Can I sue the courts or CSEA for negligence?

divorce attorney Jill DuffyQuestion:

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?

Answer:

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.

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36 comments on “Can I sue the courts or CSEA for negligence?

    I had Child Support file again me in a state that did not have personal jurisdiction the kids over me nor my children. A telephonic hearing was conducted in which A hearing Officer, a representative of the agency and myself was on the phone. When I received the decision from the hearing, the Hearing stated that there were irregularities done on my case and that we need a judge to determined personal jurisdiction.
    I had never received anything from the child support office advising any further actions so I continued on with life. A few years later if found that the child support continued as was and I had accumulated a lot of areas. I would like to know what are my right and what can I do because according to The Personal Jurisdiction Code , My rights have been violated and or ignored.

    My boys mother owes almost $30,000 in back child support, plus two contempts later and working on her third contempt.. No jail time.. wow! If that was me I would have been in jail the first $1,000 and 1st contempt The court system is so bias..

    This attorney is wrong across the board. She is telling you this because she has to. nC CSE is a private organization and requires membership in order retain services. They are supposed to follow title 14 law. But if the plaintiff is not receiving title 14 A funds then child support enforcement coming after you is against their own law. They are operating outside of their jurisdiction. They have incentive to not reduce child support because they get 2 dollars for every dollar you pay. So be careful which attorneys you talk to. They all have a sworn oath to protect the identities of the institutions they collect for. Now Title 14 d law states that due process is the law when it comes to what child support enforcement can do or not. Due process means they have to tell what kind of impact you signing their paperwork is going to cause you in the future. If they did not you can request a motion to show cause the resend your signatures on all of your paperwork. But you have to prove fraud, coersion , and intimidation. We all know as dads they constantly threat with going to jail. The fraud is they are violating the constitution of the Inited States because it states that all citizens have equal protection under the law. That’s the fraud. Title 14 guidelines says they will and are knowingly giving the custodial parent excess and giving you hardship. There’s a lot more. The United States filed bankruptcy in 1933. As a result every state in the union also filed bankruptcy. So now the United States and North Carolina are corporations which are completely liable!! I bet the attorneys won’t tell you that. Do your research and never trust an officer of the court.

    This is because they always side with the woman. The next time in court see if the judge, CSE lawyer, and case worker are even male. That is unfair and a biased court. Wake County CSE always operates outside of their jurisdiction. Is you do an order to show cause and resend all signatures from CSE you can then if granted request dismissal of arrears because they are in violation of their own jurisdiction and have no signature for due process. Never sign their papers because once you do they have your life in the red for the rest of your life.

    It is my understanding that there has to be a 15 percent increase in wages for a Modification to be granted or 3 years and an audit can be called. In my case there wasn’t a 15 percent increase and neither has three years past since child support was ordered. I feel as if I was not treated fairly by the Marshall County courts or Child Support enforcement. It appeared that my civil rights as a male non custodial parent have been violated and they past judgement on me without proper reasons.
    I summonsed to court on April 11 2017 for child support modification. I have not had any major changes in my income since 9/28/15 when at that time my child support was set at 519.00 per month. I also carry medical insurance on my child and have held the same job since day one. However on 5/11/17 my child support order was modified and now I’m obligated to pay 735.00 per month and keep medical insurance. An increase of 216.00 per month and I’ve only received an increase in pay of 130.31 annually. That’s not 15 percent. I arrived at the court house in Marshall County on 4/11/17 with documents the letter I received by mail asked me to bring, a month or so prior to that day. The courthouse was full and after just a few minutes it was obvious that I may have been the only non- custodial parent that was even current with payments. There were deals being made all across the room trying to get people to pay and more so, keeping them outta jail. After a couple of hours past, they finally call my name and the mother of my child’s name. Two ladies approached us and led us to a small room beside the courstroom. We sat down and they began to ask her if she had any proof of income, she replied no that she had just started a job and didn’t have a check stub yet. (She’s had 6 different jobs in less than a year. Then they asked if she had any proof of how much she paid in child care. Again she replied no, but if they would allow her to leave she could return with something. They allowed her to leave to go get something stating what they were asking for. As we waited, I reminded everyone that we did have a month or so to gather any documents we may need for that day, as I was prepared. My child’s mother returned to the courtroom with something hand written on a plain piece of paper. I’m thinking anyone could have written that or anyone could have written on that paper for her, anything. Nothing was notarized. I can’t even remember if I had given the ladies my check stubs or any documents at that time or not, because I couldn’t believe what I was seeing happen. One lady took out a calculator and begin typing in numbers, then said that my obligation was to increase by 200 something more dollars a month. I was getting frustrated and the lady said well you can go before the judge and let her hear the case. I agreed ok let’s go because what I was seeing wasn’t fair. We actually had to go downstairs to yet another crowded floor in order to go to the courtroom where the judge was. They were only letting the people in as they called their name. I thought it might be a good time to step outside for a minute for some fresh air, smoke a cigarette and calm myself a bit before going in front of the judge. As I returned I began looking for my child’s mother, but I didn’t see her anywhere. A police office came out from the courtroom, and I asked him if they might have called my name. He said he would find out and let me know. Sure enough in the brief time I was outside they had called my name. So he told me to follow him and he led me down to the podium in front of the judge. She said Mr. Crutcher we called your name and you were no where to be found. I exclaimed that I had stepped outside for some fresh air and that I had been seeing people go out all day. She said she had sent someone looking for me and didn’t see me, so she past judgement and agreed with what the other two ladies had come up with. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing and I exclaimed that I was only right outside the doors and that the other ladies had let my child’s mother completely leave the grounds only to return with some kind of bogus paper. So I asked what are my options now. She explained that I would have to go talk to another lady on another floor, so I did. This lady explained to me that I could file an appeal but if I did, it would cost me 500.00 but an attorney could do it for free. I thought well it looks as if I’m gonna need one. I retained an attorney for 800.00 and later I find out I didn’t really need him to do what I was about to do next. However after speaking to friends about who I should get to represent me. Someone spoke highly of one in particular, so I went with him. He assured me that we would get the child support obligation back to were it was in the beginning. A month later on May 11th 2017 we are back in court. I’m feeling pretty good about my chances because I know I wasn’t making anymore money than the first time around. However after sitting in the hallway with my attorney behind closed doors with whomever was in there with, he came back out to let me know he was only able to get it lowered by thirty dollars a month. He even said he felt bad because couldn’t help me more like he said. So he was going to give me 250.00 back, part of the money I paid to retain him. I haven’t seen anything but never really expected to either.. I have documentation of all of this and how the mother trapped me to begin with. That’s irrelevant now though. I want and I try to do what’s best for my child now It wasn’t that long ago DCS was involved and asking questions because my child’s mother said that she was done being a mother and asked if I wanted full custody. I just want what’s best for my child and it seems to me that the child support enforcement is taking sides with the mother. It also appears from seeing the deals being made in the courtroom that day and from talking to other people about their case, child support enforcement does nothing but help the parents that aren’t paying. The ones that are current and paying seem to be forced to fulfill obligations in order to make it appear that they are doing their job. I have since been given some screen shots from a friend, were the mother of my child and them were talking about the place were she works now and all the money she is making in tips. I took these over to the Fayetteville office and they are acting as if they can’t do anything for me. Again this all seems to be a little one sided. They have their hand in my pie and take out bigger pieces whenever they want, without any reasoning. I show them reasons that she is doing much better than she is letting child support enforcement know and they do nothing or have done nothing yet. They were all so eager to take my money and give it to her though. She’s already living in government assisted housing and who knows what other government benefits she gets. However I do know that my child is healthy and that’s a blessing. I do carry medical insurance on her as required. But is it required that my child’s mother also abuse that? I have 49 claims that Cigna has sent me in 28 months. Out of those 49 claims 17 were Emergency Room visits. From upset stomach to just not acting right.. If she didn’t have Tenn-care as a secondary insurance, that alone would be enough to bankrupt someone. Is there not a solution to this madness. Why does everyone turn a blind eye to her but when it comes to me , it’s more, more, more!!! Oh and the lawyer I hired, after doing a little research, come to find out, I could have appealed the order without him.. So I know what he was probably doing behind those closed doors.. Counting the 800 dollars and laughing all the way to the bank.. I didn’t know Tennessee had a handbook on child support. I researched half of the things I know now, online and then seen that they had a child support handbook and where to get one.. I bet Child Support Enforcement sent the mother one in the mail though.. Child Support Enforcement is so bias!!!

