Yes, it’s finally begun. We have our first reported case (if true) of a child suing the parent for contaminating him with U.S. citizenship.
Here’s the story …
“Hey, I didn’t choose where I was born. It just kind of happened.”
The problem of unwanted U.S. citizenship is becoming bigger and bigger. The world of Americans abroad includes membership in the worlds most exclusive and most punitive “Tax, Form and Penalty Club” (well if you are obeying the “Membership Rules” and if you can understand the “Membership Rules” to begin with).
Those who don’t want to be members of “Club Penalty” are simply running and hiding. But, in a FATCA world, those with a U.S. birthplace are learning that they:
“Can run, but they can’t hide” – Eventually they will be FATCAed out.
The word is out:
It’s pretty much impossible to abide by the rules of this exclusive club and have any kind of a life. People are relinquishing U.S. citizenship in droves. The Obama administration has responded by raising the renunciation fee to $2350. The fee increase in likely to create more panic increasing the number of renunciations.
The message to the U.S. Government is clear:
“Mr. Obama, tear down this renunciation fee!” But, his representatives in the State Department have publicly stated that they are “happy to take Mr. ______’s money and fit him into the schedule“.
Mr. Obama and the members of his administration are NOT listening. They are denying the legitimacy of “past relinquishments”. Like the slaves in the South, U.S. citizens who wish to escape are required to buy their freedom.
Yes, we can!!
Some are leaving officially by renouncing or seeking a CLN. Some believe they legitimately left years ago. Some are running and hiding their “USness”. Who wouldn’t? U.S. citizenship abroad is the only citizenship on the planet where you need a personal lawyer by your side every day. U.S. citizenship is the only citizenship in the world that is grounds for divorce. In a FATCA world, U.S. citizenship has become an “accusation”. People are renouncing U.S. citizenship to defend themselves from the accusation of U.S. citizenship.
U.S. citizens abroad are an angry bunch. As one comment said:
I would think that not forcing thousands of very pissed off people to keep their US passports would be “critical to national security”.
But, the latest news is … found in this post from a law firm in India – “Change you never would have believed” …
You better think long and hard before registering the birth of your child abroad as a U.S. citizen!
First, a lawyer describing the problematic nature of U.S. citizenship
Taking of the rose tinted glasses will however provide us with clarity regarding the pros and cons of retaining U.S. citizenship. According to Poorvi Chothani the founder of LawQuest, people need to examine the long term impact. In her comments regarding this issue in the Economic Times “This is because once you are a U.S. citizen you have to pay income tax to the U.S. on your global income no matter where you live. Further, if this individual were to give up American citizenship, he or she may be subject to an expatriation tax on worldwide assets levied on wealth valued at a mark-to-market value at the time of expatriation. For instance, a person living in a multi-million dollar house, with no intention of wanting to sell it, might end up paying a tax on this property at the time of expatriation”
Second, describing how a son is suing his father for “attaining U.S. citizenship for him at birth” (presumably registering the birth abroad)
She has recently taken up the case of a high net worth businessman, whose 18 year old boy has sued his father for attaining U.S. citizenship for him at birth. While this is an unusual case it may not be the only such case.
It’s unclear whether the father is a U.S. citizen. This unfortunate situation was described more generally in a second blog post alluding to the problems caused by being born in the U.S.
The word is starting to get out!!
Once again we hear the familiar:
“Hey, I didn’t choose where I was born. It just kind of happened”
But, this time there’s more. Much more. This time the claim is:
“I never consented to your making me a U.S. citizen. It was at YOUR PARENTAL INITIATIVE that U.S. citizenship – which is a threat to my “well being”- was conferred on me. This is NOT something that I had the capacity to choose at such a young age! I intend to sue you.”
This statement raises a number of interesting issues which include:
1. In the past I have heard people joke about the possibility of suing their parents for registering their birth abroad at a U.S. consulate. Little did the parents know …
We now appear to have one of the first confirmed cases of a child actually suing the parent. The plaintiff and defendant appear to be in India which is a “common law” jurisdiction. What would be the legal basis for the lawsuit? In other words, what principle would the son use to sue his father?
I really don’t know, but having some fun with this (although being a U.S. citizen is NOT funny from the son’s perspective).
Let’s analyze this.
Breach of Contract? It’s certainly not a breach of contract (the son was too young to enter into a contract).
Person was definitely “torted” – It must the be based on theory of tort law. This leaves us with either “negligence” or “strict liability”. Furthermore, the father probably thought that U.S. citizenship would be a “good thing” for his son. There was neither malice on the part of the father, nor negligence. Could anybody really have seen the (“change you can believe in”) coming of the current American administration?
It must rely on a theory of strict liability. This is based on the theory that, making someone a U.S. citizen is an abnormally dangerous activity. Okay, so what then is “an abnormally dangerous activity“? Check it out yourself. If you accept the principle that it’s dangerous to be a U.S. citizen abroad, then it must be “a dangerous activity” to confer U.S. citizenship on a child who is likely to live abroad.
Is registering the birth abroad of a child born to U.S. parents a “strict liability” tort? We will find out! The following “Twitter exchanges” which suggest that the “Hunt” will be successful strengthen the claim of “strict liability” for either the “registration” or “transmission” of U.S. citizenship.
It will certainly be interesting. If successful, this lawsuit is sure to open the “floodgates of litigation”. Once one plaintiff has been successful, it will be “open season” on all parents who registered their children as U.S. citizens.
This will be good news for lawyers. For lawyers and other “Form People”:
“U.S. citizenship is the gift (for lawyers) that just keeps on giving.”
We have currently have “Form People” – AKA “Compliance Condors”. We will now have a new kind of “blood sucking” lawyer who makes his living by suing the parents of certain Americans abroad. Instead of calling them “ambulance chasers” we will call them “citizenship chasers“. These “citizenship chasers” will be shopping for “plaintiff friendly jurisdictions” (probably outside the U.S. where U.S. citizenship is so “clearly” a “clear and present danger”). Undoubtedly, the lawyers will be remunerated on a contingent fee basis (the lawyer will seek a percentage of the recovery). Expect to see lawyers hanging around the hospitals (or paying “hospital workers”) for “hot tips” on who is being born in what hospital and what the attitude is toward American citizenship. Some will stand outside U.S. consulates hoping to identify some unsuspecting child who just received the lethal virus of U.S. citizenship. Yes. It’s going to be a “job creation program for lawyers”.
Soon we will see lawyers advertising:
“Were you registered as a U.S. citizen against your will? Has U.S. citizenship destroyed your life?”
If so, we can help. We offer you both “legal” and “emotional counselling” and quick cash!
Obviously, most of what this post is an attempt at sarcasm and humor, but I can see it …
2. However, in all seriousness, one must ask the question:
How can the United States of American – that “Great citadel of freedom and justice”:
1. Refuse to let a parent renounce U.S. citizenship on behalf of a disabled person or a minor renounce (because neither the disabled person nor the minor have the capacity to understand what they are doing? But,
2. Allow a parent to confer U.S. citizenship (by registering a birth abroad) on a child (when the child doesn’t have the capacity to understand what is being foisted on him)?
Seems like “double think” to me.
And what should the reaction of the parent by to this????
You ingrate! Even though you were born in the U.S. I gave you him. Didn’t you know that children born in the U.S. are no longer even adoptable? Adoption agencies in civilized places like Canada are even warning about the dangers of adopting U.S. born children!!! I have only one question for you: