Tag Archives: Child Support

Judge orders man to pay $30K in child support for someone else’s child

A Detroit judge has ruled a man, who was unaware he was a “father,” must pay approximately $30,000 in child support after the man neglected to do so for close to twenty-five years.

In the early 1990’s, Carnell Alexander was pulled over by a police officer and this officer informed Alexander he was under arrest for being a deadbeat father. Alexander, however, was taken aback when he heard he was a deadbeat father, according to WXYZ.

What had happened was an ex-girlfriend of Alexander gave birth to a child in the late eighties, and in order to qualify for welfare assistance to raise the child, she needed to name a father on the appropriate paperwork. Even though the woman was aware Alexander was not the father, according to KFOR, she decided to put his name down anyways.

Usually, when a man is named the father of a child on such paperwork, the state sends a notice to the person via mail. However, Alexander was incarcerated, according to the Michigan Department of Corrections, so he would not have received the notice.

On Tuesday, Alexander went in front of the Third Judicial Circuit Court where Judge Kathleen McCarthy said she was outraged Alexander had failed to take this matter seriously. According to FOX 2 Now, McCarthy said Alexander should have filed a motion long ago to dispute his parentage of the child.

“That motion must be filed within 3 years after the child’s birth, or within one year after the order of filiation is entered,” said McCarthy. “The defendant has failed to to timely file this motion setting aside the acknowledgment of parentage.” It is here the court ruled Alexander must pay the $30,000 in child support for the child, who is now an adult.

According to CBS Detroit, Alexander took a paternity test in 2013 after he had tried to find the mother of the child for many years. The test proved he was not father of the child, but even though this evidence was provided to the courts in the past, they held to their decision to make Alexander pay for the child support. The court also said it would not help his case if he presented the mother of the child for the case.

Alexander acknowledges he may owe the money according to the fine print of the law, but he will not believe the fine print of the law is right. “The law is not going to fit into everybody’s situation,” said Alexander. “Why don’t they use common sense?”

State Orders Man to Pay $30k in Child Support or Face Jail, Despite Proof He Is Not Father

In child support cases, courts sometimes force people to pay back the government’s welfare contributions to a child, even in scenarios when the person being ordered to pay support is not actually the child’s parent. According to WXYZ-TV ABC 7 Detroit, Detroit man Carnell Alexander is facing that exact situation after an ex-girlfriend of his listed him as the father of her child on an application for welfare benefits. Despite the facts that a DNA test proved that he is not the father and his ex-girlfriend agrees that he should not have to pay support, the State of Michigan is ordering him to either pay back the nearly $30,000 worth of welfare contributions it paid to the child’s mother or go to jail.

In 1991, Alexander was informed during a routine traffic stop that there was a warrant out for his arrest due to his failure to pay support for a child that he had allegedly fathered back in 1978. However, Alexander had no children. In a court hearing, the state claimed that he was listed as a child’s father on a welfare benefits application and that too much time had passed for him to request a DNA test to contest its paternity claim. The court argues that he knowingly ignored a court order requiring him to pay support and that he should have raised the issue when that order was given to him. In the late ’80s, a process server signed a document alleging that the court order was delivered to Alexander at his father’s house and that he refused to sign it. However, WXYZ-TV ABC 7 Detroit made contact with the Michigan Department of Corrections and confirmed that Alexander was incarcerated at the time of the delivery of the court order, meaning it was impossible for him to have seen the order and refused to sign. Alexander maintains that he never saw the order and knew nothing of the alleged paternity dispute until he was pulled over and informed many years later.

At one point, Alexander scraped together money for an attorney, despite being underemployed, but legal help did not produce results. However, he has yet to attempt to have an attorney contest the validity of the aforementioned process server’s form alleging that Alexander saw the court order. Based on his alibi placing him in jail at the time that the order was served, it appears that the document claiming that he saw the order might have been fraudulently or erroneously filed.

Alexander subsequently tracked down the mother alleging paternity and obtained a DNA test which proved that he is not the father. The mother told WXYZ-TV ABC 7 Detroit, “I had to turn to welfare to get assistance… and I had to put him down as the father. That was the only way I could get assistance… He shouldn’t have to pay it at all. I want everything to go away for him so he can go on with his life.” After she asked the court to waive the paternity claim, a judge assigned to Alexander’s case waived the portion of the child support judgment that would have been given to the child’s mother, but kept alive the order requiring him to pay back the government’s welfare contributions made on his behalf.

“I feel like I’m standing in front of a brick wall with nowhere to go,” said Alexander.

In the 2007 Florida Supreme Court case Parker v Parker, a Florida man’s $216,000 child support judgment was upheld even after DNA evidence proved that the child in question was not his. At the time, state law required that paternity be contested within one year of a divorce, and, due to the fact that he at that time believed his ex-wife’s claim that the child was his, he did not attempt to challenge paternity. Publicity about the case eventually led Florida politicians to change the law requiring such claims to be filed within one year.