Legal Tips for *Personal* Cases (updated 02/14/17):
IMPORTANT: This page is NOT about the class action lawsuit that is detailed all over the rest of this entire website, but is ONLY a free and public service, provided especially to assist the general family rights movement, and natural/biological parents everywhere in America, learn about what their real and true rights in fact are, where and how to learn yet more things about the law, and so forth and so on, to try and help all wrongfully victimized parents obtain at least basic justice in their own individual, personal family court cases.
Below are made available four different sections of powerful legal ammunition for you, including our recommended five rules for ALL family law battles, our selection of basic legal resources, which is like all the basics of taking a "Legal 101" class, our suggestions on how to deal with evidence in and for your court case, plus some advanced legal topics for those who are ready to take things to the next level.
Don't forget, besides any and/or all of the below also, that you can and should use any of the biggie constitutional arguments from our Arguments page that match up within your own personal family court battles. Always hit 'em back with everything possible.
Five "Always" Rules:
Rule #1 - Always, always, always *document* everything going on related to your court case, because that one certain piece of evidence might actually make or break your entire case victory - not just paper stuff, but record audio and video as needed.
Rule #2 - Always, always, always try to GET OUT of the state courts, and change into the federal courts, if at all possible, and as fast as humanly possible. The state courts are not only typically incompetent as to actual federal due process and constitutional rights (i.e., your real and true protection rights within the nature of family law), but as many know all too well from painful experiences, they are also often corrupted beyond all reason and belief, often use and/or allow all manner of frauds, and are even rather secret/closed about things as much as they are able to get away with... However, the federal courts are all about federal rights and constitutional due process requirements, of course, federal judges are typically much more intelligent than your average state court judges (let alone the lowly family court judges), and then further, because just about everything involving the federal courts is transparent and open (every federal court case, and every single document in every case, is available for instant review and/or download from their online PACER system), the federal courts typically tend to be a WHOLE lot more fair and honest and real. For example, literally thousands and thousands of parents wrongfully victimized by state family courts have successfully thereafter regained and restored their full child custodial rights back within the federal court system, using their federal rights... Always seek to get out of the state courts and into the federal courts as fast as you can, whenever you can, always!!! To learn more about the entire federal court system, how to find your own respective federal courthouse and it's corresponding information like Local Rules and procedures and so forth, see the "Exactly what are Divisions?" section located on our Recruitment page.
Again, the PACER system [fastest, most direct case search link here] provides FULL 100% transparency in ALL cases, of ALL case documents. The four most important things for "pro se" people to know about using PACER are that: (1) you just need any credit/debit card to register and create an account there for immediate full access; (2) the PACER system charges 10 cents/page for viewing and/or downloading *most* things/documents, but not everything, like often not the actual opinions/rulings by the court itself, plus it "caps" the cost on all documents at like a 25-page limit even if that document is over 100 pages long or whatever; (3) the PACER system only charges your credit/debit card every "quarterly" period, i.e., every three months; but, (4) as long as you don't rack up more than like $15 of total access charges within any given quarterly period, then it totally waives that whatever set of charges for that quarterly period, i.e., it ends up costing actually nothing.
Rule #3 - If you're still stuck and trapped within a state family court, then always, always, always change the game upside down upon them, as fast as you possibly can. In other words, do NOT play their (highly corrupted) game the way they are used to playing it, but turn things immediately and directly upside down on their heads, and put them on the defense (by switching to offense). Primarily, you accomplish this gamechanger by knowing (or learning) enough about the law, and even their own judicial and attorney ethics (professional conduct) rules, enough to identify exactly what transgressions of law they have committed, what basic due process and/or other constitutional rights they have violated, etc., and especially any state and/or federal crimes they have committed within your case (like "official misconduct", "malfeasance of office", "obstruction of justice", "fraud", "forgery" or whatever else actually matches - actually look up your own state law penal/crime code titles, and if you're up to it, even pour through Title 18 of the United States Code looking for matches to what has actually happened), and then just let 'em have it square in the proverbial jaw, by filing a Demand Notice to Cease and Desist Unlawful Activities, or maybe a Motion to Correct Errors, or whatever else, listing and documenting all of their worst violations of laws, ethics, and/or even crimes, by also "citing" to the actual Rules, Code statutes, and so forth. Maybe its not so bad by the judge or the attorneys involved, themselves, but its the opposition party (i.e., the other parent in a divorce-and-similar family court case, or the CPS agency in a TPR case, whatever), so you still do the same kind of thing, but your complaint filing is about your opposition party. Or, maybe its all of them or some combination, whatever, you get the idea... CHANGE the entire game from you being on the defensive and attacked constantly, to them being put on the defensive, using the truth of real laws and actual facts, as appropriate. Just be reasonably sure that whatever you claim and complain against, that its actually the real deal and you have backed it up with legal "authorities" (citations to the corresponding statutes, rules, and etc.), because you don't want to be carelessly caught in "false reporting" because you didn't want to take the necessary time to be sure of what you are saying and claiming.
Rule #4 - Always, always, always, whenever possible, locate and actually USE any and all statutes, rules, and etc., that COMMAND your desired result, i.e., that expressly say that something either "shall" be this result and/or "shall not" be that result... NEVER, whenever possible, allow any judge to make the decisions about any matter or issue, but box the judge in using those kinds of expressly commanding legal authorities, i.e., in all possible situations of any type of court case, whatsoever, force The Law itself to decide what must be done. True, there are many things which provide judges with a "discretionary" power (the law in that situation lets the court decide what is best or true or valid or proper), but every time you can find legal authority that commands the result you are looking for, then without question or hesitation, always, always, always use legal authorities that say "shall" and/or "shall not" for your particular court issue.
Rule #5 - Lastly of the five basic "always" rules, always, always, always, whenever possible, if you MUST use an attorney to represent you, and you are paying for an attorney, DO NOT EVER choose an attorney right smack from the court's own local system and circles of friends that see each other daily in their same local courthouse, unless you are in a major metro that has at least hundreds of family law attorneys, so that they don't really all know each other already. Especially as advice for those "suburban" counties (or "parishes" in Louisiana, or "boroughs" in Alaska, same thing), i.e., counties that are just outside and surrounding your given major metro city, and even more especially for those more rural counties, if you're going to pay for an attorney (having a paid attorney, as opposed to being "appointed" one of the local flunkies by the court because you are too indigent to afford paying for your own attorney), then there are THREE primary things that you want to specifically look for in choosing to hire some given attorney to represent you in your family court case. The first of those criteria is AGE and EXPERIENCE, because you not only want an attorney that has as much experience already in family law as you can possibly find available, but you also would greatly prefer an older, even hopefully senior-aged, attorney to represent you. Why? Simple. Because the best kind you could find would be an attorney already nearing their retirement, because those attorneys no longer have to suck up to anyone, and really don't give a darn about being just as aggressive as is needed to win the case and/or the matters at hand. The other big useful criteria is looking for an attorney that is NOT from the same *political party* as what most (or all) of the judges are in that given local system your family court case is in. You must certainly understand the reality - the two big political parties are not JUST constantly warring back and forth over control of the "regular" political offices (executive and legislative offices), but they ALSO are constantly in battle for which of their parties controls the courts, too... In other words, in addition to the other recommended criteria for seeking your most likely "best" possible paid attorney above, you would also do well to find a Democratic-affiliated attorney if the majority of those local judges are Republicans, and conversely, to likewise seek out a Republican-affiliated attorney if the majority of those local judges are Democrats. Ultimately, your very, very, very best possible choice would be an attorney who is: (a) of your same State or Commonwealth; (b) was admitted to your state bar association way back in his/her mid-20s college-aged-partying life; (c) and is now in his/her 70s or 80s, age-wise; (d) comes from and normally practices law in some other county, way far away from your county of interest, as far as possible at the other end of your state; (e) is also of the opposite political party as described above; (f) has done family law for most of his/her decades, but also anything like civil rights sprinkled in there too; and (g), for similar reasons like the political party opposition, perhaps even also as the opposite gender of all/most of those same judges, in the same way. All of those, if money is no object...
