Galluzzo Federal Decision
- ----- Original Message -----From: Darryl B. McDowellSent: Saturday, July 05, 2003 10:31 AMSubject: Galluzzo Federal Decision
CELEBRATE YOUR PARENTAL RIGHTS
& THE IMPACT OF THE GALLUZZO
FEDERAL COURT DECISION
by Chuck Evans
The setting off of fireworks symbolizes the "bombs bursting in air" as penned by Francis Scott Key as he wrote the stanzas for our national anthem. The 4th of July is a celebration of the freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights for citizens of our newly declared independent country.
Are you a noncustodial parent? Were you ordered to be a noncustodial parent by a state domestic court for no other reason than you disagreed with your ex-spouse, which is more than likely the reason you were getting divorced in the first place? Did the judge make a legal finding that you, the noncustodial parent, were unfit to be a parent to your children? And if the court actually made such a rare finding, did the judge make a finding of parental unsuitability by a standard of "clear and convincing evidence"?
And did you celebrate your lack of parental rights on July 4?
Would you celebrate the fact that our state intentionally ignores fundamental protections? If you, as a designated noncustodial parent, did celebrate your freedoms on July 4, then obviously you failed to remember that one of your most precious freedoms was taken away from you on the day you stepped into a domestic court.
Parental rights are inherent rights to the custody, care, and companionship of your children. The right to custody, both legal (decision-making) and physical (companionship time) are fundamental federal rights. A federal right is guaranteed under the Bill of Rights and amendments to the Constitution. In the matter of custody of children, the right to custody is a liberty right protected by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
That means that your right cannot be taken away by the state without the state complying with federal law. In order for the state to infringe upon your right to custody of your children, then state must prove by clear and convincing evidence that you are an unfit parent to your children. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that this standard be used by the state to infringe upon your federal right to custody of your children. But, the state does not use that standard of evidence. The state holds as law that the judge shall determine that the best interests of your children require the domestic court to infringe upon your right. In other words, without any reason, the noncustodial parent is relegated to unequal status, not only with the ex-spouse, but with the children at issue.
Such an inequity would be wholly understandable, if, and only if, you were determined to be unsuitable to raise your children. But you have not been determined to be unsuitable; you merely disagreed with a settlement proposed by your ex-spouse. The state court's authority to settle your disagreement is called judicial discretion. And the excuse the state court uses to invoke judicial discretion is that it is in the children's best interests to limit your decision-making and time concerning your children.
But, you ask why!? I am a good parent! I love my children.
The state couldn't care less.
For with the designation of noncustodial parent comes the unyielding child support money machine for the designation of noncustodial parent entitles you to be an obligor subject to the ravenous never-ending requirements of the child support system. That is the true purpose for the court's discretion to feed the child support money machine that entitles the state to federal monies in a never-ending cycle of greed. But, what about my children€¦do they matter? Yes, you are told. The children are being taken care of and you are paying your ex-spouse to do so. You now exist in your children's lives to pay the child support money machine and say hello once every two weeks.
Mike Galluzzo asked the federal district court in Dayton, Ohio to determine whether the implication of a parent's right to custody violates federal law. He filed a federal question lawsuit against his ex-spouse and the domestic Champaign County Court of Common Pleas. Mike challenged the state law as it is written whether the state violates your freedom to raise your children without state interference? Federal Magistrate Judge Michael Merz said the question is a federal question and that the state must answer. He certified the federal question to the Ohio Attorney General. The Attorney General refused to participate for they are permitted to decline to answer under federal law. After more than a year and a half of trying to get the case dismissed, the Dayton Federal Court found as a matter of law that Mike Galluzzo met all the requirements to go forward to the merits of the federal question.
This is not only incredibly important, but is a precedent-setting decision, the first decision of its kind in any federal court in the entire United States where the underlying matter originates from a state domestic court on the issue of parental rights. And Mike did this entire case by himself, pro se, without any legal training or professional guidance. This is no easy feat and many, many experienced attorneys have failed to defeat similar dismissal doctrines.
Now Mike awaits a decision on the merits. Six months have passed since the briefs were filed. Mike's substantial merit brief was opposed by the Attorney General for Ohio who filed a friend of the court (amicus curiae) brief. The state refused to implicate itself as a defendant, but still wanted the right to argue why Ohio's law, including the argument of precedent Ohio Supreme Court decisions that ruled parental rights are arbitrary and the involvement of both parents is not important. The Attorney General's amicus answer brief is disrespectful to parents everywhere, but more importantly is a disgrace to future generations of children who someday may face the same state laws that they are subject to as children of divorce. Two weeks ago, Harold Rosenberger, a New York State parent, filed the exact same federal complaint challenging New York State custody law in the federal district court in Albany, New York. He is following Mike's pleadings exactly and Harold is totally cooperating with Mike's suggestions by duplicating the pleading framework that Mike has established in Ohio.
If Mike is successful, and he has multitudes of previous judicial decisions supporting his contentions that Ohio law is unconstitutional pursuant to federal law, then this federal court decision will strike down current Ohio law and set the framework for required replacement law language. If the federal court fails us, then Ohio parents and children will be forever subject to the state court's discretion, for Mike's case will not only be cited as precedent for Ohio, but will be the basis for all other federal courts throughout the country. Even though the Galluzzo case deals specifically with Ohio law, the same pervasive "best interests of the children" and lack of statutory language protecting federal parental rights permeates every state law in the United States.
Blessed be he that cometh in the name of Yahveh,
Darryl B. McDowell
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