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13 Amendment of the USA Constitution

Fort Worth, TX |

The 13th Amendment abolishes "debtors prison" a.k.a. "involuntary servitude" in all U.S. jurisdictions. If the constitution secures my birth rights...how can one be imprisoned for debt- if the Constitution forbids it?

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

Your question doesn't make sense. We don't have debtor's prisons in this country. You would have to explain why you are in prison.

Asker

Posted

I am not in prison. I am just trying to understand how someone in this country can be imprisoned for a debt. (And yes, people are imprisoned everyday in this country for debts.)

Alexander Mchenry Memmen

Alexander Mchenry Memmen

Posted

Sorry, but I'm not aware of that happening, with the exception of child support and tax evasion

Lu Ann Trevino

Lu Ann Trevino

Posted

In Texas, it is possible to be jailed for contempt of court if a judgment debtor fails to make payment as agreed under an agreed judgment. It's not technically jail for the debt, but contempt of court.

Asker

Posted

The contempt exists because of the debt. So...one would in fact be jailed because of the debt.

Posted

One cannot be jailed as you described.

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Posted

One of my colleagues mentioned that a person can be thrown in jail for not paying child support. This happens quite often, sadly. This particular matter, and others, like failure to pay other kinds of court-ordered payments, are usually handled as civil contempt matters.
Child support, in particular, is a tricky one. Back payments are not discharged, regardless of changed circumstances. It is expected that a person paying child support will go to court to file for a modification of a child support order if s/he loses his/her job or is reduced to part-time employment or something similar.
It is routine in DC for a judge to issue an arrest warrant for somebody who has not paid court-ordered fines or contributions in criminal cases. The expectation is always that a person understands his/her obligation to make court-ordered payments and will take the initiative to go back to court if s/he is not able to make the payments. If a person doesn't do so and s/he is picked up, the matter is handled as an issue of contempt of court, which is not a right protected by the Constitution.

My advice should in no way be construed as creating an attorney-client relationship.

Asker

Posted

Civil Contempt: A failure to follow a court order that benefits someone else. Contempt of court: "Same as Civil Contempt" Civil Contempt is nothing more than coercion. Black's Law 4th defines coercion as::::::"Compelled to compliance; constrained to obedience, or submission in a vigorous or forcible manner. Contempt- is coercion. Coercion is illegal. Thus making "civil contempt of court" a treasonous act. Contempt of court can ONLY have grounds in a criminal court...NOT a civil court.