Monday, November 12, 2012

Punishment, Control, and Deceit

Immediately the, “Standford Prison Experiment,” came to mind when I was reading these chapters 4, 5, 6, and 7. About a year ago in my Sociology class our instructor should us the video of the experiment. As I perused this website I began to recall some of the disturbing behavior that was exhibited by the prison guards. The first initial POWER was picking up the so called criminals in a police car with lights and sirens blaring. To boot, the police officers wore dark sunglasses an idea borrowed from the movie, “Cool Hand Luke,” the prisoners couldn’t see their eyes, which in itself is deceptive. The forms of deception that the guards used on the prisoners throughout the experiment to get them to conform was interesting to say the least because these guards were just volunteers in the experiment and the power went to theirs heads and they became, “ Super Cop.” The guards did everything they could in order to degrade, dehumanize and take away their individuality in order to make them comply. The guards would wake up the prisoners at different times and cause them sleep deprivation, along with using push-ups as a form of punishment. The push-ups were viewed at first as an inappropriate use of punishment but it was discussed that during the Nazi camps this form of punishment was also used to punish and control the prisoners.
The guards used solitary confinement to quail the ring leaders and they met force with force during the initial uprising with the fire extinguishers. Privileges of special food and treatment were given to some of the prisoners in order to cause more friction with the other prisoners. The amazing thing was the way the guards developed and morphed into these SUPER GUARDS and they came up with ideas about the harassment, punishment, and rewards all on their own. A couple of them seem to really relish in the fact that they wielded this power over the prisoners. The behavior the guards exhibited and how they morphed into these power symbols made me think of the movie industry.
            Within the past year I went to the Movie Theater and saw, “Hunger Games.” Given the subjects that we have been studying, I believe this movie seems to flip the bill. The movie takes place in a dystopian future, where a controlling, advanced technological consolidated government rules over "DISTRICTS" of poor populaces scarcely enduring in a third world environment. The government is punishing the districts because of a failed uprising and now the government is holding killing games once a year and a boy/girl must participate from each district, enslavement by the government, with the hope of freedom. What a deception!  
The government controls the rations of food and if a family or person wants more the child’s name goes into the selection again to increase their chances of being picked for the games, controlling maneuver by the government. The government has fenced off the districts with high voltage wires in order to keep the people confined to certain areas and restrict their liberty. The communications are controlled and the broadcast are theatrical events in which the government makes up in order to deceive the districts into believing what they want them too. Not unlike deception that is used in our own broadcasting and communications from the government. You never really get the entire real story; just the bits and pieces that might make the ratings go up, political goals and MONEY.
            The power in which the government had over these people, by restricting their freedom, food, and constantly putting them in fear for their families has such an huge impact upon the communities. These tactics are not such unlike power plays that happen in our own community, but not at this level. I had not realized how close to home this movie really was to some situations in our own society. While I was doing research on the internet about these power plays and deception the movie, “Hunger Games,” just seem to fit very nicely into the slot that I needed. This article for me was very interesting and quite an eye opener.

Waiver of Child Support ?


            You have requested for me to research and locate any authorities which control a couple’s ability to contract away an obligor parent’s past or future child support responsibility.


            Our client is an architect from New Mexico and she has been here in Fairbanks, Alaska, since May. She had a relationship with said father during this time and conceived a child. Mary’s job has ended and she will be returning to New Mexico. She earns no less than six-figures per year and is financially capable of supporting/raising the child alone. Mary has spoken with the father of the child and he agrees to pay $5000.00 in cash to help pay for the pregnancy and birth of the child. He has furthermore agreed to not having any natural parental rights to this child. In lieu of this agreement, he wants no child support obligation for past or future for the child. Mary has agreed and is now seeking legal service to execute the contract.


In the Alaska State Statue, AS 25.27.065, it does say the custodian of a child, including custodial parent, owes a duty to child that child support is paid, by noncustodial parent. An agreement to waive past and future child support by custodial and noncustodial parents is not enforceable unless:
1.      the agreement is put in writing at the time the agreement is made; and
2.      the agreement is signed at the time it is made by both the obligor and the person acting for the obligee.
Further into the statute, AS 25.27.065(b)(c), does imply this type of an agreement would not be enforceable if custodial parent was on welfare. Moreover, if our client and said father were seeking separation, dissolution, or divorce in a proceeding, the court would want proof from the custodial parent that they could support the needs of the child. Since our client Mary isn’t on welfare, currently not married, the statute does prove to have legal strength for the congenial agreement between parties in reference to child support. 
In, Cox v. Cox, 776 P.2d 1045, 1048(Alaska 1989), the above statute was cited in this case to strengthen the point that custodial and noncustodial parents should not be allowed to enter into an agreement where child support is concerned to evade the operation of Rule 90.3. Quoted from the brief:
Thus, the mere fact that an agreement may comply with this
statute does not mean that it is free from the operation and effect
of Rule 90.3. Our holding that parties cannot by contract evade
the operation of Rule 90.3 therefore does not conflict with this statute.

