“Learn the Law in 7 Days”- The most important book ever written

 

I recently published a book titled, “Learn the Law in 7 Days”.  I am very proud of this small handbook, coming in at just over 98 pages. This handbook gives the average citizen the ability to learn the basic ins and outs of the legal system in a way that makes sense to them.

The “law”, is what drives society. If you do not understand the legal system, it becomes impossible to navigate inside society. If you learn the rules of the game, you can either learn how to avoid certain pitfalls or you can even learn the loopholes and how to profit! Regardless of your desire, having a basic understanding of how the legal system works will give a huge leg-up in life.

I have many friends who are from foreign countries and I experienced a brief stint of homelessness. I wrote this book with these types of people in mind, but this book is truly applicable to the entire human race.  While most people have little desire in learning the legal system, the poor and those who freshly arrive in this country are especially ignorant to what their rights actually are and what they can if they find themselves in a tight spot.

This book could have easily been 300-400 pages long. But, I did not want to overwhelm the reader. I wanted to give them the bare-bones in terms of legal knowledge. 98 pages isn’t that long of a book. I do my best to add in humor and other interesting “tid-bits” in order to make the book less boring and bland. I also share many stories about my own personal life and how the legal system has shaped me.

I hate most aspects of what the law is, but I respect what it tries to do for society. Sometimes you can hate something so much that you appreciate its strength. Sometimes you can love something so much, that you hate how much control it has over you. That’s how I feel about the legal system. It gives our society moments of justice and beauty, as well as moments of corruption and disgust.

In this title, I try to emphasize both the beauty and ugliness of the legal system.  This book is short, sweet, somewhat entertaining, and highly useful! I pray that those who read it will be triggered to dig a bit deeper and truly develop a skill-set that can protect themselves, their friends, their families, and perhaps even spark an interest in a law related field.

Whether you are a student, bus driver, computer engineer, boxer, doctor, or a cashier working at a fast food joint, the “law” controls your life whether you like it or not.  I am not saying that you must become a lawyer in order to survive in the modern world of legalities, but, having some basic knowledge on how to escape everyday legal pitfalls is extremely useful, and this book confidentially achieves that goal.

Please pick up a copy on Lulu.com or on Amazon.com. Search for “Randell Stroud”, and you will find all of my amazing books which will bestow you with infinite wisdom and practical knowledge.

Lulu.com

Amazon.com 

Good luck!

-Randell Stroud

Nalini-Global

2019

Cyber-security is more important than ever

(Former FBI Agent and Author of “Cybersecurity Secrets”, Scott Augenbaum, left, standing next to myself, founder of Nalini-Global, Randell Stroud.)  

 

The internet is becoming an ever-growing force in our lives as technology rapidly expands into our everyday interactions. Apps, cell-phones, robotic automation, and wifi connections are all becoming staples in how we communicate and engage each-other on  a global scale. These technologies make life easier, cost-effective, and more accessible in regards to communication than ever before.  Even the poorest among us can utilize internet access with a simple library card or a low-cost data managed ISP. (Internet Service Provider).

However,  with this rise in technology and convenience, also comes new opportunities for amateur and career-criminals  alike to engage in scamming and/or hacking activities. Many people are aware that downloading pirated entertainment and watching adult pornographic materials are notorious for destroying cell-phones and computers around the world. Their enticing nature attracts all classes of people to consume this type of  “guilty-pleasure”. Alas, you may not be aware that there are many other less obvious ways that scammers, viruses, and hackers invade our lives.

One such scam involves creating fake facebook, twitter, and internet pages used to mimic official pages.  If you were to be sent an e-mail from a bank that had the same name as yours containing a web-link that brought you to a page which appeared official but was indeed a fake, could you spot the difference?  That Facebook friend that you have been talking to for months, have you ever tried to video-chat with them? How do you know it’s a real person? That phone call you got from the IRS claiming you owed them 15K in back taxes and is threatening you with jail time, is it a real call, or a fake?

Many of us, especially the elderly and those who aren’t tech savvy, are especially vulnerable, but even experienced tech users can fall victim to cyber attacks. Do you travel alot? Chinese hackers have been known to target foreigners in airports by phishing their IP addresses through public Wifi connections. “When traveling, consider using a VPN.”  (A technique used to hide your IP address), says Augenbaum.

Data is being shared at an astronomical rate these days. Everywhere we go on the internet, websites and apps are constantly asking for access to our GPS location, contacts, and so on. Ever wonder how programs like TLO and Spokeo get our personal information which can be bought publicly for mere dollars?  It’s most likely because you agreed to it! In other cases, such as the Equifax  data- breach that occurred a few years, are a result of hacking.  Alternatives to Google search engines such as “Duck-Duck-Go”, are becoming more popular as internet users are becoming more aware of privacy concerns.

Mr. Augenbaum gives great advice in his book on how to protect yourself from such attacks.  Creating complex passwords, using VPN, managing internet activity by scrutinizing suspicious links, and safe storage of passwords are just a few ways people can protect themselves from attack. Once your bank account is hacked or your SSN is stolen, havoc can be wreaked upon your life.  The internet is a fun place to share idea, learn knowledge, and to entertain ourselves in moments of boredom. Yet, it can also be a scary place full of enticing sinful behaviors and predators of all sorts.

