Thursday, July 23, 2009

Man Wrongly Jailed Over Child Support

As reported on July 16, 2009 on AP

ADEL, Ga. (July 16) -- A Georgia man spent more than a year behind bars for failing to pay child support for a child that wasn't his, but he was released after DNA tests showed he wasn't the father.
Frank Hatley, 50, had been jailed since June 2008 for not making payments, but two separate DNA tests in the last nine years showed he was not the father of the boy, who is now 21.
"State child support officials have shown extraordinarily poor judgment in Mr. Hatley's case," Geraghty said.
Hatley had a relationship with Essie Lee Morrison, who had a baby in 1987 and told Hatley the child was his, according to court records. The couple never married and split up shortly afterward.
In 1989, Morrison applied for public assistance through the state Department of Human Resources. Hatley agreed to reimburse the state because he believed the boy was his.
Documents show Hatley paid at least $9,500.
But in 2000, DNA samples showed the two were not related, according to court records. A test earlier this month confirmed that.

Editor Rozek’s Notes: That’s sort of a catch-22! If I worked for social services, I would want to award custody to the man who actually attempted to be a father to the child instead of the woman who couldn’t figure out who the father actually was! I think that she should have to repay him all of the money he paid for the child over the years. What was the judge thinking the first time when he read the DNA tests that showed this man wasn’t the father to begin with? Possibly Sonia Sotomayor could help that judge now by instituting her “block, block, no trade-backs” reasoning (that's consistently "traded back" by higher courts!)! Hopefully the judge has a background of having a dead-beat dad to fall back on! We can only dream!

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