As if the class action lawsuit filed by Matthew Dunlop against the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services (ODJFS) didn’t already shed a very truthful and exceedingly ugly light on the Ohio Child Support Enforcement Agencies (CSEAs) nearly criminal child support collection practices, the most recent lawsuit exposes what I’d call a blatantly criminal albeit state-sanctioned enterprise.
James Cullinan an Ohio father has filed this case against the State of Ohio’s Department of Jobs and Family Services for wrongfully and what appears to be (to me at least) illegally, taking more than $84,000 from Cullinan by double-collecting his child support payments over a period of about six years as alleged in his complaint.
Cullinan states in the complaint that he was ordered to pay $1,330.78 per month in child support in the summer 0f 1999. Additionally, he set up a separate bank account whereby through that account, the bank sent his child support payments directly to ODJFS.
Nonetheless, and despite there being no mention of Cullinan ever being behind in his obligation, and notwithstanding him already making the payments, ODJFS issued a wage withholding order to his employer in November 2004 whereby they began helping themselves to an additional $1,330.78 per month from Cullinan’s pay.
Before I continue, if you question my assertion (that reflects my opinion only) that the State of Ohio through ODJFS stole that money, please stop and consider the following.
First, if any bank, or fitness club, or auto dealer, etc, that for years collected a double monthly payment on a loan or contract etc whereby they took from someone $84,000 that they weren’t entitled to, their CEO (and perhaps others) would be immediately arrested and criminally charged with ether fraud, or theft by deception, fraudulent conversion or something of the sort.
Secondly, despite the State of Ohio knowing they were double-collecting child support from Cullinan, they continued to do so, then refused to refund his money. How do I know they refused you wonder? It’s simple, had the State complied, Cullinan’s civil complaint wouldn’t have been filed and therefore pending in the Ohio Court of Claims as it is now.
Think about this; Matthew Dunlop filed his recent class action lawsuit, now Cullinan steps forward and demonstrates with his case that Ohio may have stolen more than $84,000 from him, so what else is out there that we don’t know about? Are we to believe that this is just another isolated case where mistakes were “unintentionally” made? I think not.
With the way Ohio has very aggressively and very hatefully collected missed child support payments over the past decade, rest assured that the State combs the accounts regulary for “deadbeats.” There’s no not noticing regular overpayments and excessive credit balances that ODJFS at this point to me at least appears to be willingly building up for the sole purpose of increasing their child support profits.
I have maintained for years that the State of Ohio through its live televised “deadbeat dad” roundups, wanted billboards, wanted pizza boxes, wanted posters, wanted web sites etc, engaged in those practices not out of the “best interest of the children” as they always falsely proclaimed; but rather, they did so only to hide their very corrupt profiteering from their “child support” collections efforts.
Over the last decade, the State of Ohio has profited from child support collections in excess of $500,000,000. Or stated otherwise, a half billion dollars in profits at the emotional and physical expense of Ohio’s precious and innocent children. In reality, their profits are probably closer to one billion, but who’s counting?
How is over-collecting child support at the expense of the children you ask? It’s emotionally and physically so due to the horrendous conditions that many noncustodial parents (NCPs) are forced to live in after being bankrupted (or in the very least financially decimated) by their unbearable child support orders. And if they’re living that way, then so are their children when they visit with them.
There were many parents like myself who after meeting their child support obligtion (and due to incredibly high child support orders) had very little money left over with which they could actually support themselves and their wonderful children. “Existing” without heat, utilities, or adequate food supplies, shelter, clothing or other basic necessities is not to be equated nor confused with sufficiently supporting oneself.
Many like me lost their homes, some were forced into homelessness (and therefore could no longer have their children “visit” them), many had no heat in their “homes” during Ohio’s brutally cold Midwest winters. So is that really in a child’s “best interest” when they have to sleep in a house with no heat (and in some cases no utilities whatsoever) because the NCP has little to no money left to support themselves after they’ve had their child support deducted from their net pay? Or, if they can’t afford to buy food when they’re left with $10 per week to “support” themselves after child support is deducted from their check?
Others like me had to “garbage pick” multiple nights per week in order to have items to sell at “yard sales” so as to put food on the table. Children like my daughter had to pick bugs out of the food they were eating because the NCP couldn’t afford to throw away food that was found to have bugs in it. Is eating bugs really in a child’s best interest as the State would have us believe?
