Wisconsin Court Orders Father Of Nine Children To Stop Procreating

120812_ff_dad_640Corey Curtis, 44, is a Wisconsin man who is the subject of a novel court order. Racine County Circuit Court Judge Tim Boyle ordered Curtis to stop having children after he sired nine children and is already $100,000 in arrears for child support. Six different women had children with Curtis who said that he will now agree to stop producing children.

The judge lamented that he could not order Curtis sterilized, but he did have support under state law to order him to stop having children until he can show he can support them. A controversial 2001 Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling upheld the power of a judge to order a defendant, as a condition of probation, to not procreate again unless he can show he can financially support the child.

The earlier case was State v. Oakley, No. 99-3328-CR (Wis. July 20, 2001) which just happened to involve a man with the same number of children. David Oakley was convicted of refusing to pay court-ordered support for seven of his nine children. A sharply divided Wisconsin Supreme Court voted 4-3 to uphold the ban of procreation over Oakley’s objections. The court found his conduct to constitute “ongoing victimization of his children” and a “disregard for the law.” The court noted that the alternative to the ban would have been a six-year prison sentence which would have had the same effect. The dissenting justices cited the fundamental “right to have children is a basic human right and an aspect of the fundamental liberty which the Constitution jealously guards for all Americans,.” This right is recognized by the Supreme Court in Skinner v. Oklahoma, 316 U.S. 535, 541 (1942). The dissent noted that “unless he wins the lottery, he will likely never be able to” meet the probation conditions and have additional children.

In the current case, defense attorney Robert Peterson objected to the probation condition. For his part, Curtis (who has shown no sense of personal restraint or responsibility) dismissed the order as a judge acting without thinking: “Judges, they make rulings,” Curtis said, “they make them kind of hastily. So, if that’s what he feels one of my conditions should be then I’m going to abide by it.” That is good of him.

The question is whether it is appropriate for court’s to order a person not to procreate or whether the court should confine its orders to sending people to jail when they fail to support their children. What do you think?

Source: NBC

37 thoughts on “Wisconsin Court Orders Father Of Nine Children To Stop Procreating

  1. The dissenting justices cited the fundamental “right to have children is a basic human right and an aspect of the fundamental liberty which the Constitution jealously guards for all Americans,.” This right is recognized by the Supreme Court in Skinner v. Oklahoma, 316 U.S. 535, 541 (1942).”

    **************************

    With each fundamental liberty comes the responsibility to act responsibly. One cannot yell “fire” in a crowded theater as Justice Holmes famously said. Neither may a person procreate with no regard for his offspring. I would have no problem with the alternate 6 year prison sentence. Perhaps our oat sowing father should he happy that he’s on the freedom side of the iron bars and just zip it up.

  2. If this ‘DUD’ has the right to procreate, all over the place, and then leave his children behind, for society to care for…..then…. Society should have the right to treat him to a vasectomy!!!!!

  3. Just forget about the probation all together and jail him for six years. No sense in getting into the probation aspect of telling him to stop impregnating women which led to this controversy and cost to the state for all the appeals, book him, he certainly deserves it.

    He can also start stamping license plates or whatever forced labor they can impose on him to to earn some money to pay restitution / child support to the families. That would be at least equitable.

  4. The courts are ill equipped to deal w/ a cultural problem such as this. For folks unfamiliar, in a subset of the black culture, having numerous children w/ the same number of “baby mama’s” is not only acceptable, it is increased status. Until black men and women make this unnacceptable, courts will be impotent..as it were. This guy is proud of the publicity..I guarantee it.

  5. If it were just one child that he created and failed to support would it be okay for him to continue to procreate?
    What is the number of unsupported children that yields either the order to not procreate or be imprisoned? Is nine the magic number? Taxpayers and single moms will shoulder the burden to that point?
    And what about the mothers; shouldn’t we expect some reasonable due diligence on their behalf before they embark upon the baby-making adventure?

  6. SNIP, Snip…… I had it done 28 years ago… and guess what, I don’t have any fatherless children running around…………………….

  7. nick’s got a point on the possible cultural aspects. However, there is another culture that says if you make ’em you support ’em. Another problem arises if the children don’t know they share the same daddy in that brothers and sisters may date/marry.

