Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Child support law leaves man a default dad
Tulsa World ^ | October 13, 2008 | Jarrel Wade

Posted on 10/14/2008 4:39:29 AM PDT by RogerFGay

Brande Samuels, 29, shows some
of the child support documents from
the Oklahoma Department of Human
Services. Samuels has been forced by
the state to pay child support for a
child but DNA tests show he is not the
father. SHERRY BROWN /
Tulsa World Friday


He promised himself and his family that when he left his prison cell, he would work hard to build a stable and positive life. After two years in prison, he was released early on good behavior and worked for less than minimum wage while he trained to become a welder. But that's when he first got notice from the Oklahoma Department of Human Services' Child Support Enforcement Division that he owed child support, he said.

Now, Samuels owes about $13,000 in back child support, he lives with his ailing grandfather and DHS seizes portions of his wages every month. "The last four years have been the worst in my life," Samuels said about life since leaving prison in 2004. "I went into so much debt." Samuels said under other circumstances he would take full responsibility for the child as a father should.

But he is not the father.


0.00 percent chance

Samuels was aware of the possibility that he might be the father during the pregnancy, he said. But the mother had been in another relationship at the same time.

"She wouldn't even allow me to sign the birth certificate," he said.

Two months later, the mother — Nadia Smith — put his name down as the father when she filed for child support, which Samuels wouldn't learn about until after his Oklahoma prison sentence, he said.

"They make (the mother) give up a name for the potential father. If she doesn't give up a name, then she can't get any assistance," Samuels said about the process to receive child support.

Jeff Wagner, spokesman for DHS, said when a mother is opening a child support case, she names the alleged father and provides "a great deal of information" in the Mother's Affidavit of Paternity.

In 2004, when Samuels left prison and learned of his obligation to DHS, case workers told Samuels if he wanted to fight the original order and get a hearing, he needed a lawyer, he said.

"I just want to be heard," he said. "The court was made for justice. It was made to help make the right decision."

Samuels did not have enough money to pay a lawyer, and no one would take his case for free, so in 2006, he approached Neighbor for Neighbor, a Tulsa nonprofit organization. They helped him prepare papers to require the mother to provide the child for a DNA test.

He found out then that the mother had left the state and had to be tracked down. She had left Oklahoma for Texas, Texas for Iowa, and then Iowa for Mississippi between 2004 and 2007, he said.

Neighbor for Neighbor helped Samuels track her through the courts and filed court papers seeking a DNA test from the child in March 2007, according to court records.

Two months later, Samuels received DNA evidence that the child support had been based on a false assumption. He was not the father — 0.00 percent chance.

"I was hurt. I was actually hurt because they put me through all this stuff without the child even being mine," he said.

After his three years of work, he believed he would be forgiven all his debt for the child, he said.

But it wasn't forgiven, and according to Oklahoma law, it won't be forgiven.


Default fatherhood

In child support cases, the burden of proof is on the alleged father — the accused — according to Oklahoma statutes.

An alleged father must appear at a child support hearing to request a paternity test. If he does not appear, he is legally designated as the father and child support is established in most cases.

Once designated as the father, that person is financially responsible for the child until he or she is 18 or adopted with a few stipulations for petitions which may vacate the original order, according to Oklahoma statutes.

DHS records show that Samuels was served papers to appear for his child support hearing in 2001, but Samuels said he was working in Texas at the time and could not have received the notice.

Wagner said by Oklahoma law someone can be legally served if the subpoena is put into the hands of someone 15 or older who lives at the same residence as the person.

But Samuels said the documents never touched his hands.

Regardless of the outcome of the DNA test, which Samuels spent three years trying to get, it was already too late.

Samuels was ruled the default father in 2001, and legally, DNA has no bearing.

"If you got me on default, you should still have to prove that I'm the father," he said.

This is the second recent story in the media of a default father being forced to pay child support in a bureaucratic nightmare with DHS.

The first, reported by The Oklahoman, was about Micheal Thomas of Tulsa, who had shown that he had never even met the mother and that he had DNA evidence that showed he wasn't the father. Still, he became a default father after missing his initial court hearing.

