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Another Father Killed By The Divorce Machine
Perry Committed Suicide after years of unsuccessful fighting

His entire life, like so many other fathers, was ruined by the sexist, unfair and unconstitutional family court system that rips children away from their fathers for the financial benefit of the mothers and the state courts divorce machine which must be fed more and more with each passing year.


Here is a previous article on Perry Manley...
 Man wages public protest against child support laws By Steve Corda,  Sun staff
 Perry Manley of Silverdale walked his sandwich board down Wheaton Way  in East Bremerton on Monday afternoon to protest what he believes are  unconstitutional child support laws.  Staff photo by Steve Zugschwerdt

 A Silverdale man is waging an attention-grabbing battle against a  child support system he believes is unconstitutional. He brought that  battle to Wheaton Way in Bremerton on Monday.
 Perry Manley, 48, estimated that he has paid  $109,024 in support and  health-care payments for his three children in the 10 years since he  and his ex-wife divorced. When a judge ordered him to increase his  payments from
 $201 to $459, Manley decided enough was enough.
 "I used to work for $15 an hour. Now, I'm unemployed," Manley said.  "I'm unemployed because the government takes 28 percent of my income  in taxes, 50 percent in child support and I can't live on $1.50 an  hour."
 Manley said he sued the state and his ex-wife — her only as a  technicality — claiming that the state's child support laws  unconstitutionally rob him of "my life, my liberty and my property."
 He said that the judge refused to hear his constitutional arguments,  so he took his case to the appellate level. After six months of  inaction, he learned his case could be held up for as long as two  years.
 That's when he decided to act. He now alternately marches on highly  visible streets in Bremerton, Silverdale, Tacoma and Seattle, clad  only in a pair of shorts hidden behind a sandwich board that declares  he has been "State Raped."
 He also carries a large American flag, hung upside down.
 He was on Bremerton's Wheaton Way on Monday and expects to be marching  on Silverdale Way tomorrow.
 Published in The Sun: 04/18/2000


Here is the last email I received from him about 2 pm yesterday. 
Sad to see him go but you can only push people so far, may his name not die in vain.



Whereas the various State Governments of the UNITED STATES of AMERICA  has committed repeated acts of war against “WE THE PEOPLE” of the United States of America; Therefore be it Resolved by the “PEOPLE” Legal Constitutional  Representatives of the United States of America, that the state of war between the United States and the various State Governments which has thus been thrust upon the People of the  United States is hereby formally declared; and that the President be, and he is hereby, authorized and directed to employ the entire naval and military forces of the United States and the resources of the Government to carry on war against the various State Governments; and to bring the conflict to a successful termination: all of the resources of the country are hereby pledged by the People of the United States.


The various City, County and State Governments of each of the fifty States along with their assigned and or elected executives sworn by official oath of office: Have by use of said office and in violation the oath on record committed acts of treason and tyranny against the PEOPLE of the United States.


The governments duly sworn by oath to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights deny the just liberty and freedom of 25 million citizens forced into involuntary service and peonage in violation of guaranteed protection of human rights.


“WE THE PEOPLE” of the United States of America

Signed the 19th Day of June 19, 2005


Perry L. Manley


The gentleman that was killed Perry was fighting and suing for years.
I was one of about 15 people who were on his private email list, I had just received an email a couple of hours before this happen and had responded to it NOT knowing that this event had already happen.
He also upset about not being able to give his daughter away at her wedding, I am not sure about all those details right now but will let you know when I find out.
Perry was a real crusader.
Here's another story from last week...

June 15, 2005
Manley Quest
Local man fathers a movement to abolish child support

Staff Writer

Wind and rain pierced the plaza at Seattle’s new federal courthouse on May 18. That didn’t stop Perry Manley. He was determined to burn an American flag to protest something he’s been fighting 15 years: child support and the second-class citizenship of divorced fathers.

“Freedom march for non-custodial parents!” Manley cried. “Freedom march for non-custodial parents!”