I would highly recommend his book to anyone who is looking to create a safer environment for themselves when distributing data and personal information.  His book can be purchased by clicking the link below:

 

 

Before you file for Bankruptcy: Read This

 

Bankruptcy is seen as a fresh start for many people.

Bankruptcy is prominently mentioned in the Constitution. Article 1, Section 8, Clause 4 of the United States Constitution provides:

The Congress shall have Power To…establish…uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States….

Bankruptcy is a necessary option for those with a high debt to income ratio.  However, it does come with serious consequences. Your credit will be ruined for up to 10 years, the process will cost you atleast 1-2,000$ to file and lenders will be very weary of you.  As a Bankruptcy paralegal myself, I would not recommend anyone file for bankruptcy who has less than 10,000$ of debt.  Debts can be paid down, negotiated, and so forth without destroying your credit report! However, if you find yourself in the midst of a foreclosure or simply cannot see a foreseeable way to escape, then bankruptcy could be your best option. If you are thinking about this option, consider these 10 strategies.

  1. Pass the “Means Test”:  If you are single and make under $40,000 per year, you will most likely qualify for a chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you are married and your combined income is less than $80,000 per year, you will most likely qualify. Some couples will strategically file for separation during a bankruptcy process in order to reduce their household income, however, the bankruptcy trustee will investigate your living situation to ensure it is a legitimate separation.
  2.  Replevin Orders are often needed to recover property from a debtor, which require the creditor to take you to court. Small items such as toasters, Televisions, or any item that is worth less than $1,000 is often able to be retained if the debtor is brave enough to call the creditor’s bluff. Replevin orders cost money and time. In my years working as Bankruptcy paralegal, it is extremely rare to see any creditor file for a Replevin order on any item worth less than a grand.
  3.  Credit scores can be strengthened after bankruptcy if you obtain a secured credit card and pay it down fast after making small purchases.
  4. Do not purposefully rack up debts on entertainment(non-essential) items and then immediately file for bankruptcy. Most debts younger than 90 days are generally scrutinized and are considered “fraudulent”  debts in many bankruptcy cases.
  5. Chapter 13 bankruptcies will save your house  from being foreclosed upon, however, it will only buy you a few months. If you fail to make payments on your Chapter 13 plan, the foreclosure process starts all over again.
  6.  Chapter 7 bankruptcies will not clear out mortgages and auto loans.  Expect to give back those properties after your case has completed unless you enter into a “reaffirmation agreement”.
  7.  Negotiate your reaffirmation agreement with your lawyer or better yet, try to avoid signing into one! See if the creditor will continue taking payments at the same rate as before. Oftentimes, creditors will try to get you to enter into a new agreement with higher rates to benefit themselves.
  8.  Child support is a non-dischargable debt.  However, filing for a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy can help you reorganize your child support debt and save you from getting your drivers license suspended.
  9.  Student Loans and owed Tax debt are generally considered non-dischargable. In some rare circumstances, they can be discharged.
  10.  Show up to court! If you don’t get a notice in the mail from your lawyer, call him/her! Missing your court date can cause huge delays and possibly have your case thrown out. It is imperative that before you file for bankruptcy, you save up some personal time off from your employer. The judge doesn’t care about your excuses. If you don’t show up, it takes alot work from the lawyers, paralegals, and courts to get a new court date. Your lawyer and the paralegals who assist will certainly thank you for making their job much easier!

 

These are just a few basic tips when it comes to filing for bankruptcy in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases. If you have any additional questions. Feel free to contact me at Naliniglobalconsulting@yahoo.com

 

-Randell Stroud

2018

11 ethics Nurses & Paralegals need to know

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Ethics are both personal and administrative. Your personal ethics may be one thing, whereas the ethics you are required to follow under the guidelines set forth by the American Nursing Association or by the National Paralegal Association, may conflict with your own morality Nevertheless, you have a duty to follow such ethics parameters if you want to keep your job and avoid being sued for malpractice or violating confidentiality provisions.

While this article focuses on paralegal and medical professionals, many of these principles are also highly relevant within any situation where you are handling someone’s private information. Here are my top 11 ways to avoid violating professional ethics guidelines:

1. Study-  If you are a nurse, study the ANA handbook. If you are a paralegal, study the NPA‘s handbook regarding ethics. Also, study the individual company policies provided to you once hired by a company provided to you at orientation. What you don’t know can get you killed!

2. Don’t Gossip:  Clients are going to approach you with all sorts of embarrassing stories about their lives. Medical conditions, legal issues, stories of infidelity, infertility, and other stomach turning scenarios will be common place in any area of client relations. You must handle these scenarios with care. If you wouldn’t want it to be shared with the public, then its safe to assume that your client wouldn’t either. Practice empathy, and put yourself in their shoes.

3. Be mindful of eavesdropping: When speaking to a client on the phone or in person, be sure that these conversations are done so in a quiet, secure, and private area. If these conversations are accidentally heard by a third party, it could result in negative consequences.

4. Secure documents: Any paperwork relating to company secrets or client information shouldn’t lay around openly for passerbyers to see. Such documents should also be shredded, not crumpled up in a trash bin. Identity thieves and spies are everywhere. Do not make their jobs easier by mishandling documents.

