judicialsupport

Legal Writing for Legal Reading!

Archive for the tag “abuse”

The United Shapes of Arithmetic: An Adjustment

Nathan Rudolph, my friend and fellow parishioner at St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church, has started a comic strip which I have greatly enjoyed and appreciated.  With his permission, I will repost them here after he posts them.  I think my readers will appreciate them as much as I do as they are rather insightful with a snarky edge.  Enjoy!

Here are the links to the previously posted strips:

Here is the latest strip:

No automatic alt text available.

The United Shapes of Arithmetic: Change the World

Nathan Rudolph, my friend and fellow parishioner at St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church, has started a comic strip which I have greatly enjoyed and appreciated.  With his permission, I will repost them here after he posts them.  I think my readers will appreciate them as much as I do as they are rather insightful with a snarky edge.  Enjoy!

Here are the links to the previously posted strips:

Here is the latest strip:

https://scontent-iad3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/20622126_1267643976675547_2805781926123619798_n.jpg?oh=fd6b6c7c96ed2b0663c8e4dbed7a74f2&oe=59FC5F4E

The United Shapes of Arithmetic: The Bills

Nathan Rudolph, my friend and fellow parishioner at St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church, has started a comic strip which I have greatly enjoyed and appreciated.  With his permission, I will repost them here after he posts them.  I think my readers will appreciate them as much as I do as they are rather insightful with a snarky edge.  Enjoy!

Here are the links to the previously posted strips:

Here is the latest strip:

https://scontent-lga3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/19958894_1245799878859957_6719711541642677281_n.jpg?oh=9b8d110dce834669b811d96b7c310f78&oe=5A00B04C

Considering Retirement While Paying Child Support

It is becoming increasingly common for people who are approaching traditional retirement age—or are already retired—to have children who are minors. As a result, the prospect of a having to consider an ongoing child support obligation when considering retirement is becoming more common.

The matter of Smedley v. Lowman , 2 A.3d 1266 (Pa.Super. 2010), addressed the matter of retirement and child support directly, and now provides guidance for the same.

In Smedley the obligor father became fully vested in his police department ­pension at the age of 50 and elected to retire at age 52. At the time of his retirement he had a 7-year-old child for whom he had a child support obligation. The obligor’s retirement resulted in his income being cut approximately in half.

It is undisputed law in Pennsylvania that an obligor cannot voluntarily retire in order to justify the reduction of a child support obligation. A voluntary retirement only permits an obligor to pursue a reduction in his obligation. The court found in this matter that the father did not retire in order to have his child support reduced; therefore it could consider whether his reduction in income could warrant or justify a reduction in child support.

 At a child support conference and trial, a child support order was entered assessing the father an earning capacity of his pension plus $200 per month, which reflected a $10 per hour job at 20 hours per week. As this was a finding of earning capacity, the father did not actually have such a job; rather the earning capacity was imputed on him. The father’s only actual income was his pension.

The father appealed and asserted that his retirement income should be the only income considered for a child support ­obligation, as opposed to any additional income imputed on him per a finding of a higher earning capacity. He argued that his ­retirement should not be considered an early retirement, or a voluntary retirement, because he was fully vested when he elected to retire; indeed he was already vested for two years when he retired. As the court has found that the father did not voluntarily reduce his income, through retirement, in order to circumvent his support obligation, the court was free to consider whether the father’s support obligation could be reduced due to his decreased income as a result of his retirement.

In reviewing the facts and evidence, the court found that the father’s reduction of income—his pension was half of the amount of his income when he was employed—was voluntary. No evidence was presented that his employer pressured him to retire or his health made it ­difficult or impossible for him to continue to work. Indeed, the court stated more than once that he was in good health and relatively young.

The court also pointed out that its review was to discern whether the lower court’s decision was an abuse of discretion. To that end, the court observed that the earning capacity the lower court assessed the father, $35,400 per year, which is still significantly less than his prior income of $50,000 when he was fully employed, was not an abuse of discretion.

Finally, the court admonished the father by observing that the father still has a 7-year-old daughter to care for and his ­decision to ­voluntarily retire at a relatively young age and in good health does not somehow take away his obligation to ensure his daughter has adequate support as, ultimately, support orders are, after all, for the benefit and ­interests of children.