    this should be changed cause in the constitutition we have the right to travel we are NOT crimnals i want to sue the federal government to make them stop this or even abolish childsupport cause it us a unfair system What repurcusions does the other parent have they dont jail if they dosomething wrong this should be fixed there are many woman just getting pregnant in order tocolledt child supportand NOTwork if you are on disability you shouldnt be getting childsupport or if you are NOT working

    MC CSE is only there to collect title 14 funds as part of the social services act. The act demands CSE for every state that receives title 14 funds. They get 2 dollars for every 1 dollar you pay. So this is why they need you to be behind and pay as much as possible. You are the number one financier for the department of social services. Your and my money. CSE falls under the administrative branch of our state. Which has no right or power to put you in jail. They also under their guidelines can only go after non custodial parents that their children receive tang, Medicaid, and food stamps money. If your spouse does not receive these funds then they are operating outside of their jurisdiction and in violation of title 14 law. Also a judge under title 14 law cannot sign a child support order. Only and administrator can do that. So the next time you are in court ask the judge are they a title 14 administrator or a judge. If they are title 14 challenge jurisdiction.

    In North Carolina you can most certainly sue a child support enforcement agency. They have no immunity because they are CORPORATIONS (in connection with the county). And once a County or State incorporates it loses sovereign immunity; (Clearfield Trust Company V. U.S., 318 US 363). They aren’t an “AGENCY” nor do they fall under the Executive branch of government to “ENFORCE” anything. They are a unit of local government or private entity that solely depends on your ignorance to trick you into contracting with them and hoping you don’t catch it before the statute of limitations are up (N.C.G.S. 1-53(1)). They never had and never will have sovereign immunity. Refer to: N.C.G.S. 150B-2(1a) and NC case #: 11CVS1559, if you think I’m lying.

    You are absolutely correct but there is no statute of limitations on them not performing due process. That’s their law to go by and they never do it because most men sign their papers in fear of jail and intimidation. They are a private business contracted with the courts. They do fall under the administrative branch which ha no authority to put us in jail.

    I also realize this is a Fathers forum . I’m just a mother trying to do the right thing . I haven’t received any answers that seem fair to him ( my Ex ) or my child . I will never saddle him supporting a child that’s not his , but would love some help in this situation

    I also want to mention because NC has saw fit to declare him her father . Her biological father only gives support whenever he feels like it .

    You need to do the right thing and make the right man responsible. Your man can come back and sue you and the state for making him pay for a child that’s not his.

    I need help. I was married legally 22 yrs . We separated after 6 yrs . I was left to raise our two children while he went about his life . I only received 300 a month in support for them . Fast forward to 2002 he had another child with a woman in NH where he has been since our separation . in 2014 I had a child and though we hv been separated all this time NC has declared him my child’s father . I also want to mention my Ex has been incarcerated since 2005 so this is also physically impossible.. How can I rectify this . We have since divorced. How can he have rights to my child but I have none to his that was born in 2002

    The court can’t deem him the father. CSE and dSS has to prove paternity as part of the due process for title 14 funds.

