Monday, January 02, 2006

Being out of work is "just cause" for incarceration in the MN family court system

I used to think debtor's prison was simply a fictitious place out of a Dicken's novel......well, it still exists in our family court system....

Soon after the American Lung, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Non-Smoker's Rights, MPAAT etc. and their financial benefactor RWJF (Nicoderm) bought their first smoking bans here in the Twin Cities area I informed the judge in my child support case that I was deeply concerned I would lose my job selling Smokeeters and subsequently my ability to make child support payments. The judge informed me that if I lost my job, I should promptly file a motion to temporarily reduce support until I was gainfully employed again; which I did........and which she promptly denied in court around July of 2005.

In the meantime, I searched for work......unable to make support payments, house payments, or car payments, etc. Now, it is interesting to note that although I haven't been able to make any mortgage payments since June '05.....the mortgage company hasn't had me thrown into jail.......nor the lending institutes for my vehicles......nor the utility companies. MN family court on the other hand is a different story.......Judge Tanya Manrique who advised me to file the motion to suspend child support while unemployed due to the smoking bans, and who then denied that same motion, was happy to sentence me to 90 days in the Hennepin County workhouse for failure to pay the child support.

I haven't been able to contribute any writings to this blog for more than a week as I did end up serving approximately 8 days in jail on the judge's order, until the love of my life Jordan was able to borrow nearly $10,000 from a friend of hers. No doubt the court will construe the payment for my release as proof that I am financially able to pay my bills, when in truth, all it does is to ensure that I will not be able to make future child support payments even after I find a job as I will be required to repay the loan.

I am not one to ask for help, as you can see by my being exceedingly behind in mortgage, support etc. And I do not like to be a burden to anyone, it's just the way I was raised. I have however, put a simple website together to help me pay back the benefactor who sprung me from jail, the link is here. Any help would be greatly appreciated.......I would much rather have 10,000 people contribute $1, instead of one person contribute $10,000.........Unless that person is Robert Wood Johnson IV and the non-profits who ARE directly responsible for my job loss.

Typically, I would keep this entire embarrassing story a secret. But the events that have led up to my current financial situation are not of my doing.......And frankly, if this story ends up a human interest story exposing the fraudulent, disingenuous, cold and manipulative background of smoking bans and those who fund them........then I say, all the better.

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