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Victory for an absentee father, DEAD CHILD'S ESTATE WILL BE SPLIT
Star Ledger ^ | 07.26.06 | BRIAN DONOHUE

Posted on 08/02/2006 10:39:35 AM PDT by Coleus

The father of a disabled woman who died last year is entitled to half her estate even though he had little contact with her during her life, a state judge ruled yesterday. Ruben Martinez of Staten Island will receive about $400,000 of the $1.1 million remaining in a trust established for the care of his daughter, Jennifer Rogiers, who was born with severe disabilities caused by spinal cord injury suffered during her breech birth in 1983.

The girl's mother, Rosa Rogiers of Weehawken, also received $400,000 and an additional $300,000 to compensate her for the years of care she provided her daughter. The money comes from a 1989 malpractice settlement. Jennifer Rogiers died at the age of 22. In granting Martinez the money, Superior Court Judge Thomas P. Olivieri dismissed claims by Rogiers that her former boyfriend -- the couple never married -- should get nothing because he was not involved in his daughter's upbringing and paid no child support.

After Olivieri left the Jersey City courtroom, Rogiers turned to Martinez and glared at him for several moments. "Enjoy the money," she said. "You know, there's a God up there and you're going to pay." Martinez called Rogiers a liar, before his attorney ushered him from the courtoom. In court papers, Martinez said he visited his daughter several times a year and Rogiers prevented him from spending more time with her. He also said Rogiers repeatedly resisted his offers of financial help.

"I was there for my daughter," Martinez said outside the courtroom. "These are lies." In issuing his ruling, Olivieri said the argument over Martinez's emotional ties to his daughter mattered little in the eyes of the law. Under New Jersey law, he said, biological parents retain parental rights regardless of how

(Excerpt) Read more at nj.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; US: New Jersey; US: New York
KEYWORDS: deadbeatdad; malpractice; tortreform; torts
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1 posted on 08/02/2006 10:39:37 AM PDT by Coleus
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To: Coleus
I got a better idea - how about the money goes back to whomever put it up instead of either of the parents getting any of it?

Nahh, that just makes too much sense.
2 posted on 08/02/2006 10:44:12 AM PDT by kingu (Yeah, I'll vote in 2006, just as soon as a party comes along who listens.)
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To: Coleus

So....he gets paid a hefty sum to be a deadbeat biological donor to a disabled child? I reckon its a good gig if you can find it. /s


3 posted on 08/02/2006 10:46:28 AM PDT by delphirogatio
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To: Coleus

This whole story is whacky from the inheritance to the previous malpractice.


http://www.wnbc.com/news/9572960/detail.html

>>>The issue arose because their daughter, 22-year-old Jennifer Rogiers died in September without leaving a will. The young woman, who was born with disabilities from a spinal cord injury during birth that left her unable to walk and required tube feeding, got a $2.5 million medical malpractice settlement in 1989 which was used to pay for her care.<<<<


4 posted on 08/02/2006 10:47:01 AM PDT by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: Coleus

Words fail me.

How do such stupid people exist who could be so cold and callous as to even ask for the money?

How do such stupid people exist who somehow rise to the level of being a judge?


5 posted on 08/02/2006 10:48:59 AM PDT by cyclotic (Support MS research-Sponsor my Ride-https://www.nationalmssociety.org//MIG/personal/default.asp?pa=4)
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To: delphirogatio

Sort of. It would be nice to know the whole story.

My ex's first wife wanted him to pay child support in cash because she didn't have a checking account.... He did because I mailed it for him. Years later she took him to court for non-payment. I told him she would....


6 posted on 08/02/2006 10:50:34 AM PDT by Jaded (does it really need a sarcasm tag?)
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To: Jaded
Years later she took him to court for non-payment. I told him she would....

Did she lose? Did you counter-sue?
7 posted on 08/02/2006 10:53:17 AM PDT by beezdotcom
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To: cyclotic

How do such stupid people exist who somehow rise to the level of being a judge?

