Registered: Aug 2010
Posted November 7th, 2010 09:11 PM IP
11/7/10 Becoming Other to Forum, more about legalities
Eventually I will write an updated set of statics for this Forum. I know that Google is going to pull the plug on the Files and Pages feature in Groups. I have saved everything. Right now my head is other places, and so I'll just wait and see what is left in terms of front page control, after they make the change. This way will be easier than trying to guess now.
I want to talk more about legal dynamics. I am convinced that people's awareness is strongly tied to the perceived ability to achieve legal redress. I have seen this play out in other arenas.
So I continue to reflect on this relative to the Family System.
I have suggested that disinheritance be blocked in all cases. I don't think this is that difficult. Even without statutory reforms, I think it is obtainable.
In cases where there is evidence of family dysfunction, I have suggested that money and assets should be forced into receivership. I think this also obtainable.
In cases where there is evidence of extreme family dysfunction, substantial harm, and of need, I have suggested that there should be early distribution. I think this also obtainable.
What this all amounts to is simply establishing the principle that people are responsible when they employ the Family System, a social structure which subsumes the needs of children and uses them. If someone does this, then they are responsible and the responsibility can be limitless.
This is totally different from penalizing someone for sex, conception, or for abandoning a child. These things are totally different.
It has taken me quite a while to understand this. But the State tries to absolve itself for responsibility by a Family System bolstered self reliance ethic. The State depends on the Family System to advance this ethic. So the State is absolved from responsibility, while the ethic also keeps everyone else in line.
If the State moved to meet the needs of children, the argument would be that this would absolve their parents, and it would also encourage them to have more children. So you see how children are pawns in this, and how it is all used to control adults and make them subordinate.
As such, children are in a most disadvantaged status, and are lucky to get anything at all.
I'm not only addressing this minimum economic support. I am also speaking of responsibility for how the Family System manipulates children, and for how this can continue far beyond the age of majority. I'm trying to say that there should not be any shielding of responsibility for the effects of this.
I've talked about emotional abuse. I've said that I don't want to criminalize it. In now recant that statement. I do think emotional abuse should be subject to both civil and criminal penalties, and this is on top of what I have suggested about handing money above.
I know someone who is suing a Roman Catholic Diocese. Great! Sue them until there is nothing left but the bones of Simon Peter. The clergy sex abuse suits should be just the first step. Find ways to hold them responsible for all the effects of familial religious addiction.
This person's suit likely included something like "intentional infliction of emotional distress".
Well, the Family Regime can also be sued for this. Once you can establish that there is some motivation, like using the child to establish adult identity, using the child to win the approval of a spouse, or using the child as a surrogate object to vent rage at, then you can sue for what happens.
Likewise, I don't believe Fraud has to have a financial motivation. So, duping a child, could be civil or criminal Fraud.
Further, once these other motivations are established, then you also have a case of neglect.
As I am seeing this, proof of facts is not likely to be an issue. People will see it in the senile - suicidals. Its written all over them. People will see it in the life of the adult - child.
Rather, the issues will be legalistic, in establishing the legitimacy of the action.
Also, though one may ask for a monumental amount of money, once the case proceeds, so long as one is willing to deal and not cut out siblings, then I believe the action will be seen as reasonable. It simply amounts to a transfer of power. Persons who ran a dysfunctional family, and when this had clear consequences, loss the ability to further handle their own affairs. I feel that this is quite reasonable.
I once saw a bumper sticker which said, "Money isn't everything, but it certainly keeps the children coming around."
This would end. Disinheritance and unequal inheritance would be over.
I once saw another bumper sticker on a motor home, "We're spending our children's inheritance."
In many cases there would be no change. But where there is evidence of familial dysfunction, there would be curtailment. Money would be placed under outside control, and there may be limits. In severe cases the limits would be severe.
In cases of abuse there would be civil damage judgments.
A civil judge is not going to order that a home be used for reverse mortgage. You usually cannot evict someone from a home they own by a civil damages suit either. But as part of a negotiated settlement to avoid a more severe cash squeeze, a reverse mortgage could be employed.
I am seeing much of this as analogous to the 1972 reforms of the Divorce Law. Courts just got tired of listening to silly allegations. So the law was changed to eliminate the need.
Here, I believe that most of this can be done with little or no statutory reform. Where such reform is needed, people will become agreeable to it because of the positive examples being set.
Again, these issues could separate mainstream Catholics from the Catholic Right and from Protestants. This is always a winning electoral formula.
The inheritance and civil damage matters only benefit those who's parents have money. But it also amount to a change in societal attitudes and a negation of the arguments used to absolve the public sector from responsibility. So it will still benefit everybody.
As far as statutes of limitations, they are usually gotten around by Delayed Discovery, or something like that. This means for civil cases.
For criminal cases I don't think you can use that. You can't use Delayed Discovery to prosecute a 10 year old bank robbery.
Likewise, you can't say that the statute clock restarts if someone lies about the robbery. You also can't say that refusal to admit it, is a prosecutable crime.
But, suppose you define the crime differently? Suppose the crime amounts to some sort of deception and manipulation. Lets say it starts by having custody of a minor. Lets say the deception and manipulation continues for decades. So the commission of the crime entails all acts of deception. It can even include communications made to third parties. Once you can establish this, then there is no longer a problem with time limits, even for a criminal prosecution.
