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Man hounded for child support for 20 years, but it’s not his kid.

Rags's picture

Our Family Law system administered by the bottom 10%ers of the legal profession at it's finest.

IMHO of course.

Man hounded for child support for 20 years, but it’s not his kid
By The Chicago Local | Local Chicago – 7 hrs agotweet14Share1EmailPrint
CBS Chicago

He says he's not the father and he's got proof. A South Side man is back in court Thursday morning trying to convince the state to leave him alone. He's been in and out of courts for 21 years.

Even the mother of the child says the baby's not his. CBS2′s Dorothy Tucker takes a look at why the state won't listen.

"This is not my kid," said Sean Harbin — and he has the paternity tests to prove he's not the biological father.

"I've had suicidal thoughts, really, about this ordeal, because it's like every time I try to get on track this comes up," Harbin said.

He got off track in 1991, when he was ordered to pay $70 a week for a child he initially thought he might have fathered. But when he began to have doubts, he stopped paying. Then the state garnished his wages and kept his income tax refund check — taking more than $3,000.

That's when Sean started fighting the custody case and in 2001, he was "excluded from paternity."

"I thought it was over. I just knew it was over," Harbin said.

But it was far from over. The state kept sending Harbin bills and he kept going to court, filing motion after motion, trying to tell the courts he wasn't the father. He represented himself because he couldn't afford an attorney.

"Sean's biggest mistake was not knowing what petition to ask for," said an unidentified caseworker from Division of Child Support Services.

"When the genetic test came back, all he had was the results. He never had the order to end the support or vacate the order," the caseworker said.

In 2006, court papers show that the mother of the child even came to court and admitted that Harbin wasn't the father, so the state forgave some $40,000 in back payments.

But Harbin still needed to file the correct papers to dismiss the case and he said he found little direction from the courts.

"I'm trying to figure out what do I have to say to them, 'what motion?'" Harbin said.

In 2009, the state suspended Harbin's driver's license. He found that out two months ago.

After CBS 2 made some phone calls, representatives from Child Support Services and the Cook County State's Attorney's office said they'll look into the Harbin's case and take appropriate action.


Anon2009's picture

Our government at it's finest :sick:

This is just one more example of why we need to vote out our current President and do a major overhaul of government agencies on the state and federal levels.

helena_brass's picture

This kind of stuff happens no matter who is in office.

Furthermore, they DO overhaul agencies. They do it all the time, and every time they do something else is lost along the way. It's kind of inevitable, in my opinion. At least this poor fellow got the media to hear his case, so some action will likely be taken.

instantfamily's picture

This has zero to do with our current president. It's a state by state thing just like a lot of local agencies which are 'government' but are not federally supervised closely. In fact, I just learned the other day that CPS in my state doesn't even do it's own work, they contract out their visitations to a "family preservation" private company who hire outside, inexperienced therapists to meet with CPS case families. (Client of mine, not my family). While our economy continues to suffer a second depression due to Bush's brilliant leadership ripples, government agencies will continue to do things on the cheap and nonprofits will continue to be asked to do more with less. Obama's just trying to pick up the pieces the Bushwhacker left broken.

WickednNasty's picture

Typical of Chicago. They are unreal. I'm familar with someone who has 2 children and the BM had 2 cases for each child. At one time it was compounding interest and late fees. It's unREAL here.

ALL THE COURT cares about is $$$$$. Judges don't even want to deal with you without and Lawyer.

mlmt1128's picture

Not sure how Obama can take the blame for this one, since it started 17 years BEFORE he was president. Although there are plenty of oither things he CAN be blamed for!

Until ss came to live with us 2 years ago we paid CS weekly. DH is not his biological father. However, since hs name is on the birth certificate here in our state it doesn't make a difference. You assume responsibility by allowing yourself to be listed as the father. And now that we are raising a child with no biological ties to either of us, we get nothing from his lovely mother. Lots of unfair bs goes on every day!!