Great-Granddaddy of Fathers' Rights
Nat Denman never failed to be proud that he was a descendant of
Thomas, Lord Denman, Chief Justice of England (b.1779 d.1854).
Some quotations which made Lord Denman memorable:
"A delusion, a mockery, and a snare."
Connell v. The Queen, 11 Clark and Finnelly Reports.
"The mere repetition of the Cantilena of lawyers cannot make it law, unless it can be traced to some competent authority; and if it be irreconcilable, to some clear legal principle."
Bartlett's Familiar Quotations (1901)
Below is a copy of some raw material which Bob Hirschfeld, who worked for Nat Denman years ago, stumbled on recently in his files. The cases were gathered years ago in this list by Nat Denman (now deceased), the great granddaddy of fathers rights across the States, and have not been checked for "obsolescence" . . . for whether any courts' minds have changed on the subject. Many cites, particularly those to the U.S. Supreme Court, are likely still fine.
Please also note that many references are to the unofficial reporters (private company which adds headnotes with a "key" system) rather than to the official reporters (entity which has contract with government to print the opinions in the form in which they are issued by court). Because time is of the essence for many of you with pending cases, I have listed them in an "as is" condition.
Note also that the citations are not necessarily in the correct format. Although as a pro se partry you don't need to use the so-called correct format because much is forgiven, you should use it if you know it: it makes you appear more knowledgeable -- image, appearances. . . . A book which should be in all law libraries is A Uniform System of Citation, published and distributed by The Harvard Law Review Association, Gannett House, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.
September 1983 issue of SINGLE DAD'S LIFESTYLE Magazine.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The cases cited below usually involve many more issues than the one for which they are herein cited. The interpretation preceding the citation is that of Denman or other editor, and not necessarily an interpretation agreed upon by others. FOR YOUR PROTECTION, YOU MUST LOOK UP AND READ a cited case before you cite it in your own pleadings, to make sure that it is "on point" with what you are trying to do. Otherwise, you run the risk that the other side will look up and read your cited case and find something in it distinguishable from your case, or even usable against you.
It is usually preferable to quote in legal pleadings the particular pertinent wording from reading the case itself, followed by the volume/reporter designation/page/year citation, rather than to quote the general, and unofficial, summary by which the cases are stated below.
Most of the cited decisions can be found in your local (and publicly available) county, state, city or college law library. If you haven't already done so in preparing your own legal pleadings, it is essential that you spend some time in one of these law libraries learning how to look up and find the cited cases. There are often helpful other users of the library, or you can ask at the desk for a reference on how to use a law library.
Parental rights may not be
"clear and convincing evidence."
A child has an equal right to be raised by the father, and
to the father if he is the better parent, or mother is not interested.
If custodial mother has boyfriend living with her, state
custody to father.
Visitation (parenting time) is a constitutionally
can be protected in federal court, even if father is in prison.
Custody can be awarded to father of girls of "tender
commits perjury, and is otherwise immoral.
Arguments that Joint Custody constitutes a "fundamental
Mother cannot take child out of state if that prevents
relationship between father and child.
Ex Parte conferences, hearings or Orders denying parental
personal liberties are unconstitutional, cannot be enforced, can be set
aside in federal court, and can be the basis of suits for money
~ NOTE ~
Judges' refusal to consider evidence and psychologist
due process right to "meaningful hearing."
Laws and Court procedures that are "fair on their faces"
"with an evil eye and a heavy hand" (discriminatorily) are
Federal Courts can rule on federal claims (constitutional
involved in state divorce cases and award money damages for federal
or in diversity of citizenship cases involving intentional infliction
emotional distress by denial of parental rights, "visitation", as long
as the Federal Court is not asked to modify custodial status.
Right to jury trial in Contempt:
Contempt of Court is quasi-criminal, merits all
Excessive fine on Contempt
Payment of support tied to visitation:
Although court may acquire subject matter jurisdiction
to modify custody through UCCJA, it must show independent personal
(significant contacts) over out-of-state father before it can order him
to pay child support.
Attorney's fees only if court-appointed in contempt for
of child support.
Custody can be changed if visitation is denied.
Unlawfully retaining noncustodial parent cannot argue
at Habeas Corpus hearing.
Process service in family matters must provide due process
Stay of execution by Court of Appeal protects its
to protect Appellant's rights.
Justice delayed is justice denied.
Attorney can be sued for malpractice under consumer
Money damages in federal civil rights suits need not
But claim under $10,000 is cause of dismissal of diversity
action in federal court.
Spouses can sue each other while still married for torts,
~ NOTE ~
Judge's dismissal for no cause is reversible.
Non-lawyers can assist or represent litigants in court.
Members of group who are competent nonlawyers can assist
of group achieve the goals of the group in court without being charged
with "unauthorized practice of law"
Pro Se (Without a Lawyer, representing self) pleadings are
without technicality; pro se litigants pleadings are not to be held to
the same high standards of perfection as lawyers.
Federal judges can set aside or overturn state courts to
Right to electronically record one's own conversations
note" when life, liberty or property is threatened, or to preserve
A conspirator is responsible for the acts of other
have left the conspiracy before he joined it, or joined after he left
statutes of limitations tolled for previous acts when each new act is
State statute of limitations is tolled (does not run) in
while same action is pending in federal court; action can be brought in
State Court after federal court dismisses for lack of subject matter
Either parent can sue for interference with parental
Children must be returned to home state before child
Custody can be changed if wife is "disrespectful" of
Wife held in contempt for denial of visitation; new judge
suspend contempt order.
Wife can be held in contempt if visitation is denied
Alimony and wive's lawyers fees are civil debts, not
procedures, since the Constitution did away with debtor's prison.