Kenya N. Rahmaan
For all who may be unfamiliar with Michigan native, Carnell Alexander, and his paternity fraud case, here is a recap. Carnell became a victim of the child support system after an ex-girlfriend named him as the father of her child while applying for public assistance. One of the mandates for women (some men) applying for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is that they sue for child support. There were several issues with the child support law suit that were not corrected over the span of two decades. One major issue is that when a person is named in any law suit, he or she must be properly notified about the charges against them. As a matter of fact, Michigan rules state that a complaint in a civil case (whether filed in a circuit, district, or probate court) must be served on each defendant named in the case, along with a summons issued by the clerk of the court, (Michigan Courts). Even though the state produced signed documentation supporting evidence of proof of service, the state was fraudulent in that claim of service.
Mr. Alexander had undisputable proof that he could not have possibly been legally served the summons and the complaint over twenty years ago. He did not reside at the address listed on the court documents. Further, he was incarcerated on the exact date that the process server listed on the proof of service paperwork. The second problem with the child support case against Mr. Alexander is that once he was notified of the accusations of fatherhood, he submitted a DNA test which determined that he was not the father. These two extraordinary factors did not deter the state of Michigan from naming Mr. Alexander a ‘dad by default’ and enforcing child support punishments against him.
Over the years, Mr. Alexander has been subject to wage garnishments, tax offsets, license suspensions, arrest warrants, and, eventually, incarceration. Mr. Alexander humbly stated to Kim Russel of WXYZ Detroit (2015) that he was ‘almost homeless, almost in jail’ as he stood in line outside of the courthouse unaware of his being allowed to leave after seeing the judge. After the story became international news in early 2015, the Michigan Attorney General, Bill Schuette, filed documents to dismiss the child support case in its entirety. Unfortunately, AG Schuette refused to dismiss the $30,000 plus debt that the state accused Mr. Alexander of owing in child support arrearages. Still under the extreme stress of owing tens of thousands of dollars for a child that he did not father and the fear of losing his freedom on a daily basis, Mr. Alexander continued his fight for justice.
Due to his tireless crusade with the assistance of his attorneys, Cherika Harrison and Barry Franklin Keller, as well as Child Support Reform Advocate, N.K. Clark, a small victory can be declared in the case of the state of Michigan vs. Carnell Alexander. On October 9, 2015, Mr. Alexander received notice from officials that stated that the $30,000 plus in arrears allegedly owed by this ‘dad by default’ had been completely erased. Unfortunately, the arrears have been erased under fraudulent circumstances. Not only does the state charge that Mr. Alexander requested the arrears be erased in writing (something that he vehemently denies), the officials state that the arrears are being erased due to Mr. Alexander’s ‘extremely difficult situation’. The state officials, once again have erred in their execution of a court proceeding, forged government documents, and refuse to admit any wrongdoing in this serious and unprecedented case.
Although Mr. Alexander says that he is relieved with the debt forgiveness, he is dismayed by the state of Michigan refusing to admit the mistakes made during his case. He hopes that his situation will force the government to introduce and implement legislation that will prevent what has happened to him from happening to anyone else. He feels that his work is not complete and will be leading the fight for reform to the child support system, especially for men declared ‘dads by default’. In order to assist other men who may be victims of paternity fraud and ordered to be a ‘dad by default’, Mr. Alexander has founded The Carnell Alexander Foundation. He plans on helping men pay for DNA tests when they cannot afford to pay themselves and who are 100% positive that they are not biological fathers. Mr. Alexander works in conjunction with The Reform Child Support NOW! Movement. The Reform Child Support NOW! Movement is a grassroots organization which advocates for child support reform while assisting people with various issues encountered when dealing with child support enforcement agencies.
If you or someone that you know are dealing with issues ranging from denial of child support modifications to paternity fraud, please contact Carnell Alexander at 313-939-3447 or N,K, Clark at 614-344-1669. For more information, please visit thecarnellalexanderfoundation.com and http://thechildsupporthustle.com.
Michigan Courts. (n.d.). Serving court papers. Retrieved from courts.mi.gov/self-help/center/general-information/pages/serving-court-papers.aspx
Russell, K. (2015, February 17). Judge says man must pay $30K in child support for kid who is not his. Retrieved October 24, 2015.
A parent and an author who has survived adverse situations and lived to write about it..