August 23, 2014

Elyria
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test

Attorneys argue against order prohibiting man from having more children

Asim Taylor

Asim Taylor

ELYRIA — Lawyers for Asim Taylor continued their efforts to overturn a court order barring the Elyria man from having any more children while he is on probation for failure to pay child support, telling a panel of appeals judges Thursday that a Lorain County probate judge’s order violates Taylor’s fundamental rights.

“Procreation’s not a crime,” defense attorney Doug Merrill said during the hearing before the 9th District Court of Appeals. “He’s having children with other consenting adults.”

Probate Judge James Walther imposed the order in January when he placed Taylor on probation for failing to pay nearly $100,000 in back child support to the four children he’s already fathered. The judge said at the time that the order was “a matter of common sense and personal responsibility.”

County Assistant Prosecutor Steve Albenze echoed Walther’s sentiment, arguing Thursday that the order makes sense because the state has an interest in making sure Taylor supports his children.

“The more children you have, the more child support payments you’re going to have,” he said.

Merrill, however, argued that the order is similar to the concept of debtor’s prisons, where inmates who couldn’t pay their creditors once were incarcerated. He said the order effectively bases Taylor’s compliance on his net worth.

Theoretically, Merrill said, a judge could impose the same order on a person who owes only $2,000 in child support.

Walther has said that he views Taylor, 36, as a test case and if his order survives scrutiny by the appeals court and possibly the Ohio Supreme Court, he plans to impose similar restrictions on defendants in future child support cases.

Jennifer Martinez Atzberger, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio, said that the effect of the order goes beyond prohibiting Taylor from having more children. It prevents him from engaging in sexual relations because all sexual intercourse carries the risk of impregnation, she said.

She joined Merrill in worrying about how far Walther and other judges might take procreation bans.

“This is not just about one man’s individual right to have another child. It’s a slippery slope,” Atzberger said.

The legality surrounding banning people from having more children never has been fully decided by the court system. Although the U.S. Supreme Court struck down an Oklahoma law that mandated forced sterilization for habitual criminals in 1942, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has recently upheld a court order similar to the one Walther imposed on Taylor.

In 2004, the Ohio Supreme Court struck down an order imposed by Medina County Common Pleas Judge James L. Kimbler that barred a man on probation from having more children. In that case, the state’s high court ruled that the procreation ban was unconstitutional because Kimbler didn’t include a mechanism for lifting the order.

Albenze said the same logic can’t be applied to Walther’s order because it contains a mechanism for Taylor to get out from under the ban — he must become current on his child support obligations.

Appeals Judge Carla Moore also questioned Albenze about what would happen if Taylor found an independently wealthy woman who wanted him to father a child she planned to support herself. She also pointed out the difficulty in actually enforcing the order.

Albenze said no one was saying enforcing the order would be easy.

“It may be tough to enforce, (but) it’s constitutional,” he said.

See video from the original sentencing

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com.

  • Beth

    On the face of this I want to scream “Way to go Judge!”
    However, the government should not be telling us how many kids we can or can not have. No forced birth and no forced sterilizations.

    • Chipper

      then you pay the $100,000 in back child support and the child support he’ll owe after he gets another woman pregnant.

    • MZee

      Beth, you are half the decision in having, well, performing the act.

      Keep in mind when a guy runs out on you, leaving you holding the bag, that he won’t have to pay a dime in child support. You get to raise the child all on your own, giving it a life, well, money doesn’t buy everything, now does it? Another kid with the odds well against them.

      They aren’t telling him how many he can or can’t have. Their telling him he can’t have more til he mans up, and I don’t mean in bed, and pays what he owes to the children he fathered… well, did an act to create.

  • d c c

    any woman who gets pregnant by this fool should never receive benefits from the tax payer

  • hottamomma

    the judge should have his penis cut off! if they start doing that i bet all child support will be paid in full!

    • Bob Sweatt

      A little extreme. But you are probably right.

  • Bob Sweatt

    Doug Merrill, you want this fool to continue having kids he can’t afford. Then you pay the back child support.

  • jedderm

    HE NEEDS NEUTERED NOW!

  • Bob Sweatt

    Jennifer Martinez Atzberger, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio, said that the effect of the order goes beyond prohibiting Taylor from having more children. It prevents him from engaging in sexual relations because all sexual intercourse carries the risk of impregnation, she said.

    hey Jenni, sweetie. You know why I only have two kids?? Because I know how to use a condom and how to pull out.

    Again you want him to have my children. Then YOU pay the back child support. But you money where your mouth is or shut up about it

  • DonMega

    playa playa

  • Don Grantzki

    I have the solution! The judge should order Merrill to take responsibility for the child support payments off the backs of the taxpayers. Then this “baby daddy” can feel free to have twenty six more children at some other individual’s expense.

  • therest_ofthestory

    Ok, he has several choices. He can voluntarily have a vasectomy thereby ensuring he does not procreate any further and still be able to avail himself to sexual relations OR he can go to jail for felony non-support. The law is the law. Sorry Asim but you have to pay to play. He played with women who got pregnant and then wanted the PUBLIC taxpayer to support the resulting child. They like to say “It takes a village”. Yet when the village tells them to take care of their child or reprimands said child when said child is unruly they then want to say “Don’t YOU (meaning the PUBLIC taxpayer) tell MY child what to do”. You cannot have it both ways. Take your pick but you only get one…..if you want to use money that I have earned by LEGITIMATELY working to raise YOUR offspring then I get a say.

    • Bob Sweatt

      A f’en men..

    • tickmeoff

      Amen!

  • silkskin1960

    I totally agree with the judge. He didnt tell him not to have sex….he told him he better not father any more children. So have a vasectomy dude…..problem solved. Those four kids you have are gonna be expensive unless you are Donald Trump…in which case you wouldnt be in the news right now duh!

  • therest_ofthestory
  • rocky

    Procreation is not a crime but non child support is

  • MZee

    “procreation is not a crime”. I concur. However, when you are a deadbeat low life who won’t work so you don’t have to pay child support, who scams and takes advantage of women low in their life… low enough to sleep with this terd – THAT is a crime.

    Why should more children suffer with a struggling single mom and no dad in their life? This guy has a track record of his performance – and I’m not talking about being able to reproduce.

    Leave it to some lawyers to step up and defend this man.

  • John Boy

    Where are all the liberals and ACLU people, I can’t believe you are letting the government trample this man’s right to have coitus and procreate. It’s his body and as long as he has a willing partner he should be able to make babies, how dare the government tell someone what to do with their body. Isn’t that the typical ACLU liberal line?