Justice First
Case History Page


These personal stories are posted so that if anyone can offer assistance they can contact the parties,  and secondly to inform the public at large of constant abuse and rights violations the government is committing against your fellow citizens.  And remember it can happen to you!!!

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New York - The following story comes from  Melissa Spicer and husband Mark

Our Address is
PO Box 2636
Bunnell, FL 32110

May 22, 1998

To Whom It May Concern:

I have come to believe that there is truly no justice in our system. Our system favors certain individuals, while throwing others to the side. I can see now why there are so many “Deadbeat Dads” out there. If their story is even close to mine, then it is the system that I blame.

Here is our story:

In November of 1996 my husband was served papers at our home in Florida from the State of NY. They were suing him for support of a child that he did not even know existed. Since then it has been pure “HELL” for us. At first the mother was fine with the idea that my husband wanted to be part of the little girl’s life. What gets us is that we had lived at the same place for over 2 years before we were even notified, but found out that the state did not have to prove that they looked for him at any time. He went through the paternity testing and he is the Father.

We were not informed of his rights that he was able to fight this from Florida, when we called around, lawyers told us that we had to get a lawyer from up in NY. We now have found out different, so much for rights. The mother wanted to come up with an agreement between her and my husband and everything went fine for about a year. He met the little girl and called her up to three times a week. At the end of 1997, when it came down to the final paperwork and agreement, my husband had his signed and notarized, and then when we think all is completed, we get a letter in the mail stating that a court date had been set, come to find out that the mother had backed out of everything. On one of the conversations with my husband, she admitted to
still having feelings for him and did not know if she could handle him being in his little girl’s life and not hers.

That is when things changed.

She now refuses to allow him any contact with the little girl. We went up there for the support case in January and
we had to take her to court for temporary visitation. The mother even pulled the little girl out of school and they lived in a shelter for the week that we were up there. She told the little girl that if she went with her father , that he would take her to Florida and she would never see her again! When my husband would call and want to talk with his daughter, she would allow it at times. Other times she would be in the background monitoring his calls.

There would be a lot of times that she would start cussing him in the background. He would get on to her and tell her to please not use that kind of language around the little girl, she refused and said that she could say what she wanted to around her, he could not’t prove a thing. There was even an instance with the school. I called over 5 weeks before Easter and asked the teacher if it would be all right to send things to the classroom for all of the kids for Easter. She said that would be nice, parents helped out like that during the holidays. A week or so before Easter we get a call from the School Administrator and he informed us that he would not allow the school to be a post office for the little girl and not to send the things. We tried to tell him that it was for the whole class room, and not just for his daughter, but that did not matter. He said to call and make arrangements with the mother and send them to her and she would bring the things to the school. We knew that this would not happen. But my husband was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt and called her and left a message on her machine that they needed to talk. Next day the mother had her number changed to an unlisted number and tells her lawyer that he is harassing her. We called the School Board and informed him of what went on.

We told him that my husband had the right to participate in her schooling, that he felt the school was denying him of his parental rights. The man at the School Board said for us to send it to him and he would see that it got delivered. According to a letter that we received from the little girl, it was not gave out. Now isn’t the school interfering with his rights as a parent, when other parents can participate and they are denying him that chance?

He has not been able to call his daughter since the end of March. The last thing that we heard was our lawyer told us that she would go into court to get it, and that was the end of April. We asked her if we could get the Mother on Parent Alienation, and she said no because the mother had temporary custody of the little girl. Our custody case was scheduled for this week, but was canceled due to the court being backed up. That is just giving the mother more time to poison the little girl’s mind. What can a father do in this situation, evidently nothing. He seems to have no rights in this situation.

The mother has blocked all efforts of him trying to get any records on his little girl, medical, school, and everything else. She claims that the child suffers from Attention Deficit Disorder with Hypertension. She claims that he needs to read up on this very serious condition. All that we can find on this is the fact that most of the time it is caused by something that is going on in their lives. It couldn’t be the fact that the mother is married to a man in prison for murder, that the child is tossed around with family members.