DHS does not keep statistics on the number of established fathers or default fathers who are not genetically related to the child they are responsible for, Wagner said.

In the eyes of the law and DHS, once paternity is established, there is no difference.

DHS officials would not comment on whether any changes have been made in establishing paternity since the Micheal Thomas case was reported.


Paternity figures

Between April 1, 2007, and March 31, the state Department of Human Services established paternity of 20,452 children in Oklahoma —of those cases, 5,208 were forced through court order, according to DHS Child Support Enforcement Division records.

In the same time period, there were 3,127 paternity tests conducted in DHS cases. Of those, 781 of the alleged fathers were found not to be the genetic father and were released from the case.


Jarrel Wade 581-8310
jarrel.wade@tulsaworld.com



TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Oklahoma
KEYWORDS: childsupport; custody; paternity
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-150151-200201-235 next last

1 posted on 10/14/2008 4:39:30 AM PDT by RogerFGay
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: JimKalb; Free the USA; EdReform; realwoman; Orangedog; Lorianne; Outlaw76; balrog666; DNA Rules; ...

ping


2 posted on 10/14/2008 4:40:27 AM PDT by RogerFGay
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: No.6

ping


3 posted on 10/14/2008 4:42:37 AM PDT by RogerFGay
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RogerFGay

Aren’t you the guy who moved to Sweden to avoid child support payments?


4 posted on 10/14/2008 4:46:40 AM PDT by wtc911 ("How you gonna get back down that hill?")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: wtc911

No.


5 posted on 10/14/2008 4:47:12 AM PDT by RogerFGay
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: wtc911
Aren’t you the guy who moved to Sweden to avoid child support payments?

No. And you've asked that before. So, now we know you're one of the women trying to protect corruption by making false accusations. And it's obvious why you're on the low road. There is no credible defense of the corruption.
6 posted on 10/14/2008 4:49:03 AM PDT by RogerFGay
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: RogerFGay

Ah America.
Land of the Free, Home of the Brave.
Sorry scratch that.
Ah America.
Land of the NOt So Free, Home of the Incompetant and Corrupt Government.


7 posted on 10/14/2008 4:53:03 AM PDT by SECURE AMERICA (Vote FOR AMERICA . Vote McCain / Palin)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RogerFGay
Wagner said by Oklahoma law someone can be legally served if the subpoena is put into the hands of someone 15 or older who lives at the same residence as the person.

Clearly the first thing to do then is to request the affidavit of service.

This seems like a pretty low threshold for serving documents, considering that child support payments could be some $100,000 over 18 years. This isn't a small claims court case.

8 posted on 10/14/2008 4:53:04 AM PDT by ikka
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RogerFGay
No, I am a man who shoulders his responsibilities not one who quits the best country on the planet to avoid them.

How are things in the ex-pat community in Sweden?

9 posted on 10/14/2008 4:53:55 AM PDT by wtc911 ("How you gonna get back down that hill?")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: RogerFGay

This is just one of the many benefits of replacing private morality with government mandates.


10 posted on 10/14/2008 4:54:32 AM PDT by Bertram3 ("Never give up. Never Give up. Never, never, never, never." Churchill)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SECURE AMERICA

It is corruption. The federal child support enforcement program is a pork-barrel program that pays-out in proportion to collections. So, states stopped caring about anything that might even vaguely resemble justice of any kind and changed their laws to maximize pork.


11 posted on 10/14/2008 4:55:02 AM PDT by RogerFGay
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: RogerFGay

Who said slavery was dead?


12 posted on 10/14/2008 4:55:15 AM PDT by TenthAmendmentChampion (Lord please bless our nation with John McCain as president and Sarah Palin as Vice President! Amen.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ikka

It is corruption. The federal child support enforcement program is a pork-barrel program that pays-out in proportion to collections. So, states stopped caring about anything that might even vaguely resemble justice of any kind and changed their laws to maximize pork. Civil rights have been eliminated to that end.


