PRESS RELEASE #17 Van Luven Jailed For Refusing To Pay Alimony With His VA Disability Compensation By Staff Writer: Rick Townsend 11/3/04 Disabled Vietnam combat veteran Dale Van Luven of Hermitage, Tennessee was sentenced to 30 days in jail today on 12 counts of contempt by failure to pay alimony. Van Luven was arrested immediately and is currently being held at CJC Davison County Tennessee jail. Van Luven, a long time veterans rights advocate, contends 4th Circuit Court Judge Muriel Robinson used his VA disability compensation to equate his ability to pay alimony, and is therefore in violation of U.S. Code, Title 38, section 5301(a). In fact, Van Luvens VA disability compensation and his Social Security are directly mentioned in his final divorce decree as income. Judge Robinson stated in open court this morning that since she had not directly attached to his VA disability compensation check she was not in violation of federal law. I just told you to pay the alimony, I didnt say where the funds were to come from, Judge Robinson stated. Van Luven has been jailed before on non-payment of alimony. In 2003 Van Luven spent 180 days behind bars on the same charges. They will have to kill me before I allow anyone to take my earned veterans benefits, Van Luven stated. Judge Robinson is not fooling anyone a blind man could see what she has done, he added. Judge Robinson first ordered Van Luven to serve 90 days, but for some unknown reason reduced the sentence to 30 days. Judge Robinson also indicated she had received a number of faxes and was not very happy with the accusations posted on the internet that she was in violation of federal law. She suggested Van Luven stop playing like a lawyer and just pay the alimony. Fellow Vietnam combat disabled veteran Jere Beery of Jefferson, Ohio believes Van Luven was wrongfully arrested and is doing everything he can to get his fellow combat disabled veteran out of jail. There is no bond that can be posted, and his ex-wife is claiming back alimony and attorney fees totaling thousands of dollars. So, there isnt a great deal I can do at this point. I will tell you this; Van Luvens VA disability compensation was directly mentioned and considered in his ability to pay alimony, and therefore was directly attached/included in the equation used to determine the amount of alimony he would pay. Dale Van Luven is unjustly incarcerated, Beery stated. Beery himself may be facing jail in Georgia, as he has refused to pay alimony with his VA disability compensation as well. Dales case is a little more complicated than mine, but the intent of both of our judges is exactly the same. Civil courts are finding ways to slither their way into VA funded veterans benefits, Beery said. We have told people that we would go to jail over this. Dale chose to appear in court today and confront Judge Robinson and jail. Now, maybe someone will believe us, Beery added. Van Luven and Beery have been fighting for months to bring this issue to light among the military and veteran community across the country. An internet search of the Van Luven & Beery story reveals a large number of sites devoted to the two mens attempt to protect veterans benefits. To complicate things, Van Luven is not in good health. The last time I was in here, the jailors refused to give me my medications, or they tried to give me substitutes for the pills my doctor prescribed. I dont think this time would be any different, Van Luven said. Jere Beery has threatened to stop taking all prescribed medications and even stop eating in protest if jailed. Georgia attorney Jack Nebl and his Investigator Rick Plymale, both fellow Vietnam veterans are deeply concerned about this issue, and have donated their services Pro Bono to the Beery case in Georgia. Judges in a divorce case are required to consider all assets in determining a persons ability to pay alimony. When VA disability compensation is included as an asset, it becomes a part of the formula used to determine an amount. Unfortunately, this results in funds paid out for veterans benefits being diverted from the veteran that earned them. This is contrary to the intent of Federal laws established in U.S. Code, Title 38 & 42 to protect said veterans benefits, Plymale explained. In a telephone interview today, Plymale stated I am absolutely outraged at Van Luvens incarceration. State Judges have found a way around the Federal prohibitions on attaching VA disability compensation. They hide behind the language of the legislation, wherein the federal code doesnt specifically prevent State Judges from considering this compensation as income in domestic cases. The only thing the federal law does is to prohibit actual attachment. Common sense has escaped these Judges, who, by virtue of their bullying tactics, create debtors prisons something the Supreme Court abolished more than a hundred years ago. Attorney at law, Charles Galbreath, of Nashville, Tennessee was retained by Van Luven in July of this year. Mr. Galbreath has yet to release a statement concerning Van Luvens arrest. Van Luven and Beery are hoping someone with authority will intervene and get Dale out of jail until this issue of veterans benefits protection can be resolved. For the full story and contact information, visit **Edited By SE** Sorry, we do not allow links for advertising!