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. 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.

  2. @ 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. “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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  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. 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……….

  11. 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.

  12. 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?

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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!!!!!

  16. 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.

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