Still, winning just one family court battle at a time is nowhere near enough, but the entire unconstitutional system must be shutdown. If you care about other parents and children being wrongfully destroyed, and know it's past time to stop the insanity, then please join the army if you haven't yet, and spread the word to everyone else.
Special SCOTUS Original Action Jury Trial
ALERT to all MULTI-STATE "noncustodial" parents:
Whether you are a victimized father OR mother, as we want plenty of BOTH for this, if you have a MULTI-STATE "noncustodial" family court case (divorce-and-similar-with-kids case), then you will probably be interested in checking your own eligibility criteria to join this upcoming *jury trial* case to be filed directly as an "original action" in the United States Supreme Court on September 30th of this year, and which, unlike the thousands of pro se petitions for certiorari routinely denied any review whatsoever, this type of special-crafted action requires the Supreme Court to hear and review it.
Basic Legal Resources:
There are some basic "101" things about law that everyone can learn easily enough to help fight better for their own rights and the rights of their child/ren. Above all things in this category, the most important is to actually read (and read again and again as needed) and start comprehending both the U.S. Constitution and their own state constitution, i.e., actually read them both, and take notes as needed to identify by "citation" to each "constitutional" provision that applies to the issues in your case, so you can then reference those directly within your any filed motions, objections or other responses, and whatever else needed, like suing them in some other court (state or federal, with federal court generally preferred for that action). Our overall favorite "all things law" place is the Cornell University Law School website, and their direct link to an "annotated" U.S. Constitution (includes explanations, some case law references, etc.) is here, while our second most favorite, using different indexing, is the one at the National Constitution Center. For a single central "hub" webpage that links to all 50 sets of state constitutions and state laws (state statutes), plus even more legal info per each State and Commonwealth, this webpage also at the great Cornell Law School website is the best place to start, while if you need a basic 15 minute primer to read, including short descriptions of virtually every kind of "law" that exists, go here, and a state-by-state single webpage resource for all "Uniform" family laws is here at our always favorite Cornell site. Justia.com is another "all things legal" website with tons of resources for everything you can think of, including researching case law. And speaking of "case law" (those controlling rulings by the higher courts over the lower courts, i.e., the "cases" that you want to be able to "cite" to, in order to back up the points and issues within your own motions and etc. with legal authorities, including also statutes, rules, and regulations as applicable), three more free and very useful case law research places are at FindLaw, at Google Scholar (click on the "case law" option at center, and then that will add a brand new row of choices for which courts to search), and also at LexisWeb, from the folks at LexisNexus, a giant in the legal field.
One of our affiliates behind this class action, United Civil Rights Councils of America, has a well-rounded and free set of webpages for their Publix Law Schools, which is a great resource to learn about the law. There you will find such things as video links for trainings about the law, how to cite to legal authorities, i.e., how to understand and actually use legal citations, such as.. Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57, 68-69, 147 L. Ed. 2d 49, 120 S. Ct. 2054 (2000).. as in, just what does all that cryptic stuff in a row actually mean?, also they have a solid collection of links to different legal dictionaries (even including an older but FREE online Black's Law Dictionary), plus other legal resources for state and federal needs. UCRCoA also has another great collection, in their Members section, for the pre-made template letters and various other related information for basically all of the family/parental rights "daily" needs, i.e., for FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act - don't even let that school get away with concealing ANY records of your child from you, etc.), FOIA (Freedom of Information Act - make government cough up records and such), for HIPPA (medical rights and privacy, re: you and/or your child), PPRA (Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment - protect the rights of pupils and the parents of pupils, i.e., students), information and letter templates regarding official Parents Day (the 4th Sunday in July each year), and, for those of you who have literally stacks and stacks, or boxes and boxes, of various evidence regarding your court case(s), a really useful evidence-organizing flowchart.
Still, winning just one family court battle at a time is nowhere near enough, but the entire unconstitutional system must be shutdown. If you care about other parents and children being wrongfully destroyed, and know it's past time to stop the insanity, then please join the army if you haven't yet, and spread the word to everyone else.
How to Deal with Evidence:
As per our "always" Rule #1 above, you need to be documenting literally everything that relates to your family law case. People don't generally have any problems with the paperwork part of that, i.e., making xerox copies and/or storing originals of any and all paperwork items related to a court case, whether its something already part of the official court record (either as directly part of a filing or order itself, or as an attached exhibit to something directly filed in the case), or whether its a piece of important evidence that has not yet been utilized within the official court record. But the other part of that same critical documention process is also using audio recordings and video recordings to capture events and issues related to your family law case (or any kind of case, for that matter, as applicable).
Parents being victimized within family courts often are bewildered HOW to get their important evidence into the official record, and especially about courts/judges either "allowing" your evidence into the record or not (often that "disallowed" behavior by the unfair judge is a big part of the problem in winning your case and/or whatever current legal issues are going on within the case, as you might very well and painfully know).
The whole KEY to every piece of evidence, whether paper item, audio recording, video tape, or otherwise (like physical objects or whatever else), is that they are either RELEVANT or NOT RELEVANT (to the whole case's primary issues of custody and so forth, and/or to any given sub-issue going on along the way). Once again, just like within our "always" Rule #3 above regarding changing the entire game back against your adversaries (i.e., in actually identifying and citing to their violations of various written laws and rules), in this Evidence world, you need to spend some time looking up and understanding at least the basics of statutes and rules relating to evidence and evidentiary procedure that apply to your court and case. See various links for legal resources available in the above "Basic Legal Resources" section for more on all that.
However, you do NOT have to be an "expert" or anything within the finer points of evidentiary law, but all you really have to know - using common sense and realistic, practical judgment skills - is just whether or not some piece of evidence that you have is "directly" or "indirectly" relevant to your case and its issues. If it is something that would be called a gamechanger piece of evidence, or if its something that is not quite that but is still very important and right on point about the given issue at stake, then it IS relevant. In general, you don't really want to expend time and money and efforts and resources upon "trivial" things, those extra-icing sideline things that only give just a little bit more understanding to an issue pending in your case, but you want to focus your efforts upon the most important stuff, and stick to that "directly relevant" stuff as your basic mode of operation about all evidence. Again, we still urge you to document everything, but when it comes to actually using evidence and wanting to enter it into the case, it's only going to be those most important portions of that entire evidence collection you have been building. Don't worry about the trivial or minor stuff (yet still keep those items), but concentrate upon using only the heavy-hitter types of evidence.
