Sunday, August 10, 2008

Question: When is a Debt Not a Debt?

Answer: When it is an obligation to society!

Look up "debt" in a dictionary and find the definition. You will see it can be considered an obligation. Therefore, an "obligation" can be a "debt."

Somehow in their infinite wisdom, the judges have found a way to redefine the meanings of words as understood by the common person, in such a way so as to justify being able to circumvent the law in order to incarcerate you in the outlawed and abolished "DEBTOR'S PRISON" in defiance of your constitutional rights.

The framers of the Constitution declared that it be written in a language understood by the common person and not embellished and subverted in the obfuscation of legalese.

You can read how the judges perpetrate this deception in the following case cite that shows their perverted logic.

GIBSON v. BENNETT, 561 So.2d 565 (Fla. 1990)

Starting on page 570

"Gibson next argues that enforcement of a judgment for support by contempt violates the constitutional prohibition against imprisonment for debt found in article I, section 11 of the Florida Constitution.

Initially, we note that the United States Supreme Court has recognized that the obligation to pay support may be enforced by imprisonment for contempt without violating a constitutional prohibition against imprisonment for debt. Audubon v. Shufeldt, 181 U.S. 575, 21 S.Ct. 735, 45 L.Ed. 1009 (1901) (quoting Barclay v. Barclay, 184 Ill. 375, 56 N.E. 636 (1900)); Wetmore v. Markoe, 196 U.S. 68, 25 S.Ct. 172, 49 L.Ed. 390 (1904).

Although both of these cases involved bankruptcy proceedings, the question before the Court in each instance was whether an order for support constituted a debt that could be discharged in bankruptcy. In determining that a support decree was not such a debt, the Court distinguished an obligation to pay support from a debt arising from a business transaction or a contractual obligation stating:

[A] decree awarding alimony to the wife or children, or both, is not a debt which has been put into the form of a judgment, but is rather a legal means of enforcing the obligation of the husband and father to support and maintain his wife and children. He owes this duty, not because of any contractual obligation, or as a debt due to the wife, but because of the policy of the law which imposes the obligation upon the husband. The law interferes when the husband neglects or refuses to discharge this duty, and enforces it against him by means of legal proceedings. Wetmore v. Markoe, 196 U.S. at 74, 25 S.Ct. at 174.

In Florida, imprisonment for debt is specifically prohibited by the Florida Constitution. Art. I, ยง 11, Fla. Const. However, it is well settled that the obligation to pay spousal or child support does not constitute a debt within the meaning of article I, section 11. State ex rel. Krueger v. Stone, 137 Fla. 498, 188 So. 575 (1939). Rather, a support obligation is viewed as a personal duty, not only to a former spouse or child, but to society generally. Bronk v. State, 43 Fla. 461, 31 So. 248(1901). Thus, because the courts are enforcing a duty not a debt, enforcement of spousal or child support by contempt, under both federal and state law, is not a violation of Florida's constitutional prohibition against imprisonment for debt.

It must be understood, however, that enforcement of support payments by contempt is not absolute. Contempt for failure to pay support is civil contempt because its purpose is to obtain compliance from the person subject to an order of the court. In Bowen v. Bowen, 471 So.2d 1274, 1278 (Fla. 1985), this Court emphasized that civil contempt is appropriate only upon demonstration that the party in default has the present ability to comply with the purge provisions of the court order and avoid imprisonment. Because the original order or judgment directing a party to pay support is based on a finding that the party has the ability to pay, that order or judgment creates the presumption in subsequent proceedings that the party can pay. Id. The burden rests upon the defaulting party to produce evidence to dispel the presumption of ability to pay due to circumstances beyond his or her control and to prove there was no willful disobedience of the court order. Incarceration for civil contempt for nonpayment of a support obligation cannot be imposed absent a separate, affirmative finding by the trial court appearing on the record that the defaulting
Page 571
party has the ability to comply with the purge conditions of the contempt order.[fn3] Id. at 1279. Thus, an individual's ability to pay from some available asset[fn4] is the "key to his cell." Pugliese v. Pugliese, 347 So.2d 422 (Fla. 1977). A nonpaying party who has the financial ability to pay can discharge the sentence imposed by doing what he or she has previously refused to do."

Why do they do this? Again, if you will follow the money, you will find the answer. The legal industry makes money from adversarial relationships. They create ways to extort money from the adversarial spouses in a divorce proceeding. Essentially, they have found a way to transfer wealth from the spouse's wallets into their coffers by redefining the plain meaning of words to suit their nefarious purposes.

Find out how to modify your alimony payments by clicking here.