From: North, Jim
Sent: Friday, March 25, 2005 3:03 PM
Subject: Public Corruption
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen of the Knight Ridder Newspaper,
Have you come across or have done research concerning State Courts refusing to obey by Federal Laws concerning their Disabled Veterans Disability Pay?
Please read the attached. This type of injustice is happening all across this Nation and needs to be brought to light.
Attached is a letter in which I’m requesting an investigation per the FBI’s Public Corruption Department.
The other attachment is a response from the U.S. Attorney’s Office here in Detroit Michigan.
Presently, I’m still awaiting a response from the FBI.
Please consider the provided information as a possible story for your newspaper.
James T. North
MSgt, U.S. Marines
Fleet Marine Corps Reserve
Category II, Deployable
PS – Below you will find an email from one “of thousands of individuals” who has been “stripped away” of their entitled Military VA Disability Pay.
From: Rick Thiel
Sent: Friday, March 25, 2005 12:18 AM
To: James North
Subject: Filing complaint w/ FBI & Attorney Generals Office
It's been a long time, we met at Jere Beery's hearing in Newnan, GA back in June 2004. If you remember, your case and mine was very much similar. When I refused to give up my disability compensation, the judge was going to send me to jail, and I was going to go, but, the opposing attorney, filed a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QUADRA), which the judge signed and my disability was withdrawn by DFAS and sent to the ex-spouse anyway, so going to jail would have been without merit.
Now I read that you have filed formal charges with the FBI and Attorney General! How did you go about that? And what if any are the results? I also read that your case was reversed, but you are facing another avenue of violation to your protected benefits in the very near future. What are you doing about staying out of jail? Thanks for any personal advise in this matter and for your efforts in fighting the injustice of our civil courts system. I just learned that the VA is showing that the Alimony payments being withdrawn from my disability compensation are recorded as an outstanding debt in the amount of $47,840.25. How in the Hell can they put a future amouunt on this insanity? I've been paying 50% of my disability since 1995, so, I've paid approximately $111,960.00 to date! Not to mention the 50% of my SSA disability compensation. No one has to wonder why my ex-spouse has not been remarried! She would lose too much $$$$$. If any of you that are addressee on this email can get this info to the news media, you have my permission to do so. I intend to send the same info to the news media that I have contact with! Take care, best wishes,
SFC, USA, Ret.
Disabled Combat Veteran
And, below you will find more Disabled Military Veterans which State Courts have refused to heed Federal Laws that protects the Veteran.
Sent: Monday, March 14, 2005 4:52 PM
Subject: BEERY / VAN LUVEN - Update - PRESS RELEASE #31
PRESS RELEASE - #31
DAV Urges Protection of Veteran’s Benefits from Third Party Awards in Divorce Court
Staff Writer – Rick Townsend
The Disabled American Veterans, (DAV) is one of 48 congressionally chartered veterans’ service organizations operating in the United States today. Together with its Auxiliary, the DAV has an active membership of 1.3 million disabled veterans and family members.
On March 8, 2005, National DAV Commander, James E. Sursely, testified before the U.S. Senate and Congress Committees on Veterans’ Affairs. Commander Sursely’s 27 page statement addressed many important issues and included the following request; “Restore protection against unwarranted awards of veterans’ benefits to third parties in divorce actions by prohibiting courts from directly ordering payment of such benefits to third parties, other than dependent children.” The DAV is the latest in a growing list of veterans’ organization to voice concern over protection of veteran’s benefits in divorce settlements.
The Paralyzed Veterans of America, (PVA) is another very well respected congressionally chartered veteran’s service organization and currently has an active membership of over 21 thousand. In 2004 PVA published this statement; “Thought interpretation of the law to suit their own ends, the courts have nullified plain provisions protecting veterans’ benefits against claims of former spouses in divorce actions”.
Vietnam combat disabled veterans and veteran’s rights activists Jere Beery and Dale Van Luven have been on the frontlines in the battle to protect VA disability compensation from consideration as an asset or property in divorce settlements. Over the past year, both men have been extremely vocal about their veterans’ benefits being awarded to able bodied non-military ex-wives in the form of alimony. In November of 2004, Dale Van Luven served 30 days in Davidson County Tennessee jail for contempt of court when he refused to use his VA disability compensation to pay court ordered alimony. Jere Beery has stated he too will go to jail before giving up his earned veterans benefits to his ex-wife.
According to Jere Beery and Dale Van Luven, both DAV and PVA statements validate and support their public campaign to protect their personal veteran’s benefits from third party awards. Beery summarized, “If the leadership of just these two veterans’ service organizations truly represents their members, then this single issue has gained well over a million supporters in the past 12 months.” Van Luven agrees, “Beery and I have taken this issue to the street, and the people are responding. Although we are not mentioned by name within the DAV and PVA statements, Beery and I have no doubt we are directly responsible for bringing this issue to the forefront of veteran affairs in this country,” Van Luven claimed.
