We have recently been the victims of a libelous post by someone who is seeking to get people to join a class action suit by “guaranteeing” that they will win in court. We will not name that person here as we do not want to unintentionally steer desperate parents into something we believe to less than above board.
We have been alive long enough to have learned that nothing in life except death and taxes is guaranteed. Certainly, a judge’s legal opinion is never guaranteed. I have never heard an attorney guarantee a legal outcome, even in the most clear-cut of cases. We would never recommend an attorney who made such absurd claims.
We have been fortunate enough to have worked with a large number of people, including many attorneys, who respect and value our work. Because of our attempt to help certain groups in those activities we support, we came to believe that some people may have erroneously believed that we supported the class action law suit in question. We do not and we wrote a post to make this clear so that there would be no confusion by those who respect our work.
We are educators, scholars, and activists. We are not attorneys and do not claim expertise in any specific area of state or federal statutory law. We are constitutional scholars who spend thousands of hours researching constitutional issues related to family law. We have written well received books that have stood the test of time. To this day nobody, attorney or otherwise, has proven anything in our books to be legally incorrect.
Our writings are well cited and supported with federal case law. We do not hide our legal theories, our legal reasoning, or our strategies. Our work is designed to give good judges a defensible way to do the right thing and to force bad judges to justify their actions in writing on the record so that they can be properly challenged in appellate courts.
We recently created a series of declaratory judgment motions designed to help achieve these strategic aims for you in your case. These motions, unlike our federal declaratory judgment, are designed to work within your existing case. If you do not have an active case in state court, then you may be a candidate for having your case heard in a federal court.
The structure of legal filings varies from state to state and even sometimes from court to court within a state. Our motions are not designed to be the proper format for any legal jurisdiction. However, they are created in a format that in our experience would be accepted in our state district court. Several attorneys in Texas have already filed them with only minor modifications here in Texas.
We do not make any warranties as to proper form of these motions and because we are not attorneys we could potentially get in trouble if we did so. Our motions are designed for educational purposes only and at least one attorney we have known for 20 years filed these motions for a client and stated that he now more clearly understands how the courts are violating constitutional rights in so many ways.
We stand by our work and will be continuously updating our work to reflect how it is received and challenged in the state courts of each state. For instance, we have found that the declaratory judgement statute in Colorado seems to leave out any authorization to declare state or federal constitutional rights. While this sounds bad, it could possibly provide a direct route into the federal courts if there is no available relief of this type in the Colorado state courts. We are following up on this new information and will let parents know what we learn about this issue.
If you want to learn about your constitutional rights as a parent, then come to us and we will share what we have learned. If you want absolute guarantees, then we recommend your local snake oil salesperson.
Now we would like to address some things about our federal declaratory judgment suit that is ongoing and in the hands of the judge to make a final decision any day now.
The libelous post stated that dismissal of our petition is guaranteed and “*mandated*” by law. The Attorney General for the State of Texas attempted multiple times to get our petition dismissed and has yet to succeed. All of the preliminary actions have been completed and the only thing left to happen is for the judge to make a final decision.
Our petition was approximately 120 pages, with 10 separate complaints. We attempted to be very comprehensive and to attack every sneaky trick we have ever seen a state court use. We had to get special permission to file a brief of this length and that permission was granted. The Attorney General failed to file a response brief on the merits and has not provided any argument against any of our specific claims.
The Attorney General tried multiple times to have our suit dismissed and technically, the judge has not ruled on the last attempt by the state to dismiss our suit. That was filed months ago, though. So at this point it is very unlikely, but not completely impossible, for the judge to dismiss our suit. If dismissal were “guaranteed” and “mandated by law” then it would have long ago been dismissed.
We have well argued the reasons why the federal district court is duty bound to provide a specific ruling and if our suit were to be dismissed, we believe we would prevail on appeal of this issue.
The libelous post erroneously states that you cannot file a declaratory judgment on its own. The poster is, in fact, incorrect. What the poster seems to be poorly referring to, and may not fully understand, is the constitutional requirement that federal courts can only hear real cases and controversies. This restriction is found in Article III of the federal constitution that sets up the judiciary and defines its powers.
