Why did a judge order a man to pay $30k in child support for kid who is not his?
DETROIT — A Michigan man ordered to pay child support for a kid that isn’t his received another shocker Tuesday, when an appeals judge upheld the ruling mandating he pay $30,000 in back child support to his ex, ABC 7 reports.
The story starts in the 1990s when Carnell Alexander was told during a routine traffic stop that he owed thousands in back child support. Alexander, however, was confused because he didn’t have any kids. Only after an arrest did he learn he was listed as a father by default when an ex-girlfriend claimed him as her child’s father so she could apply for welfare benefits.
Court documents show the incident was compounded when a process-server claimed to deliver a notice of a hearing at Alexander’s home. But Alexander disputes this claim.
“How can you start a case with a lie?” Alexander asked ABC7. “The mom lied. The process server lied. Now I have to pay for it.”
On Tuesday, ABC 7 reports that Alexander went to court to fix the issue. But Third Judicial Circuit Court Judge Kathleen McCarthy became upset at Alexander for waiting for so long, only attempting to fix the child support issue after more than 20 years.
“I am outraged that Mr. Alexander for two and a half decades failed to take this matter seriously,” said Judge Kathleen McCarthy, ABC7 reports.
The judge ultimately ruled that Alexander must pay because the case is more than two and a half decades old, far outreaching the typical three years allotted to file an appeal.
Alexander said he tried over the years to correct the issue, saying he initially filed a motion claiming he was not the father. Alexander told ABC7 that he even tried to locate the mother and get a DNA test, but that the address the court gave him was not accurate.
“Somebody should have helped him,”his current attorney Cherika Harris told ABC7. “To continue to harass and burden him to pay for a child that is not his, when they know who the real father is now, I don’t understand this.”
Harris told ABC7 that she intends to file another motion to reduce Alexander’s debt.
Alexander said he realizes he might owe money according to the law but doesn’t believe it’s right.
“The law is not going to fit into everybody’s situation,” Alexander told ABC7. “Why don’t they use common sense?”