Condoning Slavery Under Color Of Law by Charles E. Corry, Ph.D.

© 2004 Charles E. Corry

Equal Justice Foundation


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Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

President John F. Kennedy

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality [or judicial bias]. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Martin Luther King


Creating slaves

Today, 30% of DNA paternity tests, nearly one in three, prove that the man involved is not the father of the child in question. Currently more than 300,000 such tests are done each year. Since it is unlikely that these paternity tests were done without an underlying reason, almost certainly involving payment of child support, there are thus over 90,000 men who have been falsely accused of paternity each year.

Maybe if we didn't encourage such behavior by enslaving men to pay for it we wouldn't have so much of it? But courts are notorious for continuing child support even when it has been proven the man named is not the biological father. With few exceptions we can assume that on the order of 90,000 men a year are being indentured for onerous payments for a period of at least 18 years in the United States. That would suggest that, at a minimum, 1.6 million men are enslaved today by the courts to pay for other men's children (90,000 men per year for 18 years).

The sample size of 300,000+ DNA tests a year suggests that, as an upper limit, 30% of all children are conceived by a man other than the one named by the mother. With ~4 million children now born each year in the United States, 1.2 million men are likely victims of paternity fraud each year.

It can be presumed that by far the great majority of these deceived men are enslaved by the courts and the mother's lies to support these children until at least age 18. Therefore, as many as 21 million men are indentured today, either by marriage or the courts to pay much of their income for children they have no biological ties to.

From the lower limit of 1.6 million men proven to be current victims of paternity fraud to the upper estimate of 21 million, the middle ground of 10 million men presently enslaved by this fraud appears reasonable. For comparison, there were 3,953,696 slaves in the United States counted in the 1860 census.

Four million slaves in 1860 were the catalyst for a terrible Civil War in which nearly a million men were killed or wounded. Out of that crucible came the lesson enshrined in the Thirteenth Amendment to our Federal Constitution: "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."

Colorado, as do most states, has similar language. Unequivocally, Article II, Section 26 of the Colorado Constitution states: "There shall never be in this state either slavery or involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted." I have no wish to quarrel with that stark dictate. But Colorado judges seem to and tens of thousands of men here are indentured or imprisoned to pay for children not theirs.


A case study of attempted reform


The Equal Justice Foundation is hardly the first, and certainly not the last, to attempt peaceful reform of the felony fraud, perjury, and adultery inherent in false paternity cases.

Colorado House of Representatives


To his great credit, Colorado Representative Bill Sinclair (R), a veteran of three wars and serving his last session in the legislature, introduced a bill, HB 04-1083, in 2004 to allow, but not require, men to stop child support payments when DNA testing showed they were not the father of children they were indentured to support. A simple matter of justice and constitutional law you might naively think. But you'd be wrong because you have crassly ignored what the courts and legislators regard as the "best interests of the child."

Now there may be some small fraction of cuckolded men who can maintain a loving relationship with children proven to have been sired by some other man but we don't hear from them. We do hear from many men who have been driven away from what they presumed were their children by vindictive and vengeful women using restraining orders, arrests, and moving away with the children, to say nothing of the irrational acts of family courts.

40% of the hundreds of married men who contact the Equal Justice Foundation for help do so after they find evidence their wives are having an affair. These men are falsely charged with domestic violence or abuse, and suffer the crushing weight of being driven from their homes and children by restraining orders that are handed out by judges like candy. As a result of these all-too-frequently false allegations, women are given the house, the kids, the car, the bank account, very generous child support, and sometimes alimony (maintenance) as a reward for their adultery. And when DNA paternity tests prove he isn't the father, the child support doesn't stop.

Presumably Colorado gives men five years after a child is born to challenge paternity. But commonly the blowup comes when the children are older than five years and up to that point the man, perhaps naively, had faith and trust in his wife.

We also hear of many cases, as did Representative Sinclair, where the man had no idea a child even existed until a child support collection agency began garnishing their wages, sometimes even after the child is grown. A 1996 federal welfare law requires a woman to name a father — no questions asked — when she applies for public assistance, ofttimes many years after her child is born. A paternity notice is often then simply mailed to the man's last known address. For a variety of reasons men often don't get the notice, particularly if they are with our Armed Forces. A default judgement of paternity is then entered.

Commonly we hear the men have never seen the child and knew the mother only briefly, if at all. Almost certainly her child doesn't know the man paying child support. And if you believe the courts or child support collection agencies will stop these support payments simply because DNA paternity tests prove the child isn't his I'd like to make you a wonderful and generous offer on a bridge we own.

Despite the clear injustices, and the unambiguous constitutional mandates, it was a minor miracle that Representative Sinclair's reform bill made it out of committee. More remarkably, the bill passed the Colorado House by a single vote. However, the House heavily amended the bill to yet again leave discretion in the hands of judges to continue the child support, i.e., continue to enslave the man, if they found it was in the "best interests of the child," despite proven paternity fraud.

