This I Believe

Keith - Eugene, Oregon
Entered on April 17, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65
Themes: parenthood

First, I don’t promise to pay for unknown and future costs, especially to lawyers. But I do want to send you my essay/experience.

This I Believe — There is No Remedy at Law for Freedom

There is a saying in law that for every wrong there is a remedy at law. It is not true. I have spent the last ten years of my life verifying it.

It all started innocently enough. I married the wrong woman . . . divorce . . . lost my children . . . then child support. In one afternoon actually in about 20 minutes, I was changed from a loving, caring, responsible parent into a visitor, bank, and on-call babysitter. I was financially raped such that my rights to earn a living and to be a daddy to my own three children were grossly, purposely, and repeatedly violated.

For ten years and through a second marriage I paid. . . well, my money was taken from me. When my children were teenagers I became more alarmed at their need for their father as I was becoming more financially and socially disabled from being able to meet their needs, needs which were increasing. This was done soley at the hands of the State of Oregon.

Then I had three disasters within a few months, all of which impacted my children. I lost my job teaching special education as my district couldn’t afford to pay me a living wage including child support. My second wife and children’s loved stepmother left me and became financially improved in her own condition. She could finally spend her own earning on herself and pursue a nursing degree. And thirdly, the State of Oregon nearly doubled my amount of “support” to equal my gross earning of part-time and temporary work!

And in return for all that my children were growing up in poverty and without their badly needed father 250 miles away.

Unemployed, I wrote letters all over the country asking for help. Legal help. When anybody really tried to be helpful I always landed full circle referred back to ask help of the very same man who was in charge of causing all the damages against me and my children: Assistant District Attorney for Child Support for Lane County – Douglas Mitchell.

Instead of help I got my license suspended. A lot of good that did for making me able to parent my own children and meet their needs, financial and non-financial. And that essentially put a stop to me being able to earn a living, including being a model of an adult my children were growing up to be!

Now, I am as clean as they come — no drugs, no drinking, no . . . vices of any kind. I thought that would help my case for winning back my rights to earn a living and parent my children.

Remedy at law? I’ve been jailed 14 times and spent a total of 127 days in custody, transport and jail. But I have refused to every pay bail or to pay a fine supporting the crimes against me and my children. I exercised my rights, just like everyone else does, including driving my vehicle just like everyone else does, only to be stomped on by the State. And I asserted my rights, including in court, only to have them ignored. They wanted money, my children be damned.

Ten more years later – no remedy at law for asserting my Constitutionally guaranteed rights and exercising them like everyone else does.

So I work for cash for neighbors, don’t earn enough to pay taxes, my kids help me out, and I receive some government aid to get by. And I drive to work, get my mail, get my groceries, go to the doctor, and help my neighbors and elderly parents, just like everyone else. And you wouldn’t believe some of my efforts to find justice. I could write a book if I had the time and energy.

But no remedy at law.

With my education and experience I should be worth about $85,000 a year, a third of which would to go taxes, and half of the rest to cumulative taxes on goods and services that I would be spending my earnings for. I also qualify for financial assistance due to my poverty. This all means that the stubborn theft of my freedom and rights costs more than $50,000 each year. Plus jail and court costs! That’s just plain stupid.

And there is no remedy at law.

But the biggest losers have been and are my children, and now my grandchildren.

No remedy at law.