Monday, September 15, 2008

Anti-Male Court Rulings

Surprisingly, from . . .

No.10 - Wrongful paternity

Consider this: You just got a divorce, which requires you to pay child support. No problem, they’re your kids and you’re here to support them. But then DNA evidence shows they’re not your kids and you’ve been paying for another guy’s offspring. Now you want your money back, which seems fair and reasonable. Not according to some judges.

Parker v. State (Florida)
Richard Parker found out his 3-year-old child wasn’t his. The twist: The court ruled unanimously that he has to continue to pay child support, which is expected to total $200,000 over 15 years.


No.9 - Deadbeat-dad rulings

A deadbeat dad is a negative label given to dads who fall behind on their child support payments. This largely refers to men who consciously avoid paying every month. The stigma also includes fathers who may have been laid off and can’t keep up on their payments.

State of Wisconsin v. Oakley
This defendant -- David Oakley -- will never win father of the year. The guy has outstanding child support payments for nine children from four women. Here’s the issue: The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled he could no longer procreate until he proves he can support kids. This sets a precedent that could hurt dads who may have legitimately fallen behind on payments from being laid off.


No.8 - False rape cases

Rape is a serious crime that deserves to be punished within the full extent of the law. When it’s a false accusation, however, rape can destroy an innocent man’s reputation as soon as the claim goes public. By their nature, these cases prove a man’s innocence, but suspicions and a tarnished reputation aren’t as easily abolished.

Hudak v. Johnson
RCMP officer Hudak was accused of sexual assault. The judge threw it out after the female accuser admitted to lying about it. Hudak transferred to a new detachment, but women still refused to work with him. He then moved to a different province where someone said she "didn’t want a rapist on the force." Redemption: Hudak was awarded a provincial apology plus an undisclosed settlement from his $5 million claim.


No.7 - Putative Father Registry law

This law asks any man who has had heterosexual non-marital sex to register with their state. This is done so that you, as a man, can be contacted if a woman you’ve slept with gets pregnant and she puts this child up for adoption. If you don’t sign up, you might not even know you were a father.

Huddleston v. State (New Mexico)
Mark Huddleston’s child was adopted when he was just 3 days old. The issue: Huddleston didn’t even know he had a boy until two months later. The adoption agency that gave away the boy did not contact Huddleston to tell him. The result: Mark Huddleston was denied the chance to bring up his biological son.


No.6 - Bradley Amendment

This law states that men’s outstanding child support payments will not be reduced for whatever reason. Just laid off from your job and want to reduce the amount of your payment until you find work? Nope. Had a medical accident and been out of work recovering in hospital? Pay up.

Sherrill v. State of North Carolina
This defendant was a Lockheed employee and a divorced father working in Kuwait during the Gulf War. One day, he was captured by Iraqis and held as hostage. He was released five months later. The second night he was back in the U.S. a sheriff came to arrest him for owing $1,425 in payments that accumulated when he was held hostage. Ouch.


No.5 - Proposition 13

Proposition 13 was recently voted in as Texas law. It states that any father accused of domestic violence will be denied bail before trial. Sounds OK on the surface, but if you read closely you’ll see it says any father "accused" of violence is denied bail. This means that if a woman simply says her husband was violent, her husband will be denied bail. While its intention is a noble one -- to keep abusive husbands from hurting their wives -- the side effect is that any spiteful, angry wife with a cross to bear can send an innocent guy to jail.


No.4 - Restraining order laws

In truth, it’s harder for an adult woman to buy a pack of cigarettes than to get a restraining order. She can tell a judge she simply "feels unsafe" with her husband or boyfriend and the court can issue an order against her husband. This, of course, forces him to move out and reorganize his life. For this reason, many people have dubbed this law "shout at your spouse, lose your house."

McLarnon v. Douglas and Jokisch
The father, Edward McLarnon, was issued a restraining order by his ex-wife with the help of her social-worker boyfriend Douglas. Douglas used his social-worker status to testify that McLarnon was an abuser when he’d barely met him. McLarnon lost the right to see his son.


No.3 - Trust assets from divorce

Sure, it’s one thing to split marital assets fifty-fifty, but what about an offshore trust or limited partnership you set up to build capital? Sorry guys, tack it on to the bill. Even in cases of private business practice, rulings on trusts generally favor women.

Riechers v. Riechers 1998, New York
The husband in this case set up a trust and a limited partnership. The reason: He was a physician and wanted to avoid a malpractice suit. He named his kids and wife as beneficiaries, but his wife’s name wasn’t explicitly mentioned. This meant, in a divorce, she would not have access to the trust. But she got it regardless, as the court ruled in her favor.


No.2 - Alimony/Spousal support

"I want half, Eddie." You don’t have to watch old Eddie Murphy stand-up to know divorce can cost men a lot of money. Until now, most U.S. states leave the length and amount of settlement up to each judge. In Florida, it’s on the books that men have to provide lifetime support. The result: Men can be on the hook for a long time for a lot.

Polksy v. Polsky
Trivia: What’s one of the largest divorce verdicts in U.S. history? Answer: $184 million dollars to Maya Polsky, wife of Michael Polsky, a successful power industry businessman in Chicago.


No.1 - Custody

It’s widely accepted that women will be granted custody for children in child custody cases and that men will simply make child support payments. Of course, men who are good fathers and want custody of their children suffer for it thanks to this scenario.

John Doe v. Province of Saskatchewan
The man in this case unknowingly impregnated a woman. Later, he found she was putting this child up for adoption. He took a DNA test to prove he was the biological father and applied for sole custody -- but he was denied. The judge ruled in favor of a couple to adopt him.