Father makes Multiple Attempts at Removal of Case Involving Child Custody to Federal Court

Kyla Asbury with NorCalReporter.com reported that Rudy Meza, “A California man recently filed a notice of removal in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California” has filed for removal of his custody case on June 15, 2018. However, she did not mention that he has attempted this several times before and his attempts have failed. He has been remanded back to the state court every time.

Reporter Kyla mentioned that this father had tried this in state court but didn’t mention that he had also filed in federal court several times before this most recent June filing (4:18-cv-03593). This father filed under case number 3:18-cv-01454 in March 2018, and Judge Seeborg’s Remand Order states “This is one of several attempts by pro se litigant Rudy Meza to challenge rulings by the Santa Rosa Superior Court related to domestic disputes involving his former spouse. Although limited circumstances exist in which federal courts have jurisdiction to review state court rulings, Meza has alleged no facts to support such an outcome here.” And that Rudy failed to meet the statutory requirements. And the judge stated that “[t]his is one of several attempts by pro se litigant Rudy Meza to challenge rulings by the Santa Rosa Superior Court related to domestic disputes involving his former spouse. Although limited circumstances exist in which federal courts have jurisdiction to review state court rulings, Meza has alleged no facts to support such an outcome here.” Rudy’s case was remanded back to the state court the end of May, and immediately turned around and filed removal again.

In a nutshell, parents are filing the same pleadings with the same flaws and keep getting the same results. I’m surprised that Judge Seeborg did not sanction this father for filing removal several times. Many federal judges are sanctioning parents attempting removal repeatedly. You can be charged the costs of the attorneys for the other side as a sanction. This just might happen this time under Judge

Why do parents keep filing these when every parent who has filed removal has been kicked back to the state court, has not been heard on their constitutional complaints, and the argument in these pleadings are clearly flawed? Desperation, out of options, and they are easy to access and easy to use and file. The filings that Mr. Meza used look identical to the filings that Kash Jackson, current Libertarian candidate for Governor in Illinois also filed. These forms are being marketed through other parent groups, they are automated and the person who created them and his helpers we have heard will help you file them. Torm Howse created the core argument and these forms that automatically fill in the statutes from your state for you right into the Word document he created.* You don’t have to do anything but plug in your personal information, get notarized, and file them. You don’t have to do any research or anything else that we know about. You don’t have to learn anything, you don’t have to understand any of the arguments, the people who sell these motions will help you file them and will help you respond to the dismissal and remand. The people who have created these are making a political statement and protesting the abuses of the family courts. (*We did not create these and we do not use these and we do not advocate for these.)

Removal does not win your case and many parents are punished by the federal courts for trying to remove and are continued to be punished by the state courts. These pleadings will not help you win your state court case, will not win your case for you, and will not change your case. And the argument in these pleadings mostly make a marketing and political statement rather than an actual case.

You won’t get the local federal court to overturn the precedent for the removal statute despite that Torm gives you a motion to argue this too. Why not? The federal courts are responding to supreme court precedent. They have no authority to overturn this precedent or to ignore it. If you want to prevail in challenging the constitutionality of the 1441 and 1443 statutes you must be prepared to appeal all the way to the supreme court and ask the supreme court to re-evaluate its precedent. This is an expensive multi-year process, no other court can change this.

Does This Help Your Case?

No. After several years of trying, and a very unlikely chance that the Supreme Court of the United States would even accept your case, you wouldn’t even be getting heard on your parental rights, you would not even be getting to your constitutional violations of your parental rights yet, that would just be argument regarding the actual statute not allowing you to be heard under that statute. This is why we do not recommend removal. Plus, federal courts cannot hear custody cases as a general rule. There are very specific rules around this.

Is There Anything A Parent Can Do to Challenge the Constitutional Violations?