For AUDIO and VIDEO recordings, you don't want to even consider trying to enter plastic tape boxes into the record (audio cassettes, video cassettes, etc.), but what you need is something THIN and FLAT, so what you need to do is transfer/convert all of your such recordings (just the ones that you want to use as entered evidence) into appropriate computer files, such as .wav or .mp3 file formats for audio recordings, and either .avi or .mpg file formats for video recordings. There are all kinds of audio and video file formats/extensions, but remember, what you want is something that has been around and is now an included standard on every computer nowadays, i.e., that will always work out fine and useable, no matter whose computer we are talking about for ANY of your potential recipients of your such audio/video evidence, including any government people as appropriate. You should really avoid the use of Mac/Apple file formats (like .mov for video clips), because all government uses the PC standard, i.e., Windows computers, not Mac/Apple computers. If you have files in those Mac/Apple extensions, you should really convert those into PC (Windows) format. Then, you see, once you have your audio and/or video clips in computer files, simply "burn" those onto either a CD disc or DVD disc, which is flat and thin..., and able to also be slipped into one of those letter-sized plastic sleeve sheets..., and voila!... you now have a flat and thin exhibit of your audio/video recordings of important evidence which can now be simply attached to any court document. Don't forget to make as many "burn" copies of your discs as you need, for purposes of serving everyone within the case, plus burn even more copies of your disc(s) if you want to send out via snail mail to whomever. Naturally, after you have your audio/video recordings already turned into computer files, you can also just attach those individual files to regular emails, post to YouTube (for video clips, obviously), and all of that kind of other stuff, too.
For PHYSICAL OBJECTS that you want to get as evidence into the record, such as any weapons or instruments of violence/abuse, or the condition of a building structure, or some possession of the child/ren that is relevant to an issue, or whatever else that doesn't already come in paper, audio, or video form somehow, you need to take photos, of course, and prepare those for use as evidence. For objects that are not immediately and/or commonly recognizable as to its physical dimensions (how big or small is this thing in this photo?), and especially for small objects, simply use a wooden or plastic or metal ruler, or a tape measure pulled out just enough to show the ruler marks, and lay that next to your object in the photo taken, so that its sizing is perfectly clear and obvious, and beyond any need for discussion or argument. If and as needed, you also might take two or three photos of the object from different directions, to show ruler marks from all angles as needed. Since computer printing of photos and photo sheets (like sets of four photos to a single printed page) are commonly known by almost everyone, we really don't need to explain how to use your computer and photo/graphics software to handle these tasks. Just do what you already know how to do, or ask a friend or family member who is more gifted with using computers, as needed to help you out.
Then, to GUARANTEE that your evidence gets into the official record, do NOT wait until any given hearing and then try to argue about it's "relevancy" and whether the court is going to allow your evidence into the record... Just like our "always" Rule #3 instructs, change that entire game upon them, via bypassing any such future discussion, in the first place. Again, the whole KEY to evidence is whether or not it is relevant. At that future hearing, the whole discussion about whether or not to "admit" your evidence into the record is based upon whether or not the evidence is relevant or not, and the "burden of proof" to establish "relevancy" is upon you in that situation, PLUS that judge is typically not reliable to be fair to you, as you already know... So, to "change that game" entirely, you only need to change the burden of proof, from you, to them. What you simply do is draft up a very short and sweet (even one single page) Notice of Relevant Evidence, and just file that directly into the case like anything else you would file as a court document, just like filing any given petition, or motion, or notice, or whatever else. If you have multiple items to be attached as exhibits (multiple pieces of different evidence), then simply add a short "index" or "table of contents" to your Notice of Relevant Evidence, numbering and briefly titling each item attached like "#1 - [some short description]", "#2 - [some short description]", and so forth. If applicable, you might also add the corresponding DATES of each piece of evidence, such as "#1 (07/04/1776) - [some short description]" or "1. July 4th, 1776 - [some short description]" or whatever combination format that is short and sweet and fairly identifies each piece of relevant evidence you have attached. DON'T "argue" about any of the evidence in that Notice, but simply use a short description line (a single phrase or title) to just and only describe and/or identify and/or label which piece of evidence is which. ALL you are doing is simply entering evidence into the official record, NOT arguing about that evidence (you can do that by a separate motion or whatever else). You see, by "heading them off at the pass" in just filing your simple Notice of Relevant Evidence, you have now totally shifted the burden of proof over to "them" to now try and argue, if they even can..., that your now-incorporated evidence is somehow NOT relevant. The burden of proof completely flips to their side to try and DISPROVE relevancy, and that never hardly works out for them, especially if your evidence includes any discussions or proof of their own fraud or malfeasance, lying or other dishonesty by the opposing party, or whatever else. It's a straight-up gamechanger to not even be bothered with any discussions of whether or not your evidence is going to be admitted into the official record (by a judge's biased and prejudiced "discretionary" power..), PLUS you have also completely shifted the burden of proof over to them to try and negate your evidence, if they even can, AND your evidence is probably damaging to either the opposing party and/or the court itself, right? Don't wait to be "allowed" to enter evidence or not, simply organize your evidence, and go ahead and file it directly into the case. You don't really need to tell them to take your new evidence and shove it up their ___, because you just DID that.
Get the picture? Once again, always, always, always change the entire game upon them, however and whenever possible, and TAKE full control of the whole situation.
Still, winning just one family court battle at a time is nowhere near enough, but the entire unconstitutional system must be shutdown. If you care about other parents and children being wrongfully destroyed, and know it's past time to stop the insanity, then please join the army if you haven't yet, and spread the word to everyone else.
Advanced Legal Topics:
Don't forget to research the judge and attorneys
Most victimized parents already think of doing some research for their case, at least about what rights they have, maybe about the entire system being corrupt, where to suddenly find some helpful legal answers on their imminent court issues, and stuff like that, some even delving into reading case law, but most also never even once think about also doing research on the judge and attorneys involved, too. You need to learn whether there are any conflicts of interest, whether they have any formal disciplinary actions against them (and if so, what for), and you want to find out even such things as whether they went to the same law school together, have been and/or are in any business entities together, have been and/or are together within any non-profits, charities, foundations, or whatever else, and even if they go to the same church(es), etc. You also want to look up their any official and any personal bios, see if they've ever worked at the same law firm (even if at different time periods), see what cases have been appealed from that judge/court (especially to see if that judge *already* has been overruled on some issue present within your case, i.e., proof of willful fraud upon the court, willful misconduct, etc., etc.), and anything else that might suddenly be discovered and useful within your own case. Do a Google or Yahoo! search for the full (first and last) name of your judge, try also just "Judge [lastname]" in such internet searches, and likewise do the same with ALL the attorneys involved (even your own if you have one, just in case). Go to the official government website for that county (or "parish" in Louisiana, or "borough" or other in Alaska, etc.) and find that judge/court to see what information is available to work with in other searches, and also go to the state appeals court and/or state supreme court website(s) to do searches in past cases they've had for the names of your judge, the attorneys involved, and even parties in your case if that would be applicable for any suspected reason. Use the standard "find a lawyer" websites out there to hopefully glean more detailed information about the judge and those attorneys (because almost all judges are licensed attorneys, too, don't forget). Probably part of the same appeals/supreme court website(s), or do another Google/Yahoo! if needed, locate the clerk's "Roll of Attorneys" listings so that you can get all of their actual bar numbers and learn other information, like whether any have faced formal disciplinary processes before. Martindale's lawyer search results also provide "peer ratings" so see if they are rated higher or lower than their average peers (are they smart or stupid, ethical or not, compared to the averages, etc.), AVVO's lawyer search results have ratings that go from 1.0 to 10.0, with 10.0 representing a very exceptional attorney, plus that site includes both peer review comments from other lawyers, and user/client ratings and comments, too. Two other strong "find a lawyer" sites include Lawyers.com and Nolo.com. In short, do everything possible to research and find out all you can learn about the judge and attorneys involved, so that you become empowered with any relevant information you find, because some of it *might* suddenly become evidence for you to use against them and/or the case itself...
