Skip to comments.SoCal man won't get refund of support for child that isn't his
Posted on 06/22/2007 10:29:37 AM PDT by SmithL
LOS ANGELESA Torrance man cannot be reimbursed for thousands of dollars he was forced to pay to support a child he did not father, an appeals court ruled.
State laws do not allow Taron James to demand repayment of the money he supplied before a DNA test confirmed that the child of a former girlfriend was someone else's, the state 2nd District Court of Appeal said in a ruling published Tuesday.
James, 38, said he will appeal to the state Supreme Court.
James said he has been in "financial hell" since the case began.
"The fight is to keep this from happening to anyone else," he said.
James was with the Navy in the Persian Gulf in 1992 when his former girlfriend gave birth to a son and claimed he was the father.
The mother later sought child support and in 1996 Los Angeles County forced James to begin paying $121 a month to its child support unit. A DNA test in 2001 proved that he was not the father and he was allowed to stop making payments.
Last year, a court set aside the paternity finding on the basis of fraud but refused his request for reimbursement.
In its opinion, a three-member appellate panel said state law specifies that a "previously established father" has no right to reimbursement when the paternity is voided.
That appeared to be aimed at protecting a child from financial hardship, the court said.
In a concurring opinion, Justice Laurence Rubin suggested that the state Legislature might change the law to make public agencies, rather than parents, responsible for reimbursement in cases of paternity fraud or error.
"Should the state Legislature enact legislation saying that there will be reimbursement for fathers, we would be obligated to follow the law," said Fesia Davenport, an attorney for the county's Department of Child Support Services.
The law is a ass
How about if they find the actual father, he reimburses the guy as well as pays child support?
Why can’t he sue the “real” sperm donor....ummm...father for back support?
Why couldn’t he sue mom for common law fraud and use the support paid as the proper measure of damages (along with every other dime he ever shelled out)?
Sue da bitch.
Better yet, this judge should have just rendered those decisions.
Not that it’s his fault, but I wonder why he waited so long to do a DNA test.
The whole child support system stinks.
Works for me.
I don’t think that would work out too well. She could easily say (perhaps truthfully) that she was believed James was the father.
Sue the woman for theft by fraudulent means.
Put a lien on the beeyatch’s house.
I think the best question is:
Why can’t states pass laws that say that parents are not responsible for child support for children that can be proven through DNA to be not theirs, regardless of time limits.
I do not see any mention of anyone going after the person whose lie started all this.
Very few women do not know who the father of their child is, and given he was away on war duty at times that the child may have been conceived, she could have said “I am not sure.” But she did not.
Why isn't she in jail for perjury and abuse of process.
The fraud would be her statement she was having sex with nobody else that she was completely faithful with him. After meeting with his attorney he would probably clearly remember her having made those statements. Since this was an untrue statement of an current or past fact which she knew or should have known he was relying on to his detriment....bingo, we have fraud. Now what's the best measure of damages?
Look at the bright side: Apparently it does not cost much to raise a child in Los Angeles.
Indeed. Injustice aside, that’s a pittance nowadays.
Of course. Those laws were passed to please man-hating feminazis, not to achieve justice. The left doesn’t care, as long as it’s some MAN who pays.
I can understand the idea of not penalizing the child (or children), but on the other hand - If I am forced - by law, with threat of arrest or garnishment of my wages - to pay a bill I do not owe, and then later am proven to not have owed it - I should get my money back.
The only other comment - maybe he should have thought more about who he decided to sleep with out of wedlock... Had he not had sex without being married to the mother - he would have had a perfect defense. Think he learned that lesson... me either.
Oh that’s just BS!
Further proof that the law is against the average citizen.
The courts determined that he was the father without any proof when child support was determined. The guy should have insisted on the DNA test then. It would have saved him from paying from the start.
Ok, not that I’m pure as the driven snow or anything but, “How about not having sex with somebody you aren’t married to,” as the governing rule to adopt if you don’t want to pay child support? No sex = no paternity. I know it happens from time to time that wives are unfaithful but that’s not true in this case.
If you look long enough there is always a “first cause.”
Did you know that your state gets incentive money from the federal government for collecting child support? Your taxes as work. Did you know that the federal government pays states over 66% of the costs of a state to collect child support? Your tax dollars as work. Did you know that the Office of Child Support Enforcement has more employees than the FBI? Did you know that almost 10 Billion dollars of your tax money is spent each year to collect child support?
Did you know that most non custoidal parents are not allowed to pay child support directly to the custodial parent? If the ncp was allowed to pay direcly to the cp then the state would not be able to collect thoes lovely tax dollars as incentives. So it looks as if every taxpayer in this country contributes to child support in some way.
Proof of what Democrat programs are all about.
Instead there should be some means created where when a woman asserts paternity, if she doesn't disclose that another man may also be the father, she is liable for damages equal (or greater) than what he has paid to the child in support. Whether she could then seek contribution from the real father, I don't know. On one hand he should support his child, on the other you relieve the woman of the risk of having to pay up if her lie about paternity is discovered.
