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#Alimony Cancer in Family Courts
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Asbury Park Press
#Alimony Cancer in Family Courts
Dear Editor: Cancer in the NJ Family Court System. There have been many recent Emergent cases which were decided by the NJ Supreme Court which stayed incarnations issued by the Lower Courts in matters dealing with payment of Alimony or Alimony arrears. In each case Emergent motions to the Appellate Courts were denied, but subsequently granted by the NJ Supreme Court. Governor Christie the people are demanding that the State appoint a commission to investigate how the NJ Judiciary is handling hearings dealing with Family Court matters and in particular in the cases where an inability to pay alimony is in question. The Judiciary is skirting around our fundamental rights to due process by issuing Contempt of Court charges to individuals who do not have the ability to pay exorbitant alimony awards or arrears. The Superior Court Judges are using the ruse that the individual has the keys to his cell and has to only pay his arrears to get out. Many circumstances arise where this is impossible. Two of those cases are when the individual does not have the money and the second being if the individual has filed for bankruptcy and does not control his or her financial condition. These incarcerations amount to extortion much like the Mafia enforcers who threatened “you either pay up or I bash your knee with this baseball bat.. The Courts are trying to extort funds from victim’s friends and families. Not only are the Courts violating basic civil rights to due process but they are wasting tax payer monies in the incarceration of these individuals. This whole idea of punitive incarceration vs coehersive incarceration flies in the Face of the Turner v Rogers US Supreme Court Ruling in October of 2011. The US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Child Support Services issued a Guidance Document dated June 18, 2012, relative to the Turner v Rogers case, to State Agencies Administering Child Support Enforcement Plans under Title IV-O of the Social Security Act. This Guidance is being ignored by the Superior and Appellate Court Judges. In Turner v Rogers the US Supreme Court held that the State must provide a form that can be used to elicit relevant information and that there must be an “express finding by the court based specifically upon the ability to pay. This is not being done in the Superior Courts. The US Supreme Court goes further and says that the States must ensure due process protection in Contempt of Court Practices. This also is not being done by the lower courts. The Guidance document goes further and states that these Contempt Practices may not be fundamentally fair and that the state’s failure to adequately review an individuals present ability to pay. may result in the states inability to show willfulness. This is only the beginning we must capitalize on this ruling. It is a strong message to those who appoint our Judges that there is a cancer growing in the judiciary which must be excised before it's too late. Keep the pressure and focus up. Time double down.
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