June 14, 2005


Say a child support enforcement agency has hauled someone into court for lagging behind on child support payments when, in fact, the person was up to date or even ahead of his payment schedule. That might be a fact that an independent fact-finder might want to know. It might be reasonable for that someone's lawyer to try to ferret out that information from the accusing agency.

Maybe so. Maybe not in North Carolina.

Dept. Of Social Services Sues Durham Public Defender For $10,000

Rather than expecting the government to respond to discovery requests, Social Services says that the public defender should have acquired much of the information himself:

"If DSS had to gather all the data, it might slow the urgent collection of child support for deserving mothers."

Having worked in both camps, I think that arguments that expecting the IV-D bureaucracy to play by the court's rules will impede the urgent collection of child support are usually followed by the sound of a loudly-buzzing b.s. detector from the vicinity of the bench.

Perhaps our respectfully dissenting NC colleague can shed some light on this.

Update: and so he has.

Update 06/19/05: The p.d's office will pay $58.00, and child support workers will tunr over the information, and stop practicing law.