Except for one other dad taking pictures, Manley was a march of one. He wore a black judge’s robe and yellow sandwich board, which he took off before stepping up to a fountain to burn the flag he’d brought with him.

His lighter, however, only burned holes in the nylon — nothing for the nine policemen on hand to worry about. Manley has been to the courthouse so many times, in fact, that one of the officers greeted him by name, then asked why he needed to burn a flag.

“It’s a symbol of freedom,” Manley answered. But “25 million non-custodial parents don’t recognize this symbol because this symbol doesn’t represent them.”

Because his ex-wife hates him, Manley told the officer, he won’t get to walk his daughter down the aisle this August. The very thought choked Manley with tears.

In the myriad of lawsuits Manley has filed against the state, however, he’s argued money shouldn’t have been withheld from his paychecks to support his ex-wife’s choice to have children or get a divorce — which Manley objects to on religious grounds.

Despite the lone flag-burning, Perry Manley isn’t alone: He’s part of a growing national network of divorced and angry fathers who aren’t just offering support or legal advice any more — that was the ’80s. Today, disgruntled dads with groups such as Dads Now, Fathers4Justice and a host of others are arguing that the child support system doesn’t treat dads equally and should be abolished.

For 15 years, Manley has been arguing there’s no such thing as a non-custodial parent. What he and other dads say they want is real, joint custody where no child support is paid to either parent, and each has the kids half the time.

Lawyers say shared custody is a growing phenomenon, but one that only works when the divorced mom and dad can communicate without conflict.

In the three latest lawsuits Manley has filed in U.S. District Court since 2000, however, he hasn’t been arguing for joint custody — his own three children are already grown. What Manley has argued, over and over, is that child support violates the Anti-Peonage Act and represents involuntary servitude, which he says is illegal under the U.S. Constitution.

That, says Manley, who filed the lawsuits on his own, has deprived him of the fruits of his labor, including paying an overage of $14,000 in child support after his kids were grown.

In his two most recent cases against the state, he also sued three of his former Seattle employers — the Women’s University Club, The Salvation Army, and Aramark Sports — for complying with state orders to withhold child support from his paychecks.

In every case, the court, most recently under U.S. District Judge Thomas Zilly, has dismissed Manley’s claims — moves that led the father to file letters with the court system April 18 and May 31 accusing Zilly of treason for not enforcing the law as Manley sees it.

Over the years, Manley, who was divorced in Bremerton in 1990 and now lives in Seattle, has been evicted, jailed, and homeless in the same cycle of protest.

Tom Swanson, the dad who was with Manley at the flag-burning, says he’s been living out of a storage unit for about six years — the result of a hand injury that left him unable to work for two months. As a result, he could not pay the $900 in child support he owed from his monthly paycheck of $1,800.

He currently has a payment plan to retire the $65,000 in back child support he owes. But Swanson says his ex-wife and son are long gone. Even when he knew where they lived, he says his ex-wife disobeyed the visitation rules and there wasn’t much he could do about it.

“The parenting plan isn’t worth the paper it’s written on,” says Swanson, a Gulf War veteran who came home to find his wife in bed with the gardener.

While fathers can appeal to the court to have child support payments reduced or deferred, many divorced dads say the courts and lawyers are a big part of the problem. They say attorneys represent men terribly in family court, which nearly always gives custody to the mother.

“I paid a lawyer $5,000 to be a dummy and be silent while I got less than 30 percent non-custodial” visitation, says Steve Polson. “By giving me less than 30 percent, that lets them charge maximum child support and funds the system.”

Polson is a fisherman who came down from Alaska last year to be near his daughter and ex-girlfriend, who moved to Washington in 2003. Since then, he says, his ex-girlfriend has moved again. More than an hour’s drive now separates his house in Rochester from hers in Kalama.

That makes his Thursday though Saturday visitation with his 4-year-old daughter a constant rush, Polson says — with no end in sight. Polson says he and the mother are currently in jurisdictional limbo between Alaska and Washington.

“I’m asking for equal custody,” Polson says. “It’s statistically proven that children do better with both parents in their life. This is so one-sided.”

