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To: <acfc-list@acfc.org>
From: acfclist-admin@acfc.org
Subject: ACFC: ANALYSIS - Child Support and Foster Care Fraud
Date: Sun, 1 May 2005 21:16:42 -0400

     ACFC ANALYSIS - Child Support and Foster Care Fraud
Thanks to Stuart Miller for this story from Maine where the child support gestapo lunatics continue to seek $11,450 and revoked the driver's license of a man years after a court ruled that DNA evidence proved that he wasn't the father.  Amazingly, it was the state itself that had asked for the DNA test when the man had asked for custody, after the child had been placed in foster care.  Foster care is also a lucrative source of federal funding for state "human service" agencies, which will generally go to almost any length to deny custody to a father in order to keep federal dollars flowing.  This story should be examined as a case study of all that is wrong with child support and foster care throughout the United States.
Based on a typical crock-of-baloney "Catch-22" argument, even though they know he's not the father, the Maine Attorney General's Office made the blatantly fraudulent argument that Fisher owes the money because he failed to file a court motion three years ago to relieve him of financial responsibility.  Wait a minute.  At that point Fisher was willing to do the right thing and asked for custody of the child.  It was only at that pointthat the state came clean, and admitted that he was never the father in the first place.  Why would Fisher have asked a court to be relieved of financial responsibility for the child, when he thought he was the father and was seeking custody?  And how could Fisher have known that he had to file anything more after the court ruled that he wasn't the father,and also ruled that he didn't have to pay support?
To rub salt in the wound of the lunacy of the Office of the Attorney General, Department of Human Services spokesman Michael Norton then comes along and says, ""We'll work with him as best we can, but everything is controlled by court orders."  Wait another minute.  According to the story, a court had ruled at the request of DHS itself, that he was not the father, and he didn't have to pay support.  The way Norton talks sounds like the way the Mafia would say, "We don't want to break your legs.  We're your friends.  We just want you to pay up and shut up."  Hiding behind the fig leaf that "everything is controlled by court orders" won't cut the mustard here, especially when the most recent court order said the opposite of what Maine DHS claims.
What the story doesn't tell us, and what the public needs to know, is that the apparent lunacy of the Maine Attorney General, and DHS is caused by the even greater lunacy of the federal Bradley Amendment that prohibits "retroactive modification" of child support orders, even in cases of proven paternity fraud such as this.  We can hear the little gears turning in the pin-head minds of the Attorney General and DHS as they gleefully exclaim, "Gotcha!  Catch-22.  You didn't know about
the Bradley Amendment, so you'll still have to pay, even though we all know that you're not the father, and a court has ordered that you don't have to pay!"  Their "logic" (if you can generously call it that) would be that because of the Bradley Amendment, the court order only applies to the period AFTER the state proved he wasn't the father.
In their way of "thinking" he should have filed ANOTHER motion to relieve him of the support obligation from BEFORE the state proved that he wasn't the father.  And in their way of "thinking", the Bradley Amendment would have prevented the court from granting the second motion.  "Therefore, Catch-22, gotcha, you still owe the money even though we all know that the whole thing is fraudulent."
We believe that Fisher is being overly generous when he describes these lunatics as "crazy."  If anything, they are crazy like a fox.  To buy their crock-of-baloney, one would have to believe that learned counsel for the Office of the Attorney General never heard of setting aside a judgment as void based on fraud.  Anyone who thinks the mother didn't know she'd been sleeping with some other guy, needs to go around the block a few more times.  Setting aside a judgment as void is not the same thing as seeking a retroactive modification, but would have the initial order declared void from the beginning, as if it never existed.  The principle of void judgments is the obvious legal logic that should be applied here by anyone with an ounce of common sense, and would have been applied if the Office of the Maine Attorney General and Maine DHS weren't bent out of shape in pursuit of almighty federal subsidies and incentives by pursuing a claim that they know or ought to know is false.
We also can't help but notice that neither the article, nor apparently Maine state officials bother to inform the public of their incompetent and corrupt interpretation how the Bradley Amendment should be applied to this situation.  Apparently, Maine state officials are quite content to keep the public ignorant of the Bradley Amendment as well as their bizarre legal logic, so that they can continue to ensnare innocent citizens in their web of deceit, and thus generate even more federal subsidies and incentives in the future.
"So what if we destroy the lives of innocent fathers?" these hypocrites will no doubt try to claim, "It's for the children."  Don't believe them for a second.  All they really want is federal subsidies and incentives.  If they had any concern for the child in this case, they'd have never had a DNA test to begin with, but would have let this man have custody of a child that he thought was his, instead of placing the child in foster care so they could get millions more in federal subsidies. 
We can't help but note that the Office of the Maine Attorney General and Maine DHS are colluding in what we can only describe as a "trick, scheme or device" (within the meaning of 18 USC 1001) to obtain payments from the United States by fraud, which under 18 USC 1001is a federal felony punishable "by fine or imprisonment up to five years, or both."  Sadly, we believe that the fraud and corruption seen in this case is rampant throughout the United States in child support and foster care cases.  As one of his last acts, California Governor Gray Davis vetoed a paternity fraud bill with a statement that it would cost California $40 million a year in federal subsidies and incentives, if they stopped pursuing claims that they know or ought to know are false.  $40 million from California only scratches the surface of systematic "social service" fraud that stretches from coast to coast, as clearly seen in this story from Maine.  When the house of cards of the malignant cancer of this kind of "social service" fraud finally collapses of its own dead weight, it will dwarf scandals like Enron or the saving and loan crisis of the 1980s.
The good news is that when integrity is finally restored to government social service agencies and the legal profession, American families and children as well as the long-suffering taxpayer, will immediately begin to benefit immensely.