    Urging him to not make more babies is good but the offer of a state provided vasectomy should be made, preferably by a man who has had one and can talk about it from experience. The vasectomy should be voluntary. Jail for not paying support is an option, I guess. I don’t know how that provides support for his kids though.

    What’s missing is his employment. Some portion of every paycheck can be court ordered for child support.

    The article points out that $50,000 is the actual child support. The other $40,000 is interest on the other 50,000. I’d like to put my CD into that interest rate.

  8. So how is the answer to this complex issue to lock him up in a harsh, violent envoironment? When a person goes to prison, the whole family also is punished since they will support the prisoner emotionally and frequently financially. There needs to be another answer for irresponsible but not criminal behavior. Usually it’s maturity which can better occur in the community which has been harmed than behind bars. I vote for intensive counseling for him and his sexual partners and stringent probation conditions. And how about getting him a couple of jobs so he can make token payments to his children……….

  9. My daughter was propositioned by an inmate a few months ago. Told her he wanted to have a baby by her. She said he already has twenty kids, and those are just the ones they know about. Of course, she told him if he wanted to have sex with somebody, she suggested he Cheney himself.

    Some men seem to think this is some kind of sporting event where they guy who makes the most babies is the winner. Or something.

  10. nick spinelli 1, December 10, 2012 at 9:50 am

    The courts are ill equipped to deal w/ a cultural problem such as this. For folks unfamiliar, in a subset of the black culture, having numerous children w/ the same number of “baby mama’s” is not only acceptable, it is increased status. Until black men and women make this unnacceptable, courts will be impotent..as it were. This guy is proud of the publicity..I guarantee it.
    ==================================
    Who says the Catholics don’t have pull with Funk!

    Mespo said “One cannot yell “fire” in a crowded theater …” … so now it looks like one is not allowed to yell “FIRE” during and orgasm.

    This is so retro.

  11. rosienalbany

    Your suggestions will be generally the best course for an otherwise ordinary parent that just can’t get his / her act together and pay the bills. Persons such as the man who is the subject of this article are at the extreme end of the spectrum that actively and defiantly refuse to pay child support and no amount of counseling or job offers is going to change these types to be motivated to pay what they owe. Many of these types don’t pay just to be spiteful or vendictive.

    I have seen the latter type of person many times. I lost count of how many guys I arrested on child support arrest warrants: One such person three times in a year. This guy would pay just enough to get released on a PR and it would only last about one or two payments before he would abscond and I would get a warrant assigned to me to pick him up.

    I have known several of this type that will actually just work under the table so that they can avoid garnisments, accepting lower paying jobs just to evade the child support, even if instead they were to take a real job that paid more to them than the under-the-table job PLUS the child support they refused to do so.

    And the children continue to be the pawns in these dead-beats’ games.

  12. “The courts are ill equipped to deal w/ a cultural problem such as this.”

    Nick,

    I agree with you on this, but I would widen your cultural subset to include many poor White males as well. This is shown by the demographics in the AFDC (Assistance to Families with Dependent Children-welfare). There are more white children on this program than there are black families. In a Nation that promotes poverty and demonizes those in it, any male who can not make a decent living is thought of as being less than a man. One way of proving ones’ “manhood” is by fathering numerous children, by many different women. Each child is a proof of a successful sexual conquest and thus becomes a totem of pride.

    This has admittedly though affected the black community disproportionately, but the reasons for it are obvious. The effects of slavery and then Jim Crow still remain. Historically it was easier for black women to gain employment than Black males. In a country that sees having a job as proof of worthiness, this lowered the status and the self worth of some black males. Their sexual potency then became a way of measuring “manhood”. It also must be remembered that both slavery and Jim Crow discouraged the Black family unit. In my days as a Welfare Caseworker the AFDC program would throw off any family that had a male living there. Co-Workers who had been on the job before me described having to go on “Midnight Raids” to recipients homes in search of a man. An extra toothbrush, or male clothing, could get the family thrown off Public Assistance.