You can't blame the judge for this. His ruling was based on the law. We complain about judges legislating from the bench, so why blame this judge for failing to legislate?


8 posted on 08/02/2006 10:53:53 AM PDT by birdsman
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To: cyclotic

"How do such stupid people exist who could be so cold and callous as to even ask for the money?

How do such stupid people exist who somehow rise to the level of being a judge?"



Someone didn't kill the orginals when we could have prevented them from breeding.


9 posted on 08/02/2006 10:56:11 AM PDT by Leatherneck_MT (In a world where Carpenters come back from the dead, ALL things are possible.)
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To: Jaded

I wouldn't doubt it. Some people have never let morals stand in the way of a buck. Or two.

I think I read the article and figured if the guy wouldn't commit to the marriage, it would be hard to see him diligently paying child support.

Also, I have a friend whose dad refused to pay child support and even sent his kids a certified letter telling them he wanted nothing to do with them. When he was taken to court for failure to pay, guess what he said? "I was denied visitation by their mom." Priceless, huh?


10 posted on 08/02/2006 11:04:00 AM PDT by delphirogatio
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To: delphirogatio
So you are saying the $2.5 million legal judgement wasn't enough to take care of this girl? How much more would it take?

What about his claims that he was kept away from her. Gee, I haven't seen bitter mothers keep fathers away from their kids EVER. Her quote on the courthouse steps seems pretty bitter to me.
11 posted on 08/02/2006 11:06:56 AM PDT by GreenOgre (mohammed is the false prophet of a false god.)
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To: Coleus
Ruben Martinez will receive about $400,000

Don't worry the government will get most of it in taxes anyway. /sarc

12 posted on 08/02/2006 11:08:08 AM PDT by Rameumptom (Gen X = they killed 1 in 4 of us)
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To: delphirogatio
a deadbeat biological donor to a disabled child

Read the whole article.

She never applied for support.

If she had there would have been records of it and the women’s attorney would have submitted them as evidence. .

13 posted on 08/02/2006 11:08:26 AM PDT by Pontiac (All are worthy of freedom, none are incapable.)
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To: GreenOgre

I said nothing about the sufficiency of the the $2.5 judgement to care for her. My comment was about the biological donor receiving payment for no discernable contribution to the daughter's life. I don't think he should be entitled to spawn children like a moose in rut and not have any sort of obligation to the child after that because he was lucky enough to have a child that was the victim of poor medical care.

Yes, spiteful people play all kinds of games. And, if I had spent 22 yrs caring for a daughter with no discernable contribution on the part of the father, who waited in the wings until she died to rape her trust fund for his own benefit, I doubt I'd be shuffling the softshoe and singing like Doris Day.


14 posted on 08/02/2006 11:13:58 AM PDT by delphirogatio
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To: Pontiac

So was it not his child?


15 posted on 08/02/2006 11:14:47 AM PDT by delphirogatio
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To: delphirogatio

The guy says he visited, and tried to support the kid. There was a ton of money from the malpractice settlemnt so it makes sense to me why mom refused his money.

Why do you automatically beleive the mom over the dad? Hy call him a deadbeat when you know nothing about the case?

Why are men always automatically guilty in cases like these?


16 posted on 08/02/2006 11:19:28 AM PDT by Toby06 (True conservatives vote based on their values, not for parties.)
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To: GreenOgre
Gee, I haven't seen bitter mothers keep fathers away from their kids EVER.

I have seen this happen more than once. It's part of the custody dance... get everything drawn out in court for longer periods, hoping that the offended party will give up and walk away from any chance of joint custody.

17 posted on 08/02/2006 11:19:33 AM PDT by Pan_Yans Wife ("Death is better, a milder fate than tyranny. "--Aeschylus)
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To: Calpernia

How could she have a will if she was disabled from birth?


18 posted on 08/02/2006 11:33:23 AM PDT by sandbar
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To: cyclotic
How do such stupid people exist who could be so cold and callous as to even ask for the money?