April 23, 2005

Auburn man ordered to pay support for child that's not his by Associated Press

AUBURN, Maine -- A District Court judge ruled three years ago that Geoffrey Fisher no longer had to pay child support for a child that wasn't his.

But that hasn't stopped the state from revoking Fisher's driver's license and coming after him for thousands of dollars it says he owes in back payments.

Fisher, 35, said he's flabbergasted the state sent him a letter this month seeking $11,450 in child support, even though officials know that DNA tests have proven he isn't the father of the child in question.

The state's action "is crazy," said Fisher, of Auburn. "A man doesn't have much power in a situation like this."

Fisher's attorney, James Howaniec, said he and Fisher thought the matter was resolved in January 2002, when a judge ruled Fisher no longer had to pay support.

"It's ridiculous that the state is going after men proved not to be the fathers of particular children," Howaniec said.

Fisher had a brief relationship with a woman seven years ago and believed her when she got pregnant and told him he was the father. He began paying child support but fell behind over time.

In the summer of 2001, the Department of Health and Human Services took him to court because of delinquent payments. The court ordered him to pay up, and the state had his license suspended under the "deadbeat dad" law.

That fall the girl, then 3, was placed in foster care. When Fisher pushed for custody, the state ordered a paternity test, which proved he wasn't the father.

At that point, one branch of the human services department told him he could no longer see the girl because he wasn't the father, while another said he owed $10,000 and couldn't have a driver's license because he was the father.

Fisher thought the matter resolved when a judge ruled he no longer had to pay child support in January 2002.

But earlier this month, the Maine attorney general's office wrote a letter to Howaniec saying Fisher owed support payments for the time from the child's birth until she reached 3 years old, when tests proved Fisher was not the father.

State officials said that Fisher's problems have resurfaced because he failed to file a court motion three years ago that would have relieved him or any financial responsibilities for the child.

Because of that, Fisher is regarded as the legal fath! er and responsible for child support, said Michael Norton, spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services.

"We'll work with him as best we can, but everything is controlled by court orders," Norton said.

Howaniec said he is negotiating with the state and has filed the motion to relieve Fisher of parental responsibilities. But he said Fisher could still be held responsible for past child support.

As for Fisher, he thinks it's pretty "cruddy" what the state's doing. "It was hard enough finding out this kid is not yours," he said. "It's like the state is rubbing salt in the wound."

Information from: Lewiston Sun Journal, http://www.sunjournal.com
Information from: Portland Press Herald, http://www.pressherald.com
Boston.com Home:  http://www.boston.com/
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