In June 2020, S.C. State Senator Luke Rankin made Family Court his central campaign issue. Had he not done so, state politicos tell MyrtleBeachSC News Rankin would certainly have lost a bid for re-election.
High profile arrests and issues continue to develop around family court since Rankin’s primary win.
Specifically the arrest of Horry County’s Top DSS Attorney on grounds of first degree Criminal Domestic Violence stands out. Kelly Ann Galley is the key Attorney for the Department of Social Services. In her capacity, she has the power to remove children from homes across Horry County.
Rankin refused to comment on that arrest.
This week, Peyton Henderson contacted our office after her husband Gary Henderson was sentenced to 9 months in jail by Fifteenth Circuit Judge Melissa Buckhannon. Previously the matter had been presided over by Judge Jan Bromell-Holmes.
JUDGE – JURY – JAILER
Mrs. Henderson says the S.C. Family Court system is broken.
Her husband is being jailed for 9 months (on a ruling by Family Court) because of unpaid taxes.
Technically he is being jailed for contempt of court until the taxes are paid.
The Hendersons do not dispute that the taxes are in arrears. However, they strongly believe those tax matters are between them and the I.R.S. and not a matter for the family court system.
The Library of Congress of the United States records that debtors’ prisons were banned under federal law in 1833. A century and a half later, in 1983, the Supreme Court affirmed that incarcerating indigent debtors was unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection clause.
As neither Federal nor the State Government have any desire to incarcerate Mr. Henderson based on an outstanding tax debt, Mrs. Henderson is nonplussed as to why Family Court has pursued this.
COURT ORDERED PARENTAL ALIENATION
In it’s resources for parents, The American Bar Association writes in 2020, Children are seriously harmed when they are separated from their parents. There has been quite a bit of research that proves that harm and outlines the specific ways that children are harmed. According to SCBAR.org, abandonment is abuse.
Children have the right to love both parents, and children have the right to receive the love of both parents. Children have the right to be loved by their grandparents and siblings, by their aunts and uncles and cousins. Children have the right to be loved by friends, teammates, and teachers, coaches, and mentors. The court ordering an abrupt emotional cutoff creates unresolved trauma for children. A judge has the obligation to follow the in “best interest” standard when determining child custody issues. An emotional cutoff separating a child and parent is affectively court ordered parental alienation. Furthermore, it creates a false psychological delusion in the child’s mind that the child was abandoned.
Peyton Henderson pleads with Senator Luke Rankin and A.G. Alan Wilson, “How does it help Mr. Henderson’s children to have him incarcerated for 9 months? How does that help her husband earn the monies he needs to pay the outstanding taxes?”
Poverty, Dropouts, Pregnancy, Suicide: What The Numbers Say About Fatherless Kids
Even more troubling is a 2017 article published by NPR. Author Alan Blankstein tells NPR, “Fatherlessness is having a great impact on education. First of all, it’s growing, and the correlations with any number of risk issues are considerable.“
Adds Blankstein, “Children are four-times more likely to be poor if the father is not around. And we know that poverty is heavily associated with academic success. [Fatherless kids] are also twice as likely to drop out.“
Blankstein states that the research that he has seen says that girls are twice as likely to suffer from obesity without the father present. They’re four-times more likely to get pregnant as teenagers. Boys are more likely to act out, which is why we’re more aware [of how they’re affected], but if a young girl is imploding, we don’ t see it.
ASKING FOR HELP
Peyton Hendersen is pleading for help from Senator Luke Rankin. Rankin and his team at the Judicial Merit Selection Committee pick every family court judge in the state.
Peyton has also set up a GO FUND ME PAGE. Those wishing to help the Henderson’s can contribute here: https://gf.me/u/y3msbw
We reached out to Senator Luke Rankin, S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson, and the family of Gary Henderson’s ex-wife for comments on this article. All refused to comment.