To put a bit of a cynical spin on an old adage: Money conquers all.

19 posted on 08/02/2006 11:34:59 AM PDT by TChris (Banning DDT wasn't about birds. It was about power.)
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To: cyclotic
How do such stupid people exist who somehow rise to the level of being a judge?

That all depends on the law. The responsibility for making sure the law is fair rests on the legislators. The judge's responsibility is to apply that law without bias. If NY inheritance law is such that this is legal, then the judge is absolutely right to apply it as such.

Judicial activism wouldn't be any better coming from the right than from the left.

20 posted on 08/02/2006 11:37:54 AM PDT by TChris (Banning DDT wasn't about birds. It was about power.)
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To: Toby06

So, if he had sent the money, and she wouldn't accept it, then I suppose there would be documentation, right?

Call it bias or call it experience, but 9 times out of 10, it is the guy singing the song this guy was singing. But, you're right, sometimes it is the woman being a fiend.

The point is, if biological donation is all he can demonstrate of his parternal contribution, what's the need for the $400,000....?


21 posted on 08/02/2006 11:42:04 AM PDT by delphirogatio
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To: delphirogatio

My ex-husband was held to the fire, made to pay child support as a part of his probation for his offense of child abandonment (time 2). I hadn't seen or heard from him in four years and he would move everytime Child support recovery found him. So after being forced to pay or jail, he sent a birthday gift (first one in five years) and sent a note "Hope you had a good birthday... (her birthday was three away still) and I would like to see you, but your mama won't let me..."

I let her read it so she could see. The last time he saw them I drove them an hour each way for the visit. They are not fools, they know I haven't kept him from them.


22 posted on 08/02/2006 11:46:23 AM PDT by sandbar
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To: Coleus

Moral of the story: Get a Will.


23 posted on 08/02/2006 11:46:30 AM PDT by 2dogjoe (Have a Blessed Day)
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To: Toby06

>>>The guy says he visited, and tried to support the kid. There was a ton of money from the malpractice settlemnt so it makes sense to me why mom refused his money. >>>

Oh whatever.

If he sent her money orders, he would have receipts. Dated for how far back?

I guarantee this jerk decided she didn't 'need' the money since she got the settlement and didn't bother paying.


24 posted on 08/02/2006 11:47:54 AM PDT by sandbar
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To: delphirogatio
what's the need for the $400,000....?

As far as the law is concerned need has nothing to do with the question is he entitled to the money.

Nothing in the article says that he ever denied she was his child.

So it was up to the mother to demonstrate that he owed child support. If she never sought child support how can he be held responsible by the court for not providing it

25 posted on 08/02/2006 11:52:04 AM PDT by Pontiac (All are worthy of freedom, none are incapable.)
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To: delphirogatio

I don't know the reason, but it's the law.

I strongly suspect your 9/10 is closer to 5/10, having recently spent a LOT of time in family court


26 posted on 08/02/2006 11:55:12 AM PDT by Toby06 (True conservatives vote based on their values, not for parties.)
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To: sandbar

Yeah, my friend's mom had let her see the letter he sent originally, so when he claimed the mom wouldn't let him see her, the court ordered mediation. She politely and respectfully told him to get stuffed. She was no dummy either.


27 posted on 08/02/2006 11:55:14 AM PDT by delphirogatio
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To: beezdotcom

He was between wife #3 and #4 by then. This is Texas, it all came down to "prove it" or lose it. He lost.


28 posted on 08/02/2006 11:57:02 AM PDT by Jaded (does it really need a sarcasm tag?)
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To: kingu

Yea, that's fair.. you botch a delivery, have to pay a penalty for your malpractice, and when the victim or your incompetence dies, you get the money back... yea, that makes a whole lot of sense.


29 posted on 08/02/2006 11:57:06 AM PDT by HamiltonJay
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To: sandbar

Good God, you are gullible. Read a biased reporting, clearly written with an agenda and swallow it hook line & sinker.


30 posted on 08/02/2006 11:58:38 AM PDT by Toby06 (True conservatives vote based on their values, not for parties.)
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To: sandbar
I guarantee this jerk decided she didn't 'need' the money since she got the settlement and didn't bother paying.

If she wants to deny him his legal rights to his inheritance the burden is on her to prove that he was negligent in support.

Nice thing about our legal system when someone wants to deny you your rights the burden of proof is on them.

31 posted on 08/02/2006 11:59:01 AM PDT by Pontiac (All are worthy of freedom, none are incapable.)
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To: Toby06
I strongly suspect your 9/10 is closer to 5/10, having recently spent a LOT of time in family court

Bingo, it's a jungle out there.

32 posted on 08/02/2006 12:01:18 PM PDT by RGSpincich
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To: Pontiac
If she wants to deny him his legal rights to his inheritance the burden is on her to prove that he was negligent in support.

That had nothing to do with the ruling, only her subsequent claim for back child support. Under the current NJ law, even if a parent completely abandons a child and avoid paying court-ordered child support, they are still entitled to the intestate share of their child's estate. That's why it is so important for people to have a valid will that clearly designate who gets what.

33 posted on 08/02/2006 12:05:57 PM PDT by LWalk18
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To: LWalk18

I stand corrected.

I could have worded that better.

She is not entitled to back child support because she never requested child support in the first place.


34 posted on 08/02/2006 12:10:01 PM PDT by Pontiac (All are worthy of freedom, none are incapable.)
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To: Toby06

>>>Good God, you are gullible. Read a biased reporting, clearly written with an agenda and swallow it hook line & sinker.>>>

Yeah, let me guess. The mother, who took care of this child herself (not putting her in a home even though she could have afforded it) physically kept this man from a) paying his child support, and b) seeing and taking care of his child.

Yeah, and you say I'M gullible.


35 posted on 08/02/2006 12:21:13 PM PDT by sandbar
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To: Pontiac

>>>If she wants to deny him his legal rights to his inheritance the burden is on her to prove that he was negligent in support. >>>

How do you prove a negative? How do you prove someone DIDN'T do something? You seem underqualified to be on this board.


36 posted on 08/02/2006 12:22:10 PM PDT by sandbar
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To: sandbar

She refused any support, as stated in the article, and probably refused any proposal of marriage, etc. She also barred him from seeing the kid. If anyone is a POS here, it's the mom for denying the dad.

Glad you admit to being gullible. Makes the whole discussion more simple with that kind of honesty.


37 posted on 08/02/2006 12:36:53 PM PDT by Toby06 (True conservatives vote based on their values, not for parties.)
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To: sandbar

Did your skip your 3rd grade reading comprehension classes, and all thereafter? Geez, re-read what he wrote, it's not proving a negative, it's proving he HAD an obligation! Not so subtle diference.


38 posted on 08/02/2006 12:38:44 PM PDT by Toby06 (True conservatives vote based on their values, not for parties.)
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To: sandbar
How do you prove a negative? How do you prove someone DIDN'T do something? You seem underqualified to be on this board.

From the article.

(Judge) Olivieri also rejected a motion by Rogiers to force Martinez to pay years of back child support.

He said he based that decision on the fact Rogiers had never sought child support while her daughter was alive and that the legal purpose of child support no longer existed.

If she never sought child support she has no legal standing to seek back support, whether he ever paid support or attempted to has no bearing.

If you are not going to read the entire article please refrain from making foolish comments.

39 posted on 08/02/2006 12:42:01 PM PDT by Pontiac (All are worthy of freedom, none are incapable.)
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To: beezdotcom

So--why didn't he make copies of the cancelled checks?


40 posted on 08/02/2006 1:09:38 PM PDT by basil (Exercise your Second Amendment Rights--buy another gun today!)
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To: basil
So--why didn't he make copies of the cancelled checks?

You must have missed the part where the ex convinced the guy to pay IN CASH.
41 posted on 08/02/2006 1:14:58 PM PDT by beezdotcom
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To: 2dogjoe

Moral of the story: Get a Will. >>>

how can a severely disabled child write a will?


42 posted on 08/02/2006 1:22:58 PM PDT by Coleus ("God hates moderates, Revelation 3:15-16")
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To: beezdotcom
LOL! I'm guilty of skimming. Okay--so why didn't he have someone take photos of him giving her the money? (That's just a stupid question--no need to answer)

Actually, I think it's only in recent years that we have gotten paranoid enough to try to think of every eventuality, and then try to cover our behinds before the worst happens.

43 posted on 08/02/2006 1:35:58 PM PDT by basil (Exercise your Second Amendment Rights--buy another gun today!)
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To: basil
Actually, I think it's only in recent years that we have gotten paranoid enough to try to think of every eventuality, and then try to cover our behinds before the worst happens.

Yeah, I've just now made a mental note, "...create evidence of cash transactions..."
44 posted on 08/02/2006 1:51:46 PM PDT by beezdotcom
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To: cyclotic

There is no vaccine against stupidity and you are the obvious.

You must read what transpired between the two parties but it's obvious words fail you. There are laws put in place and if a child dies w/out a will and the parents are alive, the judge must render decision based on law. She terminated her rights for child support but words fail you.

He probably didn't even ask for the money, the estate attorney had to contact the parents.

Next time don't be so critical and get your facts. Maybe someone should come up with a vaccine for your actions.


45 posted on 08/16/2006 12:03:46 PM PDT by truth.v.lies
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To: delphirogatio

You figured wrong.

What is really going on here about her morals. He was brought to court by the daughter's attorney and this is how he got involved.

The court papers say that she left the guy with the rent money and the child and he became homeless.

She had ulterior motives. Don't tell the father that the child received an inheritance, and I won't let him near his daughter, and then everyone will think he is dead and the mom will get all the money. Oh yeah, the mom isn't bitter with her own schemes in hand.

Who is going to stick up for the parent that suffered a greater loss not having the opportunity to commit himself to his daughter because the mother opposed his visitation and disregarded and tossed all his gifts to his daughter in the garbage?


46 posted on 08/16/2006 12:10:37 PM PDT by truth.v.lies
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To: Rameumptom

What is there to worry about this man getting $400,000.00 when he was kept from visiting his ill daughter. No money will ever bring his daughter back. You need to worry about your being critical of people.


47 posted on 08/17/2006 1:57:46 PM PDT by truth.v.lies
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To: sandbar

If the mother wanted her child to have a will, it could have been established legally but I'm sure the lawyer would have needed both parents present if the mother wanted to protect the child assets. But it seems she didn't want anyone to know about the father until the day of the funeral.


48 posted on 08/17/2006 2:01:02 PM PDT by truth.v.lies
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To: truth.v.lies

Your post #47 may have been intended for someone else.
I wrote that the govt. will get most of the man's money. I don't have much of an opinion on who should get the money. I can be too critical/cynical at times, so if the post was intended for me I gratefully accept it.


49 posted on 08/17/2006 10:54:50 PM PDT by Rameumptom (Gen X = they killed 1 in 4 of us)
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To: delphirogatio

If you read the court papers, he wrote "I loved Rosa". The mother abandoned the father. He became homeless after she emptied the house and took the rent money after living together for 3 years. The father wanted to support the child. She terminated her child support rights in 1991 when she did not want to receive child support. It turned out the father didn't know about a settlement amount until he was introduced to his daughter's estate attorney by a mutual friend, and the estate attorney never knew that Jennifer's father was alive.

You are a deplorable human being. This man loved his daughter. The mother of the daughter made his life miserable dictating to him when and where he could visit his child. The mother raped the father of his paternal rights in establishing a loving relationship between a father and daughter.

Remember the old prophecy: Take the plank out of your own eye before the speck out of your neighbors.

Everything comes in full circle.


50 posted on 08/21/2006 7:41:55 AM PDT by truth.v.lies
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