Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Topics - PowerMan72

Main / Hoist By His Own Petard
Jan 25, 2004, 08:34 AM

from the Tennessean, Sunday, 01/25/04

Ford, who pays child support, challenging state on new rules
Associated Press

MEMPHIS -- State Sen. John Ford, facing an increase in the child support he pays, is challenging state child support rules that he sponsored and guided through the General Assembly last year.

Ford's legislative aides in Nashville said Thursday he would hold a public hearing next week to re-examine the rules changed last year.

That action has raised ethics questions.

''The fact that he has his own interest in it, it doesn't sound like it's good policy,'' said Bill Allison, spokesman for The Center For Public Integrity, a private, Washington-based watchdog group.

''The people that it could ultimately hurt are children. And I think that, in some ways, makes it worse,'' Allison told The Commercial Appeal newspaper.

Ford is contesting a woman's petition in Shelby County Juvenile Court that could greatly increase his support of her 9-year-old daughter.

Attorneys for Dana M. Smith said Ford should pay more because his income has recently increased significantly. Ford contends his support should not be increased because he's responsible for five other children.

Ford did not return a telephone message seeking comment Friday.

In opposing Smith's petition for more support, Ford resorted to a seldom used strategy on Dec. 16, filing a constitutional challenge to state child support rules that he says should be held ''void and unenforceable.''

Tennessee Attorney General Paul Summers, as required by law, has intervened to oppose the Memphis Democrat's challenge of the rules.

As chairman of the Senate General Welfare Committee that guides the state's social services policy, Ford plans to review the rules this week. Department of Human Services Commissioner Gina Lodge is scheduled to give an ''update on child support guidelines.''

Ford notified DHS on Jan. 14 that he wanted an explanation of the new rules, records show.

The rules change requires courts to consider reducing child support for fathers who, like Ford, are supporting several dependents. The law gives judges the option to deviate from traditional rules and consider reducing a parent's payments by giving credit for other children that the parent is supporting.

Ford says in court filings that DHS isn't properly implementing the rules.

Attorney David Caywood, who is representing Ford in the Juvenile Court proceeding, said DHS's enforcement of the law has left some children with inadequate support.

''They don't treat all children equally,'' Caywood said. ''That's the bottom line to it.''

Ford introduced his bill last year after Smith petitioned the court for an increase in Ford's $500-a-month support of her 9-year-old daughter.

Attorneys for Smith, a former Shelby County employee who sued Ford in 1995 for sexual harassment and won a jury verdict, contend the child support payments should be raised because of a dramatic increase in his income.

They are relying on a report that Ford earned more than $250,000 in 2001, nearly double any income previously disclosed to the court.

Caywood confirmed the amount is alleged in court papers but said he doesn't know the source of the report.
Main / Child Support?
Jan 22, 2004, 06:08 PM

Wed Jan 21, 4:46 AM ET


The ex-girlfriend of rap mogul Sean "P. Diddy" Combs went to a New Rochelle family court yesterday to demand a $30,000 hike in child-support payments for their 9-year-old son.

Fashion-stylist mom Misa Hylton-Brim said she's only been getting a mere $5,512 a month to look after their son, Justin, while Combs' ex-gal pal, model Kim Porter, is raking in a sweet $35,000-a-month deal in child support for their son, Christian, 6.

Hylton-Brim told The Post outside family court she had accidentally found out about the dizzying cash disparity from a friend who knows both her and Porter.

"It hurts deeply," she said. "This is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I'm very sad. I wouldn't have ever imagined it would have come to this.

"The perception Sean projects outside the courtroom is quite different from the truth," she added. "He wants the public to have a perception of him, but the reality is that I'm here asking for money.

"Kim had to go to the courts, too. He just didn't offer it," she said.

Porter's child-support settlement was sealed in Manhattan Criminal Court, but those familiar with the case said Combs must take care of his son until he is 21 and provide for his education, medical care and other needs.

Hylton-Brim said that, so far, she and Combs have managed to keep their public differences from their son.

