Freedom of movement enshrined in the US constitution as is freedom from discrimination based on nationality.

Judge Wellls discriminates against legal immigrants

The Civil Rights Act of 1964, enacted in the United States, prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin. Over 40 years later that discrimination is still applied in the Indio Riverside Superior Court Family law court, by the infamous statement, listed above, of Judge Dale Wells in a family law proceeding to discriminate against a parent.

Freedom of movement is a right guaranteed by the U.S. constitution. Indeed the United States Supreme Court has already ruled on this issue. The Fourth District Division Two Appeal Court, back in the day when it created opinions that adhered to the law, opined the following :

“Freedom of movement is a fundamental right and its exercise may be restricted only where necessary to further the most compelling state interest. (Carroll v. United States, 267 U.S. 132, 153­154 [69 L.Ed. 543 551­552, 45 S.Ct. 280]; People v. Superior Court (Kiefer) 3 Cal.3d 807 815 [91 Cal. Rptr. 729, 478 P.2d 449]; People v. Horton, 14 Cal. App.3d 930, 933­934 [92 Cal. Rptr. 666]; Wirin v. Horrall, 85 Cal. App.2d 497, 501 [193 P.2d 470].)

And the regulations must be narrowly circumscribed in order to withstand a constitutional challenge for overbreadth and vagueness. (In re Hoffman, 67 Cal.2d 845, 852­ 853 [64 Cal Rptr. 97, 934 P.2d 353]; Ames v. City of Hermosa Beach, 16 Cal. App.3d 146, 151 152 [93 Cal Rptr. 786]; People v. Horton, supra; Mandel v. Municipal Court, 276 Cal. App.2d 649, 657­663 [81 Cal. Rptr. 173].)” [citation] People v. McKelvy 23 Cal. App. 3d 102.

How does this translate in family law proceedings? Once a summons has been filed that summons contains an automatic TRO (Temporary restraining order) prohibiting the parties from removing their children from the State of California, pursuant to CA family code section 2040 (a)(1). The code was recently amended to include additional provisions. CA family code section 233 (c) also addresses the summons (c) “A willful and knowing violation of the order included in the summons by removing a child from the state without the written consent of the other party or an order of the court is punishable as provided in Section 278.5 of the Penal Code. A willful and knowing violation of any of the other orders included in the summons is punishable as provided in Section 273.6 of the Penal Code”.

One family law appeal has addressed the freedom of movement issue in family law cases as it relates to the intent of denying and frustrating visitation.    The trial court referred to the mother’s constitutional right of freedom of movement but failed to recognize the well established rule that removal of the children with the objective of frustrating visitation rights offends the court, offends the interests of the noncustodial parent and offends the welfare of the child. In re Marriage of Ciganovich, 1976, 61 Cal. App. 3d 289 ( 132 Cal. Rptr. 261). The mother had moved the children out of State.

The court should bear in mind that preservation of parental relationships is in the best interest of the  child as well as the parent Friedland v. Friedland, 174 Cal. App.2d 874, 879 [345 P.2d 322]; Dozier v. Dozier (1959) 167 Cal. App.2d 714, 719 [334 P.2d 957].

The court should also bear in mind that a custodial parents attempt to frustrate the courts order as it pertains to visitation has a bearing upon the fitness of that parent (Moniz v. Moniz, 142 Cal. App.2d 527, 530 [298 P.2d 710].


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