The Alaska Rules Civil Procedure Rule 90.3, Commentary V (B)(1), does state:
Agreement of the Parents: The fact that the parties, whether or not
Represented by counsel, agree on an amount of support is not reason
in itself to vary the guidelines. The children have an interest in
adequate support independent of either parent's interest. Thus,
approval of any agreement which varies the guidelines, whether in a
dissolution, by stipulation or otherwise, must be based upon an
explanation by the parties of what unusual factual circumstances
justify the variation.

Given the civil rule above, it does appear that even though the parents of said child have reached a satisfactory agreement between each other, is not necessarily an agreement the court would find in the best interest of the child. The court would have to rule on the agreement based off of Civil Rule 90.3.
            In the Civil Rules Procedure 90.3, Child Support Awards in summary are the guidelines for the Alaska court to determine child support based off of the best interest for the child or children. The guidelines were written in order to try to encompass most situations of child custody between the custodial and noncustodial parent, based off of financial needs of the child or children.
            Rule 90.3 is detailed about establishing child support and clarifies in the commentary that even though parents enter into an agreement themselves, the agreement has to be approved by the court. But in the Alaska State Statue, AS 25.27.065, it does give the impression our client does meet all of the requirements for the exceptions.
            After doing the research to locate authorities as you requested, it does appear the court would not look favorably upon an agreement made between a custodial and noncustodial parent to avoid past and future child support, since child support is a payment that a noncustodial parent makes as a contribution to the costs of raising her or his child. Moreover, within the AS 25.27.065, it does appear that our client’s situation does meet the enforceable requirements for the waiver of child support, but if brought before the court it would be debatable that the agreement would be held as so.
            I believe I have addressed your request to locate any authorities which control a couple’s ability to contract away an obligor parent’s past or future child support responsibility, based off of the resources available.


Old Laws On The Books

For the internet project in Chapter 4, I have to admit having difficult time deciding what I was going to do research on. I finally decided upon researching a topic that was not so serious as, “The Code of Hammurabi,” or on the, “Honor Killings.” So, I opted to do a little research on the old laws after reading the section on Model Penal Code. Don’t get me wrong I know that the, “Model of the Penal Code,” was developed as a way to standardize and organize the disconnected criminal codes enacted by the states. But some of the sections of the MPC are now considered old-fashioned, and the code is inadequate to address various significant recent criminal law issues. My interests are mainly the old laws that are on the books for Alaska. I found most of them extremely funny and interesting.
I found this web site where you could select a state that you’re interested in and then it provides you with a selection of laws that are still on the books. The dumb laws of the United States web site has some old laws for Alaska like:
·         Moose may not be viewed from an airplane.
·         Waking a sleeping bear for the purpose of taking a photograph is prohibited.
·         It is considered an offense to push a live moose out of a moving airplane.
The first law that is listed I found to be intriguing, because I couldn’t really come up with a reason why a moose could not be viewed from an airplane. Maybe it was related to a hunting law of some sort. Now anybody in their right mind would not wake a sleeping bear up just to get picture. Could this law have been written for purposes of waking a bear from hibernation and or maybe in an en-caged area like a zoo? Now, why would anyone push a moose out of a moving airplane? The law did not specify flying, just moving. Maybe if a person was being pursued by Fish and Game for taking an animal illegally?
·         Intentionally avoiding walking on the cracks in the pavement is illegal
·         Fairbanks: No moose is allowed to have sex (or even heavy petting on city streets.
·         Stealing snow from a neighbor’s garden to make a snowman is against the law. Using it for an igloo is acceptable.
Intentionally avoiding walking on cracks, I don’t get it. I remember the saying that we chanted when we were kids about stepping on cracks, but I truly cannot come up with any logical explanation why this was ever on the books. Research on this topic is for another day. The Fairbanks law I found quite funny about the moose and sex. To whom would you give the ticket to? Well, the stealing of the snow of course is logical, one would think that building a snowman is non-essential and an igloo of course is just the opposite. As I further explore these old laws I can see that many are outdated for our society and may if never used.
·         In Missouri, It is Illegal To Drive With An Un-caged Bear (Caged Bears Are OK)
·         In Maine, It's Illegal To Have Christmas Decorations Up After Jan. 14
·         In New Jersey, It is Illegal To Wear A Bulletproof Vest While Committing A Murder
Who in their right mind would drive around with a un-caged bear. Maybe someone in the circus, but that is stretching it pretty far. Now about having decorations up after January 14th, I’m sure glad that we don’t have that law here in Fairbanks. Most people leave their Christmas lights up year around. The last one that I listed I thought to be so funny, I practically fell off my chair. These laws are for extremely ignorant people and I would hope that our society has better sense than that. These states paid these people to spend time to come up with these laws, amazing.
I can still see where the Model Penal Code is needed in order to organize the criminal laws in the states. MPC is organized into four parts, helps define the crimes and organizes them:
(1) General provisions containing definitional functions and presumptive rules;
 (2) Definitions of specific offenses;
(3) Provisions governing treatment and correction; and
(4) Provisions governing the organization of corrections departments and divisions such as the divisions responsible for parole or probation.
But our states need to update their laws in order to reflect today society.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

