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Man to get child support back
Augusta Chronicle ^

Posted on 03/04/2008 9:05:13 AM PST by MotleyGirl70

Parents owe $14,460 in case of mistaken paternity, judge says

Justice was also shortchanged, the judge said, because Mr. Samuels had been paying child support all of those years.

Last month, Judge Roper ruled that Jamie Hope, the child's mother, and Oba Wallace, the child's biological father, would have to repay Mr. Samuels $14,460 in child support he had paid since 1997.

Such an order is unusual, but not unique.

"We have seen it happen before," said Sandra Jarrett of the state's Child Support Recovery Unit.

Usually there is no intent to defraud, Ms. Jarrett said. Mothers who have had relationships with more than one man might not know who the biological father is without a DNA test.

Ms. Jarrett estimated 40 percent to 45 percent of their new cases are filed by a custodial parent who never married, and a DNA test is requested to establish paternity.

Child Support Services helps about 30,000 families in Richmond, Columbia and Burke counties. Across Georgia, 500,000 families are assisted, Ms. Jarrett said.

In Mr. Samuels' case, it began April 22, 1997, when Ms. Hope opened a Child Support Services case that named Mr. Samuels the father of her child.

Mr. Samuels said he never had any reason to doubt the child was his. He signed the birth certificate, and he consented to an order to pay child support.

Mr. Wallace told the judge at a hearing last summer that he heard from different people that the child looked like him. The child called him daddy when she saw him in town, Mr. Wallace said.

Mr. Wallace said he told Ms. Hope he would take care of the child financially if he was the biological father. They decided to get a DNA test last summer, Mr. Wallace said.

The DNA test proved Mr. Wallace was the biological father, and he filed a court petition to legally establish paternity. The case was assigned to Judge Roper, who had no problem with signing the order that established legal paternity. But he said he was troubled by the position in which it left Mr. Samuels.

The judge questioned Mr. Wallace and Ms. Hope about when they first suspected Mr. Wallace was the biological father. Both eventually admitted it was around the time the child was 2.

"I've never heard (of) this gentleman until this year, and I never knew that she was seeing anyone else," Mr. Samuels told the judge last summer.

Ms. Hope told the judge she wanted a paternity test in 1997 when the baby was born but that Mr. Samuels declined. He denied that.

"You swore that he was the father when you took out a child support action," Judge Roper told Ms. Hope. He said he considered that action fraudulent and ordered Ms. Hope to repay Mr. Samuels the $14,460 he had paid in child support payments.

In February, Judge Roper ruled Mr. Wallace was liable to Mr. Samuels for the back child support, too. Judge Roper said in explaining his ruling that once paternity is established, a father can be required to pay back support to the time of birth. Since Mr. Wallace's paternity was established, he was responsible for the child support since the birth in 1997, and responsible for repaying Mr. Samuels.

Ms. Jarrett said that when a child support case is opened, the man identified as a child's father can request a DNA test. If the test comes back negative, the case against that man is closed. If it is positive, then paternity is established and Child Support Services works to obtain a court order for child support.

A man can also petition the court directly to request a legal determination of paternity, which is what Mr. Wallace did.

Paternity establishes who is responsible for the financial support of a child. If a father also desires visitation rights, he must legitimize the child, too, Judge Roper said. Although Child Support Services cannot help with visitation issues, the office can refer parents to mediation.

Child Support Services will help fathers with employment issues. It operates the Georgia Fatherhood Program to provide job counseling, training, educational assistance, placement assistance and other services. In Georgia, 25 percent of children have a case with the Child Support Services, according to the state Department of Human Resources.

Judge David Roper said he felt badly for Kenneth Samuels when he learned the child he had fathered for 11 years wasn't his.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: Georgia
KEYWORDS: childsupport
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"You swore that he was the father when you took out a child support action," Judge Roper told Ms. Hope. He said he considered that action fraudulent and ordered Ms. Hope to repay Mr. Samuels the $14,460 he had paid in child support payments.

Good on ya judge.

$14,000 over 11 years

$106.06 per month

I did the math because I was curious.

1 posted on 03/04/2008 9:05:14 AM PST by MotleyGirl70
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To: MotleyGirl70
Mr. Wallace told the judge at a hearing last summer that he heard from different people that the child looked like him. The child called him daddy when she saw him in town, Mr. Wallace said.

That seems odd.

2 posted on 03/04/2008 9:08:47 AM PST by ClearCase_guy
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To: MotleyGirl70

Damn. A judge that gives a hoot about the law, and justice. A rarity these days.


3 posted on 03/04/2008 9:08:59 AM PST by EagleUSA
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To: MotleyGirl70

This happened in a Georgia court? This reversal is truly a miracle of God. Now if we could only get the mother jailed for fraud. Until then, if she is late on a payment, a warrant for her arrest should be issued just as easily as it was for the plaintiff all those years.


4 posted on 03/04/2008 9:09:35 AM PST by Hoodat (Bull Moose Party Member)
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To: MotleyGirl70

Poor kid. Too bad he has to be involved with all these skumbags.


