It’s a paternity and child support case called County of San Diego v. M.V. (initials are used in paternity cases to protect the parties’ identities).
M.V. was paying child support but obtained a paternity test when the child was about one year old. The result was negative. He showed it to mother. Mother got upset but then told him she would tell the Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) to remove him from the case so he would no longer have to pay child support.
She asked DCSS to remove him. DCSS said she needed to file a motion to challenge paternity to get the paternity judgment overturned, but that in the meantime they would stop enforcing the order against M.V.
Mom did not file a motion, although she did tell M.V. he no longer had to pay child support. She asked DCSS to remove M.V. several times. She even told DCSS that she found the real dad, and on another occasion told DCSS that her new husband would adopt the child. But that never happened.
Fifteen years later she changed her mind. She told DCSS to go after M.V. for the $85,000 in arrears, including interest, that had accrued during that time. Since the case was never officially closed the arrears stood.
DCSS filed a motion to collect the arrears from M.V., which at first the judge approved it. But after further argument, the judge ordered DCSS to give all communications that occurred with the mom. After several hearings, the judge used the judicial powers of equity to refuse to enforce arrears because mom had “unclean hands” and was induced M.V. to not pay. Mom’s attorney appealed.
M.V. contacted NCFM because he could not afford to pay an attorney for an appeal, especially one as large and involved as this one. NCFM took the case at no cost for M.V. The case was fully briefed, and NCFM won.
For some reason, the court of appeal made it an unpublished decision, which means it cannot be cited as authority in other cases. But NCFM will file a motion requesting that it be published.
NCFM is very pleased with the result and is honored to have been the law firm handling County of San Diego v. M.V. as its first case.
Marc Angelucci, Esq., NCFM Vice-President, was the attorney, but aside from Marc doing an excellent job credit goes to our members who support our work, without whom there would be no NCFM. So, if you read this and agree that we need more court victories like this one, please either become a member or send us a donation because the costs are considerable and we take no government funds. As you may well know, we have other cases pending. For over 40 years we have been fully funded by private donations. Please help us help you make the world a better place for all of us.