Several years ago I got a notice from Child Support Enforcement that my monthly support payments were going to be reduced. Ten years later I was informed that this reduction did not take place and I owe thousands of dollars in back child support.
I went to court to find out why the reduction was not entered and neither the courts nor the Child Support Enforcement department had an answer.
Can I sue them for negligence since their error is costing me thousands of dollars?
Suing the state or one of its agencies may not be your best course of action. Most states and state agencies have sovereign immunity.
Sovereign immunity prevents the states or federal government from being sued, unless they give permission to be sued (such as in the case of an intentional wrongful act committed by a state employee). You may not be able to sue the State of North Carolina or the Child Support Enforcement department for negligence.
A simpler course of action may to be to request a hearing with the judge regarding your arrearages. If you can produce a copy of the notice you were provided that your support was to be reduced, they may be able to retroactively reduce your support or waive your arrearages because you reasonably relied upon the information they gave you.
If you no longer have a copy of that notice, you should request a copy of your entire child support file from the Child Support Enforcement department.
You should contact an attorney who is licensed in your jurisdiction to further discuss the specifics of your situation. Cordell & Cordell does represent men in divorce nationwide. Thank you for submitting your question.
Jill A. Duffy is an Associate Attorney in the Troy, Mich., office of Cordell & Cordell. She is licensed to practice in the state of Michigan. Ms. Duffy received her BA in Psychology and Spanish and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Oakland University. She received her Juris Doctor from Michigan State University College of Law and graduated Magna Cum Laude.