Presumed dad’s paternity vacated, granted to true biological father

The Indiana Court of Appeals has vacated an order establishing paternity for man after genetic testing revealed he was not the biological father of a child he and the child’s mother claimed was his. Paternity was instead ordered for the child’s revealed biological father.

After the Grant Superior Court issued an order establishing Phillip Young as the legal father of Jessica Davis’ child, E.Y., genetic testing later revealed a 99.99% probability that Dakota Faunce was the child’s biological father.

Prior to the testing, the trial court had established Young as the child’s father based on testimony provided by Davis and Young indicating that Young was the child’s biological father. Neither Young nor Davis at the time provided the trial court with a copy of a paternity affidavit they alleged was executed shortly after the child’s birth.

Davis later filed to vacate the paternity order with regards to Young and petitioned to enter a paternity order instead for Fuance. During a hearing, the trial court issued an order in which it found that Davis knew Young was not her child’s biological father when she and Young executed a paternity affidavit, and although she had initially falsely informed Faunce that he was not the child’s biological father, genetic testing had subsequently confirmed otherwise.

It also found Davis had given “admittedly false testimony leading to the establishment of Young as [Child’s] father” and that “Young’s testimony was doubtful, at best, leading to the establishment of him as [Child’s] father.” It therefore vacated the paternity order for Young and established paternity in Fuance.

The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court in Paternity: Phillip Young v. Jessica Lynn Davis, et al., 19A-JP-01015, finding the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it granted Davis’ motion to vacate.

“We are unpersuaded by Young’s argument that neither Mother nor Faunce had standing to challenge the November 28, 2016 order because neither filed a timely petition to establish paternity pursuant to Article 14. This argument is without merit, as both Mother and Faunce were parties to the ongoing paternity proceedings initiated by Young, i.e., Mother was an original party to the proceedings and Faunce successfully intervened,” Judge Cale Bradford wrote. “Given that both were parties to said proceedings, it would have been superfluous to require either Mother or Faunce to initiate separate proceedings under Article 14. Additionally, we would reach the same conclusion even if the juvenile court had based its order establishing Young’s paternity on the paternity affidavit executed by Young and Mother.”

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