That men come to the house and give her mother money, ( but the mother claims that they don’t do anything but kiss), and the mother takes the little girl to prison to visit this man that she has been married to for 2 years and stays with him for three days when he behaves in the prison. But that does not’t matter to the courts. They claim that they are looking into the best interest
of the child, but this is not true. What about the children in the second families? When he asked his lawyer about supporting his current family, she said that the State does not look at that.

It may be different if he had known about this child, but he did not. What about his rights? What about the fact that the mother has denied my husband’s rights as a father to this child for almost 8 years, and has cheated the child out of knowing her father for that time? All of this seems not to matter. Why do they let the mother keep doing what she is doing? This will only make it difficult on the little girl when she does have to spend time with us. This is what the mother wants. She has said that she wants the money and him out of her life altogether. The more time that she has, the worse it is going to get.

She even wrote a letter to him saying all of these things about my husband calling her parents looking for his little girl and accused him of putting our son on the phone to ask for her! Our son is three. Of course in her letter she threatens him with calling the police and all. None of this even happened, he does not even know her parents number. But she knows that it is his word against hers, and she is trying every trick in the book.

In the support case, the Judge (Samuel Knox, Hearing Officer Steuben County, Bath, NY) awarded her over $16,000 in back support, from the time of birth. What is really funny is the fact that the child was not even born in New York, so how can he do that if the State did not have jurisdiction over her at that time? He also ordered us to pay for half of all medical bills from time of birth and half of all of Daycare expenses from time of birth. We also have to pay $70 a week in support, half of all medical, and half of daycare.

Now this leads us to a bunch of other issues. She abuses the medical part.We have to pay half and Medicaid pays the other. So therefore, when the child is sick, instead of taking her to the Doctor’s office, she automatically takes her to the Emergency Room. That way we are paying more out, and she does this on purpose. When he was awarded his temporary visitation, we picked her up on a Friday evening, and when we returned, the mother then informed us that earlier that morning she had a nose bleed, so she was going to take her to the Emergency Room then, and that was around 10pm. He asked her why she did not take at the time that it happened and her reply was that she did not have a way. When she was with us, she was jumping around and carrying on and not the first sign of anything was wrong.

As for the Daycare expenses, we got a letter from the State telling us that we had 45 days to send them a certified check or money order for over $2,400 for the daycare that had been provided since birth. And that they had informed the mother how much she had paid from 1996 to present and she would get with us on the amount that was owed her. There is no way that we can pay this. So wonder what will happen here? Next, we have started getting receipts, handwritten, supposedly from the person that is baby-sitting his daughter. They have been for $30 or so, and all that is on it is the current date, and for daycare, and it just has the first name of the person. It really looks like the mothers writing. Now school is still in session, so why is she paying for all of these hours? But what right do I have to question her? Evidently none, again!

It seems like every time that we turn around, they are wanting more money. If we can’t pay, oh, to jail my husband goes. We cannot afford to travel to and from New York for the court cases, but yet if we do not go, they will suspend his license, then he can not work, therefore, no one gets anything. That really makes a whole lot of sense. My husband is so upset and worried, it has really put a strain on us. He has even talked about suicide. It has gotten that bad. Where do you turn for help? Is there any out there? Here we have to pay all kinds of lawyer fees, while hers are being paid for. She doesn’t have to travel to court, we have to travel over a thousand miles. She can let him see the child if she wants, and if she doesn’t, oh well. If he can’t pay, it is the big house for him. The State is setting him up to default before he even gets started. I can see his point about working, what is the use of working if he has to support everyone up there and can not afford to pay the bills here? He won’t do it! I think that he is on the verge of a mental breakdown here and there is not a thing that we can do, but sit back and let New York decide our future , and we are really afraid!

We cannot afford to change lawyers, so our fate is in her hands. When we call, it is days before she even returns our calls. We called her twice the other day and she told my husband that he was driving her secretary crazy! All he wants is some answers and her guidance. He still sends his little girl cards and letters, but there are no replies.   The only one was the hate letter that he got from her, telling him that she did not love or like him and that she was going by her mothers last name now, not his anymore.

These are just some of the things that have gone on. We have kept a journal on everything that has happened since the first of the year, and we already are up to page 10!

We wonder what is next, we just set here and wait to see what is going to happen.

