Carnell Alexander is in a predicament that is all too familiar to large numbers of American men: make good on your back child support obligation, or go directly to jail. However, what makes Alexander’s case so unusual is that he is not the father of the child on whose behalf he “owes” the money; as a matter of fact, DNA evidence proves he cannot possibly be the father. Still, the state of Michigan, in its very finite wisdom, is sticking to its guns, and unless Mr. Alexander pays the money…$30,000…he will be thrown in the slammer.
This has all come about because, nearly three decades ago, Alexander’s girlfriend at the time was seeking state assistance, and, in order to get it, was required to give the name of the father of her child (who, by the way, is now 27 years old). Not knowing what else to do (her words), the girlfriend gave her boyfriend’s name, knowing full-well he was not the dad. Nevertheless, once his name was offered up, the state had its target.
From there, Michigan began providing welfare benefits to the girlfriend, while simultaneously making an effort to get Mr. Alexander to pay child support. Legal proceedings began against him, and because Alexander never responded to a summons that was issued on behalf of the child support case so many years ago, a warrant for his arrest was issued. However, Alexander was incarcerated during the time the summons was supposedly delivered to him by the process server, raising serious questions about THAT person’s credibility in all of this.
Once again, we see the brazenness with which a government entity will act in order to snatch money from the citizenry. While it would be nice to believe that that the publicity his case is receiving will mean that Alexander will eventually be released by the state of any obligation, the fact that they’ve not so released him already speaks volumes about just how the government, at all levels, views the citizens it is supposed to protect. What we know is that, right now, the state of Michigan is continuing to pursue Alexander for the money, and is continuing to threaten him with prison time if he doesn’t make good on his “obligation.” While this fiasco is an actual nightmare for Mr. Alexander, it is also a potential nightmare for much of the rest of us, as anyone in his similar circumstances could find themselves facing the same, extraordinary headache. Yes, it is amazing that this is going on, but it is, and in full view of the rest of the world; government at work.
Robert G. Yetman, Jr.
Managing Editor, The James L. Paris Report