Court of Ohio. The result was an investigation and has evolved into a full disciplinary hearing. This judge is running for office this November. Re-election to the bench is going to be tough.”
In the recent California case, the Magistrate Judge stated that “district courts lack jurisdiction to conduct de facto appellate review of state court decisions”.
Judge Ronald S.W. Lew is a highly respected member of the Federal Judiciary with a long track record. He was named “Person of the Year in 1998 by the Metro News Company.
The soon to be 65 year’s old jurist was appointed to the bench in 1987 by Ronald Reagan. Judge Lew is a respected, well-known figure and community leader in Los Angeles.
On September 1, 2000 Lew issued an opinion holding that despite knowing about and benefiting from the use of slave labor, Unocal could not be held liable in a joint venture with a foreign government. Unocal merged with Chevron a little over a year ago and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Lew’s ruling.
“I respect and honor the decision of Judge Lew, and despite all the hostility, past abuse, misguided arguments, and tortuous trouble that has pummeled the relationships within my own family, I still very much love both my wife and children, and only wish that we could sanely get on with our lives and make the children happy and successful human beings,” said the California father in the $3 billion action.
In 2005, Congress passed the Deficit Reduction Act which made major changes to child support and temporary aide to needy families. Those changes included $50 million over five years, less than $10 million a year, allocated to fatherhood programs.
The Responsible Fatherhood program was announced on May 18th, 2006 by the Administration for Children and Families.
The amount of money allocated for child support enforcement and TANF for the states of California and Oregon combined is in excess of $500 million per year.
In California there were slightly over one million recipients of TANF funding and in Oregon, as of the first of August 2006, according to statistics published by the ACF, 45,000 recipients, and the numbers, despite budget cuts in social services and a reallocation of funds geared more toward a war based economy, are growing.
“Surely therein lies the rub of a multi-billion dollar racketeering operation,” according to a father who will forever remain anonymous.
Copyright 2006 by Alex S. Gabor. All World Rights Reserved. First Published exclusively at the Chronicle by special arrangement.