Colorado Senate Judiciary committee


The 'Lectric Law Library's Lexicon On * Under Color Of State Law *

To act "under color of state law" means to act beyond the bounds of lawful authority, but in such a manner that the unlawful acts were done while the official was purporting or pretending to act in the performance of his official duties. In other words, the unlawful acts must consist of an abuse or misuse of power which is possessed by the official only because he is an official.

Having passed the House, in due course Representative Sinclair's bill was introduced into the Senate and assigned to the judiciary committee. The sponsor in the Colorado Senate was Senator Ed Jones.

The Senate judiciary committee met the afternoon of March 29, 2004. The defeat of the bill in that hearing is instructive for the many individuals who contact the Equal Justice Foundation insisting the laws must be changed and the courts reformed, the Constitution must be obeyed, and why wasn't that done yesterday.

The strongest proponent of the bill on the judiciary committee was the chairman, Senator Jim Dyer (R), who moved that the bill be returned to its original form as introduced by Representative Sinclair. Senator Dyer also noted that the bill wasn't about children or gender and was a simple matter of justice. He strongly urged support of this reform.

The wisdom of the chairman was not reflected in the other members of the committee.

An overarching message from the committee was that a man should never trust his wife about the paternity of her children. It was implied that a man would be especially stupid to wait the full five years allowed under current law to have a DNA paternity test run, at a cost of several hundred dollars we might add. The most vocal proponent of that position was Senator Norma Anderson (R), who put forth the position that husbands should check the blood tests run at the time the baby is born to be sure those weak tests at least suggested he was the father. Senator Anderson seemed unaware that might be difficult to accomplish if the man was in the military and overseas, or he hadn't even been told about the child.

But the committee's position that a man should not trust his wife with regard to paternity certainly further erodes the marriage contract, a contract legislatures have been working so hard to destroy over the past twenty or so years. So at least their position was consistent.

Senator Sue Windels (D) spoke of the "best interests of the child" and how stopping child support would destroy the father/child relationship. I don't know what planet the senator is living on but, when a DNA test shows the man isn't the father: (a) a divorce has already occurred or he wouldn't be paying child support; (b) there is an excellent chance the mother has a restraining order against him or; (c) has moved the kids a thousand miles away. Thus, there isn't any "father" /child relationship left, if there ever was one.

Of course, Senator Windels ignores the fact that it is extremely rare for child support payments in these cases to go to the mother. Almost always the man is required to pay the money to a state or private child support collection agency. Thus, the man is enslaved to support a bureaucracy, not a child.

Senator Ken Gordon (D) argued strongly that it was essential to leave in language that left it to the discretion of the black-robed monsters who all too frequently sit on the family court benches as to whether it was in the man's best interest to stop the child support, or nonsense to that effect. I disagree strongly with Senator Gordon. I do not believe it should be in the power of any man or woman to enslave another, whether they wear a black robe or not. But in the end Senator Gordon voted against the bill even with amendments intact.

Senator John Evans (R) said that even though the child support might continue the man could sue the mother for fraud in these cases. Therefore there was no need for Representative Sinclair's bill. Now stop laughing and pay attention. Apparently there are a couple of cases in Colorado history where this has happened and the man won. That probably was circa 1900. However, there is no evidence the men were able to collect the money they were awarded. But even in the remote instance where a man might win the fraud suit, he would still be left enslaved and paying the child support under color of current law. Am I the only one who sees a problem here Senator Evans?


Punishing men for their wife's adultery


Roughly 12% of men who refuse to pay child support do so because they are not the father. Yet when a man doesn't pay support (indentured servitude) for a child that he has proven is not his progeny, under current law and practice, state and federal governments label him a "Deadbeat Dad," take his passport, drivers and other professional licenses away (making it almost impossible for him to work), and then throws him in jail for contempt of court. That often occurs without a hearing and certainly without a jury trial. A man can get out of prison for murder based on DNA evidence but can't get out of child support payments or jail based on the same conclusive evidence.

Colorado, like many states, is undergoing a budget crisis. But it appears it is cheaper to take an uppity, rebellious slave and throw him in jail for not supporting another man's child, than to offer him justice and freedom. To say nothing of the taxes a free man might pay to support a just state. So we continue to build jails to hold slaves rather than uphold clear Constitutional dictates.

Four million slaves sparked our last Civil War. A conservative estimate shows there are now 10 million men indentured by paternity fraud under draconian court orders from which they cannot escape. Demonstrably, these men have committed no crime of which they were duly convicted.

We argue for peaceful resolution of these injustices but the tides of history may overtake our efforts. As we began, we remind legislators, government executives, and judges that: "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."



| EJF Home | Find Help | Join the EJF | Comments? | Get EJF newsletter |


| Families And Marriage Book | Abstract | Family site map | Family index |


| Chapter 7 — Paternity Fraud Epidemic |

| Next — Paternity: Innocence May Now Be A Defense by Wendy McElroy |

| Back — Paternity Determinations by Charles E. Corry, Ph.D. |


Last modified 4/11/15