    An interesting feature of this problem is the recent studies that have shown that unwed pregnancy is higher in those states deemed more religious. My belief is that this is a direct result of the movement to preserve sexual chastity before marriage and to therefore discouraged sex education in the public schools. Adolescents ignorant about sex will tend to have it indiscriminately without birth control, which leads to excess pregnancies. The optimal solution is to make sex education and the use of birth control mandatory subjects for our educational system. Given the religious nuttiness towards sexuality there is a fat chance of this happening. As a father of grown daughters I must admit that their chastity was none of my damned business. My daughters were taught about sex in an enlightened way from childhood and armed with complete information they made their own choices about their own sexuality. Trusting their maturity armed with knowledge I never inquired into their potential sex lives. I think fathers that do are rather creepy. Since they are both young women whose work and lives make me proud, I think my wife and I handled sexuality well. In my own family I learned about sex early and with it the stricture to never do it indiscriminately, or without protection. The only children I’ve fathered are the result of intention,not accident. That is why I believe so strongly in sex education.

    I this particular case I disagree with the Court’s ruling, even though this man has acted indiscriminately. I believe that the right to have sex and to procreate, no matter how irresponsible is inviolate. Yet actions that are detrimental to society have consequences and in this instance prison for on-support should be the punishment.

  13. Interesting discussion. While I do not condone this idiot having kids he can’t support, shouldn’t the women who had unprotected sex with this neanderthal bear some responsibility in this tragedy for the kids? I do not agree that the courts have the ability to force someone to not have kids. As Mike S. and David Blauw suggested, just put him in jail and he won’t be impregnating anyone for awhile.

  14. Let me sum up a prescient issue of law that has not been succinctly addressed.

    The federal right to a parent’s constitutional freedoms, including the right to parent, procreate, and be free of state takings, trumps the best interest of the child doctrines of the state.

    Best interest of child doctrines are open ended, and basically say that a child’s rights in its rearing to age of majority trumps everything else, and justifies any affirmative obligation the state cares to arbitrarily assign to the parent.
    [We are not talking about anything like abuse or neglect here, which are a different category legitimately concerned with a child’s negative rights
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_and_positive_rights%5D

    This will take years to address in the courts, but it will come down to this, a parents federal constitutional negative rights trump the created state statutory child’s positive rights.
    It applies to any situation where the state says you have lesser personal rights than what the state claims your child’s positive rights to be nurtured are.

  15. I’m undecided as to whether his right to procreate should be restricted, but I doubt that nobody has ever told him to stop having children before. I’m not sure sure a judge telling him this will really stop him if common sense hasn’t already done so. He is already legally compelled to care for his children, and doesn’t, so why would he conform to something else he was legally compelled to do? The ruling seems pointless to me, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he isn’t in court within a year or two about a tenth child.

  16. @ Rafflaw,
    “As Mike S. and David Blauw suggested, just put him in jail and he won’t be impregnating anyone for awhile.”

    Thanks rafflaw, you saved me the need of posting my comment. :)

    Although I did have to look upthread to make sure I hadn’t posted it! LOL

  17. Gary T:

    “The federal right to a parent’s constitutional freedoms, including the right to parent, procreate, and be free of state takings, trumps the best interest of the child doctrines of the state.”

    ************************************

    Huh? Were that the case no one could ever be incarcerated for failure to pay child support. Your constitutional freedoms are subject to law regardless of the source of that law. The Constitution is a balancing test; not a statement of absolutes.

  18. GaryT…. This PIG’s Rights stop where it causes me and other Tax payers to have to support his kids….. Otherwise, Soylent Green him and his kids, and feed them to the wild life……

  19. Mespo:

    The rights in the constitution are fundamental, that’s what makes them rights; a ‘balancing act’ undermines the whole concepts of a right, and that incremental erosion of our rights in practice comes from your view that rights can be compromised.

    And yes, people should not be imprisoned for failure to pay child support, or failure to pay any civil money obligation, that is the equivalent of debtors prison, which was outlawed a long time ago, and what fundamentally distinguishes a civil liability versus a criminal liability.

    EastBroadway:
    It is the socialist who says, your familial interactions and obligations are everybody’s business, and the government’s business as well.

    A person who does not support his kids should suffer the penalty of losing his parental rights to them. But alternately if that parent is supporting them, then his parental rights should be enforced.

    It is a dangerous presumption to statutorily create a monied obligation from one person to another, for no other reason than they are biologically related, under penalty of imprisonment.

  20. Gary T:

    “The rights in the constitution are fundamental, that’s what makes them rights; a ‘balancing act’ undermines the whole concepts of a right, and that incremental erosion of our rights in practice comes from your view that rights can be compromised.”