5. Do not administer actions without permission: Unless you are directed by a licensed doctor or lawyer, nurses and paralegals are NOT allowed to give a  personalized diagnosis, legal advice, or administer treatment. Nurses and Paralegals must also refrain from taking action when the client does not consent. Paralegals and nurses are “foot-soldiers”. We are to operate mostly by direct command, and rarely act independently, and even when we do, we are highly monitored.

6. Avoid the media: Addressing the media in regards to a client or the company you work for without authorization is a big NO-NO. You run the risk of defamation, releasing company trade-secrets, and other legal consequences.

7. Don’t be an accomplice:  If you see your supervising Doctor or attorney doing something highly unethical or illegal, you have the right to speak up and file a report with the authorities. Do not become an accomplice to illegal activity.

8. Think twice before becoming a rouge: Becoming a whistleblower or acting on your own because it “feels right”, could make you go down in history as a brave hero and save lives, however, it will not be without consequences. Acting outside of your assigned role, even if it saves a life could still cost you your job or open you up for a malpractice lawsuit or legal sanctions. Before you try to become the next Edward Snowden, remember, there will be consequences.

9. Stay up to date: Ethics guidelines are subject to change. Most nurses and paralegals are required or encouraged to attend furthering education courses or “refresher courses”. These could serve you well so that you do not fall out of the loop for current industry standards.

10. Pledge your loyalty to your client: Your job is to be an advocate for your client and an assistant to your superior. Embrace this role fully! If you think an alternative remedy is in order, express this to your supervising Doctor or Attorney. Do this away from the client in order to protect the honor of your supervisor as to not undermine him. Also, do not conspire or speak with any outside forces who may work against the interests of your client and/or employer. You are being paid for such loyalty. Any actions you take which could be interpreted as being “disloyal” to either the client or your employer, could result in termination or a lawsuit.

11. Swallow your pride: Paralegals and Nurses should take great care in picking a field or concentrated area that lines up with their conscious. If you cannot fathom defending a murderer or thief, you may want to stay away from criminal law and try bankruptcy law instead. You can also ask to be removed from certain cases or refuse to work with certain clients who make you feel uncomfortable. However, regardless of how hard you try to manage your career, you will ultimately be forced to take actions that go against your own personal beliefs. It’s the nature of any business and something all employees must learn to accept. Do your best to minimize such circumstances but also learn how to justify such actions if absolutely necessary. Those who fail to rationalize their jobs will fall victim to alcoholism and other unhealthy coping methods if they do not learn how to cope naturally. Legal and medical professionals will benefit greatly from having a support system in friends and family.

The philosophy and administrative guidelines that govern the idea of “ethics” can get very complicated. If you are unsure about whether or not you may be violating your company’s standards of ethics, it never hurts to ask!

 

I traveled the country to discuss family law reform

(Me at the congress building in DC- June 10th, 2018)-

On June 8th, 2018, my 31st birthday was fast approaching on June 10th. I decided that I needed to do something of epic proportions to celebrate this new stage of life. About 10 months ago, I published a report given to the United Nations titled, “Global Human Trafficking in the Family Law Courts”.  The UN didn’t give much attention to it, probably because it discussed issues uniquely affecting men instead of the plight of women, nevertheless, Amnesty International  in New York City reached out to me via -email about a week ago, wanting to meet up.

I have a huge fear of traveling alone, so this proved to be the perfect motivator for me to conquer two birds with one stone. I took a bus to DC, then a train to NYC, then a train back to DC, then finally an airplane flight back to Nashville,TN. I learned alot about myself on this journey.  Even though my main objective was to reach Amnesty International in New York, I spent most of my “getaway” in D.C., as I had a friend who lived there who offered to host me.  During my time in D.C., I made my way to the House of Representatives. For two days, I lobbied to them about family law reform.

A few weeks ago, Kentucky was the first state to pass a default 50/50 custody bill. A presumptive bill that would automatically grant fathers joint custody with minimal child support, so long as he didn’t have a criminal background. This is huge considering that the average man will spend 5-30K in court begging for equal rights. While I recognize the plight of women’s rights activists, the male gender faces its own unique set of challenges.

For two days, I visited more than 30 congressmen/women and their staff to discuss family law reform. I handed out copies of my report, business cards, and even stopped by the offices of Kentucky Congressman, Andy Barr, to  thank him and his state for being a leader in family law reform.  I visited congressmen in Texas, California, Rhode Island, New York, Tennessee, Maryland, you name it!

Most of the reception I got was very “lukewarm”.  Family law is simply something that isn’t discussed very much by federal politicians. Divorce, child support, alimony, custody,— these words bring falsely negative connotations associated with failure, infidelity, blackmail, and scandal. It is a topic that many politicians simply do not want to touch out of fear of backlash from feminist groups. While there are some women who are affected by the family law courts, men tend to bear the brunt of unfairness within these systems. To speak out against the family law courts will often garnish you a label of being a misogynist or an “MRA”. (Men’s Rights Activist). For some reason, society thinks its perfectly fine for a mother to have an abortion or give up her unwanted child for adoption, however, men who don’t want to be dads are called “deadbeats”, and the ones who do want to be dads have to spend a small fortune on legal fees to get basic custody rights while still paying child support on top of it.

