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Man in prison for a year for not agreeing to marriage separation


Almanac

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Has anyone heard about the case of Maurice Lyons who will be in Portlaoise prison a year tomorrow for not agreeing to the break-up of his marriage?

Regardless of whether one thinks he is right or not, it seems preposterous that he can be jailed indefinitely despite not having committed any crime. Apparently a year ago tomorrow police bust down his door and dragged him off to prison on the orders of a judge where he remains today:

From the Men's Council

Maurice has been deprived of his liberty and contact with his children for the past twelve months but his faith and love for his children have kept his spirit strong. He has - with great difficulty due to the lack of opportunity within the prison regime - put together an appeal against this violation of his Family and the institution of Marriage and he will be in the Supreme Court on the anniversary of his imprisonment (at 11am on Friday 2 July) for the penultimate step in showing that the courts are acting unlawfully where they apply the Judicial Separation Act in a "unilateral" "no-fault" way. His appeal will show that the Constitution and the law permit such a Decree to be issued only where BOTH Spouses have given up on their commitment to the marriage and are closed to its reconciliation.
 


Almanac

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I am guessing, just guessing now, that there is another side to his story than his...
No doubt but imprisoning someone for following their conscience in a non criminal matter seems an absurdly disproportionate response.
 

YoungLiberal

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I am guessing, just guessing now, that there is another side to his story than his...
It would seem that he's being held in contempt of court, which is fair enough. He seems to be under the impression that if he does not agree to the separation agreement, that it is unenforceable (as he is still open to conciliation). However, if doesn't matter if he's open to conciliation, if his wife's not. No matter how much one party wants something, there's no chance of conciliation if the other party is dead set against it.

He seems to be challenging the constitutionality of the '89 and '95 Acts on the basis of Article 41. He hasn't a snowballs chance, to be honest.

This is what I've pieced together from the limited results google has.
 

Half Nelson

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I hadn't heard about this case but if he had been a transvestite struggling for the right to wear a burka we'd all be familiar with his case by now.

I can find nothing about the case in the mainstream media but there's some info on it here.
Very disturbing report. The silence of journalists is even more worrying.
 

Almanac

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It would seem that he's being held in contempt of court, which is fair enough. He seems to be under the impression that if he does not agree to the separation agreement, that it is unenforceable (as he is still open to conciliation). However, if doesn't matter if he's open to conciliation, if his wife's not. No matter how much one party wants something, there's no chance of conciliation if the other party is dead set against it.

He seems to be challenging the constitutionality of the '89 and '95 Acts on the basis of Article 41. He hasn't a snowballs chance, to be honest.

This is what I've pieced together from the limited results google has.
But how can a person be forced to "agree" to something?
 

Cato

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I hadn't heard about this case but if he had been a transvestite struggling for the right to wear a burka we'd all be familiar with his case by now.
I hate to be the one to break this to you but transvestites already have the 'right' to wear a burka...

If he wants his freedom then all he has to do is purge his contempt and accept the court's decision. This is a democracy and the rule of law applies to all, conscience or no.
 

Cato

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But how can a person be forced to "agree" to something?
I am sure that what is required is mere acceptance of the court ruling. He doesn't necessarily have to agree to it.
 

Almanac

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Very disturbing report. The silence of journalists is even more worrying.
I doubt any judge would have the courage to imprison a tranvestite for contempt in analogous circumstances. The media machine would mobilise against him.

They could lock a traditionalist in a dungeon and feed him bread and water and we wouldn't hear about it.

I'm not saying Lyons's stance is right but there is something seriously wrong with imprisoning a law-abiding citizen indefinitely.
 