13 posted on 10/14/2008 4:56:33 AM PDT by RogerFGay
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Bertram3

It is corruption. The federal child support enforcement program is a pork-barrel program that pays-out in proportion to collections. So, states stopped caring about anything that might even vaguely resemble justice of any kind and changed their laws to maximize pork.


14 posted on 10/14/2008 4:57:08 AM PDT by RogerFGay
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: wtc911

It is corruption. The federal child support enforcement program is a pork-barrel program that pays-out in proportion to collections. So, states stopped caring about anything that might even vaguely resemble justice of any kind and changed their laws to maximize pork.


15 posted on 10/14/2008 4:57:29 AM PDT by RogerFGay
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: TenthAmendmentChampion

It is corruption. The federal child support enforcement program is a pork-barrel program that pays-out in proportion to collections. So, states stopped caring about anything that might even vaguely resemble justice of any kind and changed their laws to maximize pork.


16 posted on 10/14/2008 4:57:49 AM PDT by RogerFGay
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: RogerFGay

He should start suing for custody of the child.

This farce of a law exists in California too. I can’t believe Oklahoma has this on its books, though.


17 posted on 10/14/2008 4:58:02 AM PDT by TenthAmendmentChampion (Lord please bless our nation with John McCain as president and Sarah Palin as Vice President! Amen.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: wtc911

Are you pushing the same-sex marriage agenda?


18 posted on 10/14/2008 4:58:19 AM PDT by RogerFGay
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: TenthAmendmentChampion

All states are doing this stuff all the time. It’s to maximize the federal pork.


19 posted on 10/14/2008 4:59:16 AM PDT by RogerFGay
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: RogerFGay
Under Arkansas law, if a negative DNA result is obtained, all unpaid child support is waived. Needless to say, paid child support is not returned.

It is not clear how Oklahoma could have obtained a default child support order against someone in prison. The order should be void.

20 posted on 10/14/2008 4:59:57 AM PDT by DeaconBenjamin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RogerFGay

I’m looking for the Freepers to show up here saying it’s this man responsiblity because he missed his trial date, even after he was exonerated of any parental involvement.


21 posted on 10/14/2008 5:00:06 AM PDT by caver (Yes, I did crawl out of a hole in the ground.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: caver

See comments by wtc911. He’s probably typing out the email message to bring the gang in as I write this.


22 posted on 10/14/2008 5:02:27 AM PDT by RogerFGay
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: DeaconBenjamin

Most states do that with extreme limits - time constraints on filing - just like OK. My guess is that if you check closer, you may find that Arkansas is the same way. It may only be 30 days from the birth of the child.


23 posted on 10/14/2008 5:03:57 AM PDT by RogerFGay
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: RogerFGay
Wow. Freedom truly isn't free.

I hope the guy manages to somehow get out of this mess. What is just as ironic is that there are so many men out there who have kids that are not biologically theirs, but they have no idea. As someone once told me, unless you have very 'unique' features, or you do a DNA test, the only person who can be sure they are the parent is the mother.

24 posted on 10/14/2008 5:10:00 AM PDT by spetznaz (Nuclear-tipped Ballistic Missiles: The Ultimate Phallic Symbol)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: spetznaz
His case is by no means unique. There are millions out there forced to pay child support who are not the fathers. It just isn't reported regularly. Here's another: Illinois Paternity Decision Linked to Funding Scam
25 posted on 10/14/2008 5:14:17 AM PDT by RogerFGay
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: spetznaz
"there are so many men out there who have kids that are not biologically theirs"
Never trust a big butt and a smile.
26 posted on 10/14/2008 5:40:12 AM PDT by neefer (Because you can't starve us out and you can't make us run.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: caver

This isn’t traffic court - this is well beyond reasonable, even if the guy tore up the court papers and refused to appear at first, the fact is he’s being prosecuted without basis - how do we know that the real father isn’t still with the child and standing to enjoy the fruits of the scam?

The mother should be sued and locked in debtors prison to rot - alongside anyone in the courts that let this continue well past the point of common sense.