Too-High Child Support Order? You Owe NOTHING.
For so-called "noncustodial" parents facing onerous amounts of child support orders:
If the family court issued a child order amount against you that exceeds the statutory maximum limits, then you actually owe NOTHING at all. In other words, if that amount ordered is over the legal limit, then under both federal and your own state's statutory protections (Consumer Credit Protection Act, or "CCPA" laws), i.e., the real law, then that/those child support order(s), that/those any garnishment order(s), etc., are all actually VOID - expressly void and *unenforceable* by both federal and state mandatory laws - and you actually don't owe one single solitary red cent penny to them at all, absolutely nothing, zero, nada, zilch.
Many years ago, the federal government, as it does almost every day..., created yet another federal funding scheme to carrot-and-stick the States. This particular program, CCPA, was all about limiting the percentage levels of how much creditors could garnish people's incomes for various kinds of judgments and debts being collected, i.e., it was about controlling out-of-control debt collection practices. All forms of "family support" debt collection ("spousal support", "alimony" and "child support") were also included within these programs of legal protections. The federal government established maximum percentage limits, and the States were required to also have their own corresponding state-level CCPA laws with "equal or better" protections. These federal and state laws protect you from child support orders that are too high (higher than the maximum allowable percentages of your actual "disposable" income that can be garnished for this or that type of debt - including maximum limits for all types of family support orders, i.e., including limits for child support orders).
Of course, the federal government never told the States *where* to put these new laws on their own books..., so almost every state-level set of CCPA laws are *not* located under their respective family law titles... (where they should be, or at least be copied to, or at least referenced again, or something to alert family law judges and attorneys and litigants...), but they are instead usually found within completely other different titles of law, typically located under your own State's "commerce" or "trade" or "credit" or "labor" or other similar titles of law. In other words, these state-level child support protection laws have all been basically hidden far away from the family law process, so hardly anyone involved with family law is even aware of them yet, even after decades later.
FORGET about all those child support worksheets and things like that, as none of that has anything to do with anything. Those only exist to provide "guidelines" towards the usually expected amount of monies that they can get away with pilfering from people without causing too much public outcry... The ONLY thing that counts with the federal-level and state-level CCPA laws is the actual amount of child support itself. If that amount exceeds the maximum applicable statutory limit, then the family court's child support orders are absolutely void, your supposed child support "debt" does not even legally exist, you actually owe nothing whatsoever, not even a single penny, these federal/state CCPA laws also protect you from any kind of enforcement regarding that/those (expressly void) child support order(s), and there's not one single damn thing that the family court, your "ex" or similar, her/his attorney, or anyone else can do about it, because it's their OWN fault for getting far too greedy and going past those maximum limits of law, in the first place. In other words, they got NOTHING against you, and you owe absolutely nothing at all.
The main federal CCPA protection statute is 15 USC 1673. It is very short and simple, and can be printed on just one single piece of paper: https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/15/1673 - This federal CCPA protection statute has just three simple paragraphs, (a), (b), and (c).
Paragraph (a) is about all of those other "normal" kinds of debts, i.e., a person was sued for defaulting on their credit card, or car loan, or whatever else, so now that whatever company wants to garnish your income to pay off that debt. Under that paragraph (a), all those "normal" kinds of garnishments are limited to a maximum of 25% of your "disposable" income. As a family court victim under "child support" (and/or "spousal support" and/or "alimony"), you are only concerned about paragraphs (b) and (c).
"Disposable" income, for most people, is simply your "net" income after all regular taxes (federal, state, local, Social Security/FICA/etc. taxes) are first taken out, i.e., simply your net income after taxes. For self-employed people and/or people running their own business, "disposable" income also includes first deducting expenses for things like tools, equipment, business supplies, union dues, and so forth - every expense required to simply keep working. However again, for most people, i.e., if you receive a regular paycheck from your employer, then your "disposable" income is simply your net income after all regular taxes are first deducted out.
Paragraph (b) is all about the maximum allowable limits for family support orders, in this case we're talking about child support orders. There are four (4) different percentage max limits, either 50% or 55% or 60% or 65% as the maximum allowable amount that can be ordered by a family court against your disposable income. By the way, "imputing" income is strictly illegal - it can ONLY be against whatever your true, actual disposable income is, whatever that is. For example, if you are unemployed, then your disposable income is ZERO (obviously), and so the family court cannot order ANY amount against you (it can only order up to 50/55/60/65% of ZERO, which is still zero...). Those four different percentages, as you can see in that paragraph (b), are for the 2x2=4 different situations to consider. That means, one, are you presently supporting any OTHER spouse and/or any OTHER child/ren? (not the ex-spouse or child/ren within the family court case in question, but like you are remarried now and/or have one or more other children), and, two, are you considered presently in arrears for the past twelve weeks or more? If you do have another spouse and/or child/ren, then the maximum limit against your disposable income is either 50% if you are not considered in arrears for twelve weeks or more regarding the current child support in question troubling you, or a maximum of 55% under that either other-spouse and/or other-child/ren if you are considered in arrears for twelve weeks or more regarding that current child support in question troubling you. If you do NOT have another spouse and/or other child/ren to support, then the two percentages are 60% and 65%, depending upon that same twelve weeks or arrears of not. In ANY event, the very, very maximum percentage limit is 65% of your disposable income. But whichever of those four percentage max limits applies to you personally, THAT IS THE MAXIMUM LIMIT OF LAW, and the family court in question presently troubling you CANNOT exceed that maximum limit, or else it's child support order(s), it's issuing/issuance of garnishment ("withholding") orders, etc., are all VOID by both federal law *and* state law.
Paragraph (c) of this federal CCPA protection statute is your actual statutory, mandatory, express protection itself. It says, simply and expressly: "No court of the United States or any State, and no State (or officer or agency thereof), may make, execute, or enforce any order or process in violation of this section." And that's exactly what it means, too - your rogue family court was never allowed to even "make" any such excessive and illegal child support order amounts, in the first place, it was and is also likewise expressly prohibited from any attempt to "execute" any such void orders (via garnishment/withholding/etc.), and it is also likewise expressly prohibited from any attempts to "enforce" any such void orders, either. Such illegally-excessive child support orders are absolutely forbidden (expressly forbidden) from having ever existed, in the first place, they were NOT allowed to try and execute such (void and illegal) orders through garnishment, withholding or anything similar, and they are also expressly prohibited from any attempts at trying to enforce such illegal and void child support orders, too - they CANNOT try to jail you via *either* any "contempt" action, nor via any criminal charges, and the express prohibition against trying to "enforce" any such void and illegally-excessive child support orders also includes via that garnishment/withholding route, too, by the way.