Desert Storm veteran James North, USMC Retired of Harrison Township Michigan said he knows firsthand what Beery, Van Luven and other disabled veterans are going through. On April 5, 2004, North was ordered to pay his ex-wife 50% of his monthly VA disability compensation for life, as a property settlement. North filed a Motion for Reconsideration claiming his veteran’s benefits were federally protected by U.S.C., Title 38 and not divisible to a third party. Although North’s court order has been recently reversed by the court’s Opinion and Recommendation Order, he continues to fight for his veteran’s benefits as the opposing party has now filed a motion to obtain his VA benefits in another form - requesting alimony for life. North has filed a formal complaint with the FBI and Attorney General Office sighting federal law violations of veteran’s benefits protection. “This is not just about my veteran’s benefits,” North stated. “This is about supporting our troops by protecting their benefits while they are deployed,” North added.
Beery, Van Luven and North have vowed to continue fighting until every judge and attorney in the U.S. is educated about the federal protection of veteran’s benefits. “If there is a loophole anywhere, we are going to close it,” North concluded.
For the full story, visit WWW.JEREBEERY.COM
PRESS RELEASE #11
Judge Keeble Orders Continuance Of Beery Case
By Staff Writer: Rick Townsend
In a totally unexpected move, State Superior Court Judge Alan Keeble ordered a Continuance of Jere Beery’s Motion for a new Hearing in his divorce case. The Judge has not specifically set a date certain for the continuance.
Vietnam combat disabled veteran, Jere Beery drove 700 miles from Ohio to Newnan, Georgia to appear in court on the 10th of this month just to have his case delayed.
Beery’s attorney, Jack Nebl, and Beery’s ex-wife’s attorney met in the Judge’s chambers to discuss how to proceed in this case. “The Judge indicated he needed more time to study the Federal Statute involved here. He also ordered attorneys for the two parties to negotiate a settlement”, Nebl stated.
Beery has publicly challenged Judge Keeble’s final divorce decree which states he must pay his ex-wife $24,000.00 in alimony. In the Court Order it was concluded that Beery’s only means to pay this alimony was from his VA disability compensation. According to Federal law, U.S. Codes, Title 38 and Title 42, this is a violation of Beery’s federally protected veteran’s benefits.
Dave Otto, another combat wounded Vietnam veteran and close friend of Beery’s said, “Let me get this right, the Judge needs time to study the law? Sounds like he is unsure of his own ruling if you ask me.”
In March of this year Beery published public accusations that Judge Keeble was in violation of Federal Law. In a “Declaration of Contempt” authored by Beery, he vowed to stop Judge Keeble from ever doing this to another disabled veteran. Since that time, Beery has been contacted by several other veterans nationwide complaining of similar rulings by state judges.
Two such disabled veterans attended the Beery hearing. Gulf War veteran James North and his wife flew all the way from Michigan to support Beery’s position in this matter. Vietnam veteran Rick Thiel drove up from Tampa Florida to be there. Both men feel their individual divorce cases suffer from the same illegal rulings. “It is our hopes that the outcome of Mr. Beery’s case will help or affect our cases,” North said. “Right now, VA disability compensation is not being protected as required by Federal law,” Thiel added.
Also in March 2004, Beery teamed up with another combat disabled Vietnam veteran, Dale Van Luven of Tennessee. Together, Beery and Van Luven have launched a nationwide campaign to expose this attack on veteran’s benefits. Van Luven is facing jail now for nonpayment. “My ex-wife outright lied in her financial statement to the court. She is extremely wealthy and able to work. I have obtained records which prove she has over two million dollars in assets, yet I can’t afford an attorney to pursue my case,” Van Luven claimed.
Rick Plymale, lead investigator on the Beery case said, “I can only address Mr. Beery’s situation. Every case is different. Some are more complicated than others. However, in the Beery case, the infraction is very clear. Beery has no assets or other income from which to pay alimony. Beery has only his VA disability compensation. There is no military retirement waiver and there are no minor children to be considered. Hopefully we can use the Beery case to educate other State Judges across the country about the Federal Laws which are intended to protect VA disability compensation and insure that this never happens again,” Plymale added.
Beery sees things a little differently; “I think Judge Keeble knows he is in the wrong. In an effort to resolve this matter and avoid making another ruling, he has ordered my ex-wife and I to negotiate a settlement. This would get him off the hook. He realizes if he overturns his original ruling, he is admitting he was wrong in the first place. If he upholds his original ruling he will be in violation of Federal law yet again. So, he would like nothing better than to see my ex-wife and I settle this issue between ourselves, and thereby making it a purely personal issue” Beery stated.
Jack Nebl, Beery’s attorney added, “If we reject any settlement, and force the Judge to rule, we may have to appeal his decision to the Georgia Supreme Court. This will cost money and time that we don’t have the luxury of providing right now. A defense fund would have to be established in order for us to proceed to the Georgia Supreme Court. If we cannot fund the Appeal, the issue will die and other disabled veterans will suffer the same fate in the future,” Nebl said. “Because the Department of Veterans Affairs and all of the National Veteran Service Organizations have refused to get involved, we have to proceed on our own at this point,” Nebl added.
Beery and his legal team are currently planning their next step. Beery has pledged to proceed in a manner that will benefit all disabled veterans. “I will not accept a self-serving settlement in this case. The issue is far bigger than just me,” Beery concluded.
Jere Beery firstname.lastname@example.org
Dale Van Luven Vietna467@aol.com
Jack Nebl & Rick Plymale email@example.com
James North firstname.lastname@example.org
Rick Thiel email@example.com
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