The court’s analysis in Smedley was later applied in the matter of Pikiewicz v. Timmers , 106 A.3d 177 (Pa. Super. Ct. 2014). Although Pikiewicz was not reported and is nonprecedential, it does provide insight into the mind of the court on this issue. In Pikiewicz the obligor, a healthy 44-year-old man, elected to voluntarily retire and collect a pension, which reduced his income by nearly $4,000 per month, purportedly to spend more time with his son. The Superior Court of Pennsylvania, upon review and looking to Smedley for guidance, found that while the obligor did not retire in order to circumvent a support order, his voluntary retirement would not warrant a reduction in his child support considering he was in good health and refused to mitigate his reduction in income by securing alternative ­employment. As a result, the obligor’s earning capacity was assessed at his income when he was fully employed. The court bolstered its decision by noting that the support ordered was for the support and best interests of his child and that this obligation remains despite his decision to voluntarily 
retire.

Smedley was later reviewed and cited by a recent case called Kutsch v. Anthony, No. 252 (WDA 2016). Granted, the Kutsch matter, too, is unreported and explicitly nonprecedential, but it does provide a glimpse as to how the Superior Court of Pennsylvania may apply Smedley into the future. In Kutsch, the obligor was also retired and, therefore, the court had to consider how that retirement would affect his support obligation. The court, in Kutsch, noted that the obligor’s retirement was due to his failing knees which made it impossible for him to continue to work as a truck driver. As a result, the court found that while his retirement may have been early (he was only 55 years old), it was certainly not voluntary. On that basis the court distinguished Smedley from Kutsch as Smedley dealt with a voluntary retirement. As a result, the court in Kutsch declined to assess an earning capacity to the obligor as it did in Smedley based on an income other than his retirement 
income.

As more and more people are retiring while they still have a legal obligation to pay support to a minor child, it is becoming increasingly important for practitioners to keep a close eye on how this area of the law develops.

Published in The Legal Intelligencer on March 20, 2017 and an be seen here.

A ‘transgender’ kindergartner registered at my kids’ school. That’s when the madness began.

Every now and again I come across a fantastic article the warrants posting here; I recently came across one in Lifesite News which, I thought, was pretty insightful. Be edified.

________________

As a mother of seven, I have no doubts about my conviction that biological sex is a fundamental reality; giving birth many times over has made an incredibly persuasive argument in that regard. Though I’ve been blessed with a large community of Catholic and Christian friends who share my views, in secular circles more and more people have come to see embodied sex as merely a social construct. So you can imagine my surprise when I found that I had allies in the feminist and lesbian community. Though we disagree on a multitude of issues, the Hands Across the Aisle coalition has found common ground in our shared womanhood, our concern for sex-based rights, and our collective refusal to redefine sex as gender identity.

We recently came together to speak on a panel at The Heritage Foundation. You can watch that panel here.

In October 2015, I received an email from my children’s school principal that a gender non-conforming kindergartner had arrived. A whole host of demands quickly followed this announcement.

Everyone in this coalition has a story to tell and a reason behind her involvement. For me, it was as a mother to public school students that I first encountered the idea of gender as individualism gone mad. Likewise, it is as a mother concerned with the well-being of all children that I thoroughly reject the idea of a “gender identity.”

The belief that one’s internal sense of self determines maleness or femaleness and that subjective feelings take precedence over an objective physical reality constitutes a severing of mind from body. Our sex is who we are: it can’t be amputated from our body like a limb. But the true believers in gender ideology are hard at work, pulling in converts to this gnostic worldview that shuns the material that we humans are made of: the body. You can be assured that an ideology like this will, to use Pope Francis’s words, lead to the “annihilation of man” in our culture, in the law, and in the lives of those who fall prey to the tenets of this weaponized “civil rights” movement.

What worries me most is that schools across the country are quashing debate, abandoning academic excellence, and reducing themselves to pawns in a political movement whose claims are highly questionable, unscientific, and harmful to children. Public schools have a duty to serve all children, but a school cannot serve children and a totalitarian ideology all at once.

