It’s crazy to me that people don’t know that in 1996 the Minnesota Supreme court ruled that Child Support is unconstitutional. You won’t believe why! Let’s give you a brief summary. You can also read the full court cases provide in the links below this article.
In the Minnesota Case, “In re Marriage of Sandra Lee Holmberg v. Ronald Gerald Holmberg,” the court concluded that the administrative child support process created by Minn. Stat. §518.5511 violates the separation of powers doctrine by infringing on the district court’s original jurisdiction, by creating a tribunal which is not inferior to the district court, and by permitting the child support officers to practice law. Therefore, the statute is unconstitutional. This part of the ruling should fall under your state’s “Separation of Powers Doctrine most likely in your state constitution and clarified by your state statutes. So do your homework!
So let’s break this down. The Supreme Court found that the Minnesota statute explicitly grants Administrative Law Judges (ALJ) “all powers, duties, and responsibilities conferred on “district court judges” to handle child support cases. ALJs are arguably superior in some respects as they are empowered to modify child support orders granted by district courts. Finally, the “child support orders” administered by these ALJ’s are given the same deference as “district court orders” and they are appealable by right and reviewed by the court of appeals under an abuse of discretion standard.
To bring further clarity, the child support administrative process’ current structure violates the constitutional constraints on separation of powers for three separate and independent reasons. First, the administrative process infringes on the district court’s original jurisdiction in contravention of Minnesota Constitution Article VI, § 1. Second, ALJ jurisdiction is not inferior to the district court’s jurisdiction, as mandated by Minnesota Constitution Article VI, §. Just for clarity, ALJs are not lawful Judges and don’t conduct lawful court in violation of due process. Third, the administrative process empowers non-attorneys to engage in the practice of law, infringing on the court’s exclusive power to supervise the practice of law. For these three reasons, we hold that the administrative process violates the separation of powers and is unconstitutional.
Another clear violation found in contrast to the Michigan Constitution is that child support is NOT being enforced by the Judicial Branch but is actually being enforced and administrated by the Executive Branch of the United States, via contract with the State and County. So now we can understand the problem and why the supreme court rule in this way.
With respect to and further analysis of the Separation of Powers Doctrine, the Child Support Enforcement agency is in violation in a number of ways. Child Support Enforcement utilizes Bills of Attainder. What is a Bill of Attainder you might ask? It is a legislative act that singles out an individual or group for punishment without a trial. This undermines due process and the non-custodial party isn’t given any opportunity to have a jury trial which is a lawful Bill of Attainder. This is unreal considering ALJs aren’t lawful judges nor hold lawful court proceedings.
Another violation affects those who have been arrested and/or placed in confinement. The Office of Child Support regularly issues fraudulent and invalid warrants. It was found that most warrants issued for the arrest of people for child support-related issues are never signed by a judge. Remember ALJs are not Lawful judges. Yet FOC (Friend of the Court Offices) still enforces these warrants anyway. This is a Criminal Offense as it is against the law and their very own internal policy. The more you know!
Case Law to Read
I HOPE THIS HELPS YOU START YOUR JOURNEY IN FIGHTING YOUR CHILD SUPPORT CASE!
- HICKS v. FEIOCK, 485 U.S. 624 (1988)
- In re Marriage of Sandra Lee Holmberg v. Ronald Gerald Holmberg,