December 17, 2005
LETTER TO OUR BROWARD COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
February 4, 2003
Broward County Commissioners
Broward Governmental Center
115 S. Andrews Avenue
Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. 33301
Dear Commissioners and Aids:
We are petitioning our county government to provide public funds for free government attorneys to defend fathers, rich or impoverished, in child support enforcement hearings -- just as the county currently provides public funds for free government county attorneys to advocate for rich or impoverished mothers.
Broward County government has in place a gender-discriminatory, federally funded scheme, where, our county provides free attorneys to rich and impoverished "custodial" women in child support enforcement proceedings. The name of the Broward County governmental entity that perfects this scheme and receives the federal funding is. The Support Enforcement Division of Broward County.
The county refuses to provide free government attorneys for the defense of "non-custodial" fathers in child support enforcement proceedings. This discriminatory policy-scheme violates established law, and, as such, is not entitled to federal, state or county funding. The government's unlawful use of superficial so-called neutral classifications of "custodial" and "non-custodial" are merely masking invidious gender-discrimination. County government is prohibited from receiving federal funds, directly or indirectly, to fund a program which discriminates against one gender. This discriminatory scheme of Broward County government offends a citizen's sense of justice and is a denial of the equal protections of the federal constitution.
Perhaps, merely 2%-5% of divorced or unwed fathers are designated the "custodial" parent. This would mean 95%-98% of the remaining fathers would be designated as the "non-custodial" parent. Under Broward County's present scheme, 95%-98% of those fathers will not be provided the free county government attorneys. In contrast, 95%-98% of those mothers will be provided the free county government attorneys.
In America, it is a fundamental rule of law that: the citizen who faces the incarceration is the one who is provided a free county government attorney to prevent against such unlawful incarceration. However, under the present unconstitutional policy of Broward County, it is the "custodial" parent, i.e. the mother, who is provided the free government attorney to perfect the unlawful incarceration of the "non-custodial" father. Divorced and unwed fathers are being singled out by our county government for the deprivation of their federally protected rights by funding selective enforcement of the draconian child support laws.
This discriminatory scheme of our county government violates the constitutional right of all citizens to an equal litigation opportunity. Our federal constitution guarantees every citizen equal access to governmental services.
Look forward to a prompt reply, responsive to this petition.
Tony Spalding, President
cc: American Civil Liberties Union
U.S. House Subcommittee on the Constitution
The Miami Herald
The O'Reilly Factor
U.S. Representative Peter Deutsch
U.S. Representative Alcee Hastings
U.S. Representative E. Clay Shaw, Jr.
U.S. Dept. of Justice
U.S. Commission on Civil Rights
Leadership Council on Civil Rights