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Michigan Shared Parenting Initiative
DADS OF MICHIGAN PAC
American Center
27777 Franklin Rd.; Suite 300
Southfield, Michigan 48034

(810) 499-8689 phone
(810) 286-4853 fax


FOR IMMEDIATE PRESS RELEASE
MONDAY, JANUARY 24, 2000

Contact: Glenn Prentice,
Committee Chairman
(810) 499-8689



MICHIGAN CAMPAIGN FOR JOINT CUSTODY BALLOT INITIATIVE LAUNCHES IN SOUTHFIELD

A coalition of Michigan-based parents rights lobbying organizations, concerned citizens, and anonymous contributors begin this week the campaign to place "The Rebuttable Presumption of Joint Legal & Physical Custody" initiative on the November ballot. An organizational meeting is scheduled Tuesday, January 25 at 7:00 p.m. at the Southfield Centre for the Arts. A general fundraiser is also planned for Thursday, January 27 beginning at 6:00 p.m. at the prestigious Skyline Club. Both locations are in Southfield.

Currently under Michigan's Child Custody Act, one parent is commonly granted sole physical custody of minor children after divorce/custody cases. This often results not only in the separation of the two parents, but also the separation of children from one of their parents, usually the father. "This latter separation is perhaps the cruelest and most damaging result of divorce; whereby the non-custodial parent is denied meaningful contact with his/her children and the children are denied positive emotional benefits and guidance derived from meaningful contact with the 'visiting' or absent parent"...says Glenn Prentice, Chairman of the DADS OF MICHIGAN PAC.

A suggested remedy used successfully elsewhere, is for family courts to award legal and physical custody to both parents, unless one is otherwise proven unfit through clear
and convincing evidence. While nothing in current Michigan law precludes a joint physical custody arrangement, the state courts rarely attempt it.

"Parents have equal rights and responsibilities to and for their children. Conversely, children have rights for equal access to both of their parents".explains Murray Davis,
Executive Director of DADS OF MICHIGAN, a rapidlygrowing parents support organization and the Michigan affiliate of the American Coalition for Fathers and Children (ACFC). Numerous recent studies confirm the many positive benefits of keeping both parents actively involved in their children's lives despite certain domestic circumstances.

DADS OF MICHIGAN PAC [email: dadsmipac@aol.com ]is a Southfield-based volunteer political action committee supporting efforts to keep both parents actively involved in their children's lives via legislative and judicial reform. We believe. "men and women should be viewed equally under the law without gender bias. Fathers are responsible parents too...because the best parent is both parents."

RELATED STORY:

From:
DADS OF MICHIGAN...an ACFC affiliate
American Center
27777 Franklin Rd.; Suite 300
Southfield, Michigan 48034

(248) 559-DADS phone
(248) 559-5984 fax

EMBARGOED UNTIL
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 26, 2000

Contact: Murray Davis,
Executive Director
(248) 559-DADS

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2,000,000 Divorced Fathers Sue the State of Michigan

A class action suit on behalf of more than 2,000,000 Michigan divorced fathers has been filed against the State of Michigan and it's seven largest counties and their Friend of the Court agencies. This suit attacks these counties, the state, and their agencies for violating Fathers' constitutional rights, when attempting to collect child support. The suits states these agencies have illegally seized and sold property, illegally suspended licenses, illegally appointed receivers and refused to enforce father's parenting time and visitation rights, keeping Fathers from seeing their children.

This case, filed in Michigan's Ingham County Circuit Court, claims that:

Wayne County Circuit Court, Michigan's largest Circuit Court, it's Friend of the Court agency, and it's presiding Judge Kirsten Frank Kelly, have intentionally used illegal practices and procedures to violate Fathers' constitutional rights to illegally collect child support. These practices and procedures, under the authority of the State of Michigan, are allegedly designed and approved by the Michigan Friend of the Court
Bureau. The case claims these abuses extend throughout Michigan's largest counties, including Oakland, Macomb, Monroe, Livingston, Washtenaw, and, Genesee counties.

This Michigan class action seeks a Judgment declaring these practices unconstitutional, ordering all illegally seized property and fees returned, dissolving all illegal receiverships, and, enforcing fathers' parenting time rights.

"These courts have literally ignored Fathers' legal rights by denying them notice, hearings, and, simply refusing to enforce their own orders and the very laws they are sworn to uphold" said Michael E. Tindall of TROMBLY TINDALL P.C., attorneys for the Plaintiff Fathers. "These illegal acts by our largest state Circuit Courts are the direct result of fiscal pressure from the Federal Government to artificially inflate collection statistics, thus preventing loss of Federal funding and Federal revenue sharing".

Tindall, himself a divorced father and a plaintiff in the case, successfully sued Wayne County Circuit Court, Wayne County Friend of Court, and, the Wayne County Sheriff in Federal Court last year, for issuing illegal Show Cause Orders and Bench Warrants that violated Federal constitutional due process rights.

" This case will change the way support and parenting time orders are enforced in Michigan courts. The civil rights of all Michigan parents must been forced fairly and equally for the sake of our children and our families." Said Murray Davis, Executive Director of DADS OF MICHIGAN.

Also named as defendants are David M. Findling, a/k/a the "Garbage Man", and his law firm FINDLING LAW FIRM PLC, who received the largest number of receiver appointments and was paid the largest amount of fees from these courts for seizing property.

CONTACT: TROMBLY TINDALL P.C. (TTFIRM@AOL.COM)

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