I have no faith in our system any more. I feel that they are going to keep on until something terrible happens. I feel that I am going to lose my family! We do not know where to turn, something has got to be done, there has got to be someone out there somewhere to help us, but where?

I have received a summons in the mail by the State once again stating that she is taking me back into court because I am $310 behind in support payments and have not paid her anything for daycare. My work was sending the support every month, and they want it every week now instead, so I was behind, but I had made arrangements with support collection to send it in. As for the daycare, I am not paying it until she gets me the info on who is caring for my daughter. All I have been getting are these handwritten receipts with just a first name as the caregiver, and a date. No hours that she worked, no phone number or address. It really looks like her writing! But do I have rights here, no way!!!! I have all the expenses of going to NY every time that she doesn't like something and wants to take me back into court.

I have found out that we are not the only ones that are in this situation.

What can be done about this? Can you help?

Is there anyway out of this? What about the fact that he was not informed of his rights? The fact that he could have fought it from here in Florida? Why doesn't the State have to prove that they looked for him sooner? Is there anything that he or I could came back on them for? What about the fact that they are ruining my family? We both realize that he has an obligation to this
little girl, but if he works harder to support both families, then they want him to pay more! We have spent time with her and would love to have her live with us! The mother has already gave up one child, but this doesn't matter.

The child's law guardian was suppose to go check out the living arrangements, but has yet to do it. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. Or any advice on any good attorneys in the Corning/Elmira New York area would be
great to!

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DELAWARE

The following story comes from Dean Kervin:

Dean Kervin
502 60 Av. W.
Bradenton, Fl. 34207

Family Court of the State of Delaware
22 The Circle
Georgetown, DE. 19947

To the Judges of the Family Court of the State of Delaware:

I cannot, and will not, abide by the child support order made in my case, case # C597-4073. The amount ordered is way beyond reasonable. The amount is based on income that I do not even make! Is the Court intending on supplying me with ajob earning the amount the order is based on? The enclosed check stub shows a take-home amount of $348.00 per week. Deducting the amount the Court has ordered for Kirsten leaves $254.00. Deducting the like amount for Damelle, my other daughter, leaves $160 per week. I am certain the Court does not take the position that my daughters deserve unequal support amounts. The insurance required by the order comes to $35.00 per week, leaving $125.00. My rent is $425.00 per month. This is for a two bedroom duplex in a run-down neighborhood. I need a two-bedroom so I have an extra bedroom for when Danielle stays with me. Of course, Kirsten hasn’t stayed with me since her mother took her away to Delaware. This leaves me approximately $19.00 per week to pay for food, utilities, car expenses and insurance, the tools necessary for my trade, clothes, and all other expenses. Does the Court believe that financially breaking me serves the best interests of both my children? I ask the Court to vacate the order, and also to order the Delaware Child Support Enforcement division to immediately cease and desist from harassing either myself or my employers.

Sincerely,

Dean Kervin

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MASSACHUSETTS, KALIFORNIA AND PENNSYLVANIA -

Doug DeFoe's Story, in a nutshell, his story sums up this whole system   ..... F.U.B.A.R. !!!

I desperately need your help.

I apologize in advance for intruding on you this way, but I am trying to reach every possible source of help.

I am Doug DeFoe. I am listed as the April (and still current) "Deadbeat-of-the-Month" for Massachusetts
http://www.ma-cse.org/htdocs/Wanted-Campaigns/Deadbeat-of-Month/april.htm

On Monday May 18th, 1998 I was arrested here in California and thrown in jail under a warrant for extradition to Massachusetts charged with Felony Non-Support.

I am currently unemployed, have no assets left, and the courts in Massachusetts know this - they even have a prior motion for reduction in child support before them which they have thus far ignored. Their mother is earning at least $50,000 a year and owns several properties.

I think what I do have is a case - one that can pit the criminal legal system against the civil family law system - and one I think has a fair chance of eventually winning even if it has to be taken all the way to the Supreme Court.

I am out on bail for the moment - thanks to a friend who put her house up for me.

I am desperately fighting extradition. There are few legal grounds to do so, but I think I've found a small crack to wriggle through.

Attached is a (pure text file) brief chronology of my child support case - all of which I have full documentation on.

