DETROIT — A man who has no children has been ordered by a judge that he must pay child support.
According to WXYZ, Carnell Alexander’s ex listed him as father when applying for welfare benefits. Court documents indicate that a process server gave Alexander, in person, a notice of hearing at a house he once lived at. But Alexander says he wasn’t at the house on the date he was allegedly served. He was incarcerated for a crime he committed as a young man.
He asked a judge to remedy the situation, but got this response instead:
“I am outraged that Mr. Alexander for two and a half decades failed to take this matter seriously,” Judge Kathleen McCarthy said, explaining that Alexander should have filed a motion to set aside the acknowledgment of parentage long ago.
“That motion must be filed within 3 years after the child’s birth, or within one year after the order of filiation is entered. The defendant has failed to timely file this motion setting aside the acknowledgement of parentage,” she said.
Because this case is more than two and a half decades old, she ruled that he must pay.
Alexander says he did not file that motion because he learned he was allegedly a father after being released from prison and he did not have an income or savings at the time. He says he only had an eighth grade education and wasn’t able to find a lawyer to help him.
He says he did make sure Friend of the Court workers and judges on the case knew he was not this child’s father, had never been in the child’s life, and didn’t want to be held responsible.
Alexander says when he learned of the case against him, the court gave him an old address for the mother who claimed he had fathered a child. He went there hoping to get a DNA test to prove his story. She didn’t live there.
At that point he says the court told him it could not help him in any other way to locate the mother who said he was the father.
His current attorney Cherika Harris believes that he should have been helped. The real father has been in the life of the now adult child, unlike Alexander.
Although the court did not go as she hoped, and he still owes more than $30,000 in child support, she says she will file other motions.
Alexander says he understands he may owe money according to the fine print of the law, but he will never believe it is right.
“The law is not going to fit into everybody’s situation. Why don’t they use common sense?” Alexander told WXYZ.
For more on this story visit wxyz.com.