Further... each and every State also has its own "equal or better" CCPA protection statute on its own books, because every State is required to under the parallel federal CCPA statute, 15 USC 1675 (also very short): https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/15/1675
For example, for the State of Indiana, this very same CCPA protection statute regarding child support is found under Indiana's "Trade Regulation" title of law, Indiana Code Title 24, which is located way far away from Indiana's family law title, which is Title 31... Indiana's CCPA protection statute is nearly verbatim (almost an exact word-for-word copy) of the federal CCPA version. Ind. Code § 24-4.5-5-105(3), which is "paragraph 3" of this particular state statute, is basically the exact same as paragraph (b) under the federal CCPA statute above, i.e., all about those 50%/55%/60%/65% maximum percentage limits, and Ind. Code § 24-4.5-5-105(4), that actual express prohibition protection part, is nearly the same as paragraph (c) under the federal version. Indiana's version (this same paragraph 4 under Indiana's CCPA statute) says and mandates: "No court may make, execute, or enforce an order or process in violation of this section."
For the State of Maine, this whole same thing is found under Maine Revised Statutes, Title 9-A, § 5-105, which is all under the completely different Title of law called "Consumer Credit Code", whereas Maine's family law is found a whopping seventeen (17) titles away from this obscure title of state law... Maine's CCPA protection statute also describes various percentage limits against family support orders and disposable income and so forth and so on, and then also ends with virtually the exact same express and mandatory prohibition. § 5-105(3) says: "No court may make, execute or enforce an order or process in violation of this section."
For the Commonwealth of Virginia, it's once again the same thing. Virginia Code, Title 34, Chap. 4, § 34-29 discusses those different percentage limits (50/55/60/65%), discusses "disposable" earnings, and all of that same stuff again, and then also adds in § 34-29(c), which commands: "No court of the Commonwealth and no state agency or officer may make, execute, or enforce any order or process in violation of this section."
Every State and Commonwealth has these CCPA protection statutes against the rogue family courts attempting to either "make, execute or enforce" ANY such overly-excessive child support orders... However, all of these state-level CCPA statutes are hidden away under completely different Titles of law - not within the family law titles where they should be contained... The trick is simply to go hunt and find your own State's CCPA protection laws, and then use both the federal CCPA protections and your own State's CCPA protection statutes in your own family court case.
Further, all "money" is "property" under the law. Constitutionally-speaking, your monies are your property, and the illegal taking of your property (your money) without following due process (without obeying the maximum limits of these CCPA protections) is actually a violation of your constitutional rights (your federal constitutional rights AND your state constitutional rights). Moreover, by screwing you blindly with such illegally excessive orders and unconstitutionally taking away your monies without due process, they have ALSO violated your Equal Protection of the Laws, your same constitutionally-protected Equal Privileges and Immunities, and so forth and so on, plus they have committed all kinds of fraud, gross negligence against the law, probably committed tortious interference with your normal standard of living (illegally prevented you from being able to pay your bills, save your house, save your car, and/or whatever else), and so forth and so on. THEREFORE, not only are you absolutely entitled by law to go after them to shut down all of that fictitious, fraudulent child support "debt" that they falsely and illegally created in total violations of both federal and state CCPA laws, but you are certainly entitled also under law to SUE them for all kinds of damages, and even press various federal and state criminal charges against them. For just one example, using the mail to send any violative/illegal/fraudulent "income withholding order" (because that amount exceeds the CCPA limits) is actually then a criminal act of Mail Fraud (under both - state and federal criminal laws). If the court and/or the opposing attorney used either email and/or a fax machine to try and execute/enforce even just one of these such illegally-excessive/void child support orders, then that was Wire Fraud (under both - state and federal criminal laws). And because the *illegal* taking of your money (which is property) is, for the exact same reason, an unconstitutional seizure of your property (your money), and likewise an unconstitutional taking of your property (your money) without due process, then they have directly violated your federal 4th, 5th, and 14th Amendment guarantees to be free from that (4th Amendment - "unreasonable seizure" of your monies, 5th and 14th Amendments - taking your property/money without due process), and so you are absolutely entitled to sue them in FEDERAL (or any) court (even counter-suing them right back in your same family court case) for all these kinds of illegal and unconstitutional things, and receive very substantial amounts in civil damages for these wayward, fraudulent violations of your constitutional rights... and don't forget your State's Constitution as well, for the exact same stuff... Indeed, by the time you add up just TWO such criminal acts involved within this kind of mess by them, now you have them for both state and federal racketeering charges... seriously (it only takes two such predicate acts like Fraud within a certain period of time to constitute racketeering - for federal racketeering, it's any two criminal acts of a long list of "eligible" criminal acts, both committed within a five year period, and that's federal racketeering...).
Don't just sit on your butt and let them keep screwing you falsely - go after them right away and PUNISH them for their outrageous stealing and rape of your money (property), nefarious fraud against your many, many constitutional rights and statutory protections of law, and so forth and so on. The very first thing you'll want to do, if you're a so-called "noncustodial" parent who has been subjected to illegally excessive child support orders in violation of the CCPA maximum limits, is to immediately file a Motion to Quash and Dismiss Falsified Child Support Debt, in which you just simply lay out the facts and the laws as are above applicable to you and your situation. But don't just stop there - also file your Counter-Complaint for Civil Damages, in which you will use various "counts" or "claims" against them, one for each different kind of violation they have committed, including both violations of constitutional and statutory rights, and also regarding them falsely causing you to lose any material assets (such as a house, or a vehicle, and/or whatever else "big ticket items" you were forced to lose because of their FALSELY high child support robbing of your income), also for "pain and suffering" and/or "emotional distress" they caused with such crazy illegal fraudulent stealing of your monies (your property), maybe they have falsely induced (caused) you to have to pay thousands in attorney defense fees against their expressly ILLEGAL "child support contempt" actions, maybe they have even falsely jailed you before over these expressly illegal/void child support orders, and so forth and so on.
Don't just make the stealing stop - PUNISH them ruthlessly for their behavior (because those are not only various civil wrongdoings entitling you to significant civil damages, but their behaviors are ALSO crimes...).
