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Judges affirm $6,600 in child support arrearage

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The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed that a father owed only $6,600 in back child support and not $74,000 as the child’s mother claimed.

L.S., the daughter of Belinda Douglas and Neil Spicer, was born in February 1994. Spicer was listed on L.S.’s birth certificate, but a paternity action initiated in late 2004 was dismissed in October 2005 after both parties failed to appear at a status hearing.

Before dismissing the action, the trial court in February 2005 entered a provisional order for Neil to pay Douglas $200 per week in child support. Spicer never paid the court-ordered child support, but did provide financial care for his daughter, including providing health insurance.

Douglas filed to reopen the case in 2012, in which the trial court ordered Spicer to pay $6,600 in arrearage for the 33 weeks between Feb. 23, 2005, and Oct. 12, 2005, when the court dismissed the case.

Douglas argued that Spicer actually owes her $74,000 in arrearage, but the Court of Appeals affirmed the court-ordered amount. The judges found the same principle in I.C. 31-15-4-14 applies in this case. That statute provides that a provisional order in a dissolution action terminates when the final decree is entered or the petition for dissolution is dismissed.  Since the February 2005 child support order was a provisional order for “temporary support” pending a hearing on child support, the trial court properly found Spicer’s obligation to pay child support ended in October 2005.

The judges also rejected Douglas’ claim that Spicer did not satisfy his common law duty to support his daughter in Belinda Douglas v. Neil Spicer and L.S., 32A01-1309-JP-403.

 

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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  4. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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