DAY 146: TAKE BACK OUR COURTS

Day 146 of the Founding Fathers March, sponsored by the Parenting Rights Institute, is committed to judicial reform. Our march is not simply one to secure fair treatment for fathers in domestic relations matters, it is also intended to restore basic rights exercised by all people under our Constitution. Today we are focused upon the right to own and enjoy property as secured through our Bill of Rights. In divorce and support court, this right has been severely eroded simply because the state has declared that it is acting in the best interests of our children.

A case is featured on our site in which a father was made subject to an unlawful invasion of his home by a state tax department in order to seize his vehicles for so-called “child support” obligations. In fact, the father was current on his payments and a court order entered by agreement of the parents only two months earlier had specifically excluded any such seizure as a remedy for any delinquency. In addition, the warrant provided by local police and child support agents was directed to another location. In short, the “swat” team of flatbed trucks, at least two patrol cars and multiple tax agents was trespassing and stealing property like common criminals.

The subsequent civil case for damages should have been a no-brainer, but because the plaintiff-victim was a public critic of New York’s domestic relations courts, the matter was passed along between courts until venue requirements finally placed it in Albany (because an injunction was being further sought against the state tax department to avoid another swat-like assault during the holidays). However, the presiding judge there, Thomas McNamara, made it clear that he was not inclined to grant such an extraordinary remedy. He also conceded that he had not even read my court papers. Decision was put off for a week, and then, on the Friday before Thanksgiving, he denied my motion as premature and unsupported by “clear and convincing” evidence.

It was obviously another miscarriage of justice in an ongoing ordeal caused by the victim’s exercise of rights under the First Amendment. There can be no clearer case for an injunction than this one. Indeed, only six months out of law school during the eighties, I managed to secure an injunction upon a $30 million high school project on a lesser showing of proof. The case was anything but premature given its prior history and weeks of consideration. It was certainly far more developed on the record than the swat assault hastily and violently put together by a collection of law enforcement agents incapable of reading the terms of a simple one page warrant.

A lawless government cannot be tolerated by a free country. It represents tyranny of the kind which was rampant in this very same community 200 years earlier when the Crown used the people’s homes to quarter troops and seize assets. Anarchy and revolution followed along with a Constitution so that such abuses would never again scar the American continent. And yet here we are in the year 2011 faced with a judge, who like his counterparts in colonial Albany, New York, is too timid to hold our tax department accountable. In those days, the judges that did exist were more concerned with their nobility and personal livelihood than they were the rights of the citizenry.

Today’s case begs the question: what is it that Judge Thomas McNamara fears? We know that the tax department conducts audits and provides the revenues for recently scheduled judicial pay raises, see i.e. Chief Judge v Governor, 65 AD 3d 898 (AD 1, 2009)(lawsuit by New York’s court system against people of New York for judicial pay raises from $136,000 to over $170,000 annually). But the tax department is not exempt from the Constitution any more than the Governor or state police are. Why is he acting like his predecessors who presided over the people here when they were governed by a King. If our courts will allow this kind of abuse to occur to a civil rights advocate and constitutional law expert, imagine what they will do to you. Why pay for a lawyer? Please donate to the Parenting Rights Institute and help us make the Founding Fathers March happen on April 20, 2012

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