"He's pretty shielded from this. He's a strong kid. He knows that we both love him," she said.

Hylton-Brim said she was puzzled that the blockbuster music producer, restaurateur, clothing designer and magazine publisher was reluctant to give her son the same amount of child support as his other child.

"That's the biggest mystery," she said.

"He's called [Hylton-Brim]. They've had private conversations," said Hylton-Brim attorney Brett Kimmel. "He's said 'We have to talk about this. I don't want to go to court.' But he doesn't want to pay that much."

Kimmel said the 1996 decision to pay $5,000 a month in child support to his client "was made before Puffy was Puffy, when he was Sean Combs and no one would have imagined how big he would get - except maybe Puffy.

"She's not getting 17 percent of [Combs'] income, which is the law," he said.

In addition he said, "There's been a dramatic increase in the child's needs."

He contended Combs is causing a rift between mom and son because he treats the boy to lavish weekends when the child goes to visit him.

"It's nothing [for Combs] to spend $40,000 in a day, so when Justin comes back on Monday morning, he's back with mom and there's no continuity," said Kimmel. "The boy is going from one lifestyle to another."

Combs was not in court. His attorney, Paul Galasso, declined to comment on the case.

In a 2003 court hearing, Combs tried to prevent Hylton-Brim's lawyer, famed divorce attorney Raoul Felder, from having access to his financial information.
Main / Colorado considers revised rape law
Jan 19, 2004, 04:10 PM

Colorado considers revised rape law

DENVER, Colorado (AP) --After a resort worker accused Kobe Bryant of rape, her identity was splashed around the world on Web sites, the cover of a supermarket tabloid and a radio broadcast. The basketball star's attorney said the woman's name six times during a court hearing.

Now, two state legislators have proposed tighter legal protections for people who report being raped, citing the hate mail and death threats that targeted the 19-year-old accuser after her name was published.

Without the extra protection, the release of identities "could have a real chilling effect and prevent victims from coming forward," Democratic state Sen. Peter Groff said.

Rape shield laws in many states already protect the identities of alleged victims. Virtually all U.S. news organizations, including The Associated Press, have policies against releasing the names.

Groff's measure would allow prosecutors to decide whether to list accusers' names in legal proceedings under a pseudonym, such as Jane Doe.

Republican state Sen. Bruce Cairns proposed a bill that would allow victims to sue the people who released their names for actual damages, collect a $5,000 civil penalty and be repaid for attorney fees and costs.

The bill also would allow victims to have an advocate at their side when interviewed by police.

Neither bill has been set for a legislative hearing.

Prosecutors say judges already have the discretion to keep the names secret through court rules. They also are concerned about expanding the involvement of victims' advocates, which has come up in the Bryant case.

Bryant's attorneys want a judge to turn over the notes taken by a victim's advocate when police interviewed the basketball star's accuser. Prosecutors say the notes are protected by medical privacy laws.

"We're concerned they will inject themselves into the process and become potential witnesses," said Peter Weir, executive director of the Colorado District Attorney's Council.

Bryant was charged with felony sexual assault after his accuser told authorities he attacked her June 30 at a resort where she worked. The Los Angeles Lakers guard has claimed the sex was consensual. A pretrial hearing is set for Friday in Eagle, west of Denver.

Shortly after Bryant was arrested, the accuser's name was posted on Internet sites and broadcast on a radio talk show heard in 60 cities. The Globe tabloid put her name and photograph on its cover last fall. She also received two death threats, and charges are pending in those cases.

A judge ordered lawyers and investigators to keep the woman's identity secret, but that does not extend to the news media. Such laws have been ruled an unconstitutional infringement on freedom of the press.

Bryant's attorneys did not return a message seeking comment. Last month, they argued that the state's rape-shield law should be overturned because it violates a defendant's rights to confront his accuser.

Media attorney Tom Kelley said the two bills will do little to protect rape victims because the news media has a legitimate right to learn the identities of victims and check facts.