YoungLiberal

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But how can a person be forced to "agree" to something?
Both sides don't have to agree to a separation agreement, S.3 of the 1989 Act:

3.—(1) Where, on an application under section 2 of this Act, the court is satisfied that any of the grounds referred to in subsection (1) of that section which have been relied on by the applicant have been proved on the balance of probabilities, the court shall, subject to subsection (2) of this section and sections 5 and 6 of this Act, grant a decree of judicial separation in respect of the spouses concerned.
[GA]

( 2 ) ( a ) Where there are, in respect of the spouses concerned, any dependent children of the family, the court shall not grant a decree of judicial separation unless the court—
[GA]

(i) is satisfied that such provision has been made, or
[GA]

(ii) intends by order upon the granting of the decree to make such provision,
[GA]

for the welfare of those children as is proper in the circumstances.
[GA]

( b ) In this subsection—
[GA]

"dependent children of the family" has the same meaning as it has for the purposes of Part II of this Act;
[GA]

"welfare" comprises the religious and moral, intellectual, physical and social welfare of the children concerned.
[GA]

(3) Upon the granting of a decree of judicial separation by the court, the court may, where appropriate, by order give such directions under section 11 of the Guardianship of Infants Act, 1964 , as it thinks proper regarding the welfare or custody of, or right of access to, an infant (being an infant within the meaning of that Act) as if an application had been made under that section.
S.2 is as follows:

2.—(1) An application by a spouse for a decree of judicial separation from the other spouse may be made to the court having jurisdiction to hear and determine proceedings under Part III of this Act on one or more of the following grounds:
[GA]

( a ) that the respondent has committed adultery;
[GA]

( b ) that the respondent has behaved in such a way that the applicant cannot reasonably be expected to live with the respondent;
[GA]

( c ) subject to subsection (2) of this section, that there has been desertion by the respondent of the applicant for a continuous period of at least one year immediately preceding the date of the application;
[GA]

( d ) subject to subsection (2) of this section, that the spouses have 3 lived apart from one another for a continuous period of at least one year immediately preceding the date of the application and the respondent consents to a decree being granted;
[GA]

( e ) subject to subsection (2) of this section, that the spouses have lived apart from one another for a continuous period of at least three years immediately preceding the date of the application;
[GA]

( f ) that the marriage has broken down to the extent that the court is satisfied in all the circumstances that a normal marital relationship has not existed between the spouses for a period of at least one year immediately preceding the date of the application.
 

Almanac

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I am sure that what is required is mere acceptance of the court ruling. He doesn't necessarily have to agree to it.
I think this is the basis for the challenge.
 

Sync

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Wait........you mean I can't trust Indymedia as an unbiased source???? My life view has just been skewed!

https://listserv.heanet.ie/cgi-bin/wa?A2=irishlaw;p9keaA;20091125163526+0000

Someone purporting to be from the Mens Council confirms:

He is charged with indirect contempt, i.e. that he wilfully refused to
obey a valid court order or was culpably negligent in not obeying a
valid court order.
Obey the laws of the island or face the consequences.

The same writer states:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FathersRightsNetwork-International/message/7175?l=1
A judge he had never seen before demanded he accept an Order granting him a judicial separation. Maurice explained his reasons as to why he could not - the primary one being he does not accept that the State/Court has the power to dismantle his marriage as long as he is open to Reconciliation of any differences that may exist. Despite this the judge jailed him for contempt and he will remain in prison for the rest of his life unless he accepts that the Order is valid and that the State/Court can dismantle any Marriage they so wish without regard to the Rule of Law or the Constitution.
We no longer live in a country where men and women are forever tied to people they wish to be shot of. The wife wants out. She's gotten a judicial separation. Leave her alone and let her get on with her life, or continue your stay in prison.
 

He3

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The Supreme Court found the separation law to be Constitutional a long time ago.
 

Cato

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there is another option, His Wife could stop the seperation proceeding and he would be free.

Seems a cruel act from any person, to keep your partner in jail.
He is no longer her partner. Why is he putting her through so much agro over the assertion of her own rights to a separation? What will he do when it comes to divorce, as it undoubtably will?

Again, if he wants his freedom then all he has to do is his duty as a citizen and obey the law and the courts and purge his contempt.
 

YoungLiberal

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there is another option, His Wife could stop the seperation proceeding and he would be free.

Seems a cruel act from any person, to keep your partner in jail.
Are you serious?

She's not keeping him in jail, he's keeping himself in jail.
 

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