No More...

There will be no more conversations
With my brother,
There will be no more pictures 
Of my brother,
There will be no more laughs
With my brother,
There will be no more disagreements
With my brother,
There will be no more standing together as one
with my brother,
No more smiles will I receive 
from my brother,
There will be no more of my brother...

November 7, 2012
By Me, "My Brothers  Sister"

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Post Wedding Stress for the Mom of the Bride

Good Morning, if that is what you would like to call it. I had a terrible time sleeping last night. To many things to do, all rolling around in my head. I guess, I would have to categorize my behavior as being a little stressed. 

My oldest is getting married to a wonderful guy, but this wedding planning, getting everything in order, guests readying your home and there it is MONEY! Its hard to get my head wrapped around this one. Today the costs of a wedding can be out of this world. Don't get me wrong, were not made out of money and we have a low budget, but still. Okay, just breathe...

My oldest daughter is about to wed
Many happy tears I have shed
May all their dreams come to pass
Many wishes for my lass...

Friday, May 4, 2012

Sheila Sheelagh-Dissolving Her Marriage

To:      Ed Husted
From: Lee Ann Atencio
Date:  5/4/2012
Re:      Sheila Sheelagh-Dissolving Her Marriage
What would be the most expedient way for our client Mrs. Sheelagh to dissolve her marriage from her husband, which she has not seen for nearly three years and she presumes him dead?
Short Answer
After doing an extensive exploration on what would be the most expedient way our client could dissolve her marriage with the least amount of time and resistance, would be getting a divorce based off of desertion. A diligent search would have to be done to locate her missing husband, showing a good faith effort. This road would be the less problematic for our client.
Statement of Facts
Mrs. Sheelagh is married and her husband has vanished for nearly three years. She last saw her husband in April 2009, when he left on a work assignment. Her husband was working for Blackwater Worldwide, a private company which mainly does work for the C.I.A. Mrs. Sheelagh’s husband told her right before he left that he was going to Central America on a secret mission which he could not discuss with her, but he had described it as a “cloak and dagger” mission. He also stated that there was a possibility he might not return.
Mrs. Sheelagh has not seen her husband or had any messages from him or anyone on his behalf since he left in April 2009. She has tried to contact his employer, Blackwater Worldwide, but they will not communicate with her, claiming “national security.” Mrs. Sheelagh strongly believes that her husband is dead, but does not have any proof.
Mrs. Sheelagh has gotten on with her life and has been living with her boyfriend. She does not feel comfortable with the situation and would like to see their relationship evolve to marriage. Hence, she would like detach herself from her husband as quickly as possible to re-marry.
My first research centered on finding cases in the State of Alaska which referenced divorcing one’s spouse, in addition to not living in the same state. In the opinion that was written on, Vanvelzor v. Vanvelzor, 219 P.3d 184 (Alaska 2009), the husband sought a divorce from his wife, who did not live in Alaska. He moved here for employment and his intent was to remain. On page 191, number 3, Westlaw stated “Although the superior court did not have personal jurisdiction over Jessica, it had jurisdiction to grant annulment or divorce.” On the same opinion page, they held that Alaska courts have jurisdiction over the cessation of a marriage if one of the petitioners is in the State of Alaska and intends to stay, even if the court does not have personal jurisdiction over the other party.
In the case of Crews v.Crews, 769 P.2d 433 (Alaska 1989), the wife left the husband and moved to Alaska. Her husband never lived in Alaska. Alaska court did not have personal jurisdiction over her personal claims against her husband, such as property division and child support. The case cited an Alaska Statute AS 25.24.080, which is the residence requirement for a plaintiff in an action to declare the marriage void in the state of Alaska.
Under the AS 25.24.050 (4), a divorce may be granted for any of the following grounds: willful desertion of a period of one year, this is the one that our client’s case would fall under.  The definition of willful is deliberate, voluntary, and intentional and by what our client has told us, her husband meets this definition.