Transgender Ideology at My Children’s School

In October 2015, I received an email from my children’s school principal that a gender non-conforming kindergartner had arrived. A whole host of demands quickly followed this announcement. The bathrooms, the locker rooms, the uniforms—every aspect of the school’s practices that differentiated between the sexes would have to be made gender neutral. It was just the beginning of a wild ride into a world where schools have become “indoctrination hubs” and biological sex no longer exists.

A series of surreal events unfolded at our school.

Parents were told that students from kindergarten to fifth grade would have to be taught that gender identity, sex, and gender expression were all free-floating concepts, through insipid children’s books and propaganda framed as anti-bullying activism. These demands were, of course, a Trojan horse for trans advocacy in the classroom. This is a common tactic.

Parents were told that the school would be in direct violation of the law—specifically, Title IX and our state’s anti-bullying law—if the school didn’t equate sex with gender identity in policy and practice.

Parents were told—by the school’s lawyer!—that free speech creates a “hostile environment” when it critiques the transgender issue. Letters that parents wrote to the school board for public comment were heavily redacted. In some cases, 90 percent of the letter was blacked out.

The high school science teacher proclaimed that sex exists on a spectrum, and that sex is “assigned at birth.”

Parents hosted a presentation (which they had to pay for themselves) to provide a counterpoint to the biased treatment the school had given the gender identity issue. Well over a hundred local pro-LGBTQ protesters came to the presentation, prompting the local police to send a sergeant and two patrolling squads as protection.

Finally, even after a de facto gender inclusion policy was passed, a complaint was filed against the school with our city’s Department of Human Rights, claiming the school had refused this transgender child the ability to “transition” safely at school. In a totalitarian regime, nothing but total capitulation is acceptable.

Sacrificing Truth, Science, and Children’s Well-Being

So, what can we expect to see if we sit back and allow gender identity to trump biological sex in school policies?

First, schools will teach children to accept an ideology that is predicated on the lie that biological sex plays second fiddle to a self-proclaimed, subjective gender identity, and that the sex of one’s body is mutable or even irrelevant. This isn’t just an idea that you can tuck away in a unit study or an anti-bullying presentation. It will inevitably find its way into every aspect of a school and make a deep impression on the developing minds of children. For example, girls, under the regressive mandates of anti-bullying and gender inclusion policies, would have to agree to call boys in their locker room “girls,” effectively losing their rights to free speech and to privacy from males. And science—particularly biology—would die a quick death at the hands of a concept that necessarily eradicates observable facts about human sexuality. Gender ideology in the curriculum is a lie enshrined as truth.

Second, institutionalizing gender ideology will require that schools ignore the evidence that it causes real harm to children. You can’t extol the virtues of gender ideology and question its soundness at the same time. By celebrating transgenderism as a valid identity, schools are promoting a body-mind disconnect that may very well bring on the gender dysphoric state they were attempting to prevent. And when the widely accepted “affirmative” medical treatments of gender dysphoria in children are both poorly studied and glaringly injurious, we have nothing to celebrate.

We’re building a school-to-gender-clinic pipeline that will feed this new pediatric specialty with young patients. There are now more than thirty gender clinics specializing in youth across the United States, and the young patients who are under their care are often given bone-destroying puberty blockers at eleven, potentially sterilized with cross-sex hormones at sixteen, and permanently mutilated by plastic surgery soon after that.

Make no mistake, schools that endorse and celebrate transgenderism as valid are endorsing child abuse.

It’s Time to Speak Up

So, my fellow parents, I ask you:

Will we allow our young and vulnerable children to be fed a false anthropology rather than teaching them to speak the truth boldly?

Will we consent to our children’s sterilization rather than patiently guiding them toward an appreciation of their bodies?

Will we treat our children’s mental health issues with double mastectomies rather than demand that doctors provide a true remedy?

As a woman, mother, and member of Hands Across the Aisle, I answer with a resolute NO to each and every one of these questions. My children need me to look out for them as only a parent can do, with love, vigilance, and patience that refuses to condone self-harm masquerading as self-knowledge. For some mothers, this proves to be a gargantuan task, as they watch their teenagers fall under the spell of gender via social contagionYouTube binges, and trans activists disguised as therapists. These parents deserve our encouragement and assistance through friendship, political action, and our voice in the public square.

