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?”