"Sooner or later, the identity of the victim will get out. To try to enforce a scorched earth policy against anyone disclosing the name really doesn't make a lot of sense," Kelley said.


Copyright 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Man Sues Fertility Clinic Over Ex's Pregnancy
Estranged Wife Impregnated Without His Permission, Man Says

POSTED: 7:06 AM EST January 14, 2004
UPDATED: 7:25 AM EST January 14, 2004

BOSTON -- A jury is scheduled to hear opening arguments on Wednesday in the case of a man who is suing a fertility clinic and a doctor for impregnating his estranged wife with an embryo fertilized with his own sperm without his permission.

Richard Gladu, a Wayland firefighter, sued Boston IVF and Dr. Selwyn P. Oskowitz for $3 million in Middlesex Superior Court in 1998 for breach of contract and medical malpractice.

Gladu contends in his suit that the embryo was implanted without his permission in Meredith McLeod in January 1996, resulting in the birth of a girl.

The couple was estranged at the time but still living together. They have since divorced.

Gladu and McLeod also have an older adopted daughter and a son conceived by consensual in-vitro fertilization.

A jury of 10 women and six men will hear opening arguments before Judge Julian Houston. The trial is expected to last until the end of next week.

Gladu has claimed the pregnancy was a last-ditch effort by his wife to save their marriage.

Gladu sued after his divorce was finalized in 1997, his wife was given custody of the three children, and he was ordered to pay $1,000 in child support. He claims in his suit he should be compensated financially because he did not participate in the decision to have a third child.

McLeod is not named in the suit.

Lawyers for the clinic and Oskowitz say Gladu had signed a paper agreeing to have remaining embryos "returned to the body of the female spouse so named ... within three years from the date of embryo freezing."

But a lawyer for Gladu said that in April 1993, Gladu and McLeod signed a document with Boston IVF saying that all embryos not used in the procedure that produced their son would be discarded, or donated to another couple.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Main / Man Saves Baby Left To Die In Toilet
Jan 07, 2004, 01:21 PM

January 6, 2004 -- A New Jersey woman gave birth into a toilet, then put down the lid and left her newborn daughter in the bowl to die - but her boyfriend rescued the infant, authorities said.

The premature 3-pound, 2-ounce baby lay in the water for about 30 minutes after her birth in the bathroom of her mother's apartment Saturday, but her head was not submerged, Camden County prosecutor Vincent Sarubbi said.

The child, whose body temperature had dropped to about 82 degrees, is expected to survive, he said.

The mother, Denise Marie Winner, of Mount Ephraim, was charged with attempted murder and child endangerment.Conviction could mean up to 30 years in prison.

According to the prosecutor, Winner, 42, who has two other children, hid her pregnancy from friends and relatives, including her live-in boyfriend, Anthony Patterino.

Patterino, who saved the baby after hearing muffled cries from the bathroom, told Philadelphia's WPVI-TV that Winner thought she had a miscarriage.

He said the charges against her were "bogus."
Main / Joe Lieberman's Domestic Violence Plan
Jan 02, 2004, 12:32 PM
:roll:           UH-OH . . .

Lieberman offers domestic violence plan
Says Bush has underfunded Violence Against Women Act

CONCORD, New Hampshire (AP) --Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Lieberman is targeting the court system, the workplace and the home with a wide-ranging plan to protect and assist victims of domestic violence.

Accusing President Bush of remaining silent on the issue, the Connecticut senator will unveil a series of proposals Friday based on three goals.

Strengthening protections for battered women.

Helping victims lead safe and independent lives.

Breaking the cycle of violence.

Lieberman says Bush has underfunded the landmark Violence Against Women Act and has missed opportunities to raise awareness about the damage done by batterers to millions of families.

He promises to make the issue a top priority, starting with legal and law enforcement changes and continuing with a pledge to create 300 transitional homes for victims during his first term as president.

According to a summary provided by the campaign, Lieberman will propose cracking down on abusers who violate restraining orders by making such violations a crime. In many states, protective orders are issued by civil courts, not criminal courts, and violating them carries no punishment.