Use statutory custody factors, not "parental alienation"
Contrary to popular myth, and except only in apparently New York (see notes for special case NY at the end of this topic, below), use of the "parental alienation" phrase should "always, always, always" be AVOIDED competely. It is not because those parental unfitness behaviors don't exist or anything, we know they do exist frequently..., but it's because of the point of legal strategy and what actually works much better to stop all of that repulsion and interference nonsense violations of your natural rights within parenting your child/ren. Forget and disregard any usage of that "parental alienation" phraseology, but instead realize simply that most/all of these exact same "parental alienation" issues are already existing and immediately employable under the laws as "custody modification factors" – in other words, it is an extremely uphill battle to try and argue all of those same parental interference/denial behaviors by attempting to force discussion through the terms and phrases falling under the "parental alienation" cloak, and there is really no need to try that uphill battle, in the first place, when all/most of those exact same things are *already* fully addressable, and indeed much more powerful and fully available already, by simply discussing/arguing all of those same problems through the existing "custody modification factors" that have been already on the law books of every State and Commonwealth for many, many years now (again, except special case NY, see below), i.e., they are all very well established under law. The real deal, straight up, is to not even bother with that phraseology, indeed to avoid it within court battles, and to simply use the same problems by your ex-partner or other opposition party going on against you, but to FRAME them through the custody modification factors that have already been on the books of every State for many years now (sigh, except prehistoric NY...). The judges will understand you that much faster if you just use the normal statutory language regarding these same behaviors, there will be no need to spend enormous amounts of extra time and money to even try and talk about things through the "parental alienation" lens, and besides, what you really want is for these wrongful behaviors to be correspondingly punished and stopped, in the first place, which is EXACTLY what those already-existing custody modification factor statutes are on the law books for... It doesn’t matter whether you’re only talking about a small handful of otherwise isolated events, or whether you’re talking about a persistent ongoing pattern and practice, stick to what already exists in straight-up statutory form. Indeed, while arguing "parental alienation" behaviors by the ex-partner *might* get you a little "stop that or else" response from the court, if you simply stick to the straightforward statutory method of framing everything as just one or more documented examples in violations of the custody modification factors laws, the court will have little choice but to change custodial responsibility... especially if you successfully demonstrate an ongoing pattern/practice. Why spend two or three times the extra money and time, if not even more..., to *maybe* only achieve a little slap on the wrist, and of which you know will practically do very little to substantively change the situation? But, framing the exact same stuff through the custody modification statutes will immediately and also powerfully achieve either of two things, because custody modification factor statutes are a *legally binding* process for the court – you will much more quickly and powerfully achieve an actual great reduction and/or total stop to those behaviors, in the first place (why? because the ex is now on direct notice that custody will be switched pursuant to law if there's any more of that nonsense, ever again), and/or two, that modification of custody will just happen right then and there, and so you win double and completely now (because not only have you finally taken away the power and opportunity of the ex to continue doing those things to you, but you've also won the modification of primary custody to you, which of course changes the entire picture – support, visitation, legal decision making, etc., i.e., everything to you now). Why work way extra hard, to fight uphill, towards an "area of law" that the courts treat like any other "still-developing science" and also therefore want to shy away from getting muddied up with..., when you can just say/list the exact same things, using direct statutory authority, which is already legally-binding upon the court, to not only accomplish the same general goal (stopping those behaviors), but *also* use them under the exact same statutory authority to further takeover primary custodial care, control, custody and management? Why would anyone NOT want to do it the much simpler, much more straightforward, and much more powerful way? Note regarding family court cases in the State of New York: Ultra-liberal New York, land of the illegal biggie sodas, doesn't have ANY statutory factors on EITHER initial custody determination or modification of custody. You poor parental rights victims from NY family court cases, wow... Sure, NY has "factors" established, but they all come ONLY from *judicial branch* case law, while the *legislative* statutory law on domestic relations is utterly silent on having any such factors established, relying SOLELY upon that wholly unconstitutional (void for vagueness) "best interest" standard. This is a huge federal declaratory and injunctive relief lawsuit just waiting to happen on its own, because when family law cases consume like 50% or more of the entire state's court caseload, it must have *legislative* laws to instruct and guide those (root basic) custody determination and modification factors... Unfortunately, the class action lawsuit detailed all over the rest of this website is just that - a class action - and so since not every class plaintiff is tied to NY, obviously, we can't address that huge issue as part of our class action... but, we have now also initiated kickoff development of a separate lawsuit for this very monstrous issue of NY. The epilogue is, the above strong and solid advice to avoid all references to "parental alienation" and instead to simply "advance to Go and collect $200" using statutory modification factors, appears to apply to every other State and Commonwealth, but for those of you wrapped up in NY family court cases, go ahead and utilize "parental alienation" terminology for now, you poor things, wow, but watch for NY-based alerts of that new lawsuit soon.
Family law is already fair game within the federal courts
For the first 200 years of America, family law - everything about marriage and family - was always considered strictly as matters only for the States and Commonwealths themselves, i.e., as exclusive "state law matters", and never, ever for the Federal Government to get involved in, in any way, shape or form. But starting just a little bit in the 1920s and 1930s (only because of compassion during the Great Depression for women and children), and then all at once very heavily during the 1970s, when first there was a sudden sweep of "no-fault divorce" laws across all 50 of the States and Commonwealths, then that also quickly followed in the mid-1970s by an actual full-blown "federalization" (takeover) of virtually all "family law" matters, the federal courts can no longer properly and validly reject any claims or complaints brought to them by parties and/or other victims of the state-run family court systems. Here is a detailed historical account of that same federalization of family law process by the American Bar Association. The problem is, though, that because state court systems - as many families all too painfully know - rarely uphold any of the very well established constitutional and other due process protections for parents and their children, there is a genuine need for federal courts to step in and enforce those various constitutional provisions, protections, and other due process guarantees, especially when the state courts are even flagrantly involved in fraudulent actions against those well established rights and due process procedures. However, the federal courts are often loathe and hesitant to consider any matters coming from state family courts, primarily because they are simply ill-informed of this overall topic that you are reading now, yet you can still enforce your right to be there IF you are also well versed in all these matters. In short, and simply put, precisely because the entire Federal Governent is and has been so deeply involved with literally every aspect of "family law" for so many decades, with all of the numerous Acts of Congress, a plethora of federal funding programs directed specifically at virtually every aspect of these formerly "state law matters", i.e., now essentially "micromanaging" virtually every conceivable aspect of parents and children, along with everything else that the Federal Government does in regards to matrimonial and family law matters, the federal courts just cannot even remotely get away with trying to avoid their inherently-included responsibility to exercise their jurisdiction over those exact same matters, especially when there are violations of federal rights going on within a state family court process. Whether you are utilizing a removal of your state family court case into federal court via 28 USC 1443, and/or are just outright suing the state crooks for plenty of violations of your civil, constitutional, and due process rights under 42 USC 1983 and/or other federal statutes (see details for both of these separate "Advanced Legal Topics" below), or any other route into a federal court regarding stuff that comes from your state-run family court system, all you should need to do is simply "educate" the federal judge on the fact that all family law matters are now well established as fully fair game within the federal courts at large. Here is a SMALL sampling of case law, below, absolutely proving and also documenting that very same fact, following in the next paragraph. Remember, the main point is that the federal government (including their own federal courts) CANNOT HAVE IT BOTH WAYS, i.e., either the Federal Government absolutely terminates EVERY single piece of federal laws, federal rules, federal regulations, federal funding programs, federal policies, and yadda-yadda-yadda in ANY way involving marriage and family... or their own federal courts MUST be open for complaints upon all those same matters.
If a divorce judgment was unconstitutionally obtained, it should be regarded as a legal nullity, and that due process issue is certainly cognizable within the federal courts. See, e.g., Catz v. Chalker, 142 F.3d 279 (6th Cir. 1998). The constitutional validity of child custody decisions are quite often, actually, litigated within the federal courts. See, e.g., Wallis v. Spencer, 202 F.3d 1126, 1136 (9th Cir. 2000) ("Parents and children have a well-elaborated constitutional right to live together without governmental interference."); J.B. v. Washington County, 127 F.3d 919, 925 (10th Cir. 1997) ("We recognize that the forced separation of parent from child, even for a short time, represents a serious infringement upon both the parents' and child's rights."); Wooley v. City of Baton Rouge, 211 F.3d 913, 923 (5th Cir. 2000) ("a child's right to family integrity is concomitant to that of a parent"); Morris v. Dearborne, 181 F.3d 657, 672 (5th Cir. 1999) (making knowingly false statements of child neglect violates clearly established constitutional right to familial relations); Smith v. City of Fontana, 818 F.2d 1411, 1418 (9th Cir. 1987) ("We now hold that this constitutional interest in familial companionship and society logically extends to protect children from unwarranted state interference with their relationships with their parents." – citing the same in Kelson v. City of Springfield, 767 F.2d 651 (9th Cir. 1985)); Croft v. Westmoreland County Children and Youth Services, 103 F.3d 1123, 1125 (3rd Cir. 1997) ("We recognize the constitutionally protected liberty interests that parents have in the custody, care and management of their children."); and etc., etc., etc., even ad nauseam. The Supreme Court, itself, has issued literally hundreds of rulings upon all manner of parental rights over the past 150+ years, and has further clarified that all federal courts have subject matter jurisdiction over the constitutionality of state child custody actions. "Parents have a fundamental right to the custody of their children, and the deprivation of that right effects a cognizable injury. See Santosky v. Kramer, 455 U.S. 745, 758-59, 102 S. Ct. 1388, 1397, 71 L. Ed. 2d 599 (1982)." Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57, 68-69, 147 L. Ed. 2d 49, 120 S. Ct. 2054 (2000). The federal courts have subject matter jurisdiction over constitutional validity of child support payments, and those can be unquestionably challenged in any federal court pursuant to 45 CFR 303.100(a)(3) and 15 U.S.C. § 1673(c) of the Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA), because any order for garnishment of wages for purposes of support must comply with § 303(b) of the Act. See, e.g., Voss Products, Inc. v. Carlton, 147 F.Supp.2d 892 (E.D. Tenn. 2001); Marshall v. District Court for Forty-First Judicial District of Michigan, 444 F. Supp. 1110 (E.D. Mich. 1978); and etc.