5 posted on 03/04/2008 9:10:15 AM PST by oldvike
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To: MotleyGirl70
Such an order is unusual, but not unique.

Wha?

6 posted on 03/04/2008 9:10:34 AM PST by subterfuge (Obama will NOT get the nomination.)
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To: MotleyGirl70

That’s what happens when you boink the same chick that everyone else is boinking.


7 posted on 03/04/2008 9:11:05 AM PST by Eurale
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To: MotleyGirl70

unfortunatly every state is different.

In some states child support only starts once paternaty is established and support is first ordered.

Of course california has serious paternity fraud issues.


8 posted on 03/04/2008 9:12:35 AM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: MotleyGirl70

I suspect this is unusual. I remember reading about a judge’s order of child support when it was KNOWN from the start that the child was not that of the ex-husband who was forced to pay.

But I don’t know which of these two sorts of decision is more prevalent.


9 posted on 03/04/2008 9:15:48 AM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: MotleyGirl70

“My baby’s daddy” ping.


10 posted on 03/04/2008 9:16:13 AM PST by WOBBLY BOB (Conservatives are to McCain what Charlie Brown is to Lucy.)
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To: EagleUSA

Yes, it’s good BUT I don’t think the outcome would have been the same if not for the fact of another man coming forward to claim paternity and take responsibility. The state’s interest is to have somebody - anybody - on the hook for support of the child rather than have to be the one to provide it. If not for the other guy coming forward, the state likely would have forced the other guy to keep paying, even if he proved he wasn’t the biological father. JMO.


11 posted on 03/04/2008 9:16:33 AM PST by Emmett McCarthy
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To: Eurale

> That’s what happens when you boink the same chick that everyone else is boinking.

Chick? Don’t you mean “Cow”.


12 posted on 03/04/2008 9:17:20 AM PST by BuffaloJack
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To: MotleyGirl70
Let me guess...Mr Samuels is a Black male.
White males always get screwed.
13 posted on 03/04/2008 9:19:16 AM PST by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
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To: Emmett McCarthy

The state’s interest is to have somebody - anybody - on the hook for support of the child rather than have to be the one to provide it.
::::::
Exactly. A government for and by the government....


14 posted on 03/04/2008 9:19:30 AM PST by EagleUSA
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Such an order is unusual, but not unique.

"We have seen it happen before," said Sandra Jarrett of the state's Child Support Recovery Unit.

Usually there is no intent to defraud, Ms. Jarrett said. Mothers who have had relationships with more than one man might not know who the biological father is without a DNA test.

We have seen it happen before?
Usually there is not intent to defraud?

Any guy in this situation that is forced to pay without a paternity test is being defrauded. He is being made to pay without due process. Courts are a party to it if they don't foce the test.

How many times have they seen this before? Once? Twice?

15 posted on 03/04/2008 9:35:12 AM PST by DoughtyOne (We've got Tweedle Dee, Tweedle Dumb & Tweedle Dumber left. Name them in order. I dare ya.)
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To: Hoodat

I agree 110%! A premise on one of my papers in college. That if a woman has the right to terminate her motherhood and by de facto his fatherhood then a man should have the same choice as to whether or not he provide support for his offspring. I definitly don’t condone abortion at all but it really worked up all those females in my class to think that they might have to think about exercising their choice or not receiving a payment for their “services” until the aftermath was 18 years old. “I ain’t sayin she a gold digga, but she ain’t messin with no broke fellas!” Kanye West.


16 posted on 03/04/2008 9:41:38 AM PST by killermedic ("discipline isnít reserved for times of combat....only tested there.")
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To: Hoodat
Now if we could only get the mother jailed for fraud A friend of my wife dumped her husband of 10 years when she fell for her daughters school teacher. She got a divorce and alimony and then married the teacher but is keeping it a secret for the $3,000 per month alimony. For 4 years now that is a chunk of change that some day will be found out and they will be forced into bankruptcy and maybe jail time for lying to a judge.
17 posted on 03/04/2008 9:43:31 AM PST by SF Republican (Conservatives wanted all or nothing, and they got it.)
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To: DoughtyOne

“Usually there is no intent to defraud, Ms. Jarrett said. Mothers who have had relationships with more than one man might not know who the biological father is without a DNA test.”

My son is in this position. He has asked for a DNA test several times but has been told to get lost. State is Utah. They don’t care, just want somebody to pay just as long as it is not the state.


18 posted on 03/04/2008 9:46:00 AM PST by greatgranny
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To: MotleyGirl70

Bookmarking for when I get home from work.


19 posted on 03/04/2008 9:48:47 AM PST by RandallFlagg (Satisfaction was my sin)
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To: greatgranny

That’s my take as well. I’ll add that most men I know would be very happy to have their children without having to spend $50k to get them, and could care less if the mother provided a dimes worth of support.


20 posted on 03/04/2008 9:49:17 AM PST by DoughtyOne (We've got Tweedle Dee, Tweedle Dumb & Tweedle Dumber left. Name them in order. I dare ya.)
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