This is a work of fiction. Nevertheless, this narrative may, coincidentally, align with real-life events or individuals, but such congruence is entirely inadvertent and beyond the author’s control. Any semblance of truth is entirely unintentional.
By A. Barry Cuda, Attorney, Family Law Section Connecticut
There is a problem with the Ambrose teens, not only for their owner, Chris Ambrose but for the entire family court enterprise in Connecticut.
Three teens fled their master and went to Rhode Island and New York. Connecticut law seems powerless to retrieve Ambrose’s property.
We have a federal law that can help.
The Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 enabled the capture and return of runaway slaves in states that did not enjoy slave ownership.
The slaves used a criminal system of trails and houses known as the Underground Railroad, but that did not stop the feds from taking them.
The law authorized US Marshalls to deputize citizens to assist in recapturing slaves. The US Marshalls could deputize Ambrose, and he and a posse of armed deputized men could catch the fugitive teens.
It is Legal
While errant legal “experts” believe the Fugitive Slave Law is moot, the US has not repealed it. The law exists in archived form and is not dead letters. The capture of teens by their parents does not conflict with the Thirteenth Amendment.
It did not matter then that slaves did not want to return to the plantation or that the Ambrose teenagers do not want to return to him now.
He wants his property back.
Sale of Teens Ratified Thrice
On April 24, 2020, Ambrose temporarily purchased his children.
Judge Jane Grossman approved the sale.
Judge Gerard Adelman reaffirmed the purchase in February 2022, making it permanent. The mother had no right to even talk to his property.
Judge Thomas J. O’Neill ratified the sale on August 8 when he issued restraining orders preventing the slaves from living with their mother.
But under state law, he could not force the teens back with Ambrose since they left the state.
Rhode Island did not uphold Ambrose’s purchase. Neither has New York.
People ask, “how can you force teenagers to stay with a man they despise?”
There is a more significant question. If a man purchases kids in Connecticut Family Court, and they run to another state, and the sale is not enforced, what value is his purchase?
Ambrose paid one million dollars to buy his children. If possession of a million-dollar sale is unenforceable, it could collapse the market value of children in Connecticut.
To answer the first question: Once Ambrose gets this property back, he must keep them this time.
Here is how to keep teens who don’t want to live with their custodial parent:
Physical Punishment: Ambrose must employ a person experienced in corporal punishment. As the old Connecticut saying goes, “A woman, a teenager, a dog and a walnut tree. The more you beat them the better they be.”
Shackles and Chains: Unless these teens are restrained, they will run.
Branding: A brand makes them easier to identify if they try to escape again.
Increased Surveillance: They need to know Ambrose is watching.
Separation: Separating the teens is a powerful deterrent. Ambrose may need to prevent them from seeing each other, just as he prevented them from seeing their mother.
Use of Force:
The use of force continuum is paramount here. Force, even lethal force, is justified as a deterrent.
Prosecution: The captured fugitives must be subject to prosecution, and a first-time offense might be probation. Prison is next, with severe penalties to deter other teens from escaping after they are sold.
Sale: Ambrose could sell one or more of the teens to men who want teenage Latinos.
Men who can afford to purchase teens, but never had children of their own.
Some 2,000 family law attorneys in CT depend on family court to provide effective means to support their lifestyles. Another 1,000 mental health therapists and custody evaluators provide attorneys with valuable support in the enterprise and earn their living from it.
It will be a grim chapter in Connecticut’s history if word gets out that you can buy kids here, but the state can’t enforce possession [nine-tenths of the law], and your two-legged chattel are free to run across state lines as soon as they have the gumption.
Revive the Fugitive Slave Act NOW!