All three men say their custody fight isn’t a gender fight — three million of the nation’s non-custodial parents are women who suffer the same travesties, Manley says. But the writings at Hate Male Post, a web log where Manley and Swanson post notes and articles, say otherwise.

“The ‘woman’ has waged WAR against Patriarchy, defined as control by men,”
Manley wrote in a recent entry at the site. “The movement seeks to destroy:
The Constitution, The Family, Established Religion.”

The website of the “Indiana Civil Rights Council” — a fathers’ rights group through which Manley and Swanson met — is far more detailed. It claims more mothers abuse children than fathers and lays the blame for youth suicide, teen pregnancy, juvenile delinquency, and other social ills squarely on the shoulders of single mothers.

“The court gave the child to a high school dropout who was unemployed and had no skills,” Swanson says of his ex-wife. “She’s never had a job.”

Three attorneys with experience in family law say Manley’s legal arguments don’t excuse a man from supporting his children. They agree, however, that representation of fathers has been atrocious over the years — something that ’s slowly changing.

In the meantime, Nancy Sapiro, an attorney with the Northwest Women’s Law Center, says mothers still tend to get custody because they are usually a child’s main care-giver — the number-one factor that a judge is supposed to consider under the state Parentage Act.

If a husband shared care-giving during the marriage (for instance, feeding, diapering, and bathing the children half the time), Sapiro says he’s entitled to half custody — something Manley had but calls a joke because he had to pay someone to raise his children.

Sapiro and Renton attorney Ruth Moen insist, however, that when men chose to litigate, they prevail — particularly men with money. “They used that power viciously,” Moen says.

“As in any situation, you can drum up examples on either side to boost your point of view,” Moen says. “As many stories as there are of women manipulating the system, there are an equal number or more stories of men manipulating the system.”



Hello Dads,

Haven't you guys had enough? Wha's it going to take before Fathers realize that this crap has been going on for at least the past 50 years and EVERYBODY  knows it - Its no secret  - FATHERS AND KIDS GET SCREWED.

We need to organize, become some type of union where we can initiate change. - big change - Unions do it all the time, and succeed in there cause.

We need a leader - another Martin Luther King?

What if all the small fathers groups with all the thousands of web pages joined, united and went on strike - everyone stop paying child support. Everyone ..........................

I am just another screwed dad who misses his kid, tired  of the court system, and tired that all this continues to go on WITHOUT any change.

What's it going to take to get some real change?




Man killed at court was upset over child support

By Sara Jean Green, Mike Carter And Jennifer Sullivan Seattle Times staff reporters

Perry Manley didn't want to pay child support, and the seeming unfairness of a system that hounded him to turn over his hard-earned cash to his ex-wife had made him angry and obsessed over the past 15 years.

Manley had written and talked about the topic ad nauseam. He had filed no fewer than five lawsuits, and had joined others supporting the rights of fathers as noncustodial parents. Being required to pay child support for his three children, Manley claimed, was a form of involuntary servitude, where a man is forced to work to support a child he is not responsible for raising.
In recent years, his writings and actions showed him to be increasingly bitter.

In the end, his obsession is apparently what got him killed, in what friends believe was a last-ditch effort to draw attention to his cause.

Manley was shot to death yesterday, the day after Father's Day, by two Seattle police officers inside the secure foyer of the federal courthouse.
In one hand, he clutched a defused fragmentation grenade.

Manley, dressed in camouflage and carrying a backpack strapped across his chest, walked into the courthouse shortly before noon and tried to inch along a small ledge that rings an indoor reflection pond in an apparent attempt to avoid the metal detectors. Eric Robertson, U.S. Marshal for the Western District of Washington, said security officers saw he was holding a World War II-era hand grenade and confronted him.

Security officers summoned police and spent more than 20 minutes trying to persuade him to surrender. He placed papers he apparently wanted to present to a judge on the floor and used both hands to cup the grenade to his body, a police spokeswoman said.