As many of you know, I am a champion of foreign policy reform, tax reform, civil liberties, and plethora of other civil liberties issues. In fact, I submitted a report to the ACLU regarding civil asset forfeiture. Family law reform isn’t the only thing I care about, but it is very high on the list.

During my meetings with various congressmen, I was mainly left with statements such as, “I’ll look into this.”. However, I did get very good responses from congressmen in Maryland, Texas, and Georgia.  Maryland is one of the few states who has tough laws against leaving your children in a car unattended. Maryland claims to be a very “children concentric state”,  thus, I wasn’t too surprised that their offices actually gave me the time of day.

Tom Reed of New York wasn’t in his office, however, his staff associates were very nice to me and gladly took down my info and a copy of my report. I cannot say the same about some of the other offices that I visited who gave me such a cold welcome, almost as if they couldn’t physically see me standing in front of them.

I tried to visit my own congressman from TN for two days straight, congressman  Jim Cooper, however, he was away both times. He and I have had several run-ins back in Nashville, so I’m not sure how happy he would be to see me again, as I have already spoken with him about this issue several times.

(Me outside of Rep.Cooper’s office in DC.) 

While in D.C., I learned and recognized many things. The people in this city are highly educated on political matters, even the lowly beggars have a basic understanding of how bills are passed and the roles lobbyists play.  Protesting and demonstration occurred at the Congress and white house daily.  While attending a seminar at the Supreme court, I passed the congress building and noticed a group of ethnic Uyghurs, chanting and begging for the United States government to use their military might to save their people from the clutches of Chinese control.

Many libertarian and liberally minded people often shy away from interventionism as it causes much blow-back for our national security,  however, this demonstration made me rethink the US’s role in foreign policy. Perhaps our presence isn’t always shunned but actually welcomed in some places.  I suppose there are always two sides to every story.

As I left the congress building, I managed to get a peak at President Trump coming in from his trip at the Korean Peace Talk summit in  Singapore. The Secret service was in full effect with their rifles, clearing the streets of any nearby pedestrians including myself.

“Stand back! Make way!” – Secret Service agents

Later that day, I visited the white house and came across an interesting man who went by the name, “Felipe”.  He had an encampment set up across the street from the white-house. He had been in that camp protesting war, advocating for gun control, and attacks on civil liberties since 1982! That’s right! This man has not left his protest encampment since 1982! Talk about commitment! I engaged in an hour long debate with the man who sat disabled in his wheelchair. He had several degrees in political science, sociology, and psychology. While I didn’t agree with him on many points, I respected his diligence, and we both managed to agree that things like family law reform, and laws like the NDAA and the Patriot Act are bad for Americans in regards to personal liberty.

According to his testimony, there is a current law in place that says that no one is allowed to be encamped within so many yards of the white house, however, since the man had been in this place since 1982, (before such laws existed), he had essentially be “grandfathered” in, and is legally allowed to stay encamped in front of the white house so long as the camp remains occupied 24/7. Felipe is there most of the time, but has his father stand in his place when he needs to go away or take breaks.  Felipe garnished much respect from fellow congressmen, as two actually approached him and gave him a “fist bump” of acknowledgment.

   

(Felipe camped out in front of the White House, no civilians is allowed to pass the police line or else they could face imprisonment– even Felipe isn’t exempt from this law)

My next stop was the Library of Congress.  The world’s largest collection of books in the world.  Photographs aren’t allowed to be taken of the actual books, however, when I say that the collection was impressive, it is an understatement! The library consists of three large buildings which contain entire departments dedicated to a single subject. Do you enjoy Chinese history? Well, there is an entire floor dedicated to just that single topic! Do you enjoy mechanical engineering? There is an entire room dedicated to just that subject. The amount of information in those buildings is completely awe-inspiring. I constantly found myself speaking in a silent whisper, “This is incredible!”. , “Wow!”.

I visited the copyright office in the Library of Congress and met with one of their consultants who guided me on the process of submitting my own publication, “Global Human Trafficking in the Family Law Courts”, into the library of congress.  If my book is accepted, it would forever remain as my contribution to my country, my people, and to the world’s largest library.

 

After my adventures in the Congress, the Supreme Court building, the White House, and the Library of Congress, I accidentally came across an Amnesty International building. I thought to myself, “This could be a great networking opportunity, since I am scheduled to interview with them tomorrow in NYC.”

As I approached the building, there was a small security detail who was only letting badged members get in.  I tried getting in, but I had no formal appointment with the D.C office. However, I was determined to get a copy of my report into as many people’s hands as I could. So, I did what any rational activist would do.  I broke trespassing laws. I waited until the building’s employees returned from their lunch breaks. The wave of workers came hauling into the building using their badges to bypass security. I merely ducked my head-low and piggy backed into the building behind them. Without a badge I was only able to make it to the 3rd floor. Amnesty’s main office was on the 4th floor.

  (At Amnesty International In Washington D.C.)

So, I had to get creative. I found a fire exit with a staircase and managed to get on the 4th floor. However, I ran into another problem. Amnesty had an empty lobby with a single door that only allowed badged members once again. There was no secretary in sight. I called the interviewing office in New York City and told them I was in D.C. instead. This prompted one of their policy research managers to come to the lobby. She speaks out, “Who are you? How can I help you?”

