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Debt-Beat Dads
So, the guy wasn't exactly in a rush to get a DNA test. Should he really have to pay child support, considering the test he eventually had showed he isn't the father?

Russell Goodrum has been fighting this case for 22 years. The Hamilton County Child Support Enforcement Agency is, again, hauling Goodrum into court Friday, demanding more than $13,000 in child support. Hamilton County knows this man is not the father. "I don't want to give them nothing, because he's not my son," said Goodrum. "If he's my son, then true enough. I have to pay that price, but he's not my son. Why should I have to give them anything? I don't want to give them a penny." Goodrum is facing a felony, and is scared he could be sent to jail Friday. In a legal brief, the Hamilton County Child Support Enforcement Agency admits a court-ordered DNA test, completed 10 years ago, confirmed Goodrum is not the father. However, argues it took Goodrum five years to get the test, and he should pay for the support that added up over that time. Goodrum said it's not fair. The mother was needed for the blood test, and she was living in Georgia at the time. "It could take me 100 years. I am not the father! I'm not the father!" Goodrum is now married and has twin boys. He could now be taken from his family if he doesn't pay. "They don't care man, they just want their money. They don't care how they get it, or who the father is, they just want their money." The "child" Hamilton County officials want Goodrum to pay for is Djuan Bell, 22. He is serving 20 years to life in prison for aggravated murder. The state Court of Appeals said Goodrum did not question if the child was his until four years after he was ordered to pay child support, and the courts gave him ample time to complete the DNA test.

Related links: My column on paternity rights for men, and Matt Welch's excellent Reason magazine story on paternity fraud.

via Men's News Daily

Posted by aalkon at November 1, 2005 7:08 AM

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Thanks for posting this. It's scary how a case so wrong and obviously illogical can still be before the courts. I hope he gets costs back. Thanks for posting this!

Posted by: Russputin at November 1, 2005 1:55 PM

What most people miss in a story like this is that there are court rules, filing deadlines and statutes of limitations, and you ignore them at your own peril. If he couldn't get a DNA test because the mom wasn't around, there are ways to bring this to the court's attention and make sure it doesn't hurt you.

It's no different than if he had a traffic ticket and failed to appear in court to protest it in time. He'd owe the fine, even if he could prove he wasn't going over the speed limit.

Posted by: Melissa at November 1, 2005 4:02 PM

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