Police fired twice after he "made a furtive movement with the grenade,"
Robertson said at a news conference yesterday. He was shot once with a shotgun and once with a .223-caliber assault rifle, said Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske. It was clear the man was dead immediately after the shooting, he said.

The incident prompted the evacuation of hundreds of courthouse personnel, including judges, jurors, employees and prisoners. The courthouse was closed the remainder of the day.

Police later determined that the bottom of the grenade had been drilled out, making it inactive, but that wasn't apparent to officers, Kerlikowske said.
A bomb expert was called to examine the contents of the man's backpack because officials were worried he might have strapped explosives to his body. No explosives were found. Instead, officials found a cutting board and a copy of the man's living will inside his bag, the chief said.

Kerlikowske speculated that the cutting board may have been for protection against police bullets and suggested, given that the man was carrying a copy of his living will, that his death may be a case of "suicide by police."

Manley, 52, was a well-known figure at the U.S. District Courthouse who had recently attracted the attention of the U.S. Marshals Service after accusing U.S. District Judge Thomas Zilly of treason in a letter filed in court last April. Manley said the crime was punishable by death, and wrote on a fathers'-rights Web site that he was visited by two agents later that month.

Zilly, contacted at home last night, acknowledged that "the letters were turned over to the U.S. Marshal's Office." The judge called the shooting "tragic."

Carried will with him

A friend of Manley's, Richard Roberts, said Manley wrote a living will the day after the visit from the agents and always carried it with him. Manley had said he believed agents were "going to shoot him anyway," Roberts said.

Manley's ex-wife, Susan Calhoun, 48, of Suquamish, Kitsap County, said yesterday she was aware that Manley had been killed, but had not been formally notified by police. His oldest daughter, Kristen Manley, 23, said she also was aware of the shooting.

Both declined comment last night.

Police last night had not released Manley's name, but his identity was confirmed by a law-enforcement source.

Last month, according to published reports, Manley attempted to burn an American flag in a rainstorm on the plaza outside the courthouse. According to a story in the homeless publication Real Change, Manley was so well known to courthouse security officers that they greeted him by name. Manley had notified the media about his flag-burning plans, but only a Real Change reporter showed up.

Tom Swanson, who accompanied Manley to the flag burning and shares Manley's belief that child support is illegal, said Manley had promised that if the flag burning didn't attract enough attention to his plight, he was going to do something "more drastic."

"Nobody would listen to us," said Swanson, who lives in his car in Tacoma and was reached by cellphone.

"His final statement"

Roberts of East Bremerton said Manley had been jailed at least twice for contempt of court for failing to pay child support.

"He was an extremely hardheaded individual," said Roberts, who met Manley at the Silverdale Baptist Church in Bremerton 16 years ago.

"This was his way of making his final statement. I'm sure what he did was premeditated," Roberts said. "This is not a wacko, but a guy who was at the end of his ropes. It's a tragedy he felt he had to go this far."

Roberts said Manley wasn't opposed to giving money to his ex-wife, he just didn't think the state had the right to force him to make payments.

Pleadings in the numerous lawsuits filed by Manley over the years show the arc of his obsession.

Calhoun had their marriage dissolved in 1990. He appealed a court order for child support, which was summarily dismissed.

Manley's court filing, done without an attorney, "contains no statements of facts," the appellate court judges noted.

Over the next decade, Manley would lose dozens of jobs and be jailed. The courts noted that he was "voluntarily underemployed" in an effort to attempt to avoid his child-custody payments of more than $600 and back payments that by 2002 had grown to more than $8,000.

Living in a shelter

From 2001 until last year, Manley lived at the William Booth Center, a shelter run by the Salvation Army that provides housing and support services to homeless men in the Chinatown International District in Seattle.

A facilitator there, Mike Jones, said he remembered Manley, but he was unwilling to say much without permission from his superiors. He said Manley was forced to leave last year because he had reached the limit of the amount of time he could stay.

Manley, who Roberts said was a Navy veteran, participated in the veterans transitional program at the shelter, which houses up to 185 men, Jones said.
Manley wore fatigues when he lived there, Jones said.

