Problems: Ennis Case

45 CFR Problems | 45 CFR 302/304 Excerpts

PROBLEMS: Ennis Case

This PROBLEMS page analyzes information retrieved from various sources from which the Administrator publishes interpretations of law. PROBLEMS pages will be refined as more Cases are published. For the present, PROBLEMS are described very broadly.

PROBLEMS as perceived in this Section and this Case are separated into three (3) groups: Federal issues; State issues; and Case Specific issues.

The Reader is encouraged to challenge interpretations of Law as published.


The Ennis case illustrates one example of judicial abuse for enforcement of support orders and the heavy-handed application of support enforcement rules by DRS and the Lehigh County court. Problems arise when state compliance with federal code is loaded with financial incentives so obscene as to tempt abuse of the federal incentives.

Elisha Ennis was incarcerated for “civil contempt” for non-payment of child support. His case reflects several PROBLEMS arising from 45 CFR [K] due to Federal Agency demands for compliance for federal incentives.

The U.S. Supreme Court HELD that the Government has no right to interject itself into family matters unless there is an imminent threat of danger to the child. Contrary to the Court’s ruling, the Department of Public Welfare (DPW) interjected itself as the SUPREME AUTHORITY for the protection of children in separate households. No showing of harm or imminent harm is suggested.

DPW promulgates administrative law, not legislation, distributing immense (obscene) amounts of “financial incentives” to State “political subdivisions” via 45 CFR Chapter III — Child Support Enforcement Program (“CSE”). These financial incentives are OBSCENE. The CSE Program departs from the intent of the Constitution and the original federal distributions of child support.

PACOURTINJUSTICE contends that this “Program” is the source of the corruption of the judicial system of “family” law. 45 CFR – Chapter III is the conduit. The CSE Program offers such huge sums of money that it tempted – and succeeded – in converting courts of law into a collection branch of State government. Family courts are the beneficiaries of the “cash cow” called the CSE Program. Family court judges administer cases without regard for their oath of office, the Code of Judicial Conduct or the constitutional rights of defendants.

Judges should be renamed “Chancellors of the Exchequer” as collectors for State and “political subdivision” treasuries. They dishonor the office of “judge of law” and are undeserving of the title ‘The Honorable Judge So-and-so’.

State Government and State courts feed on the “cash cow” that flows from Washington. A conservative estimate is that Pennsylvania receives more than $100 MILLION DOLLARS annually under federal incentives offered via the CSE Program. Requests to State legislators for this information have been unanswered. “Federal incentives” under 45 CFR are NOT READILY TRACEABLE; a source of hidden income which our legislators religiously avoid questioning.

It cannot be unreasonable to suggest that States abuse their access to these federal dollars showing NO CONCERN for “the best interests of the children.”

Excerpts from 45 CFR [K] Chapter III reveal some of the “incentives” available to State “political subdivisions”; i.e., judicial districts / counties. These incentives offer more than money, they provide sufficient incentive to satisfy political “greed” for courts to engage in criminal acts to increase the flow of revenue to State coffers.

In order to reap the “incentives” a State must establish support guidelines under rules established by 45 CFR. Rules for State guidelines are prejudicial with respect to the constitutional rights of the non-custodial parent (NCP). Pennsylvania guidelines have evolved to deprive NCP’s of their liberty and property without the due process rights of persons indicted for criminal offenses.

CSE Program demands on the custodial parent are transparent. CSE is a gender-biased “promulgation” imposed as LAW without legislation. The Child Support Enforcement Program violates Title VII despite its gender-neutral language. See Yick Wo.


45 CFR Chapter III is an unconstitutional promulgation by a federal agency that violates the “separation of powers” doctrine; see Article I, Section1. Only the legislature is empowered to enact laws. The Constitution does not empower Congress to delegate legislative authority to federal or state agencies. Even if such delegation were permissible, the promulgations of every agency must be required to pass a “constitutional” muster. That is, to protect and preserve all fundamental rights under the Constitution.

