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Man's right to father children headed for Ohio Supreme Court

An Ohio man who owes a hefty sum in overdue child support is under court order to keep his pants zipped so he doesn't father any more children in the next five years. The judge who issued the order calls it a matter of common sense. The Elyria man's attorney calls it an invasion of the man's privacy and reproductive rights.

Regardless of which one may be right, at this moment the imposition stands because a state appeals court has upheld the judge's order. But that's not the end of things. The man's attorney says that not only is the original order an overstep by the court, but the appeals court decision doesn't address the core issue of the case. He says he will appeal the matter to the state's Supreme Court.

This is not what one might consider to be a typical fathers' rights case. It does reflect, however, how an individual's rights can be affected in unexpected ways when working through the legal system and why getting the help of an experienced attorney is always wise.

The Lorain County judge's order was first issued back in January. He said he inserted the condition as part of a five-year probation order because the man owes more than $100,000 in support for four children he has fathered already. The judge said his intent was to impress on the man the importance of living up to current responsibilities.

But in upholding the order early last month, the appeals court didn't address the question of whether the order violates the man's right to reproduce. It said it had no choice but to uphold because it didn't have complete paperwork about the man's record, specifically a pre-sentence report.

The man's attorney says the basis of the appeal was the provision ordering his client to effectively live a celibate lifestyle and that the appeals court didn't need the record report.

Clearly this is a case that family law attorneys in Ohio will watch with interest.

Source: The Chronicle-Telegram, "Appeals court: Asim Taylor can’t have more children until he pays child support," Brad Dicken, May 13, 2014

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