Yes. There are other statutes that do allow you to ask to be heard for your grievances and are more likely to succeed, and have succeeded for other family rights related cases. This is the declaratory judgment statutes. And no you cannot get accepted for removal making a declaratory judgment claim on your parental rights. You will be kicked out on removal and have to file your declaratory judgment or any appropriate federal statute you are using for other claims. You will not be able to stop the state from proceeding using removal the way that Mr. Meza has been trying to use it. Kash Jackson is still being punished for child support orders and is facing a jail sentence that is scheduled to begin in August of this year. Kash is retired Navy and has been raising awareness of the abuses in the family courts and the government corruption and incentives from the federal Title IV-D statutes.

Federal Removal is a Political Statement and a Protest

Okay, now that you know federal removal will not change your state case and federal court cannot hear custody cases, if you are interested in using federal removal as a protest, consider only if you are fine with fighting a completely different battle not really related to your parental rights and just want to make a political statement. And you should be prepared to appeal all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States, and hope that your pleadings have sufficiently prepared the record properly. Half baked and half assed arguments aren’t going to do it. The Supreme Court needs a record developed the way they need to evaluate their precedent. This means that if you do get to the Supreme Court and your argument in your pleadings is crap, you might have blown up your chances of succeeding there.

If Mr. Meza is using Torm Howse’s pleadings, one of the things Torm Howse should teach Mr. Meza to say in his responses to the remand notice is that “Father was not provided a justiciable resolution to the controversy raised regarding the constitutionality of the statute.” (We have strong reason to believe that the information in these pleadings comes from Torm Howse’s work and the helpers that promote his work because they mirror what we have seen in many other parents’ pleadings before Mr. Meza. (See our post here where we talk about candidate Governor Kash Jackson’s filing and other fathers before you.)

While Torm’s motions parrot some of the ideas and some of the language that we use for parental rights arguments, Torm is not making the arguments that we make that go along with this language; and some of this language did not exist anywhere else prior to our publishing it, as we had not seen in anywhere else. Torm is making very few concrete arguments and he is not making the arguments we make that go along with the language that he is parroting. Courts will only be convinced by sound legal argument not marketing fluff.

The parents using these are desperate and buying snake oil with these removals. If you think that the removals will get you out of paying child support or hear the constitutional violations in your family court case, you will be disappointed. These won’t even give you much of a delay either, most of them are being kicked out within a month or two or shorter. Anytime you are making a political statement or a protest in the judiciary be careful that you are following the rules, that you do your own research, that you are prepared for the cost. You could be sanctioned like many of the other parents before you. This does not mean that you should not make a protest, this means you should learn what protests will work best for you and which path you feel will be worth the cost, and whether you want to have a chance at succeeding in getting heard on your actual grievances, or whether you just want to protest a removal statute and spend years focusing on that protest. Getting an injunction on the family courts using federal removal is not going to happen.

If you are still going to file one of these, be careful with very basic things like make sure if you present your argument as Respondent, then keep yourself as Respondent. Mr. Meza’s pleadings go back and forth with calling himself Respondent and Petitioner. Read them thoroughly and decide if that is what you want to say. Remember, what you file is seen as what you are saying and representing. If you accuse someone of a crime and cannot prove it, they can sue you back.

Torm gave this father argument that the judge completely ignored all of his claims of causes of action and the Judge responds that he did not and points out where it was in his Remand order that he addressed these claims, as follows:

“Meza complains that his removal petition included affirmative claims, including matters he wishes to pursue under the Consumer Protection Act and the False Claims Act. Meza asserts the remand order failed to address these aspects of his pleading. Not so. The order states: “To the extent Meza may be attempting to assert affirmative claims against any of the named defendants in this action independently of removal jurisdiction, this order of remand is without prejudice to Meza’s right to bring any such affirmative claims. Meza is cautioned, however, that the allegations he has advanced to date appear, at best, to present nothing more than grounds for potential relief in the state trial and/or appellate courts; nothing alleged would support federal claims.” Meza has made no showing under Rule 59(e) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure or any other provision of law that the order of remand was erroneous.