Are there some limits on this? Am I concerned about going too far? I don't want to erode civil liberties or create a police state. But I also say that I don't think a right to privacy extends to parenting and the Family System. I see how certain types of family dysfunction / abuse, really ruin people's lives and that the only remedy is public redress.
I'm simply saying that if someone decides to employ the Family System, then they are responsible for what happens. In most cases this responsibility will not go beyond financial.
I am also calling for public programs to meet the needs of children, offset the issues which take place in familial residences, and give children additional identity and support bases. So the incidences of severe familial dysfunction will be less.
Consider how Divorce cases are handled today. The financial matters are disclosed to the court, but kept out of the publicly available file. Then it goes to a Settlement Officer Conference.
I don't believe there had to be a statutory reform to obtain this. It is simply a court procedural decision, due to the volume of cases.
In the vast majority of cases, people accept what the settlement officer decides. A judge could overrule the Settlement Officer, but I don't think they do. Most of the time this handles it.
Now yes, either party can insist on a jury trial.
Amendment 7, Trial by Jury in Civil Matters
But I know that this is very rare. Only in extreme cases, usually very big money, would there be anything to gain.
I believe Probate is handled in a similar way.
Yes, people can settle estates without Probate if they wish.
So I can envision something like this. Upon the age of majority, or anytime there after, someone may initiate an action. It has elements similar to Divorce and similar to Probate, but it is neither. At that time all the other children will also become involved. It may or may not be pursued aggressively. It may sit for a while. It may result in freezes on assets, asset distribution, and or damage judgements.
What exactly is this action?
Mostly it is just a way of asking for outside intervention. In some cases it will be a full blown lawsuit. In other cases it will be more limited. It will supersede the need for Probate.
Now, in the filing of a law suit, one is expected to make all their claims in the initial complaint. They do not usually add more items, unless they could not have been previously known.
But this does not apply to letters of intent to sue or invitations to mediation. So if this set of actions was conducted initially through private mediation, then it could be pursued without making explicit claims of things like emotional or sexual abuse.
Remember, in dealing with senile - suicidals, the mediation / discovery process will out them.
It is important here that the mediators be strong Alice Miller informed adult child advocates. They should never betray their clients by disclosing things which continue to fuel the abusive recriminations.
When there has been intervention before a child has reached the age of majority, then this sort of action should be started at once.
Eventually a court procedure will be established. Perhaps one simply goes to the court and requests some sort of order to freeze an asset, or to compel the disclosure of some information. So they are asking for a court order, not monetary damages. But still gets it into the court. If needed, a damages suit can be filed at a later date. The cases can be then joined after the fact. This is already standard in Divorce cases.
So once the convention of taking this initial action of requesting the court order is established, the civil court on its own can establish a special division. They can do this based on the number of such requests, and on the number of related suits which are coming about.
So I think most of this can be done without legislative action. Lawyers will want to get in, once it is shown possible to get money.
When you talk about emotional abuse, there is the issue of where the bright line is.
Well, the same thing does also apply in sexual abuse. It also depends on defining what is and is not sex. It also depends on strict enforcement of an age of consent. In cases of incest it depends on a clear definition of familial relations. All of these are very problematic.
But if instead you look at the emotional abuse model, intentional infliction of distress, fraud, and neglect due to being used for other purposes, you have a more workable model. Sexual abuse is of course always going to be emotional abuse as well.
John Bradshaw promoted the definition of incest or sexual abuse as being any activity by which the adult is being sexually aroused. It make no difference how the minor is responding. It could consist of just telling stories. I like this.
Again, I am not trying to be highly draconian. I do want to change how people see the Family System, and I do want to effect a power shift, and I do want to change the way the State operates as well.
My ex had involvement with a private school. There she encountered a situation where a male teaching assistant had been hired. Some 12 yo girls took to engaging in full body embraces with him.
My ex and her colleagues found this to be excessive and objectionable. But they took to chastising the minors, because they were female.
I explained that they can chastise them, but the primary responsibility has to rest on the adult. So it does not matter what these 12 yo girls do, it is still the adult who is responsible. Eventually I was able to convince her to see it my way.
As far as the Family System, I no longer fear that what I am suggesting would go too far. If you think about it, in most cases there would be an agreed settlement treating all children equally, and with some reasonable arrangement for situations of half siblings and all. In more serious cases there would be asset freeze, and in some early distribution.
When these did go to trial it would be rare. Usually you would have extreme cases of someones life being damaged. You would have senile - suicidals trying to argue that what they did was right. A jury would not buy this. Taking power and money away from such persons is right.
Compensating people for what was done to them is right. Showing that the society does intervene in such cases is right and it is in my opinion necessary for being able to live a good life. It is worth fighting for.
As far as inheritance specifically, in the US today this is challenged by two common law notions, undue influence and incapacity to testate. Undue influence means situations were people like care takers step in and end up getting all the money. Incapacity to testate rests on an argument that there was some real intention which has gotten lost due to mental incapacity.
I feel that both of these are quite flimsy, but that they both do get at the problem. You are dealing with senile - suicidals. So if there is undue influence, it is because there is incapacity. Who has incapacity? Family dysfunction is caused by incapacity, as is the desire to disinherit. So it would not take much to advance the precedent of blocking most all disinheritance.
Exploited Children United