As for sanitizing the record and how the system works, the following is a true story. In a custody matter, a "case file" is created. As time goes by it grows as reports and reports of reports get entered, not counting all the other things that are thrown inside. To the overall scheme, this is but one little brick in a large building.

  On the morning of 12-23-99, getting ready for work, on a very cold morning, I fell on my porch, down my steps and broke bones: hip in two places and my shoulder in three. Landed in the hospital for several days. Diagnosis didn't look good for my shoulder. Projected time off of work was three to six months with a prognosis of only gaining 40% use of my arm. (Two years later my shoulder is fine.)

  My daughter was almost five months old when this happened. The mother, then living in a halfway house, relevant to her drug addiction, was receiving $120 a week in "support".

  The accident made me eligible to file a petition to modify my garnishment, so on 01-11-00, just getting out of the hospital, with much discomfort and pain, drove 85 miles to the file a petition. (Under different circumstances I would of drafted a petition myself but my broken shoulder wouldn't cooperate.)

  As I entered domestic relations, walked up to the window to begin. I brought all relevant papers: from the hospital, employer and insurance. The lady at the window typed away on her computer. When done, she handed me a printed petition to sign. She looked puzzled that I wanted to read it first. Then I read the following: It read that the reason I was filing the petition to modify my support payments was that the "petitioner was unemployed". (Shortly I will add a copy of said petition.)

  I brought this to her attention. I said that was incorrect. That I am not unemployed but on sick leave and still have my job. She said that the wording could not be changed. I said why? So later on when a word search is done on the data base, means to artificially generate statistics to gain funding and further the negative light on fathers? She didn't like the remark. Instead of pressing further, signed and now have a piece of evidence.

  Did I pay a price for that remark? I was collecting $200 per week in sick pay benefits that were taxable. Counting deductions, including garnishment, my pay was $37 dollars per week. Yes, $37 dollars per week.

  The lady said it would take up to three weeks to schedule a conference. So I waited. (Twice, when union dues were deducted, my pay was $8.27. Yes, eight dollars and twenty-seven cents.) Finally, after two months of waiting, the day came for a conference.

  I shouldn't have to explain how fast I went into debt. Could you live on under $40 dollars per week?

  Compounding matters, the emotional strain of it all and the current matters at hand. (That is covered in a different page.)

  It was several more weeks before the doctor would allow me back to work. In all honesty I convinced the doctor to sign the release so I could go back to work sooner that he wanted. But I had no choice.

 

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Updated: 11-17-2001