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Chicago Father Takes DNA Fraud Case To Supreme Court

Carnell A. Smith is a father who is forced by court order to pay child support for another man's child. This child is neither his biological nor adopted child. Smith has tried to get the lower courts to overturn the child support order, but they have refused.
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Carnell Smith is now asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear his DNA "paternity fraud" case. Nationally renowned fathers' rights attorney and advocate, Jeffery M. Leving of Chicago, has filed an appearance with the high court to represent Smith.

Although this court ruling sounds unusual, it isn't. There are countless men who find themselves in Smith's situation.

Partially as a result of the availability of DNA paternity testing, men are discovering in alarming numbers that children they believed were their biological offspring are not. It was reported that in 28 percent of paternity tests conducted in 1999, the man being tested was not the biological father. Nevertheless, many of these men continue to be liable for child support for other men's children or suffer the consequences of jail.

This can happen to married men because many states adhere to a 500-year-old English common-law doctrine that presumes a married man is the father of a child born of the marriage. Never-married men can find themselves in this precarious position through default paternity and child support judgments. Such a judgment can be court ordered without the alleged father's knowledge. For example, the alleged dad does not show up at court to contest the paternity action because he did not know about the court date. This can result when the alleged father is not personally served notice of the court date by a process server or law enforcement officer.

"The issue is crystal clear. Paternity fraud is just as reprehensible as any other kind of fraud from which Americans need protection. When we condone fraud in paternity DNA cases, we undermine our entire system of justice. It's time to correct this injustice," said Leving.



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