My Dear Friend Dr. Kathy Ann Garcia-Lawson of Palm Beach Continues her Crusade against the forces of Secular Humanism as they fight against Constitutional Freedom, Liberty and Individual Integrity and Autonomy. 04-16-2012 KAGL Edited Motion to Stay Proceedings Pending Determination back in 15th Judicial Circuit Court. We a complete reversal in the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeals! Kathy Ann Garcia-Lawson’s divorce decree was vacated and nullified (on February 15, 2012) as having been entered in the Complete Absence of Jurisdiction, by Judge Richard L. Oftedal (now off the case). The 4th DCA returned its mandate to the Florida Circuit Court in North Palm Beach County on Friday 13 April, and so here we are, back in the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit Court in and for Palm Beach County. Hurray, Kathy!
Notice of Respondent’s Constitutional Objections to Personal Jurisdiction,
Motion for Leave to Amend Answer & Counterclaim,
Motion for Scheduling Order and New Trial, and
MOTION TO STAY PROCEEDINGS PENDING DETERMINATION OF CONSTITUTIONAL JURISDICTION
COMES NOW the Respondent Kathy Ann Garcia-Lawson, pro se, giving notice of her constitutional objections to the exercise of personal and subject matter jurisdiction over her by and under the Family and Domestic Relations Code and Courts of Florida. The fundamental question which Respondent submits is this:
Where there is no express constitutional authorization, how can there be any legitimate constitutional exercise of control over any subject matter or personal question defined as a matter of fundamental right, such as marriage, privacy, and child-rearing? If neither the constitutions of the United States of America nor the State of Florida authorize the licensing or dissolution of marriages, nor to regulate domestic relations in any way except with regard to public safety, how can the State of Florida erect and maintain courts to adjudicate cases relating to such matters?
The Fourth District Court of Appeal for the State of Florida has expressly decided in its order of February 15, 2012, that the Judge Richard L. Oftedal had no power whatsoever to enter a final judgment on April 29, 2010 for the dissolution of marriage. In other words, the Fourth District Court found that Judge Richard L. Oftedal acted in the complete absence of jurisdiction in entering that “Final Decree of Dissolution” dated April 29, 2010, and that his actions were a nullity. Implicitly, Judge Oftedal must also have acted unlawfully when he refused to set aside his April 29, 2010, order upon Kathy Ann Garcia-Lawson’s post-trial Motion. As the Fourth DCA correctly noted, Respondent Kathy Ann Garcia-Lawson had not one, but two appeals of non-final orders filed (pursuant to the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure, 9.130).
The two interlocutory appeals both concerned constitutional challenges to the Florida Family Code and Florida Domestic Relations jurisdiction. Since the Fourth DCA denied Respondent’s motion for clarification or rehearing on these subjects, the appellate justices essentially declined to decide and/or found it unnecessary or improper to reach these issues, since they had already reversed and vacated Judge Oftedal’s final judgment in full in Respondent’s favor.
Kathy Ann Garcia-Lawson now returns to this Circuit Court and asks for leave to amend her pleadings, and for a new scheduling order, a new opportunity to conduct discovery (which she never did) and for a New Trial in this Court to find and/or determine, after sufficient hearing and inquiry into the underlying facts and law of the case all of the Constitutional Issues which Kathy Ann Garcia-Lawon has sought to bring to bear in this case, as a matter of law.
The essential point is that neither the United States Constitution nor the Constitution of the State of Florida authorize the State to Issue Marriage Licenses or to impose jurisdiction by statute to resolve cases or controversies involving or arising from private domestic relations or religious questions of any kind (so long as no breaches of the public safety or peace are involved or implicated).
Kathy Ann Garcia-Lawson now demands that, in the interests of judicial economy, this Court rule (after seven long years of waiting) how the Florida Florida Family Code (in particular as dealing with dissolution, division of property, and child custody) derives any legitimate power or constitutional authority in light of Article I: §§1, 2, 3, 5, 9, 10, 12, 21, 22, 23, 27, including but not limited to Basic Rights, Religious Freedom and Non-impairment of contract provisions of Article I: §§3 & 10 (including the proposed amendment of Article I: §3 submitted to the people for popular mandate on the ballot this November 2012) of the Florida Constitution, as well as the First, Fifth, Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, as a whole, and her rights to Due Process of Law (Art. I: §9), Trial-by-Jury (Art. I: §22), and protection from wrongful intrusion into her privacy (Art. I: §23) by the Courts as a precondition of preserving those rights in dissolution proceedings.
The only mentions of “marriage” in the entire constitution of Florida appear in the recently adopted negative definition in I: §27 and in Article X, §5. Neither section neither authorizes nor implies state authority to license marriage. Article I, §27 mandates that Florida will respect only heterosexual unions as marriages as a matter of law, for whatever legitimate purposes there might be in so doing. Article X, §5 likewise makes no reference to state regulation of marriage, but addresses (somewhat mysteriously, and perhaps redundantly with Article I, §2 above) another issue of “respect” under law:
There shall be no distinction between married women and married men in the holding, control, disposition, or encumbering of their property, both real and personal; except that dower or curtesy may be established and regulated by law.
