Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Groundswell Movement Filing Lawsuits Challenging Lifetime Alimony Laws

"It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope."
--Robert Francis Kennedy


The time for which you long have awaited is at hand. There are those among us who have seen the need to “stand up and be counted” and are taking up the banner to carry forth the message of alimony reform. The groundswell of people wanting to stop the injustices on themselves and their families has started and is rapidly gathering momentum.

No longer are people frustratingly sitting by the wayside wondering what they could do to free themselves of the yoke of "lifetime" alimony. The gathering army of Declaratory Judgment (DJ) filers is now mounting in numbers and more are waiting in the wings preparing their cases.

The first DJ was filed in Sarasota County on June 2, 2006. You can see the case by clicking here. It now awaiting a ruling by Judge Lee Haworth. Should there be an adverse filing against us, it will be appealed all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary.

Another one was filed in Jacksonville, FL this past week. Similar lawsuits are being prepared for California, Missouri, Massachusetts and several other states.

The lower courts appear unable to deal with these constitutional challenges and attempt to dismiss them out of hand without any “reasoned opinion.” Being able to do this under color of law is what has led our court system to be able to impose the many injustices on alimony paying spouses that they have. Only a minuscule amount of spouses ever challenge the lower court rulings in their case and by not doing so, perpetuate the injustices. The courts are then emboldened to continue their abuse further.

In that earlier challenges had been intertwined with other alimony related issues, they were deemed as being “frivolous” challenges and dismissed accordingly. It was then determined that what was necessary to get the court’s attention was to eliminate all alimony related issues and file a “clean” DJ. This way, the lawsuit would be considered on its legal and case law merits alone. This has proved successful.

The higher courts are unable to simply dismiss a case. They are obligated to rely more seriously on established precedents (existing case law) that are already in existence to formulate and give a “reasoned opinion” supporting their ruling. Therefore, the best chance of effecting any change in the status quo was to get cases out of the lower court and to reach a higher level of the judiciary. But, you have to go through the procedure of filing in the lower courts first. That is what is now happening.

What is a DJ lawsuit? It is a way of presenting our arguments and case law in asking the courts to formally consider and rule whether or not the state alimony statutes are constitutional or not. It is a way of forcing the issues to the highest levels of our court system. And, this can be done without the need to go through a class action suit.

Who can file these DJ’s? Anyone suffering under a court order to pay alimony. They can be filed without the use of an attorney, if you choose, on a Pro Se basis. You can act as your own attorney and do it yourself. Help and guidance is available from people like you who have already done so or are doing so now.

Filing and follow-up is simplicity itself and the costs involved are the modest filing fees. It is a small price to pay for a chance to gain freedom from your burden. Why wait to see if someone else will solve your can do it! You have a choice....whine...or fight back. Now you can do it legally and properly!

Become part of the grass roots movement that will reform the alimony laws. To get involved, it is suggested that you do the following:
  1. Read the information regarding filing DJ’s at:

  2. Join the group that is spearheading the grass roots movement for alimony reform: Alliance For Freedom From Alimony, Inc. at:

  3. Contact Dick Lindsey ( at the Alliance letting him know of your interest.

  4. Join the Yahoo Group Forum to keep be able to contact others who are involved with filing DJ’s and to keep abreast of the alimony reform progress. You can do so at:

Don’t wait for others to do the job, join us now!

* Women appointed to top posts in Lands Dept.

* The Teflon Judge
* First, Understand the Law An article by a Massachusetts lawyer about the Massachusetts legal injustice system.

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I Am Guilty!!

"The Bill of Rights was provided as a BARRIER, to protect, the individual against the arbitrary extractions of the majorities, executives, legislatures, courts, sheriffs, and prosecutors, and it is the primary distinction between democratic and totalitarian processes."
--IN RE: STOLLER, 160 Fla. 769 (1948), 36 So.2d 443,445


I AM GUILTY…..of the crime of having had a marriage go bad, getting divorced and being unable to pay alimony. For this heinous crime, I was given a lifetime sentence of hardship to pay for my crime and have been stripped of my rights. I have less rights than those of the most despicable of all criminals…the murderers, child killers, serial killers, rapists, bombers, drug dealers, etc.

