Tulsa, OK–Child support enforcement agencies are notorious for their abusive tactics, mind-numbing incompetence, waste, and incessant computer errors which lead to the persecution of innocent citizens. Here’s another example.
From DHS paternity goof haunts Tulsa man (Oklahoman, 8/10/08):
Tulsa athlete Micheal Thomas swears he never met Lawton drug user Tiffany Dickson. Dickson says she never met him. That didn’t stop the Oklahoma Department of Human Services from getting Thomas declared the father of Dickson’s baby daughter and badgering him until he dropped out of college, forfeiting a football scholarship. It also didn’t stop DHS from taking a portion of his biweekly paychecks…
Thomas took DNA tests that proved he wasn’t the father, DHS records show. However, DHS continued to take money from his paychecks and refused to tell him the results, Thomas said.
He said it wasn’t until he got a lawyer that DHS stopped seizing money from his checks. Thomas still hasn’t gotten his money back.
Tulsa Attorney Billy Wiland III, who agreed to take Thomas’ case without pay, said he has uncovered evidence that DHS filed untruthful reports with a Comanche County judge, who could have ended the bureaucratic mix-up.
One report falsely claimed Thomas had “not responded to OKDHS letters, phone calls, or diligent search efforts’ and had “not made any attempt to make contact with OKDHS.’ The report was made at a time when Thomas had already taken two paternity tests and was having money withheld from his paycheck by the agency, Wiland said.
Wiland has filed a legal claim with the state asking for $167,000 to compensate Thomas for the “intentional or reckless infliction of severe emotional distress.’ Taxpayers ultimately could pay the tab.
As for taxpayers footing the bill, I’ll gladly make out a check for that one. I want victims of child support enforcement harassment, errors and heavy-handed tactics to be able to sue and win damages. That’s probably the only thing that will get them to clean up their act.
Thomas was getting hammered until:
“[H]e finally caught a break when a church official put him in touch with his attorney, who agreed to take on the case for free if Thomas would sign an agreement to pay $2,500 if he was found to be lying about not being the father.”
“He signed the agreement and never even blinked,’ his attorney said.
I like the way that was handled–give Tulsa Attorney Billy Wiland III credit for a good job.
Read the full article here.