Lopsided Justice? Father Pays Child Support But Still Face Jail Time

| January 5, 2014 | 1 Comment

fathersupportcase

Reported by C. Boone

Drama unfolded in a Houston, Texas courtroom where a man was found in contempt of court and ordered jailed for six months in a confusing case of unpaid child support and visitation.

Clifford Harris says, and records show, that he was all paid up on outstanding child support when he appeared in Judge Lisa Millard’s courtroom. Harris believes modifications had been made to his existing child support order without his knowledge that caused him to fall behind to the tune of $3000. This led to legal problems of which he was not aware.

He was, however, willing to take care of the matter once it was brought to his attention and hurriedly paid what was owed in an effort to take care of his responsibility and to avoid possible jail time, says Harris. “I’m his father it’s my responsibility to take care of him.”

The problem was that the court also wanted Hall to pay $3,000 in fees to his ex’s attorney. Court documents also revealed that Hall wasn’t following the court’s scheduled visitation times to pick up his son.  Hall says that he also knew nothing about the visitation times being changed.

Judge Millard sentenced Hall to six months in jail for contempt of court for not adhering to the visitation order and non-payment of attorney’s fees. “When she said I remand you to the Harris County Jail for 180 days my mouth just dropped,” says Hall.

Hall walked out of the courtroom after he was found in contempt, a move Judge Millard says was “a big no no.”

Judge Millard says Hall’s attorney could have filed a motion for reconsideration which would have given her an opportunity to hear from both sides again and reevaluate the situation.

Hall’s attorney is now working on an appeal. He plans to turn himself in by the end of the week.

Talk about lopsided justice. Putting a person in jail that has shown the willingness to pay child support only hurts the child. The scale of justice tilts again.

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