27 posted on 10/14/2008 5:43:52 AM PDT by sbMKE
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: ikka

Over 18 years, mine would have been well over 5 times that. A half a frickin million bucks. Not too shabby, eh?


28 posted on 10/14/2008 5:44:51 AM PDT by Travis T. OJustice (Change is not a destination, just as hope is not a strategy.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: wtc911

He said he is not that person, why do you continue the attacks?


29 posted on 10/14/2008 5:45:35 AM PDT by Travis T. OJustice (Change is not a destination, just as hope is not a strategy.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: neefer

LOL. So true. I concur with Reagan ...trust but verify. The only women I completely trust are my grandma, my mom, my sister, my cat and my dog. End of story.


30 posted on 10/14/2008 5:46:24 AM PDT by spetznaz (Nuclear-tipped Ballistic Missiles: The Ultimate Phallic Symbol)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: RogerFGay

“In child support cases, the burden of proof is on the alleged father — the accused — according to Oklahoma statutes.

An alleged father must appear at a child support hearing to request a paternity test. If he does not appear, he is legally designated as the father and child support is established in most cases.”

If this is the case, then what prevents the mother from just picking a name out of the phone book?


31 posted on 10/14/2008 5:47:00 AM PDT by CSM ("Conservobabes are hot. Libitches are not." - stolen from rightinthemiddle)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RogerFGay

only in America where you present undisputed proof that you are not the legal father can this happen. the courts just want to wash their hands of it so the state doesn’t have to pay the woman to raise her child. just let some poor sucker pay the lyin woman and give her a free ride.


32 posted on 10/14/2008 5:48:11 AM PDT by tatsinfla
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RogerFGay

LA County prosecutor Gil Garcetti is famous for making non-parental fathers pay child support. Just having the wrong name is sufficient.


33 posted on 10/14/2008 5:48:51 AM PDT by Travis T. OJustice (Change is not a destination, just as hope is not a strategy.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: tatsinfla

This is a gross miscarriage of justice, and people,starting with the person receiving child support, should be thoroughly punished for these crimes against innocent victims.


34 posted on 10/14/2008 5:51:06 AM PDT by Travis T. OJustice (Change is not a destination, just as hope is not a strategy.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: CSM
If this is the case, then what prevents the mother from just picking a name out of the phone book?

They often do. The welfare system requires "cooperation" in establishing paternity as a condition for eligibility. Many women start by giving names and addresses of men they know or know of and then move to the phone book for more names and addresses. As long as they continue to provide names, the condition of "cooperation" is met.

It happens all the time. It's just not reported much.

What Pierce didn't realize, and what nearly 10 million American men have discovered to their chagrin since the welfare reform legislation of 1996, is that when the government accuses you of fathering a child, no matter how flimsy the evidence, you are one month away from having your life wrecked. source
My response just to correct a factual error
35 posted on 10/14/2008 5:54:55 AM PDT by RogerFGay
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: sbMKE

“how do we know that the real father isn’t still with the child and standing to enjoy the fruits of the scam?”

Good question. My point is that once the mother has told a man that he is the father, then later found out not to be, some here think he ought to keep paying.


36 posted on 10/14/2008 5:56:08 AM PDT by caver (Yes, I did crawl out of a hole in the ground.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: tatsinfla

The primary motivation is the federal funding that rewards states for pushing more people into the system. You can thank the 9th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals (P.O.P.S. v Gardner) for decommissioning the Bill of Rights to allow the practice to continue.


37 posted on 10/14/2008 5:56:43 AM PDT by RogerFGay
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: Travis T. OJustice

Yep ... the practice has been reported in California more than any other state ... and LA County most of all in California. But this is a national problem driven by federal pork-barrel funding.


38 posted on 10/14/2008 5:57:53 AM PDT by RogerFGay
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: wtc911; Travis T. OJustice
He said he is not that person, why do you continue the attacks?

I would like to know that as well.

39 posted on 10/14/2008 6:00:22 AM PDT by laotzu
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: RogerFGay

That is truly frightening and most of all even if a guy is “behaving” then they could still get caught up in the trap.