If you have been denied parenting time with your child/ren (regardless of whether that comes from either type of "family" court, i.e., divorce and similar with kids, or else the child protective services actions), you are perfectly within your federal rights to bring a federal court tort action for civil damages over that interference with the parenting time rights you were supposed to have with your child/ren, because such federal tort actions have been very well established for decades now, and – yet still – the various abstention and avoidance doctrines just simply do not and never apply, whatsoever, i.e., you get to use federal court. See, e.g., Lloyd v. Loeffler, 694 F.2d 489 (7th Cir. 1982), Wasserman v. Wasserman, 671 F.2d 832 (4th Cir. 1982), Erspan v. Badgett, 647 F.2d 550 (5th Cir. 1981), McIntyre v. McIntyre, 771 F.2d 1316 (9th Cir. 1985), Hooks v. Hooks, 771 F.2d 935 (6th Cir. 1985), DiRuggiero v. Rodgers, 743 F.2d 1009 (3rd Cir. 1984), Bennett v. Bennett, 682 F.2d 1039 (D.C. Cir. 1982), Raftery v. Scott, 756 F.2d 335 (4th Cir. 1985), and etc., even ad nauseam. Indeed, there are literally HUNDREDS of these federal cases, just over this ONE particular right, alone... Again, you clearly have EVERY right to be in federal court for your constitutionally protected parental rights. Further, the U.S. Supreme Court has made that quite crystal clear, in Ankebrandt v. Richards, 504 U.S. 689 (1992), because Ankenbrandt actually states, 504 U.S. at 700: "An examination of Article III, Barber itself, and our cases since Barber makes clear that the Constitution does not exclude domestic relations cases from the jurisdiction otherwise granted by statute to the federal courts." (emphasis added). Another well established cause of action, actually within both the state AND federal courts, is a similar thing for "deprivation of parent-child relationship" (kind of like the old "alienation of affections" actions, only more important and much stronger, because we're talking about direct blood relationships between parents and children).
You must understand, that ALL the above are just a TINY, tiny, tiny sampling of the literally THOUSANDS upon THOUSANDS of federal court case rulings that have sided WITH the natural/biological parents, regarding essentially every single kind of parental rights and due process rights issue that even exists - everything. Further, you must also understand that, with pretty much the sole exception of the U.S. Supreme Court's same such rulings, the vast majority (99%) of all of these thousands of federal court cases didn't even exist prior to the 1970s. Remember? That is also exactly when the "federalization" of family law started in full gusto, over basically every aspect of The Family in America, you see... The federal courts simply CANNOT try to have it both ways - either every single federal law, funding program, related bureaucracy, policy, and everything else comes to a complete termination and erasure immediately, OR else the federal courts simply have no choice but to fully hear and allow complaints stemming from the entire mess that their Federal Government has created and been "managing" all of these decades now, you see. You have an absolute RIGHT to be in federal court as needed over your state-run family law court case, period, end of story.
Whenever pro se within federal court, enforce your pro se rights
When acting pro se in a federal court, for any reason, always enforce your special pro se rights, by simply adding and filing a notice with the court to that effect. In other words, simply create a Notice of Special Pro Se Rights using your standard format and layout for that particular federal court you are involved with (different federal court areas, i.e., different Districts and Divisions, have their own varying "Local Rules" and such things as margin sizes on papers, and other formatting and layout things like that are often specified and required to be done their way...), and then, for the body of that Notice, you may simply copy and paste (reformat as needed) the below statements with case law already included. And then, of course, like any other court filing, you sign and date it, file it with the court, and then serve it upon all other parties. Again, if you need some help to locate the appropriately matching federal court for your own purposes, go about halfway down our Recruitment page and look for the "What are Divisions?" section with an example map of Virginia's Districts and Divisions used to help explain that topic. That section has the direct resource links you need.
Pro se pleadings are always to be construed liberally and expansively, affording them all opportunity in obtaining substance of justice, over technicality of form. Maty v. Grasselli Chemical Co., 303 U.S. 197 (1938); Picking v. Pennsylvania Railroad Co., 151 F.2d 240 (3rd Cir. 1945); Jenkins v. McKeithen, 395 U.S. 411, 421 (1959); Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21, 92 S.Ct. 594, 596, 30 L.Ed.2d 652 (1972); Cruz v. Beto, 405 U.S. 319, 322, 92 S.Ct. 1079, 1081, 31 L.Ed.2d 263 (1972); Puckett v. Cox, 456 F. 2d 233 (6th Cir. 1972); and, etc., etc., etc., practically ad infinitum.
If the court can reasonably read the submissions, it should do so despite failure to cite proper legal authority, confusion of legal theories, poor syntax or sentence construction, or a litigant's unfamiliarity with particular rule requirements. Boag v. MacDougall, 454 U.S. 364, 102 S.Ct. 700, 70 L.Ed.2d 551 (1982); Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106, 97 S.Ct. 285, 50 L.Ed.2d 251 (1976) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46, 78 S.Ct. 99, 2 L.Ed.2d 80 (1957)); Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 92 S.Ct. 594, 30 L.Ed.2d 652 (1972); McDowell v. Delaware State Police, 88 F.3d 188, 189 (3rd Cir. 1996); United States v. Day, 969 F.2d 39, 42 (3rd Cir. 1992); Then v. I.N.S., 58 F.Supp.2d 422, 429 (D.N.J. 1999); and, etc., along with numerous similar rulings.
When interpreting pro se papers, this Court is required to use its own common sense to determine what relief that party either desires, or is otherwise entitled to. S.E.C. v. Elliott, 953 F.2d 1560, 1582 (11th Cir. 1992). See also, United States v. Miller, 197 F.3d 644, 648 (3rd Cir. 1999) (court has a special obligation to construe pro se litigants' pleadings liberally); Poling v. K. Hovnanian Enterprises, 99 F.Supp.2d 502, 506-07 (D.N.J. 2000); and, etc.
