” In child support cases, courts sometimes force people to pay back the government’s welfare contributions to a child, even in scenarios when the person being ordered to pay support is not actually the child’s parent. According to WXYZ-TV ABC 7 Detroit, Detroit man Carnell Alexander is facing that exact situation after an ex-girlfriend of his listed him as the father of her child on an application for welfare benefits. Despite the facts that a DNA test proved that he is not the father and his ex-girlfriend agrees that he should not have to pay support, the State of Michigan is ordering him to either pay back the nearly $30,000 worth of welfare contributions it paid to the child’s mother or go to jail.
In 1991, Alexander was informed during a routine traffic stop that there was a warrant out for his arrest due to his failure to pay support for a child that he had allegedly fathered back in 1978. However, Alexander had no children. In a court hearing, the state claimed that he was listed as a child’s father on a welfare benefits application and that too much time had passed for him to request a DNA test to contest its paternity claim. The court argues that he knowingly ignored a court order requiring him to pay support and that he should have raised the issue when that order was given to him. In the late ’80s, a process server signed a document alleging that the court order was delivered to Alexander at his father’s house and that he refused to sign it. However, WXYZ-TV ABC 7 Detroit made contact with the Michigan Department of Corrections and confirmed that Alexander was incarcerated at the time of the delivery of the court order, meaning it was impossible for him to have seen the order and refused to sign. Alexander maintains that he never saw the order and knew nothing of the alleged paternity dispute until he was pulled over and informed many years later.”