In the meantime, he sued the state and several of his past employers, claiming they were violating his rights by garnisheeing his wages and turning his pay over to the state. His most recent lawsuit was assigned to Judge Zilly in January 2003, but like the others was dismissed a few months later.

Manley, however, continued to file often rambling pleadings, including several in which he accused Zilly of treason. The most recent was filed June 1.

Last night, the FBI searched Manley's studio apartment in the 2500 block of Western Avenue in Seattle's Belltown neighborhood, Robertson, the U.S.
Marshal, said. Manley was a frequent visitor at both the federal courthouse and the Jackson Federal Building on Second Avenue.

"In most instances, he would come in and would be required to go through screening. At times, he would sit outside in the courtyard area," said Robertson, adding the man seemed to be motivated by "a global government frustration."

The entire incident yesterday was captured on digital security video, but Robertson declined to release that footage. Still, he said, "you can clearly see the [court security officer] trying to get him to put down what was in his hand."

Jeff Sullivan, the chief of the criminal division in the U.S. Attorney's Office, was getting off the elevators on the fourth floor of the courthouse when he saw the man, surrounded by armed officers, backed up against the glass wall at the west end of the courthouse foyer. Sullivan said the man was on the secure side of the reflecting pond, not far from the elevators that would have given him access to the rest of the courthouse.

The man, Sullivan said, had his arms through the harness of a yellow backpack across his chest. Sullivan said the man had a manila folder full of papers in one hand and an object he couldn't see in the other.

"The officers had their guns out and had taken safety positions," Sullivan said. "They were talking to him. I clearly heard them tell him to put down what he had in his hand."

Sullivan said he thought the man may have said something like, "I'll come halfway," but the officers insisted he drop whatever he was holding.

At that point, Sullivan said, agents with the U.S. Marshal's Service noticed him up against the railing "and told me to get the hell out of there," he said. A few minutes later, as officials were ordering the evacuation of the first five floors of the courthouse, he said he heard two shots.


Comments to newspaper about the shooting of Perry Manley at a Seattle courthouse;

Sunday, June 26, 2005 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

Letters to the editor The Seattle Times

Perry Manley, protesting in Seattle on May 18, 2005.

Absent father

Wiped out by a system implacable to all reason

Editor, The Times:

Every divorced father knows exactly how that poor guy, Perry Manley, felt ["Man killed at court was upset over child support," Times page one, June 21].

He was absolutely correct in his assessment of "child support." It is destructive in many ways: It pretends to support children but the amounts are way beyond basic needs and really go to support the lifestyle of a mother who these days has the income of the father, and usually owns the house as well.

It destroys relations between ex-spouses and thus is detrimental to any children as they grow up: They sense the resentment and are frustrated that their father is bitter and poor.

If a father remarries, it is destructive to a second wife who must see her husband's income frittered away to another woman. It must give any son pause before he marries a nice girl and raises a family, knowing there is a good chance he will get trapped in the same situation as his father.

Coping with this system is very challenging and this man could not do it. Now his daughter will wake up every day with the knowledge that she will never see her father again, propagating the system's injustices.

Washington state family law says to the father, "You are now divorced. You have the privilege of seeing your children a few days a month, and for that you will pay a monthly fee. A big one."

It is a system that feeds off greed and vindictiveness, is fundamentally corrupt and ultimately does nothing good.

Frankly, I'm surprised incidents like this are so rare. Believe me, there's a little of him in every one of us.

— Philip Siers, Mountlake Terrace

Man against nurture

Long-suffering fathers may be recognized in this man's tragedy

Perry Manley's death this week, while tragic, has thankfully brought the state's child-support laws back into the public arena where a discussion is long overdue.

As primary custodial parent of two small children whose husband sued me for divorce last year, I am extremely familiar with the state's child-support laws.

I was appalled that Mr. Manley, whose income was just $2,000 per month, was required by the state to provide $650 a month in support for his three children; while my ex-husband, who earns more than $8,000 each month, was required under state law to pay only $750 a month for his two children.