We all know that it will be like swimming up a waterfall, but I intend to have at it (and I have a very special emotional reason to do so -this isn't just about money for me - so I will fight this all the way for the rest of my life if I must). What I want is to force this issue onto a fairer playing field for CS Obligors (and non-custodial parents in general)

There will be action in both California and Massachusetts (andeventually in the Federal system I hope). After years of legal
research, I think I've found a way to fight this through the courts - especially now that the stakes have been elevated to a criminal level- out of the Family Court system.

Obviously I am in dire need help on this matter * I have a legal defense fund set up through my criminal attorney:
Call Bill Fletcher at 1 ### ### #### (Pacific time zone) (any amount - no matter how small will mean a lot)

* If you know of any hotshot Constitutional Law attorneys - in California or Massachusetts - with "fire in their bellies" to challenge the current system- let me know * If you can help at the political level or media level to bring this into the open, please do (and let me know what's going on) ESPECIALLY - if you can get to either Governor to STOP this extradition
DO!

* even if you can't help, but know of some group or individual who might - please pass this email along

Thank you.

Doug DeFoe
#### ### ####

(ps - a friend of mine will have a full website up on my case shortly. It will include the other side of this matter concerning an horrific tale of alienation of my children from me and their whole family on both sides by their mother as told by my daughter who left that home on her 18th birthday - if you'd like to be informed of it directly when it's up - let me know)

THE CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS IN DOUG'S CASE

3/15/89 Divorce finalized in MA - CS set at $532.50/wk
4/??/89 Monica removes w/ children to PA
5/24/89 I'm laid off from work
6/15/89 CS Order issues for $530/wk
7/13/89 Temporary reduction in CS ordered to $100/wk while unemployed
9/ 8/89 Monica writes MA court requesting transfer of case to PA
2/28/90 Start work in CA and inform MA of same now earning $1134/wk gross ($712/wk take home)
3/10/90 I write Chief Justice requesting transfer of case to PA
3/15/90 MA sets new order to $532.50/wk + $16.15 medical ins = $548.65
            (48% of gross; 77% of take home)
3/21/90 Wage assignment put in place at $548.65/wk
            (leaving me $165/wk on $60,000/yr salary)
3/23/90 I hire Atty in MA to try to fix CS
4/??/90 Am informed by MA Atty that MA won't hear the motion for lack of Jurisdiciton
5/ 4/90 Hire PA Atty to bring motion for reduction in CS
6/25/90 Motion for reduction in PA denied - Monica objected to Jurisdiction
7/23/90 Try to register Foreign Support Order in CA so as to move to reduce
8/ 7/90 Receive letter from Chief Justice in MA that:
            "under UCCS laws, nothing need happen in MA to move case to PA"
8-10/x/90 Monica fights me registering Foreign Support Order in CA - legal wrangling.
10/1/90 I resign from job in CA unable to support myself, Company decides not to abide by wage assignment as Support              Order not registered in CA.
10/10/90 CA denies me filing Foreign Support Order citing Floyd 43 C.2d 379
10/??/90 I get CA & PA guidelines and pay according to those ~ $1000/month
(FOUR YEARS GO BY..)- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
7?/??/94 Monica returns to MA - earning $45,000/yr plus overtime (plus tax free CS)
11/15/94 Monica files for contempt on presumed $83,363.65 "arrearages"
3/15/95 "Arrearages" negotiated to $46,384 + $3100 of her lawyer fees, "agreed" upon CS now $395.67/wk.
3/22/96 I get laid off. Start receiving unemployment at $230/week I stop paying CS pending resetting CS commensurate with              income
4/ 8/96 I file for temporary reduction while unemployed
5/ 8/96 Boston Constable tries to serve Monica papers at work Monica hides from service behind locked door at Psych unit, VA Hospital Constable leaves paperwork with co-worker who assures will give to Monica
5/23/96 Hearing on my motion - Monica says not properly served No resolution
6/14/96 Serve Monica thru her Atty
7/15/96 Monica accepts service
8/xx/96 Monica's Atty wants to negotiate - negotiations ensue
9/ 8/96 I write Monica's Atty seeking documentation of her claimed income & expenses
9/30/96 Unemployment runs out
10/9/96 Not having rec'd an answer, I offer to split the difference. No answer
8/14/97 Monica files Motion for Contempt and $18,330 new arrearages & atty's fees.
9/18/97 I respond with documentation that:
                I am unemployed, without income, without assets of any kind,
                wasn't properly served, and have prior motion before them
10/24/97 I am found in contempt with arrears raised to $67,637.41
4/??/98 MA makes me Deadbeat of the month
5/18/98 I get arrested on Felony Non-Support - MA wants to extradite me from CA
5/20/98 Arraignment hearing - I do not waive extradition,released on bail (friends raise bond)

