Monday, October 31, 2005

Right To Privacy – Part 2

“Where you find the laws most numerous, there you will find also the greatest injustice.” -- Arcesilaus

“Even when laws have been written down, they ought not always to remain unaltered.” -- Aristotle

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Legal Arguments:
  • The Alimony Statue is Within the Zone of the Right of Privacy
There is no common law right to alimony. Pacheco v. Pacheco, 246 So.2d 778 (Fla. 1971). Alimony is merely a statute, part of Chapter 61 Fla. Stat.. See also Cornelius v. Cornelius, 382 So.2d 710 (Fla. 1st DCA 1979). Quite simply, as a statute it must conform to the constraints set forth in the Florida Constitution. This would not be the first time a provision of Chapter 61 was found to impermissibly infringe the Fla. Const. Right of Privacy. See Richardson v. Richardson, 766 So. 2d 1036 (Fla. 2000) ( § 61.13 (7) Fla. Stat. is facially unconstitutional as it violates Art. I § 23, Fla. Const., Right of Privacy).

§ 61.08 et al Fla. Stat., alimony provisions are part of the Fla. Stat. titled Chapter 61 “Dissolution of Marriage.” As such they regulate the personal decision of Floridians to divorce, i.e. dissolve their Marriage. The alimony provisions are written within that privacy-protected zone of divorce.
  • Article I. § 23, Florida Constitution. Right of Privacy
N. Fla. Women's Health & Counseling Servs., Inc. v. State, 866 So. 2d 612, 635 (Fla. 2003) is controlling on the Right of Privacy. It states that a statute that infringes the fundamental right of privacy is presumptively unconstitutional unless the state proves a compelling state interest minimally applied and that the statute in fact furthers that interest.

Winfield v. Division of Pari-Mutual Wagering, 477 So2d 544,548 (Fla. 1985). ( See also N. Fl. Women’s Health 866 So.2, 620) describing the far-reaching impact of the Florida amendment:

“The citizens of Florida opted for more protection from governmental intrusion when they approved article I, section 23, of the Florida Constitution. This amendment is an independent, freestanding constitutional provision, which declares the fundamental right to privacy. Article I, section 23, was intentionally phrased in strong terms. The drafters of the amendment rejected the use of the words ‘unreasonable’ or ‘unwarranted’ before the phrase ‘governmental intrusion’" in order to make the privacy right as strong as possible. Since the people of this state exercised their prerogative and enacted an amendment to the Florida Constitution which expressly and succinctly provides for a strong right to privacy not found in the United States Constitution, it can only be concluded that the right is much broader in scope than that of the Federal Constitution.”

INTERESTING READING:
* Presumption of jurisdiction? At what point in time was the Florida legislature granted or given jurisdiction over our marriages? Why does the legislature and the courts assume they have jurisdiction over our marriages? Perhaps this has something to do with the legal argument of "presumption".

LEGAL INFORMATION AND RESEARCH CORNER:
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Meta-Index for U.S. Legal Research

EXAMPLES SHOWING THAT JUDGES CAN MAKE MISTAKES TOO:
* Delaware County Town Justice Agrees To Leave Office
* Judges as Criminals

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