Category: system failure

family, foster care, government, system failure
parent-child relationship protected

The Ninth Amendment acknowledged the prior existence of fundamental rights with it: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

  • The United States Supreme Court in a long line of decisions, has recognized that matters involving marriage, procreation, and the parent-child relationship are among those fundamental “liberty” interests protected by the Constitution.

  • Thus, the decision in Roe v. Wade, as recently described by the Supreme Court as founded on the “Constitutional underpinning of… a recognition that the “liberty” protected by the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment includes not only the freedoms explicitly mentioned in the Bill of Rights, but also a freedom of personal choice in certain matters of marriage and family life.” While this court has not attempted to define with exactness the liberty thus guaranteed [by the Fourteenth Amendment] …
  • In addition to recognizing as a fundamental liberty interest the right of parents to raise their children, the Supreme Court has also established that the Constitution’s guarantee to fundamental privacy rights also embodies a fundamental right to parental autonomy in child rearing. The Court acknowledged a “private realm of family life which the state cannot enter.” Prince v. Massachusetts, 3210 U.S. 158, 166 (1944); Moore v. City of East Cleveland, 431-U.S. 494 (1977)
  • Father enjoys the right to associate with his children which is guaranteed by this amendment (First) as incorporated in Amendment 14, or which is embodied in the concept of “liberty” as that word is used in the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment and Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. Mabra v. Schmidt, 356 F Supp 620: D.C., WI (1973)
family, government, system failure
Compelling State Interest

The following Supreme Court decisions were cited in a published opinion by Chief judge Norman K. Moon of Court of Appeals of Virginia June 3, 1997 in the case Williams and Williams v. Williams and Williams 24 Va. App. 778; 485 S.E. 2d 651 (June 3, 1997):

Even when blood relationships are strained, parents retain vital interest in preventing irretrievable destruction of their family life; if anything, persons faced with forced dissolution of their parental rights have more critical need for procedural protections than do those resisting state intervention into ongoing family affairs.

The Supreme Court noted its “historical recognition that freedom of personal choice in matters of family life is a fundamental liberty interest protected by the Fourteenth Amendment.” Santosky v. Kramer, 102 S.Ct. 1388; 455 U.S. 745, (1982).

In applying the protection of the Fourteenth Amendment, the United States Supreme Court has held that

“[w]here certain fundamental rights are involved… regulation limiting these rights may be justified only by a ‘compelling state interest’ …and ..legislative enactments must be narrowly drawn to express only the legitimate state interests at stake.

State interference with a fundamental right must by justified by a “compelling state interest.” Roe v. Wade. 410 U.S. 113, 155 ; 93 S.Ct. 705; 35 L Ed 2d 147, (1973)

State’s power to legislate, adjudicate and administer all aspects of family law, including determinations of custodial and visitation rights, is subject to scrutiny by federal judiciary within reach of due process and/or equal protection clause of 14th Amendment… fourteenth Amendment applied to states through specific rights contained in the first eight amendments of the Constitution which declares fundamental personal rights… Fourteenth Amendment encompasses and applied to states those pre-existing fundamental rights recognized by the Ninth Amendment.

family, government, system failure
THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO BE A PARENT

U.S. SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

Our legal minds will put the cites below to good use. Please feel free to share them with your attorney. For future reference, these are being added to the ACFC legal cites page. – ACFC Loss of First Amendment Freedoms, for even minimal periods of time, unquestionably constitutes irreparable injury.

Though First Amendment rights are not absolute, they may be curtailed only by interests of vital importance, the burden of proving which rests on the government. Elrod v. Burns, 96 S.Ct. 2673; 427 U.S. 347, (1976).

The United States Supreme Court noted that:

a parent’s right to “the companionship, care, custody and management of his or her children” is an interest “far more precious” than any property right. May v. Anderson, 345 U.S. 528, 533; 73 S.Ct. 840, 843, (1952).

The Court (U.S. Supreme Court) stressed:

“the parent-child relationship is an important interest that undeniably warrants deference and, absent a powerful countervailing interest, protection.”