Unlike a criminal, a person held in civil contempt:

1. Are not afforded the right of having counsel appointed to them in the event they can't afford it. In any case, they have to pay their for their ex-spouse's attorney.
3. They are presumed guilty until they prove themselves innocent.
4. They are not entitled to a trial with a jury of their peers.
5. They can be incarcerated with an indefinite sentence on the basis that they have the keys to their cell. For indigent persons or those with no ability to pay…there are no keys.

Yet now hundreds of thousands of men, whose only crime is that of a marriage gone bad have been or are facing jail and these same deprivation of rights. These people are not criminals, yet the family law system will treat them harsher than the worst criminal of society and make them suffer the lifetime stigma of incarceration with the worst of our society’s population.

Our jails are overloaded with hardened criminals and yet the courts fill them still more with non-criminal spouses who are unable to pay support. This is shameful travesty and an unnecessary expense to the taxpayers in an America that purportedly cherishes preserving our freedoms and constitutional rights.

Does this sound like the American freedoms that have been fought for since the Revolutionary War? If this is America….Are we really free?

I KNOW I AM NOT FREE. Most everyone wants to have closure for unpleasant events in their lives. But, there is no closure for people who get divorced so that they can get on with their lives. The court retains jurisdiction until the day they die. The court controls my life. I am supposed to file a new financial affidavit every time my financial situation changes. If I make money, they want to know so that they can take more of it from me. If I am unable to pay, then they want to force me to work, garnish my SS or throw me in jail.

Even though they put me in jail they can’t silence me because “they can’t silence the truth.” I speak with the voices of hundreds of thousands of spouses crying in the wilderness of the family law injustice system. Martyrs such Ghandi, Mandella, Martin Luther King, Jr, or Rosa Parks who spoke out against oppressive governments were put in jail for what they believed; yet they prevailed, just as I will.

The treatment of forcing spouses into a lifetime of servitude and peonage of paying alimony and is a mockery of the freedoms that hundreds of thousands of men have fought for and died to protect.

These are not the only freedoms and constitutional rights that have been violated by the family law system. For one, our right to privacy has been invaded by the courts interfering in the constitutionally protected area of the private decisions related to marriage.

For another, the laws and guidelines administering alimony are not clearly enumerated and allow judges too much discretion in deciding cases. There is no way in the world that these laws can be applied in a consistent and equitable manner.

Allowing the judges to have such wide latitude of discretion rather than having guidelines set up by the legislature permits them to administer the laws in such an arbitrary manner that, in effect, they are making the laws governing alimony on the fly. Doing that violates the separation of powers mandated by the constitution.

The law’s justification for granting alimony is that it says that it must protect the wife from becoming a ward of the state welfare system yet it has no problem with allowing paying spouses to become a ward of the state by forcing them into poverty in order to pay alimony. And, the courts have mandated it.

The law says we must protect the children from harm. What reasoning permits a child, when they reach the age of majority, to be allowed to be sent into the world on his own without any recourse from the courts, yet demands that a mature adult be supported for the rest of their lives? Alimony is intended to be for rehabilitative purposes to enable a spouse to get on their feet after dissolution, not support them for a lifetime. There is no justification for it.

If the law was so concerned with the welfare of one of the spouses that they granted lifetime alimony and support after the divorce, then why do they ignore the spouses of motorcycle riders who don’t wear helmets? The legislature has made no provision to force them to protect their spouse with insurance, etc. so that they would be provided for should they die in a motorcycle accident.

There is no logic in their conflicting philosophy unless you consider the money involved with family law cases. There can only be one motivation for all the injustices that prevail in the family law system and that is the motive of “profit.” No righteous-minded person would ever be able to justify the inequities that prevail in the name of profit.

The courts are clogged with the wasteful support cases. Because of this, attorneys in the family law system are able to extract billions of dollars from the parties through adversarial proceedings. This is unnecessary. This is not the way our founding fathers envisioned treatment of the families.

Lifetime alimony is wrong. I know it’s wrong, you know it’s wrong, the legislature knows it’s wrong, and the courts know it’s wrong. Established case law does not support lifetime alimony. The legislature and the family law courts should recognize this fact.

* 10 Industries That Women Rule

* No law for 'taking' of man's life
* Judge won't cut alimony for judicial candidate

* More Bad Judges

* Would You Sleep With This Woman??

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Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Alimony Strike - Peaceful Civil Disobedience

It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it.
-- Aung San Suu Kyi

This post is directed to those of you who are saddled with “lifetime alimony.” There have been many attempts to reform the alimony laws in order to remove inequities and bring equity to both spouses in a dissolution (divorce). These attempts are ongoing and will continue until a change is effected and “lifetime alimony” is eliminated.