45 CFR is not “legislation”, and it fails to satisfy this “constitutional” question. Title IV is an unconstitutional promulgation by a federal agency and is both procedurally and substantively flawed. A reasonable challenge arises as to wheher 45 CFR Chapter III is an unlawful foray by the federal government into the exercise of authority reserved for the States or to “We the People” under the Ninth and Tenth Amendments.

Amendment X  of the U.S. Constitution

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited

by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

The U.S. Constitution does not delegate to the United States or to the federal government the power to exercise authority over the individual rights of parents or their children. Any federal “law” that intrudes into the inalienable rights of the individual is UN-constitutional. The Code of Federal Regulations, specifically 45 CFR —  Chapter III, Child Support Enforcement Program, is UNCONSTITUTIONAL, and must be repealed, or whatever is done to terminate unconstitutional codes or regulations. The unlawful distribution of obscene financial incentives to the States under the guise (pretext) of a compelling state interest must be terminated.

At the very least, authority to exercise any governmental control over “family” issues is “reserved to the States respectively.” Government intervention is permissible only upon a showing of imminent harm to the child.

The Child Support Enforcement Program (CSE) is anti-family, anti-marriage, and undermines the fundamental liberty interest of a parent to exercise and manage the rearing of his children. This administrative agency code is gender-biased in violation of Title VII.

Notwithstanding the unlawful exercise of authority by the federal government, the administration of CSE is disproportionately adverse to non-custodial fathers. This Program violates the intent and language of Title VII, which prohibits gender discrimination in employment et al, and Title IX which prohibits gender discrimination in educational institutions (athletic depts.) that accept federal incentives. The question as to whether a gender-biased disparate rate of incarceration is sufficient to render CSE as gender-biased should be addressed by the U.S. Supreme Court, after it decides whether the Tenth Amendment prohibits federal government intrusion into this domain of a fundamental right; parenting.


45 CFR provides for the distribution of financial incentives to “political subdivisions” in the several States if those State comply with federal “rules”. Theseincentives create a “conflict of interest” for a political subdivision (county / judicial district) which must then decide whether to grab the money, or defend the Constitution. Compliance with 45 CFR allows the State to reap the windfall financial incentives at the expense of families and children.

Federal rules declare that support guidelines shall be “presumptively correct” but shall be a “rebuttable presumption”. The Code fails to provide a standard under which the “presumptively correct” guideline amount may be rebutted, a fatal flaw in the code. When a downward deviation from the guideline amount is granted in Pennsylvania courts, one can be 90% sure that the NCP is female, another example of gender-biased application of support law.

“Your job is not to become concerned about the constitutional rights of the
man that you’re violating as you grant a restraining order. Throw him out on the street, give him the clothes on his back, and tell him, see ya around. … We don’t have to worry about the rights.”
Massachusetts municipal judge Richard Russell at a judges’ training seminar; In order to maximize the financial benefits, many states developed “child support guidelines” conforming to federal rules with reckless disregard for the rights of the NCP.

Pennsylvania employs a Procedural Rules Committee of The Supreme Court to promulgate “Rules of Civil Procedure” that includes the Child Support Guidelines; Pa.R.C.P. 1910 et seq. At one point in time, the “Committee” was composed of 3 judges, 8 lawyers and one lay person. One of the lawyers, Nancy Wallitsch, was married to a judge.

Does there appear to be a ‘conflict of interest’ when lawyers and judges are writing laws or “Codes” [pseudo-laws] that enables the government to violate the civil rights and property rights of NCPs?

Or when judges administer a ‘law’ that was drafted by their colleagues?

In 1999, this “Committee” crafted amended support guidelines that increased the support obligation ‘across the board’ by more than 30%. 45 CFR requires that any changes to support amounts be based on current economic data. The “Committee” chose to not use economic data that shows spending in single-parent households, and the Supreme Court promulgated the amended guidelines without public knowledge or hearings.

The U.S. District Court for Washington, DC, found that  those “guidelines” were invalid because they were promulgated without public hearings. Fitzgerald v. Fitzgerald, Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia No. 87-1259, D.C. 204, 566 A.2d 719, 1989.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court failed to respond to a “constitutional challenge” to the 1999 guideline revisions. A proposed REMEDY must be to review Pennsylvania’s support guidelines nunc pro tunc to restore integrity to the program.