A parent’s interest in the companionship, care, custody and management of his or her children rises to a constitutionally secured right, given the centrality of family life as the focus for personal meaning and responsibility. Stanley v. Illinois, 405 U.S. 645, 651; 92 S.Ct. 1208, (1972)

The U.S. Supreme Court implied that “a (once) married father who is separated or divorced from a mother and is no longer living with his child” could not constitutionally be treated differently from a currently married father living with his child. Quilloin v. Walcott, 98 S.Ct. 549; 434 U.S. 246, 255-56, (1978)

Law and court procedures that are “fair on their faces” but administered “with an evil eye or a heavy hand” was discriminatory and violates the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Yick Wo v. Hopkins, 118 U.S. 356, (1886)

The Constitution also protects “the individual interest in avoiding disclosure of personal matters.” Federal Courts (and State Courts), under Griswold can protect, under the “life, liberty and pursuit of happiness” phrase of the Declaration of Independence, the right of a man to enjoy the mutual care, company, love and affection of his children, and this cannot be taken away from him without due process of law.

There is a family right to privacy which the state cannot invade or it becomes actionable for civil rights damages. Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479, (1965)

Parent’s right to custody of child is a right encompassed within protection of this amendment which may not be interfered with under guise of protection public interest by legislative action which is arbitrary or without reasonable relation to some purpose within competency of state to effect. Reynold v. Baby Fold, Inc., 369 NE 2d 858; 68 Ill 2d 419, appeal dismissed 98 S.Ct. 1598, 435 U.S. 963, Il, (1977)

Parent’s rights have been recognized as being “essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free man.” Meyer v. Nebraska, 92 S.Ct. 1208, (1972)

Reality of private biases and possible injury they might inflict were impermissible considerations under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. Palmore v. Sidoti, 104 S.Ct. 1879; 466 U.S. 429

Legislative classifications which distributes benefits and burdens on the basis of gender carry the inherent risk of reinforcing stereotypes about the proper place of women and their need for special protection; thus, even statutes purportedly designed to compensate for and ameliorate the effects of past discrimination against women must be carefully tailored… the state cannot be permitted to classify on the basis of sex. Orr v. Orr, 99 S.Ct. 1102; 4340 U.S. 268 (1979)

The United States Supreme Court held that the “old notion” that “generally it is the man’s primary responsibility to provide a home and its essentials” can no longer justify a statute that discriminates on the basis of sex. No longer is the female destined solely for the homes and the rearing of the family, and only the male for the marketplace and the world of ideas. Stanton v. Stanton, 421 U.S. 7, 10; 95 S.Ct. 1373, 1376 (1975)

The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment requires that severance in the parent-child relationship caused by the state occur only with rigorous protections for individual liberty interests at stake.Bell v. City of Milwaukee, 746 F 2d 1205: U.S. Ct. App. 7th Cir. WI., (1984)

child death, child welfare reform, foster care abuse, cps, domestic violence, family, foster care, system failure
Ohio Mom on Trial in Foster Son’s Death; (Domestic Violence Past Was Unreported)

By TERRY KINNEY AP

BATAVIA, Ohio (AP) – A woman suggested binding her developmentally disabled 3-year-old foster son inside a closet, making her responsible for his death even if she did not intend it, prosecutors said Thursday as her murder trial opened.

A defense attorney, however, argued that Liz Carroll was a wife intimidated into going along with a plan hatched by her husband and his live-in lover. Carroll, 29, is charged with murder because prosecutors say she caused Marcus Fiesel’s death by restraining him as she did. She and her husband also are charged with involuntary manslaughter, kidnapping, felonious assault and three counts of child endangerment.

