Mr. Towne's point is also well taken. The authorities
might well be amenable to resolving the conflict
legislatively or administratively, since a good many
such conflicts are entirely inadvertent, and most
politicians and bureaucrats will be reasonable when
they realize they've put you in an impossible position.
There are two potential complications, however:
1. The conflict may be intentional, e.g., a turf war
between two agencies or two jurisdictions, in which
case they really don't give a damn about your problems.
The whole reason the Uniform Child Custody
Jurisdiction Act was enacted into law was to avoid the
then-all-too-frequent spectacle of two states having a
high-profile cat fight over whose laws would control
custody of some poor little toddler.
2. Some legislatures (e.g., Congress) move very, very
slowly, and even the most non-controversial things get
bogged down in political fights. Even if they are
sympathetic, you might be waiting for a long time.
In both cases, court might still be your best, quickest
and cheapest option. Never hurts to ask before you
sue, though. Might even be better do both
simultaneously. If they change the law during the
pendency of the suit, its easy enough to drop it as mooted.
Towne, Stephen wrote:
> Mr. Montana's comments are well taken. But hypothetically speaking,
> before we assume that government authorities are hostile to it, I think
> it might be easier, faster, and cheaper to change the laws in the
> legislature(s) than to go to court to fix the problem. This approach
> gets to the root of the problem. State legislatures are relatively
> accessible: legislators are happy to "author" bills suggested to them
> even if you don't wave rolls of dollars under their noses. If state
> agencies are interested in the matter it would be all the more easy as
> many legislators will try to be helpful and cooperative. However,
> choosing the legislator to carry the bill is the critical issue. The
> key is to build consensus given the political machinations that color
> legislative affairs. If the conflict in the laws is nonsensical (and
> often is, a result of poor law drafting or oversight) and serves no
> policy purpose, it could be an easy process.
> Such has been my experience. I have had no experience working with
> Steve Towne
> IUPUI Special Collections and Archives
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