    I’m done dealing with child support the past 16 years I’ve paid them $5,000 cash it turned around and took my license I can’t get them back they want $1,200 for me to get my license back and I’m self-employed I just want somebody to help me because then I offer them money to get my license back and it won’t take it they said they want $1,200 and I’m self-employed so how much supposed to make it in this world

    Challenge jurisdiction. They don’t have he power to suspend your license. You have to make an motion to show cause and reduce child support. Bring all of your records and never allow them to give you a court appointed attorney. If you do he or she will make a deal behind your back and they work for the court like CSE does. They simply don’t care. Before you even approach the defendants table ask the judge to reserve all your rights before you approach the defendants table.

    What The government has done to the Non-Custodial parent in America is Criminal
    They do it for their own benefit – Money-
    The Billions of dollars that sit in the Child Support account even if its only for a short
    time reaps the government Millions in interest
    The government is not interested in fairness or the family . As a matter of fact they are
    the destroyer of families . They certainly do not care how badly they badly they destroy
    the life of the Non-Custodial Parent . They will do what ever they can to destroy the
    NCP. We are the only group of Americans that are so Persecuted without any support
    I am running for President . I will abolish the current system of destruction to the NCP
    Write me in on your ballot .
    Larry Rock

    It’s not the CSE account it’s the Department of Social Services account. Do your research. The Supreme Court has many rulings against dSS and CSE for going against their own laws and guidelines. Now you can use those in court against CSE.

    The ky child support office and the family court division judge made a big mistake on my case. I never once was late on my child support. I’m now on s.s.d. and both my boys get a s.s. check. Child support has me paying $350 a month on top of s.s. checks for $300 each to my boys to my ex. My ex told child support that she do receive s.s. check to my boys on my behalf. Child support froze my bank account. I gave child support everything. Child support don’t know what to do. I asked for copies everything on my case. They mailed me copies of my case. They had a child on my case that I don’t have know ideal who it is. S.S. and child support should be connected. Problem solved but all these educated people running this child support office and courts run it like a fast food restaurant. We’re people with rights too, not everyone is a dead beat parent.

    Hello i was just wondering in the state of ca can i sue child support? The reason why i ask is because they are negligent to my case as for my child support mediator living right next door to my ex and being very close to his family. I have not seen a dime of child support in three years at first we were trying to get along and try to not involve child support the mediators idea of course she made it seem like she was there to help the both of us as time went on i started to see that was not true but i feel stuck and sorta intimidated by the power she holds over my case and how well she knows my daughter’s father she told me once since i have soul custody of My daughter that not just his family but they would take me to court with his family and testify on his side. This has gotten way out of control and i feel that if child support didnt assigne her a case so close to home then i would not be having this problem. I would make a compliment to child support but am worried of it back firing on me some how.

    I live in TN, me &my husband moved & divorced here from NY, TN modified a NY order but did not do it correctly(did not register w/NY orNC-where he currently lives), so when he lost his job as a truck driver (paying $891.00?mth ch supp), he started receiving unemployment insurance. NC child support office would not accept TN stating that order was not properly filed nor prepared by TN office (TN office send order directly to employer and ignored the NC office); My children have not received court ordered child support over the past 4 years because of this. I have been going to court, calling, complaining,: He,s been found in contempt of court. I was told he would be arrested, but only if he comes to TN; Then this years he,s allowed to modify (REDUCE the order, he,s already not paying) over the phone; So, obviously the order of contempt is not going to do me or my children any good. He is about $50,000.00 in arrears, and these arrears accumulated while he was receiving adequate income to pay, but TN could not collect because they had not filed the paperwork correctly in February 2008. So my children have no relationship with their father and we as a family have suffered tremendous financial hardship because of this. I am disabled and have been for the last 16 years, my children were in diapers when we divorced, they are now 19,18,17. You can not imagine what I have had to do and deal with and endure to raise my children keep them safe and stay half way sane. I was told by the TN child support office and I have a letter from them stating this, that NC has finally agreed to enforce the (my) TN case; Today, when I called to get an update I was informed that this was misinformation and that in a couple of weeks I would be informed of their real final decision, I need an attorney, I have been repeately lied to and misinformed by the TN child support office.