I say, “I am set to meet with Mr.Solis in NYC tomorrow about a management position. ” She laughs and says, “They tell everyone that. Mr. Solis only hires for intern positions that pay 15$ an hour.”  I was a little annoyed to learn this.  So I reply, “Wow! Seriously? Well, I traveled all the way from Nashville,Tn. This is a report I have written regarding Family Law reform. Regardless of any job opportunities, I think you guys should look at this! I am a supporter of women’s rights activism, however, this is an issue of gender equality where the male gender needs some serious support!”.  The policy manager was hesitant to take my packet until I gave her my Nalini-Global business card.

At this point, she realized I was serious. She replies, “I will get this to our research department. This looks very fascinating. But, I’m sorry we can’t interview you here. You aren’t cut out for an internship anyways. Forget the NYC interview with Mr.Solis. I am going to take your report and see what we discuss further.”

I reply, “Thank you so much!”. She replies, ” I don’t know how you got up here. This is a restricted area. But, I admire your moxy! But, you have to go now!”. I reply, “Yes ma’am. And thank you!”.

After leaving Amnesty, I took a rest and headed up to NYC by train. The ride was three hours. On the train, I met many lobbyists and a woman from Italy who was here on vacation. We discussed music and politics for a good hour until the train staff told us to shut as other passengers were trying to sleep.

Upon arrived in NYC at Penn Station, I headed straight to Federal Hall. The birthplace of out government. It was a proud moment. Something that has been on my bucket list since the age of 20.  After getting in NYC, I arrived about an hour late, thus I was shut out of my interview with Amnesty. But, I didn’t care, I wasn’t happy about being lied to about an internship/canvasser position anyways. I needed to make some real money! Regardless, I was still on a mission.  After leaving Federal Hall, I visited “Wall Street”, the financial center of the USA. The power and corruption germinating inside the NYSE was overwhelming just as the city skyline was itself. NYC is not the place to go if you have anxiety or are prone to panic attacks.

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(Me in New York City in front of Penn Station) 

In NYC, everyone is looking to score something. Sex, drugs, money, a phone number, a free-ride, selling something. ect.. It is a very fast paced city that caters to the rich. My last action in NYC was to visit the UN building. To try and submit my report in person. I was blocked by security and wasn’t about to attempt to go further. This wasn’t amnesty international, this was a multinational governmental organization, I didn’t want to be arrested or killed. So, I took my loss and returned to Penn station the next morning. After all, as a state rep candidate myself back in Nashville, I still have a campaign to run myself!  During the train ride back to D.C, , I saw the poverty in Baltimore and in parts of New Jersey. It was a sad site. Like a third world country in some respects. Upon arriving in D.C., I stayed at a friend’s house and took a flight back to Nashville the next morning.

While this narrative is a summarized version of my experiences during this birthday diplomatic mission, it sums up my passion quite well. If this blog post were to be used in a job interview, it would demonstrate my passion to a high level unparalleled to any college degree one may possess, as anyone can remember facts and details in order to obtain a degree, but few can put their very lives on the line for a cause they believe in.

I don’t know how effective my actions were in this trip. Perhaps I wasted my time and money. Perhaps I am a fool for thinking that such a man from a lowly background of lower-middle class parents can actually make a difference in such a powerful city like D.C. or NYC. But, then again, I thought that same thing two years ago when I successfully fought to get a corrupt politician fired, county clerk, John Arriola. in Nashville TN.

Regardless of the outcome, the trip changed my life. It made me proud to be an America. It gave me a connection to this land unlike I had before. For all of it’s ugliness, I saw a certain amount of beauty in the process of politics and government. I did see remedies and potential in solving certain problems in an ever changing world. It gave me a sense of strength and confidence I never knew I had.

I do not know where my journey will take me next, as I will be ending the lease on my apartment in two weeks, however, wherever I end up next, you can take your money to the casinos and safely bet that my next chapter will be anything but boring!

To life. To liberty. And to the pursuit of a meaningful life.

-Randell Daryl Stroud

2018

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Atlanta “ends” Cash Bail requirements

(Activists celebrate the passing of a new law that exempts bail requirements on certain misdemeanor offenses.)

 

On Tuesday, February 6th, 2017, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, signed an ordinance Tuesday that eliminates the Municipal Court’s cash bond requirement for certain low-level offenders who otherwise would be forced to sit in jail due to being unable to afford a bond.

The Atlanta Mayor stated, “…It makes no fiscal sense to hold someone in jail over a $500 bond”.

According to the many reports, after six hours of public comment and debate Monday afternoon, the City Council approved the ordinance 13-0. The bail bond industry itself appeared to be the main opponent of this law during public comments. However, citizens largely supported this effort. Sure, the bail-bonds industry may lose a little money, alas, families will be safe from the racketeering system that our legal system has become!

Like in all matters of the law, we have to strike a balance between liberty and security; Protecting the logical rights of men and their properties, while not creating monopolies that only the wealthy and the governments themselves can understand or afford to participate in. That’s the problem with our current legal system. The legal system is a glorified socialized “gun” that we use to point at one another in a “civilized” courtroom. However, it doesn’t make society any fairer or safer when that shared use of force can only be afforded by certain groups of people. Namely, the extremely poor who can claim to be “indigent” , or the extremely rich who can afford the best lawyers or to pay off judges. It is the middle-class who has no remedy. They don’t qualify for low-income exceptions, and they cannot afford a legal team of their own. Where do they go?