Indeed, the courts will even go to particular pains to protect pro se litigants against consequences of technical errors if injustice would otherwise result. U.S. v. Sanchez, 88 F.3d 1243 (D.C.Cir. 1996). Moreover, "the court is under a duty to examine the complaint to determine if the allegations provide for relief on ANY possible theory." (emphasis added) See, e.g., Bonner v. Circuit Court of St. Louis, 526 F.2d 1331, 1334 (8th Cir. 1975), Bramlet v. Wilson, 495 F.2d 714, 716 (8th Cir. 1974), Thomas W. Garland, Inc. v. City of St. Louis, 596 F.2d 784, 787 (8th Cir. 1979), Bowers v. Hardwick, 478 U.S. 186, 201-02, 106 S.Ct. 2841, 92 L.Ed.2d 140 (1986), Brooks v. Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Fla., Inc., 116 F.3d 1364, 1369 (11th Cir. 1997), O'Boyle v. Jiffy Lube International Inc., 866 F.2d 88 (3rd Cir. 1989), and etc., etc., etc.
If you are pro se in your family court case, use Tort Claims
You will never get any attorney to do this (because the system would quickly "blackball" that attorney immediately for fighting too hard for you...), but if you are pro se within your own case (and it doesn't even have to be family court case, but any kind of case where you've discovered fraud or etc. going on in the case), then you can also use your own state's "Tort Claim" process to file a formal Notice (charges) for compensation of money damages against their acts of fraud, violations of your due process rights, violations of your constitutional rights, and/or any other dishonest acts that the state actors have committed within the case. Normally this includes the judge (a state actor), any prosecutors (like for child support against you, even just "mere" Title IV-D prosecutors in your civil case), the social workers in your CPS/TPR case (i.e., government actors under color of law), and so forth and so on, including also the given county itself (or "parish" in Louisiana, or "borough" or other area in Alaska, etc.), and even the State (or Commonwealth) itself, too. Once you have identified any illegal acts by the individual state actors themselves within the context of your court case, and that can even be illegal things they did to falsely start a case against you, you can file a formal Notice of Tort Claims against them, and that county (or similar locality), and that State (or Commonwealth) for civil damages (monies for compensation for violating the law, violating your rights, etc.). To do this, you first identify and organize the sequence of illegal events, and how those illegal acts violate one or more laws, one or more judicial conduct canons, one or more attorney professional conduct rules, and/or acts of clear fraud, or whatever, etc., per each date of occurrence(s). You'll also want each perpetrator's title or similar, their business address and which part of government they work for identified properly (which agency, or which department, etc.), and their bar numbers (for judges and attorneys). In particular, you might again see our "always" Rule #3, near the top of this webpage, and the "Don't forget to research the judge and attorneys" first topic in this section (Advanced Legal Topics) for more details and information on how to do all that properly. Then also, look up the Tort Claim statute(s), procedures, and find the standard Tort Claim form for your State or Commonwealth. You might have to hunt around until you find it, because they don't want to make this easy for everyone to sue them, naturally. So then, just fill out that standardized Tort Claim form, including the bad people's names, titles, and bar numbers if applicable, and also include written descriptions of who did what when, plus the citation(s) to the one or more laws, rules, or whatever legal authority they violated on each different day. Normally these state code Tort Claim statutes will try to say all kinds of limitations, like only things within the past 180 days are eligible, or certain kinds of acts are either "immune" or not eligible for tort claims, or what have you, but pay no attention to that kind of government dishonest falsity. When you are done properly completing your Tort Claim Notice, including directly relevant evidence if and as really needed to back up one or more of your formal complaints for wrongdoing being made, then simply make enough copies of the whole Tort Claim package to serve (at least) your state attorney general's office, each agency or department of government that is (superior to, in charge of, supervises, etc.) each state actor involved in the wrongdoing described date-by-date within your Tort Claim Notice, and serve those units of government, along with serving a copy upon the Board of Commissioners for your county (again, or "parish" in Louisiana, or "borough" or etc. in Alaska), another copy upon your County Council if you have such a thing, and your County Administrator. To get these latter sets of names and addresses, first look on that county's official government webpage, and/or just Google it to find out. Your given State or Commonwealth's tort claim process may also instruct you to serve a copy upon some other related aspect of government, so send another copy of your Tort Claim Notice package to that if needed. That's basically it, and now you have put them all on formal legal notice, and initiated the tort claims process for payment of money compensation for those acts of wrongdoing by government actors. If you are acting pro se in your case, you can also consider just doing it through a legal filing in your court case, i.e., follow the entire tort claim procedure for naming names and dates and illegal acts by state actors (local government actors are also "state actors" for the purposes of tort claims), but instead of titling a given motion or whatever else in your case, just type the whole thing up and title it as a "Notice of Tort Claims, and Demand to Cease and Desist Unlawful Activities" like you would otherwise title it as a "Motion to _____" or some kind of other regular court filing/pleading. The requirement to still serve everyone and everything involved still applies, so your Certificate of Service will probably have a whole lot more names and titles and addresses, for all of those mail recipients. Doing your Tort Claims through this latter process (by filing as another court filing if you are pro se in your case) adds yet another "onion layer" of protection for you and your rights, plus if things involve the judge being naughty, since he or she has just been put on formal legal notice of suit and claims against also including that judge, too, then that judge will most likely be required under ethics rules to immediately recuse himself or herself out of the case. Once again, as always described throughout this webpage of legal tips, the best defense is a solid offense.
Removing your state case into federal court
A very powerful federal legal device seems almost as if Congress had custom designed it to address the constant violations of constitutional rights and basic due process within the family courts. Simply put, when (any) state court action is flagrantly displaying itself in violations of the law, i.e., it is practically impossible to get equal and fair justice within that state court (which also means any courts of a county, parish, borough, etc., i.e., all family courts), and if you are within a 30 day clock timeframe from the most recent unconstitutional state court action event (whether an actual hearing date, or just some whatever order being issued, or other possibilities stemming from official state court paperwork), then you have the right to *timely* file a removal of that state court case directly into federal court, WITHOUT any judge's signature, approval, or anything else required. If you and your case fit the circumstances required (which is about anything and everything from the fraudulent family courts, but also doing this federal removal process within that 30 day timeframe), then all you do is file the correct two-step paperwork, and it's DONE, voila, you have just removed your crooked state court case into federal court, you have just *removed* all power and authority and jurisdiction away from that state court, by automatic operation of law, and there's nothing they can do about it, except ONLY if the federal court decides that the state court is NOT violating your rights, it can eventually send the case jurisdiction back to the state court. However, all you need to do is just show any one or more clear-cut violations of your federal rights, i.e., constitutional rights, violations of basic due process, and/or etc. The very simple statutory authority you would file your removal under is 28 USC 1443, one of the federal removal statutes, quite different from all the other removal statutes, and with extra-special legal rights added on that the others don't have. Filing a removal of your state court case into federal court is very much like filing a bankruptcy to stop all collections automatically - at the very moment you file the proper paperwork, your family court case is removed, already then, no judge's order or anything else like that required, it's already done, just because you filed the proper paperwork in a timely manner. People are sometimes forced to file a bankruptcy to stop all the creditors' phone calls, and/or automatically stop the local sheriff from auctioning off their house at the next sheriff's sale. Filing a federal removal of your state court case does exactly the same thing to the state court judge - it removes all of his/her power and authority to do anything else, whatsoever. General procedures are detailed in that same short Chapter 89 of of Title 28 of the United States Code, i.e., federal law. Go here to get started.
Suing for violations of civil rights and due process
Within the standard corruption and insanity of America's "family" courts, there are routinely many causes of action for civil rights violations, and we are preparing to teach you how to do that, right here... Coming as soon as possible, so check back!
Note: This website is under constant construction. So, please don't hesitate to come check back often for important updates, especially by also double-checking the Case News page.