    That is the state of Tennessee for you! I have had custody of my 2 kids (now 15 and 17), since 2003. The mother was ordered to pay $35.00 a week in child support. Now (2016), she has managed to get herself almost $19,000 behind. My case worker wont do anything for me, and hasn’t since day 1. She even made the comment to me, that she don’t believe the father should have custody of the children. Back in 2009, I called everyday, and left a message, for 3 months straight. Only to get no response. I finally called the Tennessee governors office, and she called me back in 3 minutes. She tried using the excuse that it cut out, when I left my number. That would have been believable, if I had called and left just 1 message. Back in 2012, my wife and I and our 5 kids (2 mine, 2 hers, and a nephew), moved to the state of Ohio. 3 Years later, I get a letter in the mail, stating they were going to close the child support case, due to the fact that we moved out of state (3 YEARS LATER)!!! Thankfully, the state of Ohio is going to handle this for me, as they said, they can not legally close the support case, for that reason. The state of Ohio told me to send them a letter, stating that I request the case remain open, and request a copy of the court ordered support, and her arrearages, which I did 6 weeks ago, and still have not received a response. Their mother was convicted of drug charges (methamphetamine, and cooking it in the same vehicle, she used to transport our kids during her weekend visits), and did some time in the state of Kentucky. The courts gave us permission to move to the state of Ohio, in 2012, and ordered me to transport the children from Northeast Ohio, to middle Tennessee, every 3rd weekend of every month (1,200 miles round trip), at my expense, and supervise an 8 hours visit with her and the children. To this day, I have abided with the court order, and have spent over $14,000 in fuel, and expenses, to provide the transportation, with no help from her. My wife has an older daughter, that lives with her father in Benton county Tennessee, She pays her child support every week, straight out of her paycheck but the state falsely tacked on an additional $12,000 to her support in arreages. Last week, the state of Tennessee put a lien on our joint bank account, for her child support, and took EVERY penny from our account ($617.00 to be exact)! Half of the money is from MY paycheck! I spent 4 hours arguing with Tennessee over this, and talking to my attorney down there. They finally released the money back into our account, but said they can do it again, and the next time it might not be lifted. But they wont do anything for me, about the child support, I’m ordered to receive. They suspended my wife’s drivers license, but my kid’s mother still has her drivers license. The bottom line is, the state of Tennessee is a flat out JOKE! And the way I’m seeing it, is my kids and I are screwed, because Tennessee won’t do anything for anyone, unless they see the money is actually there to take. My advice to you, is get the hell out of that state, and don’t look back. Good luck to you, I hope your outcome is better than mine!

    You won’t get anywhere. They have no incentive to assist in out of state issues. My wife’s ex owes over 42,000 dollars in child support. The State of NC CSE has done nothing. It is a felony to owe over 5,000 dollars in back child support across state lines. That’s a federal law. Demand CSE get the US Marshalls involved. They can help.

    Mr
    I need an attorney. I have been trying to get a support case closed. I have filled out and mailed the affidavit for termination of support and mailed it to them. The first time they mailed it back saying she lived in a different county, so I got another money order and sent it back. They sent it back again saying she lives in the county where I sent it the first time. So I went back got another money order and sent it back again. I noticed each time they sent it back the amount on these money orders was always a few dollars more. This went on four times. I was getting angry, so I called them to see what the problem was. Couldn’t get a straight answer from anyone. I told them that I have been paying on her for two years now, she’s out of school, didn’t go to college, has her own job, and now has her own child. She says I should have done this two years ago and I said what about all the money I have paid in the last two years, will I get that back as overpayment, and she says no that I would have to go to court for that. It’s been a month now,I get a new letter saying that the sheriff’s dept couldn’t get the notice served, that she was going to personally mail it to her. I feel I’m getting the run around here all over money. It’s like they will not terminate the order they just keep collecting. This government system is a joke. I just want fair treatment. And I feel as if they are violating my rights as a citizen. If someone can help I could use it. I want the overpayment of support back and I want the case terminated. Thank you

    You are exactly right. They will keep taking until they are forced to stop. They get paid 2 dollars for every dollar you pay. That’s the law! It’s public knowledge. Social services act. Google it then research how you and I are the number one funding source for the department of social services.

