August 14, 2002
'But-I'm-not-the-Dad' Bill ...
'But-I'm-not-the-Dad' Bill Watered Down in Cal Legislature: In the state of California, you can be accused by people you've never met of fathering their children, and the state can force you to pay child support. Happened to a friend of mine, who had the bad luck to share his common name with whoever slept with some San Franciscan 10 years ago; since the state gets tired of shelling out welfare payments to the kid, mothers are required to cough up a name, and whoever gets accused had better to take that court letter seriously, or he faces years of payments and hassle. Even if a DNA test proves his innocence.
Today, Richard Bennett tells us, a State Senate subcommittee passed a bill to address this immoral state of affairs, but only after watering it down significantly. UPDATE: Tony Pierce talks about the terrible law.
Posted by at August 14, 2002 03:22 PM
Free advice for the day: anytime you get any court related documents, whether you think it was a mistake or not, you damn well better respond.
In theory, I could file a suit against you for slander, saying that at Linse's party you called me a horrible lawyer and that anyone with a case should avoid me like the plague. Now, of course, you didn't even speak of my professional talents (or lack thereof) at the party. But if you just ignored any complaint that was served on you, I could obtain "presumed damages" and get a judgment against you. (Assuming that I recall correctly that trade slander is one of the categories that qualifies for presumed damages. I know that "want of chastity" and communicable disease do, but I really didn't want to go there.) So, yeah... Ignore legal (or administrative) hearings at your peril.
adding to ann's comments, may i also say that any time the court sends you paper work and you phone the number at the upper left hand corner, dont take the word of the person on the other end.
get yourself a lawyer immediately.
they might not cost as much as you think, but in the long run it will save you possibly years of nagging frustration.
and if youre lucky enough to be represented by my lawyer or ann, they'll not only be competent, but hot.
Sorry Tony if I (mis)understood from Matt's post that you ignored the documents. Clearly you didn't. It sounds as if you contacted your "opposing" counsel. (Since he/she was probably a county district attorney he/she is supposed to be pursuing the truth as well as his/her client's interests, but it appears that was not his/her goal.)
Um, yeah... take Tony's (unfortunately experiential) suggestion -- don't trust your opponent's attorney.
I didn't really address the merits of the bill because I have not read it. When these types of bills get stalled, watered-down, or vetoed, it's usually because they are seen as an attack on (poor) women. For the life of me, I don't understand where that thinking comes from.
The larger context in which the bill arises (male/female sexual relations and their natural and probable(?) consequences) is a mess. There are many competing interests and complicated legal and moral issues. I don't really have an answer, but it lends credence to those who believe that people should remain married for life and have sexual relations only within the context of marriage.