The leader in the alimony reform movement, Dick Lindsey and his Alliance For Freedom From Alimony, Inc. (Alliance) group, are working with lobbyists in efforts to get the members of the Florida Legislature to become aware of the injustices of the family law system in applying the alimony statutes during divorces.

Bob Sell and his Political Action Committee (PAC) The Citizens For Liberty and Privacy, is working to put a ballot initiative in an upcoming election where the citizens of Florida can vote on a Constitutional Amendment to Abolish Alimony.

Numerous individuals who are members of the Alliance have filed lawsuits in court seeking a determination by the higher courts that the alimony statutes violate their constitutional rights by invading their Right to Privacy in addition to not maintaining the Separation of Powers between the Judiciary and the Legislature.

These challenges are currently in court awaiting decisions. You can follow their progress by clicking here and clicking here.

In what appears to be a groundswell response to make their voices heard, more people are lined up to file similar actions all across the nation. This movement for alimony reform is gaining momentum and will not stop until the legislatures of each state change the laws that are oppressing paying spouses with “lifetime alimony.”

However, there are other methods to effect change that have been used for many years by such men as Henry David Thoreau who pioneered the modern theory behind the practice of civil disobedience ,Mahatma Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Nelson Mandella, among others.

Some scholars of nonviolence, argue that many movements have pragmatically adopted the methods of nonviolent action as an effective way to achieve social or political goals. Ideally, this method can be used in conjunction with the normal forms of instituting change as mentioned above. It is the more spectacular of approaches and one that will have the best chances of recognition.

In his essay on “Civil Disobedience,” Henry David Thoreau stated:

“Under a government which imprisons unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison.… where the State places those who are not with her, but against her, — the only house in a slave State in which a free man can abide with honor.… Cast your whole vote, not a strip of paper merely, but your whole influence. A minority is powerless while it conforms to the majority; it is not even a minority then; but it is irresistible when it clogs by its whole weight. If the alternative is to keep all just men in prison, or give up war and slavery, the State will not hesitate which to choose. If a thousand men were not to pay their tax (substitute ALIMONY in place of tax) bills this year, that would not be a violent and bloody measure, as it would be to pay them, and enable the State to commit violence and shed innocent blood. This is, in fact, the definition of a peaceable revolution, if any such is possible.” Read more…

IMHO, I feel we cannot rely solely on Dick’s and Bob’s efforts but we need to supplement them in other ways with the tools at our disposal. Somehow, somewhere, we need to alert the public to gain their recognition and support. If change is too slow in coming or cannot be brought about by conventional means, why not consider peaceful civil disobedience or some other similar alternative?

Few people realize the dangers and pitfalls of divorce along with the concurrent financial suicide that is frequently fostered on one spouse obligated to support the other spouse with “lifetime” alimony for the rest of their lives. The laws and enforcement are heavily weighted in favor of one spouse and are not administered on a gender-neutral basis.

There is no public outcry to right this wrong because this matter, by and large, is concealed from them until they get caught up in the whirlpool of family law injustice when subjected to divorce proceedings. And then, all they get from others is perhaps a little sympathy and that’s about all. Who steps up to fight this injustice? Who will challenge the laws that perpetuate it? Certainly not attorneys because this is their bread and butter.

No one will go to bat for the alimony payers. They are left to suffer in silence with little hope for relief from the courts. Alone, they have little chance of success in changing the laws. They need to unite and make their stand together. How can they do this? In addition to contacting the first two groups mentioned above to join forces, share information and strategies; you can consider uniting to do the following:

Imagine a scenario where alimony payers all across the nation stopped paying their alimony and were called into court. As Thoreau indicated, it would clog the courts immeasurably and bring public notice to the plight of those burdened with “lifetime alimony.”

An “Alimony Strike” is a form of peaceful civil disobedience and will make a statement that the media will certainly recognize and publicize if large enough amounts of people join in. Then, the legislators will take notice that something is required to change the laws.

One of the biggest problems to starting change seems to be that everyone who sees a change is necessary is waiting for someone else to make the first move. Everyone complains about it, but no one really does much else about it.

In reality, there are only a few who will do this. Most of those who are working to make changes through the courts are members of the Alliance. Their efforts and successes in Florida will ripple throughout the rest of the states. But, this method takes time. A catalyst is needed to precipitate things sooner. An “Alimony Strike” is one of the possibilities.

What is needed is someone to take charge and lead the movement. The person who effects this change will more than likely garner national recognition similar to that given to Rosa Parks who precipitated the changes to the civil right laws. She was just an ordinary person like you, who felt it was time to say NO! to the oppression. Any of you can do the same to precipitate change. You just have to stand up for your convictions and say NO! to the courts. Changing the alimony laws across the nation is closely related and surely will impact as many people as the civil rights movement.

You don’t have to wait until someone else starts it, you can do it yourself right now. But you will need to recruit others to join in with you. The first thing you need do is to start an email campaign advocating joining a peaceful resistance “Alimony Strike”, sort of like a chain letter, and to keep it moving to get support. Nothing comes easy and it will take work…but look at the goal and it will give you strength to persevere.

NOTE: It is not advocated to stop paying your child support. Be sure to keep them current.

Be sure to join our Yahoo Group forum to keep informed, to lend your support, and to let others know what you are doing. Ask anyone you know who pays alimony to join the forum and help spread the word.

* Monroe city judge serving sentence for judicial misconduct

* The Last Picture Shaw

* On the Duty of Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau, 1849
* Justice delayed, is justice denied. An essay on Civil Disobedience by Peter Suber.
* Civil Disobedience Manual
* SD Amendment Allowing Judges to be Sued Opposed by Insurer Trades


* If Women Controlled the World...

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Saturday, August 12, 2006

Preventing Financial Suicide Through Prenuptial Agreements

"Ours is a sick profession marked by incompetence, lack of training, misconduct and bad manners. Ineptness, bungling, malpractice, and bad ethics can be observed in court houses all over this country every day. (...these incompetents have) a seeming unawareness of the fundamental ethics of the profession. ... the harsh truth is that ... we may well be on our way to a society overrun by hordes of lawyers, hungry as locusts, and brigades of judges in numbers never before contemplated."
--Chief Justice of the United States, Warren Burger

Each year, thousands of spouses will encounter “financial suicide” as a result of divorce. After a lot of research and after giving this matter a lot of thought, I have come to the conclusion and firmly believe that the problem of lifetime alimony and many other divorce related problems can be mitigated if not eliminated with prenuptial agreements.

In fact, this might be one of the best viable solutions to a major problem plaguing this country and giving “closure” to what can be one of the traumatic occurrences in your life. With the divorce rate hovering around 50%, conceivably, it affects a greater portion of our population and there has been no easy answer up to now.

Legal costs associated with a divorce can run into many thousands, and even hundreds, of dollars. IMHO, the whole aspect of the alimony statutes and the wide area of discretion allowed the judges to split up the spoils of the divorce are centered around creating job security for the legal profession. It is to their benefit to create and maintain the adversarial nature of the divorce process. The more adversarial, the more fees generated.

Ask any spouse, paying alimony, if they think they received a fair treatment in return for the money they paid their attorney. You will hear many horror stories of how they paid huge amounts of money only to be taken to the cleaners or received less than competent representation.

Remember an attorney’s relationship with a judge. You are only one client among many. He is in front of the same judges day after day. Do you think he will alienate the judge just for your sake??? And, in doing so, jeopardize his future (and attendant income?)

Recall the statue of the blindfolded lady holding the scales of justice. Picture the judge on one scale and you on the other. Guess who carries the greater weight. Now you get the picture of your place in the justice system. All people are supposed to be created equal, but there are those in this society who feel they are created more equal than others.

Now, you can see there is a need for some sort of predictability in the present alimony system, which is currently not present. This can be accomplished with the prenuptial agreement contract (civil contract).

In the legal sense, marriage is a “civil contract” created by the States which establishes certain duties and confers certain benefits. Validly entering the contract creates the marital status; the duties and benefits attached by a State are incidents of that status. As they could not have been celebrated in the recognizing State

Since marriages are considered as a “civil contract” between two people, and the courts are now looking at that contract the same as they do the ones in the business world and falling under the law of contracts. They are infinitely simpler to regulate than a conventional dissolution. To be a valid contract, they have to comply with the Statute of Frauds

Like any good business contract, not only are the obligations or intents of the parties to the contract spelled out in the agreement, but the terms under which a break-up of the parties is delineated and spelled out as to how everything owned by the parties will be divided. If there are children at dissolution time, provisions, complying with state regulations need to be included.