While this judge states that the father can file his “affirmative claims”, (not under federal removal), under the claimed statutes he says are being violated, Federal False Claims Act and Federal Consumer Protection Act, I would guess that if the father did file these that the court would come back with sorry buy you are a domestic relations case and don’t overcome the abstention doctrines. This is nothing more than a tease and akin to someone telling this parent “just kidding.”

My point is there is no path with federal removal, the arguments are lacking in understanding how to develop and argue the fundamental constitutional parental rights being violated. There really is no short cut to making these arguments. Sorry, no silver bullet here.

If you want to do a federal removal, spend $400 and be kicked back out to the state court fairly quickly, that’s up to you. If you want to learn how your rights work and how to argue them legitimately, you will have to learn those.  Unfortunately, doing everything for you will get us attacked by the Unauthorized Practice of Law Board. The BAR does not want others helping you who are not licensed attorneys and they certainly don’t want anyone helping you file. So we do not offer automated fill-in forms. We offer information and evaluation about constitutional rights arguments. We can help you understand why certain arguments are made or not made. We do not help you prepare your case. We are not attorneys, are not trained in the law, do not practice law, and are not a substitute for an attorney.

And this causes parents like the ones filing these removals to go to desperate measures. These parents did not find attorneys that protected their rights. These parents had attorneys and/or judges who have denied the parent this protection or not even informed the parent of these rights and the protection required for these rights.

That’s why we are here, to let you know that there are rights you are not being told about and help you learn how to protect yourself from the abuses in the most effective way. There are many ways to do this, removal is not one of them. Get in touch with us and we can see what path might be helpful for you.

Mr. Meza’s claims in his pleadings allege that the family court has issued child support lien in violation of the federal Consumer Credit Protection Act, that there are violations of the False Claims Act, as well as violations of the U.S. Constitution as reasons to remove the case to federal court, according to Kyla Asbury of Northern California Record. The Defendants are Sonoma County Department of Child Support Services, Maria L. Rodriguez, also known as Maria L. Chavez, and Attorney at Law Zilda S. McCausland.  Maria L. Chavez (the mother), also known as Maria L. Rodriguez, Respondent, was represented by Diane Dee Schilling , Attorney at Law.

Mr. Meza claims that the defendants have embarked on a “willful, systemic deprivations of fundamental rights” through a “false smear campaign against Meza and attempted to remove child custody” from him. Father was granted sole custody after mother “attempted to take a minor child belonging to her and Meza to Mexico in 2012, which would have harmed the relationship between Meza and the child, court filings said. Later, Rodriguez and Meza were awarded shared custody, and, within a year, Meza was awarded sole custody.”

Meza also claims that “the state family court system has become a “fully wanton criminal enterprise” and that those involved with the system have used intimidation tactics and threats, which is against the law.” This reporter didn’t report that these are the general claims made in all of the motions that parents file from Torm Howse. These are templates that parents are using and filing in their case without really knowing what these terms mean legally. None of them have gotten to the point where they would argue these in any detail. These are very technical legal claims that will take a very skilled person who understands how to make these arguments in order to succeed. Making a claim and proving it judicially with proper legal argument is a whole different ballgame. But because none of these get past jurisdiction none of these parents have had to face this challenge.

All of the parents that have filed these removals have been pro se, representing themselves. His most recent filings can be found on Pacer which is a federal filing service where you can get access to any filings that are not sealed.

Applicable Law: 28 U.S.C. § 1441
Cause: 28 U.S.C. § 1441 Petition for Removal
Nature of Suit: 950 Constitutional – State Statute

*We based our information on research on the internet. We do not have personal knowledge of where Mr. Meza got his forms or who created them for him. We have been told by other parents that they were put in contact with Torm and instructed by him and what many of the parents filed are posted publicly and easily accessed and can be verified that they are the same core arguments that Torm has been helping parents with and Rustin Wright and others are promoting and selling to the parents, and that is what we base the information on. Please do your own research if you would like to verify where these came from and who created them. This information is being shared as a public service on an issue of great public importance.