courtesy Randi James
the crime of obtaining money or some other thing of value by the abuse of one’s office or authority.
oppressive or illegal exaction, as of excessive price or interest
In Texas, there is a bill on the floor that would require no-fault divorcing couples with children to take a 10-hour class…a class that could cost $200/hr.
You can thank Representative Warren Chisum for this brilliance.
Make no mistake that this isn’t just lucrative for the government, Chisum stated his agenda:
“If we can save a few marriages, and I think we can save more than a few, but if we can save a few, it’s worth our effort.”
By BRAD WATSON / WFAA-TV
It all starts out great, with the wedding and the parties.
But 45 percent of American marriages end in divorce.
In the last three months, more than 600 couples have filed for divorce in Dallas County alone.
There is one idea that might make it harder to make the split.
When Candace Aylor wanted a divorce, she would not have desired to take a marriage crisis counseling class and certainly would not want to pay for it…
In Florida, the divorce class is already a requirement. However, as an added bonus, last year’s law added new fees to the court system–fees for filing counterclaims at the rate of $295.
Apparently, this fee was not supposed to apply to family court cases; but instead, county courthouses saw it as a investment they were unwilling to back down on.
TAMPA, Fla., March 25 /PRNewswire/ — The Clerks of the Circuit Court have been charging and collecting illegal filing fees in divorce cases throughout the state, according to a class action lawsuit filed today in Hillsborough County. Thousands of cases have been affected and over one million dollars of illegal fees collected by the court clerks since last July, the lawsuit alleges. The suit was filed by several people who paid such fees in their own cases, on behalf of themselves and other people who have been subjected to the same illegal filing fees. It names the clerks of Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties as defendants and as representatives of all 67 clerks in the state.
When the legislature changed the law last year to authorize a filing fee of $295 on any counterclaim filed in circuit court, it did not specify that the fee could be charged on counterpetitions filed in family law cases. Although many of the clerks recognized that the new law might not apply to family law cases, virtually all of them began imposing the fees in those cases anyway. Last November, the Attorney General issued a formal opinion concluding that the filing fee was not authorized in family law cases. Some of the clerks stopped charging the filing fees after the Attorney General’s opinion came out.
A large group of clerks, however, made an “immediate, conscious and deliberate” decision to disregard the Attorney General’s opinion and to continue imposing the fees, according to the complaint. The day after the Attorney General’s opinion was released and distributed to the clerks, the lawyer for Pat Frank, the clerk for Hillsborough County, wrote in an email that there was “consensus” among the clerks’ lawyers to continue to charge the filing fee in divorce cases…
THIS IS NOT ONLY TRANSPIRING IN HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY!!!! I REPEAT, NOT ONLY HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY!!!!
We keep trying to tell everyone that these legal professionals are rewriting the laws (and ignoring laws) in order to profit from them. When is everybody going to listen?