now still unemployed, without income or assets; arrearages rising at $320.50/week

Monica still earning presumed $50k-$60k/year

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VIRGINIA


I am a second wife in VA whose husband is forced to pay support to his former wife for a child that is not his. This is due to his hasty, unrealistic approach to marriage, for which he takes full responsibility and complicated by the paternity law, which presumes a child born during marriage, is a creation of the marriage.

My husband and his former wife were secretly married Oct.1983. Neither was emotionally or financially situated for marriage. Due to these circumstances, they were never able to afford a marital residence. Both lived, separately, with their parents. Having never lived together as man and wife, they were never an intact family unit. By Nov.1984, all communication had ceased with the understanding they would divorce as soon as one or the other could afford the process.

We heard nothing from her until the latter part of March 1985. She began calling him at work insisting that he has sex with her or she would tell his parents that they are married. He admitted to having sex with her once in 1985 on April 21.

Again, we heard nothing until late May. She called work to inform him that she was pregnant but the child was not his. He asked whether she was going to file for divorce or should he. Sometime in June, she called to say that her parents were putting her out and that he was the father of her unborn child. According to her, the child was due early November.

He initiated divorce proceedings and requested genetic testing August1985. He was told that the divorce couldn't commence until after the birth of her child who was born full term Dec.02, 1985.

Blood samples were drawn May 13, 1986 in Fairfax, VA and sent to Alabama for testing. It was taking so long for the results to return that I called the lab. The person with whom I spoke assumed me to be the wife. She said they " could understand my frustration but they had never done this much testing and had been unable to get the levels to rise." She assured me that the results wouldn't be returned until they were probable. She went on to say they were making sure I got my moneys worth!

The HLA test results returned two months later indicating a 97.16% probability of paternity. Taking into account that the only time he had sex with her in 1985 was on April 21, child's birth date and my conversation with the lab tech, he had the test evaluated by Baltimore RH Typing and John Hopkins University. Both found errors in the paternity index calculations. Their calculations placed him well below the percentage of inclusion acceptable by the state for establishing paternity. Both advised further testing.

He presented his attorney with the reports documenting the errors. His attorney advised him to make a settlement for child support. The erroneous test didn't matter because the marriage presumption, although ancient, is still the boldest presumption of law. Financially strapped, he retained another attorney.

After thousands of dollars worth of interrogatories, private investigators, court reporters, depositions and other legal fees, it
seemed very promising that, once he was given a chance to present the facts, " justice would prevail". WRONG! The Judge stated the test and the findings of error were " professional disputes among the experts". Further testing was denied. The erroneous test was inadmissible as evidence. Stating that the case had taken too much of the court's time, finding none of the witnesses credible, with the exception of the former wife's mother (who had told him he was a fool, if he thought the child
was his) and the parties lack of finances to pursue the issue, she determined him to be the " legal" father based solely on the marriage license, June 1987.

The judge asked if he intended to be a part of the child's life, if she determined him to be the father. He adamantly said, " No, it's not my child". Thus, there are no provisions for visitation in the divorce decree, which also leads one to believe that they cohabited until April 21,1985. He has never held this child out to be his, never seen nor established a relationship with the child. His former wife moved to CA shortly after the divorce.

After the "legal" father determination was made and still owing his attorney, who said he knew nothing about the marriage presumption, he was told that it would cost an additional $5,000 to file an appeal with no guarantee that additional testing would be ordered. Due to these circumstances no appeal was taken. In paternity, once " legal" paternity has been established, courts view the matter as "res judiciata", at least as far as the law is concerned. Not that it seems to matter, but as far as we are concerned, nothing has been resolved! Accordingly, the court will not reopen and reexamine the question. Subsequently, we have been told that it was his constitutional right to have further, accurate testing but that now it is too late.