The problem is that in California you can be named the father by some woman you’ve never met and be forced to pay child support. Bernard Goldberg in one of his books gives examples. Supposedly a man has 30 days to respond to the allegation but if he doesn’t receive the notice in time, he’s out of luck. The California legislature passed a bill to benefit men falsely named as the father, but Gray Davis vetoed it to please the feminists.
"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus
You guys are absolutely correct. If he hadnât slept with her then there probably wouldnât have been a monetary issue. I was thinking after the fact I guess. Once it was determined he was not daddy, fairness would dictate that he get his money back. You know they will go after the real father. Never mind they will collect from 2 guys for the same debt. Fairness and our court system have nothing to do with each other.
How about the state requiring a DNA test as dispositive proof of paternity?
This way, there are no reimbursement issues.
One issue I can see with this is that a mother can indicate you to be the father, requiring the father to submit to a DNA test to establish that fact. Being forced to submit to a DNA test probably violates 4th Amendemnt.
Cost of the test is born by the parent not burdened with the immediate care responsibilities of the child.
We seem to get backed into a corner with so many laws that contradict each other. But our Congress is rich beyond belief. That’s all they really care about. Talk about Sickos. Moore hasn’t a clue.
hey buddy...next time, save yourself about 6 thousand bucks and go to an Asian massage parlor
What could be done now for the Military anyway.. Paternity is assumed when a couple is married but in all cases will be confirmed by paternity testing.. in order to reduce the costs to the Military and Prevent Fraud.
Paternity testing should be proforma in divorce cases as well. All men should seek it in their divorces as a matter of course.
Finally if a couple is married it is criminal fraud on the part of the women and how anyone can suggest something different is hard to fathom.
Why not automatically at birth, rather than having to tell children that their father questions whether they are really their father? Testing babies means would solve a lot of these issues.
OK - then submission to a DNA test to prove/disprove paternity should be voluntary... but if you refuse, then you had BETTER have some other defense - like impotence...
Right. Good idea.
I think that paternity should be established for every birth. The culture we have now of men establishing their manhood by boasts of how many bellies they’ve swelled could be stopped if they were forced to pay to raise those children. Women don’t have to turn to the real daddy so long as daddy government is around to foot the bill. I think a new plan where a mother is not eligible for any child benefits unless the father is paying his share, or it is proven that he is unable (dead, in prison, etc).
If the real sperm donor is found, and has assets, it sounds like there are grounds for a suit for damages. Of course, like this case, only the lawyers win in the end.
The law is full of pre-21st (or even 20th) Century science. In the old days, we didn't have reliable means of paternity testing, and the law falls back on the ancient notions of what to do about it from the days of uncertainty.
What's needed are new laws that reflect modern science. But then, science always moves faster than the law.
At the point in time when everybody's genome is in a data bank, like everyone born in the US has a Social Security number, then it will happen.
At that point, we will have far more to worry about than the occasional paternity fraud.
Let me be clear, legally, my client should have gone back to Court and gotten the child support order changed to have his ex-wife pay child support. But he was not sophisticated about such matters and thought that simple justice would relieve him of having to pay child support for children in his possession, especially when their mother had voluntarily turned them over to him.
I went into the hearing expecting that something would be worked out. The Assistant Attorney General was having none of that. She wanted my client to come up with several thousand dollars cash up front, or go to jail, and pay 100% of the "back" child support, plus interest running from the date of each "missed" payment, plus court costs.
Fortunately, my client had saved receipts for his additional expenses while he had the children. I'm sure they were not complete, but, over the objections of the AAG, he testified to what they amounted to. The judge gave him credit for 100% of his receipts, and denied the AAG's request for jail time, interest and court costs. That still left him owing about 40% of the base amount of "back" child support.
Not a good result, but the best one possible under Texas law. What stuck in my mind was the AAG's attitude. It is not unknown for an attorney to represent a client whose position is both legally secure and manifestly unjust. This was one of those times.
Because he had not gone back to court and gotten the child support order changed, the Judge could not just wipe out the unpaid child support. The Judge could give him a credit for his extra expenses incurred while my client had the children, which is a far cry from what should happen in such a case, namely that his child support obligation cease, and the ex-wife start paying child support.
Rather than just settling for the part of the back child support my client did not have receipts for, which was already a screwing, the AAG was adamant that he had to pay it all, he had to pay thousands that day or got to jail, and far from being a victim of a system whose nuances he did not understand, my client was a dirt bag for not sending his ex-wife "child support" for her to drink up while my client cared for the children.
The amount of anti-male discrimination in the family court system is, uh, criminal.
Yes I think that is very fair. As long as the resulting DNA record is lawfully retained only by the parents themselves. No state or federal database allowed.
Great idea, have the state force everyone to submit to DNA testing. Are you serious?