    *********************

    Oh, grow up, Gary. Rights are no more absolute than anything else human. Try speaking about US troop movements during wartime or assembling at the bank to rob it or associating with terrorists to aid them in plying their trade. You’ll see just how legal your view is then.

    Yours is the thinking of the child who fails to realize that anything capable of providing freedom is just as susceptible to taking it away. Read Jeremy Bentham and Edmund Burke and see that rights aren’t inalienable absolutes but derive from custom and the social contract. The natural state of affairs is the law of the jungle. Rights derive from reason and their is little divine about them except getting us out of that jungle. As such they are subject to reason and reasonable restraints upon them when overriding state interests so demand. That is the essence of the social contract.

    The champion of individual freedom himself explained that, “”All… natural rights may be abridged or regulated in [their] exercise by law.”

    — Thomas Jefferson: Opinion on Residence Bill, 1790.

  21. Mespo:

    Really.
    So what is your point?
    Because fundamental ideals are corrupted and violated every day we shouldn’t have them?

    Do you think I don’t recognize that in practice “might makes right”?
    Of course I do, but just because we must fight to keep those ideals viable and effective, doesn’t mean that we should just give up the whole concept and striving for them.

    You probably have reflexively put me in the Natural Rights camp, where there are supposedly some metaphysical rights that people always have, even when their heads are being chopped off.

    That is a load of wishful thinking bulsht – we have the individual rights that collective has concluded we should have, and depending on what society that is, the individual is intrinsically valued that much more or less.

    However, the idealists that came up with these constitutionally based fundamental rights had the backing of society and their convictions when they enacted them into law. And it was with a great loss of life and risk that it managed to get that way.

    It is the ever present pressure of people who want control over other people that cause the effective loss of those rights, and the lazy, lackadaisical and resignatory attitudes of people who think it is all a crock anyway who encourage and abet the loss of those rights.

    The starting point in keeping those rights, are to recognize what they are supposed to be, at least in theory. Then we can recognize when they are being taken away in fact, despite all the rhetoric that they are intact.
    That recognition is the legal basis to fight to keep them intact.

  22. That’s just stupid. No man has a right to father children. Women may have rights to MOTHER children including giving BIRTH to them but no father has or can be deprived of that right. He may have a right to have sex with a woman who wants to have sex with HIM, but the rest of it is not his business. Once he has had sex with a woman and she has had a child and he is the father, all the rights and responsibilities that flow from that are involved in a whole different set of laws and this judge has no jurisdiction over them. The judge is a fool and I hope his genes are not going to pass through any more generations.

  23. Gary T:

    “Really.
    So what is your point?
    Because fundamental ideals are corrupted and violated every day we shouldn’t have them?”

    **************************

    My point was that none of the Founders subscribed to your absolutist view of individual rights. Thus the only place these “fundamental ideals” exist is in your head.

  24. Mespo:

    I guess you didn’t read what I plainly wrote – I don’t HAVE absolutist view of individual rights, not in any Natural Rights sense.

    They become fundamental in the society that enacts them. And that is supposed to be the society we live in, here in America.

    So, that is the starting point from where I argue my point.
    Unless of course you don’t even think we have those rights either.
    Then of course, we have little to talk about.

  25. Gary T:

    “They become fundamental in the society that enacts them. And that is supposed to be the society we live in, here in America.”

    **********************

    You’ve got your history wrong even if you don’t subscribe to Natural Law Theory. When enacted, all fundamental rights were subject to restrictions based on reason and need. And that is the society we live in.

    You might recall the words of Madison (who, after all, wrote the Bill of Rights) concerning the usefulness of those 10 amendments. Madison dismissed the bills of rights as so many “parchment barriers” whose “inefficacy” was repeatedly demonstrated “on those occasions when [their] control is most needed.” (James Madison to Thomas Jefferson, 17 Oct. 1788).

    The Founders were no Pollyannas about men or their governments.

  26. What Nick said.

    Bettykath, I, too, have often wondered about putting someone like this in jail/prison for not providing for his children. In this case, I’m pretty sure that it wouldn’t make much difference because he’s apparently not married to any of his ‘baby momas’. However, if you have, let’s say a divorce situation and the man has three kids by his ex-wife and is behind on the support, how does jailing/inprisoning him help out? He can’t earn a living while locked up and, after all, lack of support is supposed to be the reason for taking away his liberty. Seems to me like it’s another case of legal vengence as opposed to justice.

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