The section of the PA support guidelines describing actions in “contempt” are exceptionally deficient with regard to permitting exculpatory evidence to demonstrate a “non-willful” failure to comply. The Rule is written to facilitate a “conviction”; the presumption of innocence is trashed. Further, the Rule allows a computer that monitors collections to issue a citation for contempt. The State becomes the aggrieved party.

Should a State be permitted to become a “plaintiff” in support matters?

Does this violate the privacy rights of defendants? or constitute harassment?

Other State issues regarding Pennsylvania’s support guidelines include the “rules” under which NCP’s may be incarcerated, etc. These discussions will be developed more completely as we dissect the guidelines.


The ENNIS Case as presented deals primarily with the contempt issue. However, the underlying PROBLEM arises from a State-wide collection system that refuses to acknowledge that a temporary inability to pay the total amount of the support order does not rise to a level of “willful” non-compliance.

The State “political subdivisions” drool over the aggressive pursuit of NCPs. After all, the CSE Program provides financial incentives merely for bringing the NCP before the court, and for his incarceration. [Disparate gender-biased application.]

In contempt matters, DRS and the court disregard their duty to examine the facts in a light most favorable to the contemnor. To be found in civil contempt, a contemnor must understand the order and must be capable of performance under that order.

State-Sanctioned Stealing.

The court [government] must be compelled to cite the statute that permits a political subdivision to collect “rent” from a civil contemnor for the costs of incarceration. The court [government] must be compelled to explain why such charges do not constitute “debtor’s prison”, and why this taking of property is not State-Sanctioned Stealing.

Each case identifies PROBLEMS within the judicial system and suggests REMEDIES to restore integrity to our courts and where appropriate, reparations to the injured party. Several examples expose judges who administer Law in order to advance a personal agenda or to act for the benefit of one party over another. Black’s Law calls this CORRUPTION.

Legal PROBLEMS arise when judges or other public officers abuse their authority and violate the Canons to allow judges to reach a pre-determined outcome for any case. An assertion that outcomes are pre-determined is supported by circumstantial evidence that exculpatory evidence such as “temporary inability to pay” is disregarded by DRS in favor of enforcing willful contempt charges. In one case, the CSE officer admitted that the outcome for the contempt citation was “pre-determined”.

Every public officer (judge) has a sworn duty to perform the duties of that office with fidelity to support and defend the Constitution. DRS enforcement officers sit in a quasi-judicial capacity and must be held accountable to protect the constitutional rights of contemnors in support matters.

When public officers neglect their duty and violate their oath of office, they become trespassers at law and forfeit any authority / jurisdiction to perform the duties of that office.

The government [Legislators, Executives and Judges] want the public to focus on SYMPTOMS, RED HERRING to obscure the wrongdoing within the courts. This site attempts to distinguish PROBLEMS from SYMPTOMS and to propose REMEDIES for short term solutions and long term resolution of the PROBLEMS.



45 CFR is procedurally and substantively UN-Constitutional.

The Constitution does not provide the federal government to intrude into family matters. This authority is reserved to the States or to We the People under the Bill of Rights. 45 CFR is UNconstitutional “on its face”.

The Child Support Enforcement Program (45 CFR) is prejudicial against NCPs. Since NCPs are generally the father, this Program should be required to pass the Title VII standard for discrimination on the basis of gender. Compliance with 45 CFR requires unconstitutional application of Law. A Title VII challenge requires “strict scrutiny” by the reviewing court.

Compliance with 45 CFR by the States requires that the NCP be deprived of fundamental rights allegedly secured under the Constitution, including loss of a “presumption of innocence“.

Disbursement of federal monies to the States for compliance with an unconstitutional Program is unauthorized under the Constitution. DPW acts outside the scope of its authority to award financial incentives to State “political subdivisions” for the collection of child support. Whether child support payments are appropriate or inappropriate, justiciable or non-justiciable is a matter reserved to the States or to We the People.