A child-support system that allows such huge discrepancies in payments should be challenged by both custodial and non-custodial parents.

It is high time for the Legislature to revisit this issue, and it can begin by restructuring the child-support table, which not only fails to reflect the actual marginal cost of raising one child in this state, but also has not been adjusted upward in probably 20 years.

In addition, the state can do a much better job of determining both custodial and non-custodial parents' ability to pay, assigning financial responsibility based on that ability, and making periodic adjustments to reflect both increases and decreases in each parent's income.

More than 50 percent of the marriages in this state fail, and a lot of them involve kids. Let's get sane about our child-support laws and let's do it soon.

— Virginia Vanderlinde, Federal Way

Harsh paternal punishment

The financial burden of Perry Manley's monthly child-support payment was obviously odious, but monthly payments are only the beginning.

The state's practice of "proportional" division of child support means a father who is obligated for 66.7 percent of the total state-calculated child support must also cover 66.7 percent of other expenses, such as uninsured health costs and often non-essential expenses such as music lessons. The courts have no sympathy for any non-custodial parent who protests his/her obligation for such costs.

In Washington, a parent's financial obligation can continue even after the child reaches the age of majority. Washington's courts regularly order divorced parents to pay for their child's college education, and it's not just the wealthy; average parents are ordered to pay.

Ostensibly, the state's concern is for the "welfare of the children." But laws that force divorced parents to pay for a college education, when no similar obligation exists for so-called "intact" families, are simply discrimination against the divorced.

It is clear the courts too often view non-custodial fathers as little more than checkbooks. If nothing else, Manley has shown how devastating such a myopic view can be — for fathers and their children.

— Carl Dombek (former Seattle radio reporter), Indianapolis, Ind.

Dread of household

I don't understand why some non-custodial parents think they shouldn't have to pay to support their offspring. If you decide to have kids, why would they cease to be your financial responsibility just because you don't live in the same house they do?

The reason you don't live with your children — whether it's because you couldn't stand the other parent, they couldn't stand you, or something else — is immaterial to your responsibility to financially support the children you chose to have.

If you don't want to pay the money it takes to bring up your own children, then don't have any!

— Ann Ziegler, Seattle

Lend a supportive ear

"Seattle courthouse shooting strikes chord for activists" [Local News, June 22] struck a chord for me, too, both because I've been in that courthouse, and because I rejected Perry Manley's plea for help.

Years ago, while working as the intake attorney for a law firm, I received a rambling e-mail from him. I could not help him because we did not handle child-support cases.

But he had two valid points. Child-support obligations are seldom reduced, even when a father loses his job, even though child support is supposed to be based on income. And when the father goes broke, judges hold the father in contempt of court for failing to pay, without appointing counsel to enable him to show he is unable to pay.

These problems stem from judges' failure to implement the Washington Supreme Court's 1975 Tetro decision. That case held that poor fathers charged with contempt of court for failing to pay child support have the right to a court-appointed attorney. That way, they can prove they are in fact unable to pay, and thus do not deserve to be jailed for contempt.

Appointing counsel might reduce fathers' desperation and thus prevent more courthouse shootings. It would also save taxpayers money by preventing unnecessary jailings.

— Hans Bader, Arlington, Va.

Every mother's sum

The Times [coverage of] Perry Manley, which has been circulated worldwide, represents but the tip of the iceberg. What pushes divorced fathers over the edge and into post-divorce depression is a combination of the domestic-violence industry and the divorce industry, which together grant mothers physical custody of children upwards of 90 percent of the time, while simultaneously marginalizing or severing the father's relationship with his children through visitation.

Further, the father is required to pay for the lifestyles of his former wife and children and, should he not pay what the courts award, they put him in debtor's prison.

Until the laws of every state are changed to require that all marriage dissolutions begin with the presumption of equal, shared parenting and financial responsibility — adjusted to each family's needs — we as a nation will only see more and worse of what we saw Monday.

— Gordon E. Finley, Ph.D., professor of psychology, Florida International University, Miami, Fla.