To prohibit presumptive legal fathers from exercising equally enlarged periods of time within which to disavow rather that those afforded paternity establishment is unequal on its face and squarely at odds with public policy considerations which initiated them; that the creators of children are responsible for their support. The compelling interests of the government, that taxpayers and public coffers not be burdened, are likewise obsolete when examined in contemporary terms. Evidently, it's far too onerous to seek the truth, when you have an identifiable "target" at hand. Is the advancement of fiction, even fraud and denial of due process, more preferable when weighed against the governmental need to offset budgetary constraints?

Before a judicial determination of legal paternity is made, it should be subjected to further scrutiny and not just the judge's discretion, which amounts to OPINION only. The child's interest should not be the only consideration to guide public policy. The rights of the presumed fathers should also be considered relevant. Husbands denying paternity during divorce are trapped into no win situations. They should be given the right to deny paternity to overcome the marital presumption, which requires them to support a child they have not fathered, or a child conceived before marriage and not the husband's, whereas the husband does not want to accept the child as his.

Can you imagine the devastation of KNOWING you are not the father and told to just "live with the lie"? It is manifest injustice to be burdened with the support of another man's child and subjected to criminal prosecution and imposed sanctions. It is further injustice to deny relevant evidence, genetic testing, circumstances and length of marriage, to substantiate the husband's claim of nonpaternity.

Paternity establishment and support are strongly linked. Much is said about establishing paternity for a child born of unwed parents but what about a child born during marriage whose paternity has been determined solely on the fact that the parties had a marriage license; a marriage that was anything but what is considered "traditional"? If indeed it is every child's right to know its genetic origin, why are these children being denied? How can this be in the " best interest of the child",my husband and our family?

Gloria Inge
2287 Dosinia CT
Reston, VA

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FRESNO, KALIFORNIA

From:
rich rich@mx5.tiki.ne.jp

Subject:  A Plea for help
To:  director@justicefirst.org

Dear Justice First,

I would like you to post my story on your internet page. I have sent a similar letter to many congresspeople as well. Thanks for any assistance you can provide.

I am writing this letter in a state of real desperation. I am desperately pleading for any assistance you can provide to see that justice is done with this matter. Please read the entire letter and please do not just give it a cursory glance and think “Oh this is one of those cases.” My situation is very complex and not able to be properly understood with a soundbyte or two.

The basic outline of this situation is thus:

--I was divorced in 1995

--We had one son, Quentin, from our marriage of 8 years. He was born in Thailand

--I love my son more than anything or anyone in the world, and am willing to do anything in the world for him.

-- I live and work in Asia (currently Japan). My son lives in Fresno Co., CA

--I have paid over $20,000 child support in the past 3 years, even during periods of unemployment.

--In October 1997, I was ordered by the Honorable Gary S. Austin of Fresno to pay $1462 per month plus arrears, based on gross exaggerations by my ex and her attorney Ms.Mattson-Markell. I was not present at the hearing. My attorney had all the requested financial documents, but justice was not done.

--I am a teacher in Japan and earn between $1800 and $2200 per month (this has also been the case over the last 2.5 years) depending on the fluctuation of the YEN

--My monthly expenses average about $1400 per month ( a pauper’s existence in costly Japan, and consumer prices are on the rise due to economic turmoil)

--I need to save between $300 and $400 per month for visitation in CA.

-- I am left with between $200 and $300 per month on average for support payments.

--In January of 1998, I sent the DA Family Support Division, every financial record I had, including grocery receipts, electric bills etc for 3 months. In addition to my pay stubs, tax receipts and company work contract. All translated and calculated for the exchange rate.

-- On January 30, 1998, Janie Partain of the Family Support Division sent me a letter stating that “YOUR ORDER DOES NOT QUALIFY FOR REVIEW.”

--Quite obviously, I have not been able to make the court-ordered payments or arrears for over 1 year. Therefore, every month I am in violation of a court order.