The poster says there must be another “main meat issue going on.” While this isn’t quite an accepted legal term, we presume that the poster is referring to the real case and controversy requirement of Article III. Declaratory judgements are different from other types of suits. They can be filed prior to a normal suit, or prior to the conditions that would create a typical case or controversy, under certain circumstances.
There are several very instructive opinions from our 5th Federal Appellate Court that explains the details of how someone can have a case or controversy sufficient for declaratory judgment without having an active case. We followed their guidance to the letter and fully qualify under the rules they set forth. The Attorney General attempted to get our Petition dismissed on these grounds but so far has not succeeded in that attempt.
The libelous post says that our petition is “void” and “frivolous on its face.” If this were in fact true, then it would have been dismissed on those grounds months ago. That has not happened. However, this unnamed person’s federal removal motions have been dismissed by at least one appellate court that we know of here in Texas as frivolous and having no legal merit.
The poster refers to well-established law that makes our petition frivolous but fails to identify that law specifically. I recommend that the poster contact the Texas Attorney General and inform him of this well-established law because our Attorney General has failed to make those arguments. I choose to believe that our State Attorney General knows a bit more about the law than the poster does though.
The poster also makes a big deal about us not knowing what federal district court covered our county. We made an assumption early on without looking it up and used a header from the court we presumed it to be on our early drafts. We did this for convenience because we had example petitions from that court. We do not advise others on what courts they are to file in, and for our own stuff, we figure it out. It just so happened that this snake oil salesman had just helped someone file his federal removal in our same court and had just looked it up. We do not claim to be perfect and without flaw. When we are in development stages with something so huge like the declaratory judgment, something as minor as referring to the northern district court because we were following an example format from that court is not proof that our expertise is flawed. We certainly have limited bandwidth as do many others. When we got closer to the final filing date we then took the time to look up what specific court we needed to file in. It was a trivial issue to change the header.
The poster claims that this is basic knowledge that everybody should know. Maybe, but do you know what federal district court you would need to file in? This is not common knowledge for most people, and it is easy to look up. When it became important, we looked it up.
Our federal suit was never “guaranteed” to work. We think we found a way to get these issues heard by a federal court which has proven extremely difficult in the past. We promised nobody that this will work. We asked nobody to share the risk with us. We have taken on this burden ourselves. If we win, it could change things for all parents in Texas forever. If we do not win then nobody has lost anything except us.
We have gotten further in the federal system on a child custody and support matter than anybody we have ever heard of. It is very likely that we will get a proper opinion from this court. It is also very likely that it will help a lot of people. We certainly hope it does. Our children will be aged out very soon so the primary benefit of this opinion will be for all of you who still have many years to go in the current corrupt system. Perhaps this makes us “arrogant and full of [ourselves]” as the poster thinks but we hope you don’t see it that way.
The libelous post says that we have defrauded. However, the parents who come to us and attorneys are well informed that we are not attorneys and that our products are educational in nature. They know that we do not provide locally formatted motions and that we encourage them to use attorneys to file these motions properly following all state and local laws and rules.
What we do guarantee is that those parents who attend our trainings or who purchase our training materials will learn a lot about their constitutional rights as parents and their child’s constitutional rights to be with them. Even experienced family law attorneys will learn things from our materials that they were never taught in law school but should have been. They will also learn new strategies and new arguments with which to fight for their constitutional rights.
The poster is upset that we did not let them review our work for free. We asked a few people we respected to review our work. We are sorry if not including the poster in this list hurt their feelings. Based on their post and other work of theirs we have seen, we are glad that we did not include them in that list.
As always, we respect our fellow parents who are fighting injustice in the family law system. We will continue to do everything we can do to bring constitutional fairness into this system and to change it forever so that future generations do not suffer as we have. We will do this through both political activism and through our work as scholars and educators.
Ron & Sherry Palmer