State courts (“political subdivisions”) are compensated under 45 CFR for merely prosecuting NCPs, regardless of its finding. The court receives federal monies to administer these cases creating a conflict of interest that encourages judicial abuse.


State child support guidelines are “arbitrary” tables intended to maximize the collection of federal financial incentives under 45 CFR.

Pennsylvania Support Guidelines, Pa.R.C.P. 1910.16 et seq is prejudicial in favor of custodial parents, reflecting a gender bias and therefore unconstitutional.

The 1999 revisions were promulgated contrary to federal guidelines that requires the guidelines to be based on current financial studies that support any modifications to the support amounts. The PA “Rules Committee” was in possession of financial studies for “single-parent households”, but disregarded that information in favor of studies that reflect household spending in two-parent [intact] households. There is a substantial difference in spending habits when separate households must be maintained.

The “Committee” opted to cite the studies that support a much larger share of “financial incentives”. Organized government “fraud” is not an unreasonable accusation.

PA support guideline amounts are described as a “rebuttable presumption”, without describing standards [elements that support rebuttal] under which a defendant may rebutt the presumption.

Pennsylvania judges disregard their Oath of Office to support and defend the Constitution in “family court” matters. Fathers and children are victims of the egregious misconduct of PA judges who cannot, or will not provide a legal definition of “best interests of the child”.

In Ennis, the court “arbitrarily” incarcerated a pro se NCP for a temporary inability to pay child support. The court makes no effort acknowledge that non-compliance with the court order may not be “willful” as required by law. A “presumption of innocence”is unrecognized in Pennsylvania domestic relations matters.

Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court held that a pro se contemnor in child support may not be incarcerated, holding that he must be represented by competent counsel.

Ennis appeared pro se. The order to incarcerate him constitutes false imprisonment and imposes irreparable harm upon the recipient of child support INJUSTICE.

Contemnors are assessed punitive costs contrary to law for civil contempt — STATE-SANCTIONED STEALING. Judges who claim ignorance of this practice must be deemed UNFIT FOR OFFICE. These judges are too incompetent to serve.

The application of the guidelines by Domestic Relations (DRS) and the court is prejudicial, evidencing a lack of impartiality by the court. “Heavy-handed” is a polite description of support cases in Pennsylvania courts. “Tyrannical” and “despotic” are more accurate terms. See “Hamoui” and “Fluck” for evidence of judicial abuse of authority and judicial discretion.

Judges disregard their Oath of Office and administer “rules” contrary to the intent of the Supreme Court and in violation of the Constitutional rights of NCPs. Because the courts (political subdivisions) accept federal money under 45 CFR, they are obligated to honor the protections of fundamental rights of litigants before the court. See “commerce clause”. Failure to honor the individual’s rights constitutes a dereliction of DUTY.

The court disregards its DUTY to perform the duties of the office with fidelity, violating the judge’s Oath of Office under Article VI, Section 3 of the Constitution of Pennsylvania.

The political subdivision is protected (afforded “safe harbor”) for its actions by the appellate court and by the legislative branch of government. The State does not want to lose the “windfall financial incentives” available via 45 CFR.The “corruption” of Pennsylvania courts begins at the top.


Pennsylvania “family courts” judges play a game. Their game is to deflect all legitimate challenges and defenses to the prejudicial application of law, and to direct the “pre-determined losing party” to address “Symptoms” instead of the actual problems. Judges use canned phrases and expressions such as “We can’t review that.”, “it is what it is”, etc.

For support cases, DRS disregards any exculpatory evidence that may relieve the NCP of full performance. The CSE officer makes a “recommendation” to the court which is followed nearly 100% of the time by the judge. “Temporary inability to pay” never seems to appear in the DRS/CSE recommendation. It appears that an order to DISMISS is not an option.

The court explains its actions by focusing on a narrow interpretation of the guidelines, and by ignoring the intent of the Supreme Court in:
Pa.R.C.P. 128(a) That the Supreme Court does not intend a result that is absurd, impossible of execution or unreasonable.

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