    I do not have a comment but I do have a question.

    My wife and the State of WA filed for CS in 1971 or 1972 via an Intrastate Petition with the IA Courts which I won because my wife would not respond to my responses to her allegations.

    In 1973 the State of IA awarded a lady I lived with a common law divorce. As stated in the previous paragraph, I was legally married to someone else and the lady who got the “dissolution of marriage” in IA knew my wife and in fact had interacted with my wife socially on a personal basis. The IA Court ordered CS based upon the divorce.

    In 1987 the IA Court filed an Intrastate petition for Back CS in the amount of $14,000+ and Current CS with the KS Court where I lived. The KS Court ruled I owed less than $7,000 back CS and Current CS. IA did not appeal the KS Court ruling.

    In 1998, (not sure of the date), I contacted the KS Courts to find out how much more I owed. Their response was to return 6 of the many KPERS Retirement checks they took by law and to advise me that I had satisfied the KS Court’s order.

    But, in 2001, IA renewed its collection efforts and have been taking money from me ever since.

    The payment records show that I have paid well over $14,000, (more like $21,000), but what I am more concerned with the legal aspects of this case.

    Should not a Court order be illegal and unenforceable if it did not follow proper procedure to begin with. If I was legally married to someone else would not a Dissolution of Marriage that does not apply to my legal wife be illegal and unenforceable, including a CS Order. Isn’t that what the Rules of Civil Procedure are all about?

    I have not been able to get anyone to assist me or to tell me anything that I could do to get this issue resolved. Do you know anyone who would help? Is there anyone out there who will help me ensure they do the right thing by me… I am on a fixed income…

    There is due process and if they CSE didn’t follow it you have to prove it but you can get a dismissal and demand a repayment of all dollars paid. If not sue them. They are a private organization that requires membership.

    The child support agency will not give you your complete file unless you have a court order but you can get the basic file and you can also get the name of the person that worked on your case at the time the review was made. This should help you get started on working the issues out. Again, never trust the agency to be professional always double check their work and do not take a non-reply as an answer. Demand an answer and if the case worker is disrespectable go over him/her head until you get someone to address your concerns.

    The fact this happened in North Carolina is not a surprise to me. The NC child support agency screwed my child out of thousands of dollars of support over the years due to common errors. When I called the agency I was ignored. I had to raise hell to get a proper support order. Now that my child is 17teen he will finial get the support he should have gotten from day one. The NC agency is unprofessional. They must lack common math skills and common legal skills that you would think one must have in order to perform the jobs they do. FYI: If you have an x in the military you need to demand a review of the case because in 1990 a law was passed counting BAH and other pay in a support and in 2013 (over 23 years) after the law was passed. The workers still go by the old pre 1990 law.

    driving for a living since 1975, child support in Montgomery county won’t allow me to drive my cab to work
    Hello, I have some rear child support payments due, for my 23 year old son, who lives in Montgomery County, Maryland Child Support has refused to grant me a work (only) drivers license so that the monthly payments of $209.00 can be made (again) I have been out of work since Nov. 2012 and have lost (3) job offers for employment (driving jobs) and now i have been arrested twice ???? I wish i could sue them ???? Can u help me (pls)

    CSE has no authority to have you arrested. They can request that the court do it but only if your ex is receiving title 14 funds. Go to court and ask if this court is title 14 court. If it is challenge jurisdiction and due process. CSE has no authority to strip your license only the court. If they prevent you from working they are violating your constitutional right to equal protection under the law!!

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