In his opening statement, prosecutor Daniel “Woody” Breyer said Carroll suggested wrapping the boy in a blanket and leaving him alone while she and her husband, David Carroll Jr., and Amy Baker, who lived with the couple, went to a weekend family reunion in August. Breyer told jurors that the child was wrapped “much like a cocoon” with only his head and bare feet sticking out, and had been left that way before when the adults ran errands. “

He was confined as effectively as if he had been placed in a straitjacket,” Breyer said. The child was dead when the Carrolls and Baker returned two days later. The Carrolls made up a story that he had wandered off or been taken from a park, prompting a massive search by authorities and volunteers. Defense attorney Gregory Cohen told the jury Liz Carroll was a caring person devoted to children and that David Carroll and Baker were responsible for the boy’s death. “

I believe the evidence will show somebody else belongs there,” Cohen told jurors of the prosecution’s argument, pointing to an empty chair by his client at the defense table. In addition to murder, David Carroll, 30, is accused of burning the boy’s body and dumping the remains in the Ohio River, and is charged with gross abuse of a corpse.

He is to be tried next month. Baker, 25, has not been charged and is expected to be the main witness against the Carrolls, who also face trial on lesser charges, including perjury and inducing panic, on their claim that the boy disappeared from the park.

The child was placed with the Carrolls three months before he died. The case prompted an independent review that found Butler County Children Services officials were not notified of David Carroll’s domestic violence arrest. The detective who issued the report recommended the agency conduct better background checks and communicate more often with police.

child death, child welfare reform, foster care abuse, cps, domestic violence, family, foster care, system failure
Ohio Mom on Trial in Foster Son’s Death; (Domestic Violence Past Was Unreported)

By TERRY KINNEY AP

BATAVIA, Ohio (AP) – A woman suggested binding her developmentally disabled 3-year-old foster son inside a closet, making her responsible for his death even if she did not intend it, prosecutors said Thursday as her murder trial opened.

A defense attorney, however, argued that Liz Carroll was a wife intimidated into going along with a plan hatched by her husband and his live-in lover. Carroll, 29, is charged with murder because prosecutors say she caused Marcus Fiesel’s death by restraining him as she did. She and her husband also are charged with involuntary manslaughter, kidnapping, felonious assault and three counts of child endangerment.

In his opening statement, prosecutor Daniel “Woody” Breyer said Carroll suggested wrapping the boy in a blanket and leaving him alone while she and her husband, David Carroll Jr., and Amy Baker, who lived with the couple, went to a weekend family reunion in August. Breyer told jurors that the child was wrapped “much like a cocoon” with only his head and bare feet sticking out, and had been left that way before when the adults ran errands. “

He was confined as effectively as if he had been placed in a straitjacket,” Breyer said. The child was dead when the Carrolls and Baker returned two days later. The Carrolls made up a story that he had wandered off or been taken from a park, prompting a massive search by authorities and volunteers. Defense attorney Gregory Cohen told the jury Liz Carroll was a caring person devoted to children and that David Carroll and Baker were responsible for the boy’s death. “

I believe the evidence will show somebody else belongs there,” Cohen told jurors of the prosecution’s argument, pointing to an empty chair by his client at the defense table. In addition to murder, David Carroll, 30, is accused of burning the boy’s body and dumping the remains in the Ohio River, and is charged with gross abuse of a corpse.

He is to be tried next month. Baker, 25, has not been charged and is expected to be the main witness against the Carrolls, who also face trial on lesser charges, including perjury and inducing panic, on their claim that the boy disappeared from the park.

The child was placed with the Carrolls three months before he died. The case prompted an independent review that found Butler County Children Services officials were not notified of David Carroll’s domestic violence arrest. The detective who issued the report recommended the agency conduct better background checks and communicate more often with police.

cps, education, family, government, system failure
The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act

Click to return to the Online Privacy outline


privatop3.gifThe Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act

0093-adobe-id-220aspqb101-401.jpg The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) was passed by Congress as part of the Omnibus spending bill in 1998. It took effect in April 2000. Before passage, COPPA received one hearing in the Senate and no separate consideration in the House.

COPPA requires “verifiable parental consent” before a commercial website operator may collect information like e-mail addresses from children. For the internal use of the website, this means getting an e-mail from the parent. For other uses, this means talking to a parent, or getting a parent’s snail mail, fax, or credit card number.

The premise of the bill is politically bullet-proof: We must protect children. gse_multipart59170.jpg

The details are more tricky: Protect them from what?

