U.S. News


Court Says Man Owes Child Support For Kid Who Isn't His

A Michigan judge is forcing Carnell Alexander to pay about $30,000 in back child support for someone who's not his child.
Posted at 12:38 PM, Oct 28, 2014

CARNELL ALEXANDER VIA WXYZ: "I feel like I'm standing in front of a brick wall with nowhere to go."

That's Carnell Alexander. He currently owes about $30,000 in back child support. The state of Michigan says if he doesn't pay up, he could face prison time. But here's the thing: The child, who is now an adult, isn't Alexander's, and he has the DNA tests to prove it. 

LYNN BERRY FOR HLN: "Carnell Alexander's ex-girlfriend put his name down as the father of her child when she applied for state assistance. That was 27 years ago. That put him on the hook for everything she received."

The state of Michigan requires everyone applying for welfare assistance to give either the name of the child's father or list all men who could potentially be the father. 

On Michigan's Department of Human Services website, it clearly states failing to do this could result in "your public assistance benefits [being] reduced or canceled."

EX-GIRLFRIEND: "I had to put his name down as the father. It was the only way I could get assistance. ... Everything is my fault that I put him through."

WXYZ says Alexander didn't even learn he'd been listed as the father of the child until he was pulled over in 1991 for a traffic stop. It was then he was told there was a warrant out for his arrest because he'd failed to pay about $70,000 in child support. 

ALEXANDER: "I knew I didn't have a child, so I was kind of blown back."

The Pundit Press reports despite having a DNA test conducted, a Michigan judge says Alexander is still required to pay $30,000 to the state in child support since he never signed a summons issued to him more than two decades ago.

Alexander says he wasn't even aware of the child support case and the summons — and therefore was unable to sign it — because he was in prison at the time. 

A writer for Opposing Views says the ex-girlfriend, who wished to remain anonymous, is attempting to help Alexander. She appealed to the court on his behalf, letting the judge know the child's biological father is involved now. 

The court, for the moment, is staying firm on its ruling that Alexander must pay the $30,000 or go to prison.