Under Alaska Civil Rule 4 (e) other service is used when diligent inquiry has been made to track down a person to serve them with documents and the person cannot be found.  Alaska Civil Rule 4 (e) (1) the party must make a good faith effort in tracking down the missing person, via internet, known residences, employment, etc. After this has been done, the party then writes out an affidavit and submits it to the court.
I would believe that after doing the research under Alaska State Law, Mrs. Sheelagh would be able obtain a divorce based off the grounds of willful desertion.
There is another possibility of looking at presumption of death under AS 13.06.035 (5):
an individual whose death is not established under (1) - (4) of this section and who is absent for a continuous period of five years, during which the individual has not been heard from, and whose absence is not satisfactorily explained after diligent search or inquiry, is presumed to be dead; the individual's death is presumed to have occurred at the end of the period unless there is sufficient evidence for determining that death occurred earlier.
Under another set of statutes, they allow a district court judge or magistrate to make a finding that permits declaration of death of a person who has vanished much shorter period of time than the above presumption of death. AS 09.55.020 says that, “if no one submits a petition within 40 days, a judge or magistrate may submit the petition from personal knowledge of the case.”
The latter part of this search could prove to be a possible remedy for Mrs. Sheelagh in the declaration of death, which would take at least 40 days for the judge or magistrate just to summit the petition for presumption of death, not including the diligent search that would have to be done.
One more possibility to look at, “The Enoch Arden Doctrine,” this provides a good faith belief in the death of one’s spouse predicated upon his/her absence for a period of years, and will shield the remarrying partner from criminal bigamy. In some jurisdictions in addition to raising a shield to bigamy, after a certain number of years it will give the subsequent marriage legal status. Another name is “Domestic Relations Law 220 and 221,” this authorizes a spouse to commence a special proceeding to dissolve a marriage when the other spouse has been missing for five or more years, providing that the missing spouse is  presumed dead. The name “Enoch Arden” is named after the poem written by Lord Alfred Tennyson. These are special proceedings and rarely used, although I have found that the State of New York does cite the Enoch Arden in several cases. One case was Lambert v. Lambert, 1 N.E. 2d 833 (N.Y.1936), this case was where the lady married and she had not heard from her husband since 1913. It is now 1925, in which she has become acquainted with another person and wants to marry. She uses the Enoch Arden Doctrine in order to get a dissolution of marriage from her husband. She does marry said person on the same day she gets dissolution of marriage signed by the courts. In this particular case her current husband later uses the Enoch Arden Doctrine against her on the grounds that the court lacked the jurisdiction to grant the order to begin with.  In another case, In re Rogers’ Estate, 275 N.Y.S. 140 N.Y.Sur (1934), the wife procured adjudication of the marriage in the Supreme Court, Queens County, dissolving the marriage under the so-called Enoch Arden Law because of the absence of her husband, for a period of five years. She wanted monies from his estate to support her lifestyle. Come to find out her husband correspondingly procured dissolution of marriage based off of the same grounds, in the Westchester County. These facts came to light in court and the claim was disallowed.
I believe this remedy for our client would be extremely problematic and possibly cause issues down the line if the husband did re-surface.
After the widespread research of several likelihoods of dissolving our clients marriage, starting with divorce due to desertion, presumption of death, and then finally the Enoch Arden decree. It is in my opinion to recommend divorce based off of willful desertion.  I believe this would be the less problematic way to go, emotionally and financially. We would in fact have to do a diligent search for her husband showing good faith, even though we understand we will be meeting resistance from his employer. This of course will take a moderate portion of time and we will need information from our client in order to accelerate the situation.