--My case is at a criminal level. In August of 1998, under the orders and watchful eye of the Honorable Fred Dupras, I was shackled like an animal, verbally and physically abused and thrown in cage. And NOT able to exercise my court-ordered visitation rights to see my son whom I had not seen in 7 months.

--In addition the court seized my passport, my wallet (with DL, money, credit cards) and the keys to my rented car.

--I was told by Deputy DA, Mr. W. Frank that if I plead guilty I could have my passport returned, and be able to return to my job in Japan. I was also given a $2,000 fine, and told that if I did not comply with the court order in the future I had 400 days of jail time “hanging over my head”. I was given 6 months, until January 1999 to modify the court order for child support, but was told that failure to comply during those 6 months would result in invalidating my passport and extraditing me to the United States to serve time in Fresno County Jail.

--It is now October 23, 1998. I have not been able to pay the court ordered amount for the past 2 months, and my letters have not been responded to by the DA, the judges or the Family Support Division. I am assuming that the DA has now begun the process to invalidate my passport and is seeking to extradite me to the US.

--I now have criminal record, my credit rating is as poor as it could possibly be. I have never held a full-time job in America. (I have an MS in Int’l Econ, and for the past 9 years, since graduation from college, I have worked in Asia.) So seeking work there would be a monumental task.

--Without a passport, I am unable to engage in my livelihood, unable to support myself or my son, and will be living in a place where I am now a convicted criminal. I seriously doubt that I would find meaningful employment in that situation, yet the DA and the judge told me they will not take the fact that I live and work in Japan into account for anything, because, “you could teach here” they said.

A brief history:

We were married upon earning my BA from UCLA. I later received my MS and we went to work in India as Christian Volunteers for Habitat for Humanity. We later moved on to Cambodia as Christian Volunteers with World Concern, and I was responsible for supervising a U.S.A.I.D. (United States Agency for International Development) project which was aimed at eliminating poverty. Our son was born in neighboring Bangkok, Thailand and then came home to live with us in our home in Cambodia. My ex was overwhelmed with the stress of motherhood, in addition to the stress of our poor relationship with one another. My ex once actually gave our son away to neighbors and was going to flee back to CA. Eventually, she did leave but took our son with her. While back in CA, she committed adultery on numerous occasions and filed for divorce. Being that I worked for a Christian organization, they felt it would not “look good” if a divorced person worked for them so, my contract which was verbally promised to me, was not renewed in June 1995. I tried to work with a non-religious organization but the stress of being without my son was too much and I returned to CA to seek employment. I lived in CA for 6 months but was not able to find an adequate job (my resume was/is filled with International jobs only). I was unemployed for 4.5 of those 6 months and yet, after the divorce was final, I was ordered to pay the amount of $495 per month, based on a volunteer stipend in Cambodia and then unemployment in CA! At that time my ex was a single mother living with her mother, so I strove to do what was necessary to meet that amount each and every month despite being unemployed. I finally found a job which would pay the kind of salary needed to possibly afford such an amount. The problem was it was in Japan, as a teacher. So, after some soul-searching and guarantees that I could have time off to visit CA, I accepted the terms of employment in Japan with a small, private school, and received on average between $2,000 and $2,400 per month, mostly due to large amounts of overtime, but it was not guaranteed every month. In April 1997, I found a new job with a large public school and now receive a salary of roughly $2,000 guaranteed without overtime and triple the vacations (about 9 weeks/yr.). I also receive bonuses which total approximately $700 per year. It is actually illegal for teachers in Japan to work overtime hours, unbeknownst to me in my first year here. Full-time is considered 25 teaching “contact” hours. Most teacher in Japan average approximately 20 teaching hours and 20 office/administrative/lesson-prep hours. I have had 18 teaching hours over the last year and one half and 20 hours of office/prep time. My salary is guaranteed in my contract regardless of whether I have 25 or 10 teaching hours, and overtime is not paid. All this is stated in clear English in my contract which the Court and Family Support Division have in their possession.

Now the reason I am going into such detail on the number of hours is that this is where the court seemed to make their errors in judgment by extrapolating from my teaching hours, 18, and assuming that if I were to have 40 teaching hours I would make two and a half times my current salary.