The legal industry and the for profit prison system, nicknamed the “Prison Industrial Complex”by many, benefits the state departments, judges, prison investors, bail bondsmen, lawyers, and police officers looking to keep their quota numbers up. However, this sort of “for profit” legal system creates another hurdle for the poor looking to get a leg-up.

Public urination, driving on a suspended license, an unpaid traffic ticket, simple possession of marijuana, — these are not charges synonymous with dangerous criminals who may flee the country or state, they are merely “infractional” petty offenders. To hold these people on a bond, who probably can’t afford the bail money, will sit in jail over such infractions whereas they are likely to lose their jobs and further slip into the cycle of legal penalties which facilitates poverty and loss of family ties.

The system doesn’t seem to care. As long as they are pulling in revenue for the system, lawmakers appear oblivious to long-term impacts on low-income families looking to escape poverty. According to statisticbrain.comthe average police officer in the USA pulls in about $300,000 per year in revenue from citations. That’s about $6,232,000,000 per year nationally! That’s a lot of revenue for infractions that could largely be forgiven, warned, or overlooked.  If I receive a seat-belt ticket, and am forced to pay the state $50, how does that solve any problems? If I cannot afford the ticket, my license will be suspended, taking away my ability to get to and from work, further forcing my family into the bellows of poverty. If I get caught driving on a suspended license, I go jail.

Holding a prisoner isn’t cheap either. It costs taxpayers about $31,000 per year to feed, clothe, and house an inmate.  That’s about $85 per day, much more than the cost of your average citation. But, the prison investors, bail bondsmen, law makers, government workers and attorneys who make money mitigating these issues don’t care about tax-payers or at risk families. They care about profit margins and expanding department budgets!

Some may say, “Just follow the law and it won’t be a problem!”.  We must ask ourselves, why does the United States have the largest prison population in the world? Over 70% of our inmates are non-violent! It’s a money scheme! It costs $500 to legally operate a lemonade stand in America! The average American commits three misdemeanors and a felony per day without even realizing it! Literally every inch of American life has a statute or code attached to it! If the legal system can’t get you for running a red-light, maybe they can get you for being a “public nuisance” or for the bumper on your car being one inch lower than what statute allows. The more laws we create, the more criminals we create by default! It is an inadvertent consequence stemming from good intentions; or perhaps it is all designed purposely to be this way? Or perhaps, the truth is somewhere in the middle?

Regardless, this reform effort that the city of Atlanta has made, thanks to so many passionate advocates and leaders like Atlanta based attorney Gerald A. Griggs, who championed this effort, is a welcomed change! It is so rare for attorneys and politicians to come together on behalf of the poor. When these instances happen, they deserve all of our applause and credit.! I salute Mayor Lance-Bottoms and all of those who fought for the repealment of such archaic bail practices.

Sure, if a man is wanted for malicious battery,murder, rape, robbery, or grand theft auto, it makes sense to put a bail requirement on him/her. Alas, those who are subject to a bail requirement for petty offenses are merely pieces of evidence proving what a corrupt system we have. This new change in the law is an excellent move and I pray that all cities follow suit!  This may seem like a small victory, but in reality, it can potentially turn into a huge wave of momentum in terms of criminal law reform.

Please send your special thanks to:

Gerald A. Griggs,

https://www.geraldagriggs.com/

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms

https://www.atlantaga.gov/government/mayor-s-office/meet-the-mayor

 

—And all other activists who assisted in this effort!

 

-Randell Stroud

Nalini-Global

2018

 

Tennessee Civil Asset Forfeiture Challenged by Nalini-Global

On 10/17/2017 , the Metro Nashville Council, held a meeting on resolution RS2017-920- Shared Equitable Program 

This bill proposed that assets seized during police activities that are to later be sold would be divided up between local police departments and the federal DEA.  On the surface, it would appear that this bill is simply creating a working relationship between the local police and the DEA in order to help rid our communities of illegal drug peddling.

However, anyone who is educated on the activities of the DEA, who frequently engage in unconstitutional marijuana raids in states that have legalized the plant and are also known to engage in shady business practices such as entrapment operations. The pink elephant is not the collusion between state and federal governments, but rather the act of civil asset forfeiture, the practice of taking the property of merely “suspected” criminals, whereas those items are later sold at-profit in benefit of the government.

While I don’t support drug use, I do believe the issue should be treated medically, not criminally, and furthermore, the government should not be a beneficiary to such activities . To deem something “illegal”, and then to profit from such illegal activities seems to be more patronizing than benevolent.

The bill was ultimately deffered to be re-voted upon at a later date.  A small victory, albeit for how long can we curb these practices in Tennessee and elsewhere?

Read my statement to the Metro Council here:  (Click here)

  • Nalini-Global 2017

Improving Government/Citizen relations

 

On August 22nd, 2017, I was invited to be a guest speaker for the “Decentralize Your Life Tour”.  A national tour spearheaded by Libertarian Activist, Derrick Broze, who often finds himself in the cross-hairs of government through his independent journalism. Mr.Broze covered the “Standing Rock” protests in the Dakotas and has traveled the world advocating for a freer society. Being involved in protests have often caused him legal troubles, which is common in the practice of civil disobedience.