Congress passed this law in the absence of evidence that collection of information by commercial websites harms children in any way. In fact, commercial websites pose little danger to children because they stay in business by making children and their parents comfortable and safe. The next best reason for the law is the idea that marketing to children somehow harms them. If this is the case, television is the monsterous threat, not the Internet.

Yet the COPPA law singled out the Internet for special regulation. This raised the cost of serving children online by $50,000 to $100,000 dollars per website, with additional per-child costs as well. On the Internet, which is driven by diversity and small business innovation, this is a lot. It means that new ways of teaching children will not develop and competition for serving children will be thwarted. Instead, dominant Internet companies will capture the children’s market.

More importantly, many children will lose access to valuable educational content and healthy online interaction. These will tend to be the children of poor, non-English speaking, or absentee parents. Other children will learn that lying about their ages gives them access to worlds that other children enjoy. Either way, COPPA shows again that their is no substitute for parenting, online or off.

Links:

Disney: The Mouse That Won’t Roar by Ben Charny, ZDNet News (October 11, 2000)

Internet Sites for Children Say New Law Hurting Business San Jose Mercury (AP) (September 13, 2000)

Privacy, Microsoft, and the Feds: This Recipe for Disaster Just Got Us a Little Steamed by Stuart McClure and Joel Scambray, InfoWorld.com (May 19, 2000)

Internet Privacy Law Costs a Bundle by Carolyn Duffy Marsan, Network World (May 16, 2000)

Cybersitters Report for Assigned Duties by Sonia Arrison, Washington Times (May 6, 2000)

The Hidden Costs of Online Privacy by James W. Harper, Tech Central Station (March 27, 2000)

cps, education, family, government, system failure
The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act

Click to return to the Online Privacy outline


privatop3.gifThe Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act

0093-adobe-id-220aspqb101-401.jpg The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) was passed by Congress as part of the Omnibus spending bill in 1998. It took effect in April 2000. Before passage, COPPA received one hearing in the Senate and no separate consideration in the House.

COPPA requires “verifiable parental consent” before a commercial website operator may collect information like e-mail addresses from children. For the internal use of the website, this means getting an e-mail from the parent. For other uses, this means talking to a parent, or getting a parent’s snail mail, fax, or credit card number.

The premise of the bill is politically bullet-proof: We must protect children. gse_multipart59170.jpg

The details are more tricky: Protect them from what?

Congress passed this law in the absence of evidence that collection of information by commercial websites harms children in any way. In fact, commercial websites pose little danger to children because they stay in business by making children and their parents comfortable and safe. The next best reason for the law is the idea that marketing to children somehow harms them. If this is the case, television is the monsterous threat, not the Internet.

Yet the COPPA law singled out the Internet for special regulation. This raised the cost of serving children online by $50,000 to $100,000 dollars per website, with additional per-child costs as well. On the Internet, which is driven by diversity and small business innovation, this is a lot. It means that new ways of teaching children will not develop and competition for serving children will be thwarted. Instead, dominant Internet companies will capture the children’s market.

More importantly, many children will lose access to valuable educational content and healthy online interaction. These will tend to be the children of poor, non-English speaking, or absentee parents. Other children will learn that lying about their ages gives them access to worlds that other children enjoy. Either way, COPPA shows again that their is no substitute for parenting, online or off.

Links:

Disney: The Mouse That Won’t Roar by Ben Charny, ZDNet News (October 11, 2000)

Internet Sites for Children Say New Law Hurting Business San Jose Mercury (AP) (September 13, 2000)

Privacy, Microsoft, and the Feds: This Recipe for Disaster Just Got Us a Little Steamed by Stuart McClure and Joel Scambray, InfoWorld.com (May 19, 2000)

Internet Privacy Law Costs a Bundle by Carolyn Duffy Marsan, Network World (May 16, 2000)

Cybersitters Report for Assigned Duties by Sonia Arrison, Washington Times (May 6, 2000)

The Hidden Costs of Online Privacy by James W. Harper, Tech Central Station (March 27, 2000)