40 posted on 10/14/2008 6:03:05 AM PDT by CSM ("Conservobabes are hot. Libitches are not." - stolen from rightinthemiddle)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: DeaconBenjamin
It's federal:
What Pierce didn't realize, and what nearly 10 million American men have discovered to their chagrin since the welfare reform legislation of 1996, is that when the government accuses you of fathering a child, no matter how flimsy the evidence, you are one month away from having your life wrecked. source

41 posted on 10/14/2008 6:03:19 AM PDT by RogerFGay
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: CSM
Yep ... that's a serious focal point of Stephen Baskerville's book Taken into Custody: The War Against Fatherhood, Marriage, and the Family. All the bad stuff that happens as a result of federal pork-barreling in domestic relations, happens to regular people who are sitting at home minding their own business, when through "no fault" of their own .. ("no fault" here is kind of a play on words, since Baskerville considers the creation of so-called "no fault" divorce to be the original sin) ... Baskerville is widely considered the top expert in family policy in the US.
42 posted on 10/14/2008 6:07:23 AM PDT by RogerFGay
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: RogerFGay

can’t let the facts get in the way of a good government sponsored lynching, now can we?


43 posted on 10/14/2008 6:13:18 AM PDT by camle (keep an open mind and someone will fill it full of something for you)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: camle
Facts no longer matter at all. In P.O.P.S. v Gardner (1993) the 9th Federal Circuit Court of Appeals (San Francisco among others in jurisdiction - the most over-ruled fanatic left-wing federal court in the country) reclassified marriage and family law from civil law to social policy. In other words, these are not legally cherished protected institutions any longer, but parts of the welfare system that can be arbitrarily politically manipulated. Everyone is part of it, so everyone can be arbitrarily politically manipulated. This is also the reason that same-sex marriage - after more than 200 years of not being marriage - suddenly found a constitutional mandate. Under the new classification, same-sex partners have a constitutional mandate for equal access to government programs - which is now what marriage is from a legal perspective - just another government program.
44 posted on 10/14/2008 6:20:45 AM PDT by RogerFGay
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: spetznaz

If the mother was “in another relationship at the same time”, SHE doesn’t even know.

This sucks, the guy is being railroaded.


45 posted on 10/14/2008 6:24:04 AM PDT by FrogMom
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: RogerFGay
It's called BABCORN in the US.....just a means for state elitist thugs state to unjustly slap a non-father man with payments for the woman's promiscuity.

The same BS occurs here in NC. Bad law in any case and the states refuse to do anything about it. It is akin to false imprisonment and then being cleared by DNA tests.

46 posted on 10/14/2008 6:37:24 AM PDT by RSmithOpt (Liberalism: Highway to Hell)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: caver

The woman should pay restitution.


47 posted on 10/14/2008 6:43:23 AM PDT by sbMKE
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: tatsinfla

Not only that, I read a case a while back where a factory worker got pregnant and named a young single engineer in the company as the father. They never even dated, went out together....the woman lied; DNA tests showed the young man 0.0% the father; the state still slapped the support payment to the male. Go figure.


48 posted on 10/14/2008 6:45:26 AM PDT by RSmithOpt (Liberalism: Highway to Hell)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: spetznaz
It's a hip-hop reference from the ‘80s and promiscuous gold diggers are still a theme of today's rap music. The baby-mama culture and it's relationship with government is depressing.

“You will see him on TV any given Sunday
Win the Superbowl and drive off in a Hyundai.

She was suppose to buy your shorty TYCO with your money,
She went to the doctor, got lypo with your money.”

49 posted on 10/14/2008 6:48:30 AM PDT by neefer (Because you can't starve us out and you can't make us run.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: tatsinfla
the courts just want to wash their hands of it so the state doesn’t have to pay the woman to raise her child.

I think this was part of the republican welfare reform. To deny welfare benefits unless the father was named.

50 posted on 10/14/2008 6:52:21 AM PDT by E=MC2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-150151-200201-235 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson