Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Tuesday, January 3, 2006

Case Law Development: Constitutional Challenges to UPA Held Frivolous

The Hawai'i Supreme Court held that a father's challenges to that state's Uniform Parentage Act were "palpably without merit and long ago put to rest by well-settled precedent."  Father had argued that the HUPA is unconstitutional because it violates his rights to privacy and equal protection, in that a mother has a right to an abortion but a father does not have an equivalent right to terminate his parentage upon discovering a pregnancy.  He also argued that, as a full time student, the court's order of $50 a month child support violated his constitutional right to be free from compulsory service. In rejecting each of these arguments, the court noted that "each of these contentions has been determined to be frivolous or manifestly without merit by other courts." 

The court concluded that an award of attorneys fees as sanction for a frivolous appeal was justified, noting, "The allegedly penurious father, unable to afford $ 50 per month to support his child, commanded his attorney to doggedly pursue an appeal with no chance of success, file numerous pointless motions, and force the state to expend large amounts of taxpayers' money to defend the child support regime from meritless attacks."

Child Support Enforcement Agency v. Doe, 2005 Haw. LEXIS 651 (December 27, 2005)
Opinion on the web at (last visited January 2, 2006 bgf)

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