Somehow we’ve come to a place where women who demand their gym shower be female-only are accused of bigotry, radical feminists are threatened with a fiery death for refusing to call men “women,” and lesbians are accused of being transphobes for refusing the sexual advances of trans “women.” The women of the Hands Across the Aisle coalition have had enough of this poisonous ideology. It is our intention to use our collective passion and resources to make space in the public square for all voices that are critical of redefining sex as gender identity. I am honored by this extraordinary opportunity to unite a Christian opposition to the concept of gender identity with that of my radical feminist and lesbian sisters, who have long provided intelligent and insightful criticisms of gender identity as a threat to women in law and culture.

At Hands Across the Aisle, we hope to embolden women to speak up for the hard-earned rights they will lose if gender identity is allowed to eclipse sex. I hope you will join me in refuting gender ideology wherever you see it, but most especially in schools where it strikes at the very heart of what it means to educate.

Emily Zinos works as a consultant with Ask Me First MN, a project of the Minnesota Family Council in partnership with the Family Policy Alliance.

Reprinted with permission from The Witherspoon Institute.

Published on April 21, 2017 in Lifesite News and can be found here.

Law Office of Faye Riva Cohen, P.C.’s American Airlines Cases Have Been Featured in News Outlets Across the Country

The Melissa Chinery and Laura Medlin cases against American Airlines, cases currently being litigated by my firm, the Law Office of Faye Riva Cohen, P.C., have been featured in many articles across the country.  These articles have been featured in this blog and are all linked below.

  • World News Network (“Allegedly called a ‘sow:’ 2 flight attendants sue American Airlines over online harassment”)
  • CBS8 San Diego (“Flight Attendants Sue American Airlines Claiming They Were Called ‘Sows’ and Prostitutes”)
  • Inside Edition (“Flight Attendants Sue American Airlines Claiming They Were Called ‘Sows’ and Prostitutes”)
  • The Charlotte Observer (“American Airlines flight attendants sue, say they’ve been called sows, prostitutes and worse on Facebook”)
  • The Sacramento Bee (“Flight attendants sue, say they’ve been called sows, prostitutes and worse on Facebook”)
  • WBTV.com On Your Side (“Flight attendants sue, say they’ve been called sows, prostitutes and worse on Facebook”)
  • BVT News (“Allegedly Called a ‘Sow:’ 2 Flight Attendants Sue American Airlines Over Online Harassment”)
  • The Philly Voice (“Philly Flight Attendant Sues American Airlines Over Alleged Facebook Harassment”)
  • American Airlines Flight Attendants Sue Over Co-workers’ Facebook Posts (“American Airlines Flight Attendants Sue Over Co-workers’ Facebook Posts”)
  • Streetwise Report (“Myriad Genetics (MYGN) And American Airlines Group (AAL); Active Concerns Wondering Movers”)
  • Savvy Stews (“American Airlines Faces Workplace Harassment Lawsuits”)
  • Bloomberg BNA  (“American Flight Attendant Called ‘Sow’ Claims Bias Via Facebook”)

Why is no one talking about Alabama’s frickin’ awesome marriage bill?

Every now and again I come across a fantastic article the warrants posting here; I recently came across one in Conservative Review which, I thought, was pretty insightful. Be edified.

_______________

A state-level marriage bill in Alabama is showing a potential way forward for balancing marriage and religious freedom in post-Obergefell America.

It’s been nearly two years since the Supreme Court issued its Obergefell ruling. Since then, Kim Davis went to jail, was released, and finally ended her lawsuit just a few months ago, but that really doesn’t give an answer the serious questions about the nature of marriage and the power of the government to redefine.

Last week, the Yellowhammer State’s Senate passed a measure that would abolish marriage licenses altogether while removing ceremonial requirements for obtaining marriage.

Instead of the state issuing documents and requiring that agents of the state take part in the marriage process, the state would simply record affidavits of marriage between two consenting parties.

The measure’s sponsor, Sen. Greg Albritton, (R), introduced similar legislation last year, which never became law. It’s also similar to a measure that was introduced in the Oklahoma legislature in 2015.

“When you invite the state into those matters of personal or religious import, it creates difficulties,” Albritton told the Associated Press in regards to his efforts last year. He continued, saying:

Early twentieth century, if you go back and look and try to find marriage licenses for your grandparents or great grandparents, you won’t find it. What you will find instead is where people have come in and recorded when a marriage has occurred.

