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Wed Jan 22, 2014, 12:15 PM

Clerical Error In Child Support Payments Leads To Six-Month Jail Sentence For Clifford Hall

Are private prisons behind this law and this judge? From everything I've heard, "Texas justice" is an oxymoran...

also video at link

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/21/child-support-error_n_4637465.html?1390319219&icid=maing-grid7%7Chtmlws-main-bb%7Cdl1%7Csec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D432808

Due to a clerical error, Texas father Clifford Hall received a bill charging him nearly $3,000 in overdue child support last year. Hall quickly repaid the amount, even paying an additional $1,000 to balance his debt. But despite his repayment, Hall was sentenced to six months in jail. He and his attorney Tyesha Elam joined host Nancy Redd to share his story on HuffPost Live.

Errors in the automated child support withdrawal amounts from Hall's paycheck caused a payment shortage, but when Hall discovered this imbalance, he worked to pay it immediately.

Elam explained, "I assumed as soon as he brought me the receipt catching him up as well as the letter advising him of the overpayment, I thought, 'oh this one will be easy.' I'm thinking, 'let me let the opposing counsel know and we'll be done with this matter.'"

"But the opposing counsel informed me that she wasn't willing to settle the case. She wanted $3,500 in attorney's fees and she was confident from this judge that she could get it. So she refused to settle. So we had to move forward."

17 replies, 1091 views

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Reply Clerical Error In Child Support Payments Leads To Six-Month Jail Sentence For Clifford Hall (Original post)
1monster Jan 2014 OP
Arkansas Granny Jan 2014 #1
Logical Jan 2014 #2
stevenleser Jan 2014 #4
msanthrope Jan 2014 #6
geek tragedy Jan 2014 #7
stevenleser Jan 2014 #9
geek tragedy Jan 2014 #12
stevenleser Jan 2014 #14
geek tragedy Jan 2014 #15
stevenleser Jan 2014 #16
1monster Jan 2014 #8
msanthrope Jan 2014 #11
msanthrope Jan 2014 #3
stevenleser Jan 2014 #5
msanthrope Jan 2014 #10
stevenleser Jan 2014 #13
msanthrope Jan 2014 #17

Response to 1monster (Original post)

Wed Jan 22, 2014, 12:22 PM

1. This has been debunked. Snopes says it's false.

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 22, 2014, 12:25 PM

2. I love snoops! Perfect when my BS detector goes off! nt

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 22, 2014, 12:27 PM

4. It has not been debunked. That suggests that this case doesn't exist. The facts are in dispute.

Even Snopes isn't completely sure what happened here as they make clear at the end of their piece.

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #4)

Wed Jan 22, 2014, 12:32 PM

6. It's pretty simple, steve...he owed back child support, and a contempt motion

was filed in April of last year. He paid up his support before his court date, but that didn't clear him of the contempt proceeding. Which he lost, badly.

So now he owes fees. Plus whatever child support accrued between April and now that he didn't pay.

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #4)

Wed Jan 22, 2014, 12:33 PM

7. the crucial elements of it have been debunked. this is MRA propaganda.


However, available court records indicate that Hall was straightforwardly held in contempt of court for failure to pay child support in a case which had a motion for contempt dating back to April 2013 (and a court document briefly glimpsed in the Houston television news report about the case shown above displays a header indicating Hall was indeed held in contempt for "for failure to pay child support"). The information presented in news accounts indicating that Hall owed nearly $3,000 in back child support and that the child's mother had incurred $3,000 in attorney's fees trying enforce their court agreement suggest that this was an long-running and/or ongoing support issue rather than a sudden and recent one.


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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #7)

Wed Jan 22, 2014, 12:39 PM

9. Can you reply with a link or PM me with backup for that please. nt

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #9)

Wed Jan 22, 2014, 12:43 PM

12. it's from the Snopes article.

As a general rule, deadbeat parents are only exceeded by prominent Republicans in driving the nails into their own palms. They have an entire playbook of excuses they deploy before and after a judge orders them to pay child support.

$3000 over a one year period for child support is not a clerical error, nor would a modification be made without notice to him, etc etc.

Rather the much more mundane case of deadbeat parents who pay up child support only when threatened with jail.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #12)

Wed Jan 22, 2014, 12:46 PM

14. Msanthrope sent me the case details below. I'm pretty curious now. I want to see if

I can get in touch with the Guardian ad litem and see what she has to say.

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #14)

Wed Jan 22, 2014, 12:51 PM

15. if you click on tab "services/notices" at the link msanthrope posted

you'll see that enforcement motions were filed against this guy in 2008 and 2010, with a motion for contempt coming in 2013. Along with several other post-judgment motions being made.

You can register with the site and download documents from there.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #15)

Wed Jan 22, 2014, 12:54 PM

16. Thanks, yes, will read all of that. Sometimes the full story isn't in court docs though.

The attorney assigned to the child is usually a goldmine of backstory info.

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 22, 2014, 12:37 PM

8. All that Snopes debunked was that he was jailed for over paying his child support...

And that was never the allegation.

The video does show a receipt indicating that he had paid over $1,000 in advance when he made up the nearly $3,000 in arrears.

Snopes gave precious little information in regards to his sentence of 180 days stating that they were unable to uncover the reasons for that.

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Response to 1monster (Reply #8)

Wed Jan 22, 2014, 12:43 PM

11. But he didn't make up the 'arrears.' He made up the amount originally asked for in April of last

year. Now he owes more. His docket is pretty clear....he defied the August ruling to pay.

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Response to 1monster (Original post)

Wed Jan 22, 2014, 12:27 PM

3. The prior thread on DU debunked this charlatan. He deserved his contempt charge,

and he will be paying those fees.

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Response to msanthrope (Reply #3)

Wed Jan 22, 2014, 12:30 PM

5. Can you PM me the info. The Snopes link above is pretty convoluted. nt

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #5)

Wed Jan 22, 2014, 12:40 PM

10. Here's the docket....

http://www.hcdistrictclerk.com/edocs/public/CaseDetails.aspx?Get=GAGmiKYJXIeXCSoZ5iOBYvg91olAynWFNN7hx+xIWy3+5YguaIDmPlZ8lzE0V/SkidFBaTM4ztGHbfFF3ilzT9+vrhjQ3KZagbyUtEOKTM8=

And if you run his name in Harris County, you also get his tax suits.

Looks like he got served with the contempt motion in April of last year, lost in August, and now, in January, though he was going to make everything better by paying the amount asked for in April. Not how it works.

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Response to msanthrope (Reply #10)

Wed Jan 22, 2014, 12:45 PM

13. Got it. Thanks. Looks like there is a Guardian Ad Litem in this case. I would like to talk to that

person. Wonder if they would talk to me.

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #13)

Wed Jan 22, 2014, 12:54 PM

17. The GAL shouldn't talk to you. I will tell you my opinion of the case, after seeing Mr. Hall

and his attorney, and reviewing the docket....

Mr. Hall is not truthful about the circumstances that have landed him in hot water. I cannot imagine, from the filings from his own attorney, that he was unaware that he owed money, that he was being taken to court, and that he faced both custodial and child support issues.

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