Lieberman would require states to criminalize the violation of civil court orders to qualify for federal violence-prevention funding.

He also would set up 24-hour hot lines so victims can obtain temporary restraining orders at any time and would create a program to help states share information so that restraining orders would be better enforced across state lines.

Police would get more help in the form of federal matching funds for antidomestic violence programs, and officers, judges, social workers and others would get more training on the complexities of domestic violence.

Lieberman proposed providing tax credits to employers that provide domestic violence education and support services; medical, financial and legal referrals; and flexible work, transfer and leave policies.

He also would allow victims to collect unemployment benefits if they have to leave work and move to escape an abusive relationship and would exempt those who are on welfare from work if they are in the midst of a legal battle.

Taking a long-range approach, Lieberman is seeking to prevent children from growing up to perpetuate abusive relationships.

He proposes expanding the Violence Against Women Act to include funding for counseling for children who have been exposed to violence and refocusing mentoring programs to ensure boys are taught to develop stable, nonviolent relationships with women.


Copyright 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Main / Yet Another Broken Family . . .
Dec 26, 2003, 08:20 AM

Man rams car into house, kills self, 2 kids

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Florida (AP) --A man drove his car into his in-laws' house in a fiery Christmas Day crash, killing himself and his two children minutes before he was supposed to turn them over to his estranged wife, according to media reports.

Shahab Behzadpour, his 3-year-old son, Sammi, and 6-year-old daughter, Nikki, died in the crash in Altamonte Springs, a northern Orlando suburb.

Behzadpour, 46, and his wife, Hope Custodio, were undergoing a bitter divorce. Court records show she had accused him of abuse, and last Friday she won a restraining order for him to stay away from her, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

But the couple had shared custody of the children and he was supposed to let them spend Christmas afternoon with his wife, relatives and neighbors told WKMG-TV of Orlando.

Behzadpour's Ford Crown Victoria hit a pillar at the front of Custodio's parents' house, in the gated community of Brantley Estates, and exploded into a fireball.

Custodio's brother Alex Custodio told WFTV-TV of Orlando that he believed his brother-in-law intentionally rammed the house, and that Behzadpour had threatened to harm himself and the children in the past.

Alex Custodio said the family did not immediately know who was in the car when the crash occurred.

"The whole thing was in flames," he said. "It was burning real fast, and my wife said there was somebody inside there. She was trying to get the fire extinguisher and it wouldn't work, then we just got away because we thought it was going to explode, and then we found out it was my brother-in-law's car."

The Altamonte Springs Police Department and Orange County Sheriff's Department did not immediately return phone messages and pages Thursday night.

Yaqood Virani, a neighbor of Behzadpour, said the family came to central Florida from Chicago two years ago. He said Behzadpour said he was originally from Iran.

"He loved his children very much," said Virani. "We'd never had an inkling of this."

Copyright 2003 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Main / Schwarzenegger paroles woman . . .
Nov 30, 2003, 08:31 AM


Schwarzenegger's decision Wednesday marks a departure from former Gov. Gray Davis, who during his five years repeatedly refused to grant paroles approved by the state's Board of Prison Terms.

Davis blocked all but eight of 294 paroles approved by the board in murder cases. He twice rejected parole for Rosario Munoz, the woman Schwarzenegger has agreed to free.

Under state law, the governor can reject the state board's parole decisions. California is one of only three states that grants governors that power.

Schwarzenegger did not comment on his decision to parole Munoz, a 51-year-old mother of three who was convicted in 1989 of killing her husband's lover in Los Angeles.

The board's approval of Munoz's parole was based on her apparent remorse for the killing, psychological evaluations that showed a slim chance of her offending again and her efforts to raise money for the victim's daughter by selling portraits, said board spokesman Bill Sessa.

Schwarzenegger granted his first parole last Thursday, three days after taking office, when he agreed to release a Sacramento man convicted of a 1985 murder. He also denied parole for a man who killed a woman while driving drunk in 1986.