This would eliminate situations in which conscientious objectors to same sex marriage in the government could be forced to directly cooperate with something contrary to their faith, while not blocking access to marriage contracts for same-sex couples. More importantly, it gets the state closer to its appropriate level of involvement, which should be close to nothing.

Whether you believe that marriage is a covenant from God (in which case your church should be the primary arbiter) or a simple contract between two people with happy feelings (in which your interest in equal application of the law) this arrangement looks like it would work out for everyone.

Firstly, marriage is something that is rightly handled by institutions and communities to begin with, not by bureaucrats and politicians. Sure, the government has abiding interests therein, but — in a system where the institution has been reduced as Scalia put it “to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie” — those should be limited to little more than property rights.

The idea that the modern state should act as a barrier between free people and that institution has created a crisis of federalism between the states and the Supreme Court. Furthermore, the government’s involvement provided the legal track for Obergefell to happen in the first place. In other words, if marriage is the government’s business it only made sense that government would redefine it once the cultural winds shifted.

The only reasons to preserve the current state of things is if you either 1. Entertain the idea of states being able to uphold natural marriage (which didn’t work pre-Obergefell) or 2. Want to continue treating the state as an arbiter of a pre-political institution, which doesn’t make sense either.

Which is precisely why this new Alabama marriage bill could be the solution for everyone.

Nate Madden is a Staff Writer for Conservative Review, focusing on religious freedom, immigration, and the judiciary. He previously served as the Director of Policy Relations for the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative. A Publius Fellow, John Jay Fellow, Citadel Parliamentary Fellow and National Journalism Center alumnus, Nate’s writing has previously appeared in several religious and news publications. Follow him @NateMaddenCR and on Facebook

By Nate Madden and originally published in Conservative Review on March 15, 2017 and can be seen here.

 

Allegedly called a ‘sow:’ 2 flight attendants sue American Airlines over online harassment

The Melissa Chinery and Laura Medlin cases against American Airlines, cases currently being litigated by my firm, the Law Office of Faye Riva Cohen, P.C., have been featured in an article entitled “Allegedly called a ‘sow:’ 2 flight attendants sue American Airlines over online harassment,” on World News Network b and published on March 29, 2017, which can be found here.

The United Shapes of Arithmetic: This Time

Nathan Rudolph, my friend and fellow parishioner at St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church, has started a comic strip which I have greatly enjoyed and appreciated.  With his permission, I will repost them here after he posts them.  I think my readers will appreciate them as much as I do as they are rather insightful with a snarky edge.  Enjoy!

Here are the links to the previously posted strips:

Here is the latest strip:

https://scontent-iad3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/19511607_1233595363413742_3375576866953854976_n.jpg?oh=3d10717a78d12a155a6ae07d7680bc6c&oe=59CA370A

Flight Attendants Sue American Airlines Claiming They Were Called ‘Sows’ and Prostitutes

The Melissa Chinery and Laura Medlin cases against American Airlines, cases currently being litigated by my firm, the Law Office of Faye Riva Cohen, P.C., have been featured in an article entitled “Flight Attendants Sue American Airlines Claiming They Were Called ‘Sows’ and Prostitutes,” on CBS8 San Diego b and published on March 14, 2017, which can be found here.

____________

Two flight attendants are suing American Airlines, claiming they were called “sows” — and worse — by male colleagues on Facebook and other social media sites.

The federal lawsuits were filed in Pennsylvania and allege the airline failed to enforce its policies barring online slurs and insults by employees, including on private accounts.

The women claim the bullying and harassment occurred on Facebook and online accounts where thousands of airline workers talk to each other.

American Airlines has denied the allegations.

The plaintiffs are seeking unspecified monetary damages.

One flight attendant, Laura Medlin, said the bullying began after she resigned from a union position. A group of male employees began calling her names including “sow,” she said.

The other, Melissa Chinery, said she was harassed after announcing she was running for a union slot. Male flight attendants posted online comments calling her a “flipper,” a synonym for prostitute, as well as “c***,” her lawsuit claims.

Both allege they reported their abuse to the airline’s human resources division, but that no action was taken.

Post Navigation