In setting up a prenuptial agreement it is best done at least 6 months prior to any wedding plans so as to eliminate the aspect of signing under “duress” and, very importantly, to be handled by an attorney that specializes in this area. Doing it in this manner will minimize the hassles attendant to a dissolution of marriage as the courts will recognize the validity of the marriage as complying with the Statute of Frauds and enforce it accordingly.

Reflecting on all this, you can readily see where, with a well-prepared prenuptial agreement, uncertain financial outcomes are almost eliminated come divorce time.

No longer will there be a necessity of attorney involvement on the back end of a marriage to extract large legal sums from what remaining assets are owned by the parties. No longer will there be an imposition of unwarranted “lifetime alimony” for one of the spouses since the division of possessions has already been agreed upon prior to the marriage and any division so spelled out is considered as being satisfactory to both parties.

Attorney’s will benefit because they will be involved in the front end of all marriages instead of the back end of 50% of the marriages ending in divorce. Since the adversarial nature of divorces will be reduced or eliminated, less incompetence will prevail and simplify their involvement since most of the documents could be boiler-plated and handled with ease thereby relieving a lot of stress on both parties.

No longer will one of the spouses be able to return to court to say that they weren’t aware of what would happen in the future and that the agreement is void because one of the spouses got a “bad deal.” The courts now agree that that is no longer a valid reason for returning to court. They say that both parties willingly and knowingly entered the agreement and that each party had a right to enter a “bad deal” as well as a “good deal” and that that is not sufficient reason to invalidate the contract to the detriment of one of the parties.

For a dissertation on the history and present day status of prenuptials go here and read the article on Prenuptial Agreements and Contract law.

The financial suicide aspect of any divorce comes from (1) the expenditure of attorney fees and quite frequently, depending upon the financial assets of each party, one spouse could end up paying for both parties attorneys; and (2) the unknown impact of the alimony imposed by the courts on one of the parties. Frequently, the burden of the alimony payments requires a substantial reduction in the lifestyle of one of them. Many times, it forces one to even live below the poverty level.

Some of the positive aspects of prenuptial agreements include those of:
  1. Reduction in the number of cases clogging the courts necessitated by an adversarial based divorces and contempt hearings.
  2. Predictable financial outcome of divorce.
  3. Elimination of exorbitant attorney fees of an indeterminate amount.
  4. Elimination of a lot of the adversarial relationships, antagonisms, controversies normally associated with conventional divorces.
  5. Elimination of the lifetime aspect of alimony.
  6. Reduction in father’s role of involvement with children subsequent to divorce due to court intervention in conventional divorces.
  7. Reduction in one spouse’s reliance on alimony as a reason not to be a productive member of society.
  8. Reduction of number of people incarcerated for contempt of court for inability to comply with conventional divorce settlement agreements imposed by the courts.
  9. For spouses not complying with the terms of the prenuptial agreement, they could still be brought into court to have the terms enforced under the law of contracts.
One of the major benefits of doing this will be to remove the financial incentives that one spouse receives in knowing that, with divorce, they will have a "lifetime" mealticket with no accountability for the alimony or child support payments. In removing this incentive, it will go a long way towards preserving the family and give the parties more reason to work things out and stay together. As it is now, the incentives are the leading reason why the divorce rate is so high.

All said and done, unless a better solution is presented, I cannot see how this simplified system will not solve the dilemma facing married couples in this day and age. I feel it is a solution whose time has come. If nothing else the problems it solves overcomes the problems created by the present day methods.

If you agree with this, it is imperative that you try to convince your legislators, who are responsible for the laws that are created, to make the necessary changes to implement it. However, keep in mind that you are facing the inertia created by a system that has provided a multi-billion dollar income for the family law legal system.

But you are the voter who controls who gets elected. Use that power!! Electing or keeping attorney’s in office as legislators will only perpetuate the inequitable system that has supported them for years unless they run on a platform to bring a suitable reform to the present system.

If you don’t think that alimony payors don’t consider payments as a living slavery, just ask any of them. So you can do your part to end present day slavery….elect abolitionists oriented legislators.

* Women's studies

* Two Judges Resign Prior To Misconduct Hearings

* Judge Protects Mexican Migrant

* Prenuptial and Postnuptial Argreements and Contract Law in the USA
* NH Senate Candidate Snider’s comments on how the legal profession is contributing to the destruction of the breakup of the family for financial gain. Here is his letter to the editor of the Bedford Journal

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