The proceedings were further clouded by supposed third party gossip from a relative of my ex who now lives in Japan. Instead of looking closely at my contract, and true financial situation, the court relied solely on the supposed third party gossip of a person who has never appeared regarding these matters or signed anything that states what he supposedly verbally communicated to my ex. And then they multiplied this falsely exaggerated amount by 2.5 to arrive at my income. They even went so far as to state, that my earnings were non-taxable in Japan, and that I received FREE room and board. This, despite my contract making it very clear what is and is not paid for. So, the final amount that the Honorable Gary S. Austin ordered was $1462 per month including arrears and attorney fees.

I am mathematically incapable of complying with this court order! Every month I sink into a deeper and deeper hole, both with the legal system and with my finances. I have no assets, except a bike, a computer and guitar. I have savings of about $650 at this moment, and I have a visa bill which is now approximately $2,000. I owe legal fees, court fees and arrearages totaling over $35,000 (increasing monthly), and I am about to be considered persona non grata in Japan, not allowed to work here or anywhere. Not allowed to see my son, and not allowed to pursue any dreams the rest of my life.

The judges, attorneys, and “Family Support Division” of Fresno County, CA are in the process as I write this, of absolutely, irreparably destroying my life. Taking away everything I have worked for since I was young child striving to get straight A’s. I realize that sometimes justice and the law are often not the same, and that is a product of many things, but when the Court of law is destroying a basically good person’s life, and unable or unwilling to recognize the errors and rectify them, something is seriously wrong, and there are some fundamental problems with the family court system.

I have worked for most of my adult life to alleviate poverty and injustice from this world, and I am very passionate about that. My faith in Christian values is a very real part of my life and it is manifested through my life’s work--to restore dignity to people less fortunate than I. I have done this work as a representative of the United States of America, indirectly serving my country for goodwill throughout the world. The sickening irony is that my reward is gross injustice to me and my son.

My ex is now remarried, my son is adequately taken care of. All of his physical needs are being met. She has stated to me on numerous occasions that she is unwilling to negotiate a fair amount (despite also stating several times that they do not need any money at all from me) for two reasons:

1. They want to put me in such a state that my only option is to relinquish my rights to Quentin and give him up for adoption. and/or
2. They want payment for “having to have contact with me”

Her new father-in-law is a retired high-ranking Fresno County Sheriff, (John Pryce Sr.) and my previous lawyer conceded that his presence was/is a “big factor in the small-town politics of Fresno.” Not only is this unjust but appears to be a case of serious corruption. Furthermore, her charming and manipulative attitude (she was a former Miss Teen California) has been used by her very effectively to create an image of me as terrible person to everyone within the Family Support Division, and Fresno County Court that has dealt with this case.

Finally, I am not a “DEADBEAT DAD” which was the label given me by the Fresno Co Sheriffs while I was in custody. I want to pay my child support. If I could I would pay $14,000! I have been striving to pay for my son, despite some overwhelming odds. I have sent my ex-wife $20,830 over the last 3 years. I have spent approximately $13,000 for expenses incurred to go to CA to visit my son, and I have spent $3,500 in legal fees to see that justice is done, so that I am able to have a meaningful relationship with him. My dream is for my son to live with me. I am willing and able to provide a life for him that is, albeit not average, but an extraordinary one where he could learn and see and do things that most people will never have the chance to do in their lives. I want a quality relationship with him. There is nothing more important in my life. Now if this is truly a picture of a deadbeat dad, then I am one. But it probably is not, by most rational definitions, so there is no need for this injustice and destruction of my life. Not to mention the irreparable damage to my relationship with my son.

Is it in anybody’s interest to imprison me and deprive me of my livelihood based on untruths?!

Please help me as soon as possible or forward this letter to someone you know who can help me. The situation is very grave, and I am at the lowest point in my life, sometimes unable to even eat for two or three days because of depression and worry. I apologize for the length of this letter, but I actually kept it as brief as possible.

Sincerely,

Richard James Simons
Support case # 538995-2
Criminal case # M98600930-2

E-mail: rsimons03@hotmail.com or rich@mx5.tiki.ne.jp

Tel: 81-839-74-4166

Postal Address: Yamaguchi-ken
Yoshiki-gun, Ogori-cho, Oaza
Shimo-go 1960
JAPAN 754-0002