His message was that of, “Opting out” of the system and finding non-governmental solutions to societies problems. A notion that seems to have much support these days in light of government sponsored controversies which so frequently headline our news media outlets today.

However, when it was my turn to speak, my message, albeit sympathetic to Mr.Broze’s message of “Laissez Faire Capitalism” and “community works”, I reminded the audience that our current system is here to stay for a long time and we must learn to harness its positivity while reducing its negativity, until it is potentially no longer needed.. Additionally, those who work in government are human beings with hearts who are capable of doing great change for the world themselves and should not be looked down upon. Changing a paradigm isn’t something that happens overnight, it requires a multi-tiered approach.

I outlined several abnormalities and injustices found today within the legal system and what we can do to educate and empower ourselves while in tandem, working with government officials. Reforms and innovations are both equally effective at creating a better world for those who live in it. With the rise of the Alt-Right and Alt-Left, (Neo-Nazis Vs Antifa), we are living in very polarizing times, however, I believe a middle-ground in these debates are just what the doctor ordered!

Watch the video below to check out my introductory speech. In the speech, I make reference to my shadow report regarding corruption in the family law courts. That report can be found on the “Human Rights Reporting Page” on this website.

  • Randell Stroud 2017 Nalini-Global

Going to Child Support court? Read this

 

In the eyes of God, before anyone enters into a court-room, both father and mother are the full fledged guardians of a child. Before a couple enters into the family law system, there is no one regulating the terms and conditions of parenthood, household income, time spent with each parent, ect. However, as soon as you add a judge into the mix, lives can be forever altered by an ordinary human construct. The Family Law Courts!

Custody spats, Child support, alimony, these are all terms that send shivers down the spines of many. If you are a non-custodial parent or custodial parent, entering into the family law system, please consider these tips moving forward to ease the struggle of your unique family structure.

Non-Custodial Parent:

  1.  Get a DNA Test! : This sounds like a no-brainer, but you’d be amazed at how many men are paying child support for a kid that is not biologically their own.  Unless there is a prior adoption agreement, no one is legally obligated to pay for someone else’s child.
  2. Consider communication:  If the child is yours, make one last effort to communicate with the mother. What are your goals with the child? What are her goals? Does she want to keep the child? Do you want to be a part of the child’s life? Are you both financially sound? If you two can both find an agreement without involving the government, this will be your best bet. However, if any financial support is given to either party, keep receipts of everything. The custodial parent, (who is typically always going to be the mother in the eye’s of the family law system), can bring the case before a judge at any time and thus sue you for retroactive support. Without any evidence of prior support, you could be on the hook for thousands of dollars.
  3.  Consider your income:  When a child support case is brought to court for the first time, the court will ask for your previous year’s tax return and proof of income from the last two months.  If you know that you have a case coming up, it may be in your financial interest to research how your income levels will be considered. If you have been working three jobs for the last two months before your court date, the courts will consider that income for setting guidelines on how much you are to pay each month. While I do no advise anyone to do anything illegal, maneuvering within the rules (while still adhering to them), in order to survive the eventual 50% garnishment of your income that is soon to take place, is a worthy survival tactic.
  4.  Never let an administrator set the guidelines for support! The child support enforcement agency will often  sell the idea to you that a judge is not needed. They will first appoint an administrator to have a meeting with you and the “custodial” parent. During this meeting, they will calculate income and expenses and then come up with an arbitrary number. That number will always favor the custodial parent.  Never agree to their offers! Always demand that a judge make a ruling on the numbers. Remember, only the judge can make deviations from the  state guidelines. The Child support enforcement administrators cannot make deviations, in fact, they are encouraged to calculate high numbers so that they can collect bonuses from the Title IV section D grant money that is linked with child support collections. However, if you demand to speak with a Judge, he/she may or may not, consider the fact if you have medical expenses, outrageous rent, or other factors that impact your ability to earn income. If the judge is compassionate, you may get lucky with a ruling that is slightly lower than the recommended guidelines issued from the Child Support Enforcement Agency. However, the administrators will never tell you this because they know you are intimidated and do not wish to sit in a court room all day. While the administrators can quickly draw up an order and get you out of their offices, in the long-run, it may not benefit you.
  5. Be Careful with Modifications:  Just because you think your child support is too high doesn’t mean a judge will agree. If you seek to modify your child support order, you may end up paying more! Especially if you have earn more income than you did previously. In some states, CSE (child support enforcement) will automatically raise support amounts if the NCP (Non custodial parent) gets a higher paying job. It is a deadly cycle. Get a higher paying job to afford a child support order, only to have it raised again! Only seek modification if you experience a sharp decrease in earnings and/or you lose your job.  Major medical expenses coming from a surgery or foreclosure may warrant a temporary reduction but can be risky. Consult an attorney!
  6. Challenge Expenses: In child support cases, you will be made to pay for half of any day-care or medical costs. Be sure to challenge any receipts that appear home-made.  These extra expenses can inflate child support payments very quickly, especially if the other parent is embellishing the amount they are paying for child-care costs.
  7. Ask for mediation:  Many courts will offer a no-cost, one-time, mediation session between you and the mother. This is your last ditch effort to sit privately in a room with you and the other parent to negotiate a parenting plan and/or to make voluntary reductions in support. While mediation can be extremely helpful if both parties are logical, it is still up to the judge to agree with the terms.
  8. Consider settlements or Forgiveness:   If you get behind in child support, you may be able to offer settlements to avoid jail time. If you owe $10,000 for instance, you may be able to offer the judge a $6,000 settlement to avoid jail-time without having to pay the remaining three.  Some states even allow for forgiveness of child support debt if you have a good excuse such as medical problems and you are showing good faith to look for employment.
  9. Study Turner V Rogers-  This supreme court case outlined that non-custodial parents should only be jailed if they are willfully refusing to pay child-support payments. Being unable to pay does not warrant one’s life or liberties to be suspended. It must be proven before such aggressive tactics can be implemented against the non-custodial parent.
  10.  Study State of Minnesota V Nelson-  In this case, Mr. Nelson was behind over $80,000, on child support, however, he was still caring for and nurturing his children, i.e.- “Supporting”, therefore the supreme court reversed his felony conviction of failure to pay child support.
  11. Study  Coull vs. Rottman –  In this case, Mr.Coull was absolved of paying any child support due to Ms.Rottman alienating the child from Mr.Coull. The courts found that Ms.Rottman had no bases to ask to support if she was adamant on not allowing the father to partake in the child’s life despite him being fit to do so. This is a rare case decision, but very thought provoking.
  12. Consider International Law: 1976 Article 11 of the ICCPR – International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights – came into effect stating, “No one shall be imprisoned merely on the ground of inability to fulfill a contractual obligation.”  This international obligation contradict many countries’ domestic laws that allow for civil jailings. The United States being one of the chief offenders in not adhering to the provisions in this international agreement. Nevertheless, it is still noteworthy.

