Monday, May 05, 2008

I could be wrong. UPDATE, (Not entirely)

Based on what Christoph has so kindly pointed me to, I could be wrong about combining informal marriage laws in Texas with underage marriage. My previous belief had always been that underage marriage always required civil (read legal) registration of marriage. I had been researching it, and have downloaded and read what I thought were significant portions of Texas law.

Law is quite difficult, not because the concepts are, but because of the way it is written. When taking for instance "Montana Law Changes" for licensing requirements that I have in the state where I reside, I find that they are often written this way: "It is resolved in legislative session for 2006 that lines 4-6 in statute 323.48a be stricken and in line 9 the word and be changed to or. Effective date 10-01-06."

Whole portions of law can be quoted to you that if you read further, are no longer relevant. I don't know if this is the case with Texas law regarding common law marriage. I've been LOOKING for that statute and hadn't found it.

When looking for the changes made by Harvey Hilderbran's "SB6" in April of 2005, I have encountered a lot of confusion. Some of what I read pointed to an effective date for changes in Harvey's Law which he openly confessed to be drafted expressly to "get" the FLDS suggest the law didn't go into full force until last fall. If that's the case it's not a surprise that Texas moved when they did. It would mean that a lot of the acts that Texas is complaining about though would be moot. They would be covered by an older age of consent law.

There is other language that suggests that the law changes went into effect in the fall of 2005, either in September or on November the 1st. I haven't been able to clear that up, I've been looking, scanning articles and checking legal blogs in Texas to find out. I had a working theory that common law statute might cover it, and then The Abilene Reporter News published Mayor Tom Avant's column. I went with it.

Now, I have always proposed fall back positions. A good defense of any situation is usually several, not single. If in fact all that is needed to understand Texas Statute is contained in what Christoph sent and posted then that defense seems to fail. I would still point out that Texas nor any of it's counties have issued a warrant for the "Child Bride's" 4 year older husband with whom he has other children. He has confessed that deed with his mouth, that he has other children with her, and she just gave birth to another. The time frame makes his other children apparent violations of statute. At this point they do not need DNA and CPS DESPERATELY NEEDS a crook to hang their hat on. So why haven't they arrested or charged him? As of this writing, they have not.

Texas has the problem that they simply stay, look at everything and continue to dig for evidence, even now. At some point they HAVE to start coming up with a reason to stay. If you don't pay, eventually the Hotel manager comes around and asks you to leave or pay up.

Right now we don't know if our recent mother who just gave birth was the "pregnant girl" they saw when they were at YFZ and I'm going to continue to harp on that. They haven't said one way or the other. That's the next defense. Based on the assumption that Texas did in fact legitimately and not maliciously enter their homes, Texas can say, "oops, sorry 'bout that, but what about THIS?" and get away with it. I am in fact in favor of such allowances.

So far though, they are shot down on everything and have not proposed why (formally) they continue to hold children and keep property and evidence. If there isn't anything they can charge this young mother's husband with, exactly what is the crime they have seen that they are investigating?

Another thing. Has the statute of limitations run out on any crime the "husband" could be shown to have committed? They aren't going to get help from her or him, they'll have to prove it.

Assuming that this young couple is evidence of a crime, what we have is a case where someone has been driving without a license. No really, that's what it is. A 15 and a 19 year old that COULD have gone and "gotten a piece of paper" and been OK, completely. He has no other "girlfriends" or wives. The crime he commits makes him register as a "sex offender" and potentially he goes to jail for life. Does that make sense? His "wife" is happy, he is happy, and the kids need a mom and a dad. Will Texas seriously push that issue. As I have said, and continue to point out, there is no law that prevents what they have documented now to have happened. Namely, a 19 year old (or even a 50 year old) from having sex with a 15 year old. It simply has to occur in a certain context. I even contend that in parts of this country you can do so when the girls is 13. You might want to check statutes in Minnesota, and Missouri.

UPDATE. New Jersey Recorded 4 marriages of never married under 15 year old girls (that would be 14, 13, 12 or lower) in the calender years 2003 and 2004.

Marriage Statistics for the State of New Jersey
Bride's Previous Marital Status: Never married


2003 2004 2003&2004
Bride's Age Number Number Number
<15 1 3 4
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