Accordingly, Kathy Ann Garcia-Lawson now asks this Court finally to rule, resolve, and clarify, upon new trial after amendments, discovery, and full-briefing herein requested to resolve Kathy Ann Garcia-Lawson’s constitutional questions and affirm her challenges both to this court’s exercise of personal and subject matter jurisdiction.
Kathy Ann Garcia-Lawson is the respondent to the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage brought by her husband, Jeffrey P. Lawson, originally in February of 2005.
Contending from the beginning that there was a defect in the subject matter jurisdiction of this Court, Kathy Ann Garcia-Lawson has never consented to the jurisdiction of this Court. It is a time honored principle in this state, affirmed steadily by our Supreme Court since at least Lovett v. Lovett, 93 Fla. 611, 112 So. 768 (Florida March 29, 1927) that any:
Party proceeding without objection with hearing in equity court of controversy, jurisdiction of which may be given by consent, may not thereafter complain as to jurisdiction.
But the record will show that Kathy Ann Garcia-Lawson has continually objected to the jurisdiction of this Court and never waived her rights to challenge the personal or subject matter jurisdiction of any Florida Court to adjudicate any aspect of her marriage, her domestic relationship with her husband, or her domestic relationship with their daughter, or to dispose of any of their property except that her husband or the Court show positive constitutional authority to do so, and not merely acquiescence by silence as to this point of most sacred and fundamental rights.
Nor has Kathy Ann Garcia-Lawson ever been afforded the right to amend her pleadings in accordance with her constitutional objections and challenges to the personal and subject matter jurisdiction of this Court. Accordingly, Respondent here and now further requests that this Court acknowledge, affirm, and enforce her right under Article I, §§1, 2, 3, but especially §5 (Right to Instruct Representatives and to Petition for Redress of Grievances), §9 (Due Process of Law) and §21 (the “Open Courts” provision) of the Florida Constitution to amend her pleadings, conduct discovery (Art. I, §24), file pre-trial (and, unlike under Judge Oftedal, have a full and fair hearing on all) motions (including but not limited to Constitutional questions of both substance and procedure), and otherwise to prepare try her constitutional and jurisdictional challenges related to the current Florida Statutory Scheme for the Dissolution of Marriage. Kathy Ann Garcia-Lawson submits that seven years is too long already, and that she should no longer have to wait to challenge and deny the power of the State of Florida so to intrude upon her fundamental rights as to design and enforce upon her a Family Law Jurisdiction and application of judicial process without consent to deny her (1) right to petition, (2) right to privately contract, (3) right to due process of law, (4) right to a trial-by-jury, (5) rights and powers reserved to her as one of the American people under the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.
Kathy Ann Garcia-Lawson has already collected statistical and documentary evidence which she would have plead and presented by and through expert witnesses and testimony (long ago) to the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit, had she been allowed to do so by Judge Richard L. Oftedal, which shows that Florida Courts automatically grant 100% petitions for divorce without regard to any principal or standard other than that to allege that a marriage is irretrievably broken is taken as sufficient proof of the same as a matter of both fact and law. Kathy Ann Garcia-Lawson would also have argued that such a system was enacted by the Florida Legislature without legitimate or even colorable constitutional authority, then enforced by the State Judges and “officers of the Court,” and applied to her in defiance of all constitutional and statutory law, and in violation of her rights guaranteed under the Federal and Florida Constitutions to rights to due process, equal protection, and freedom from both state impairment of the obligations of contract and takings of liberty and process in violation of the First, Fifth, Seventh, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments.
 Kathy Ann Garcia-Lawson abandoned these two interlocutory appeals once Judge Oftedal entered his final judgment on April 29, 2010, but the issues were not waived firstly because by operation of law the issues raised by the interlocutory merged, and secondly because these issues were fully briefed, as part of Kathy Ann-Garcia-Lawson’s Initial Appellate Brief, of which the Florida Fourth D.C.A. reached only the 9.130 jurisdictional issue and refused, even on her March 1, 2012, motion for clarification or re-argument, to address, decide, or resolve in any manner.
 This Court should be aware that Judge Oftedal, on the record, refused to hear or rule upon any constitutional issues in his court, which is surely a denial of Kathy Ann Garcia’s rights under both the State and Federal Constitutions of Florida and the United States.
In the full version of this Motion, attached above, Kathy quotes in her conclusion of Chief Justice John Marshall’s stirring words in Cohens v. Virginia (March 3, 1821):
The judiciary cannot, as the legislature may, avoid a measure because it approaches the confines of the constitution. We cannot pass it by because it is doubtful. With whatever doubts, with whatever difficulties, a case may be attended, we must decide it, if it be brought before us. We have no more right to decline the exercise of jurisdiction which is given, than to usurp that which is not given. The one or the other would be treason to the constitution. Questions may occur which we would gladly avoid; but we cannot avoid them. All we can do is, to exercise our best judgment, and conscientiously to perform our duty.
The Full text of Cohens v. Virginia is attached here: Cohens v State of Virginia 19 US 284 5 LEd 257 6 Wheat 264 Chief Justice Marshall March 3 1821