Custodial Parents:

  1. Communicate:  Do you want this child? Does he?  Is abortion or adoption being considered? Can you sit down with him/her and have an open-dialogue about both of your futures?  If the child has already been born, still communicate! Do everything you can to handle the situation without court involvement.
  2. Welfare-  Many states will not issue welfare to struggling parents unless they name both parents and/or agree to put one of the parents on child support. A good remedy is to have the entire family apply together, however, this often times makes one ineligible because your income bracket may be too high.
  3. Do not alienate your children:  If you are receiving child support, you are NOT a single parent doing it alone, you are getting help.  Even if the other parent is not able to financially provide, if they are showing love to the child, you should not get in-between that bonding process, to do so can cause severe mental and emotional scars to the child that can make them more susceptible to  deviant behavior as an adult not to mention the emotional damage done to the parent who is being prevented from seeing the child. No body wins in alienation.  Children are not bargaining pieces..
  4.  Spend wisely:  If you receive a good amount of child support every month, use what money is left over and put it in a trust fund for the child’s future education. Many custodial parents like to use child support funds to spoil their children with toys or even themselves. In the long run, it does nothing for your children. It is called “child support”, not an entertainment fund.
  5. Reconsider enforcing penalties:  Asking a judge to suspend the other parent’s drivers license or to have him/her incarcerated only hurts you and the child.  Such penalties will make it harder for him to find and keep employment, thus reducing the chances that you will ever see a dime in child support.
  6. Rethink “Support”-  Many custodial parents are extremely protective of their children, since they usually spend the most time with the child while the other parent is usually busy trying to keep up with child support or alimony payments. If you truly need “support”, do not fight “joint custody”. This way you have one parent taking responsibility half the time, and the other parent doing half the work. In many cases, child support may not even be warranted, in this case, everyone can win. If it isn’t about the money, and you can check your emotions at the door, then joint custody shouldn’t be an issue.
  7.  Become an advocate- About 92% of the time, women end up becoming the custodial parent. As a custodial parent, you have a lot of power. Don’t abuse this power! Use it to advocate for equal parenting rights.  I am reminded of an old saying, “Those who desire to give away their power are the most powerful indeed.”  or as Confucius would say,  “Those who wish to secure others, has already secured himself.”

Both parties

Be mindful of eachother! Neither parent is in a particularly “easy” situation. While the non-custodial parent will become stressed out about meeting child-support criteria, the custodial parent will become stressed out with the rearing of the child, transporting the child ,ect. Try to put yourself in the other parent’s shoes and practice empathy. If both parents can do this, it will make it easier for each of them to work together for the sake of the child and potentially remove the disagreements that lead to one of the parents allowing the government to regulate their family affairs.

While the media has given much coverage to the narrative of the “struggling single mom”, whereas “Men need to step up for face the consequences”, I believe that a new narrative needs to be introduced to the general public. One that considers the history of gender relations and how modern developments require us to look at the situation of family disputes through a modernized “looking glass”.

This publication includes the un-redacted portions from a report that was submitted the Human Rights Council in Geneva and to several other human rights organizations and/or governing bodies such as the United States Department of Justice. The original report was over 50 pages long, however, the sections shown in this publication exclude personal documents that are privileged to confidentiality. I pray that those who take the time to read this report will walk away with a better sense of how the modern family law system operates, who is being marginalized and what we can do to reduce its over-reach into our personal decisions. After all, true “freedom”, isn’t the just the ability to make a choice, but to also suffer the consequences of a choice.

“Freedom”, teaches us that consequences rarely need to be administered by government, but rather by the laws of nature of karmic retributions, principles that no man-made legislation can create a loop-hole for.

God-speed.

-Randell D. Stroud