Make no mistake, Ohio’s child support collections efforts have never been about “the best interests of the children.” In fact it’s quite to the contrary, as their collection efforts have always been in Ohio’s best financial interest at the emotional and physical expense (as I’ve described herein) of Ohio’s precious children.
I’ve argued for years (and truthfully so) that Ohio has demonized all NCPs (especially fathers, aka those villainous “deadbeat ‘”dads'”) in newspapers, on TV, billboards etc, in order to demonize them and thereby hide their Machiavellian child support collection tactics from a very naive populace.
By using their disingenuous mantra “the best interest of the children” as their
cause celebre to very hatefully, haughtily and shamelessly make synonymous “deadbeat dad” with all single fathers, Ohio could (and did) both brazenly and arrogantly, bash those loving fathers in nearly all public forums and with absolute impunity.
It’s exceedingly important that you understand that Ohio had to create a straw man (the very elusive and equally mythological “deadbeat dad”) so as to hide their “illegal” (as demonstrated by the recent lawsuits) seizing of monies that were not child support, but stolen nonetheless and labeled as such in order to effect said theft under a very dark color of law.
And that, while on one hand Ohio in a very perverted manner pretended to commiserate with the millions of Ohio children who were from broken homes and in many cases, were reeling emotionally and in utter turmoil from having experienced the horrific effects of having their worlds turned upside-down through no fault of their own. But with the other hand, the State of Ohio was shamelessly and crookedly shaking down their dads in thousands of cases (114,000 is the estimate) by mining his pockets for dollars that were far in excess of his and her (for noncustodial (NC) moms) child support obligation.
The State’s vile, despicable and perverted actions were waylaid against hundreds of thousands of Ohio’s very loving and innocent NC mothers and fathers in a very fallacious manner. And one that was undertaken with the sole intent of wrongfully and inaccurately publicly demonizing them in order to imbue the public with an insatiable and seething hatred of all fathers (who were labeled “deadbeat dads”) that fell behind unwilling or otherwise, in their child support obligations.
To this very day, there’s absolutely no tolerance by the public for any father who has unwillingly fallen behind in his child support obligation, and despite us presently living in the worst economy and the highest extended unemployment in roughly 80 years.
So what’s a child support paying father to do after he’s laid off through no fault of his own, his company has closed, moved its operations overseas, and he has zero chance of finding a like job in for instance a highly specialized field? Why he’s to go to jail of course. Shame on him! Don’t believe me? Well, it’s not my opinion, but start polling others and you’ll likely find it’s that of most of the populace’s.
In the court of public opinion, it’s okay if a mother spends child support monies on herself, or she refuses to purchase for a child involved with those child support dollars, braces because she “can’t afford it”, or because her car broke down, or some other unexpected bill or a calamity has befallen her. That’s so because the public tends to be very propitious towards “single moms” while being incredibly hateful towards single dads, many of whom didn’t ask (nor choose) to be single in the first place. It was unwillingly forced upon them (and their children) by single moms in many cases.
And that, despite the fact that in the majority of cases, the mom chose to be a “single mom” by divorcing the father of ‘her’ children or by otherwise kicking him out of their child’s life. Fathers on the other hand are regularly pilloried by the public, media etc. Don’t believe me? Then start paying attention to commercials, TV shows, and ads and you’ll see for yourself how dads and men in general are treated as wooden and perfunctory dolts who’re incapable of accomplishing anything notable or worthwhile.
In fact, in more cases than not, the child support paying father would be demonized and blamed for “not paying enough child support” if a single-mom-by-choice claimed she couldn’t afford braces for her child despite her monthly child support award being enough to do just that. And that would be so notwithstanding the fact that the father is (and has) paid everything as ordered by the court since the inception of the court’s support order.
So why is that so? I’ll tell you why. For over ten years, the State of Ohio has done nothing but publicly impinge Ohio’s single fathers by very publicly (and wrongfully) maligning, castigating and denigrating Ohio’s single dads to create what I said; a straw man whereby Ohio could quietly and elusively rip off and steal from fathers such and Dunlop and Cullinan so as to financially profit (through Ohio’s two percent processing fee and the “Federal Incentive Match” search the blog for those words for an explanation of it) to form a very negative image of single dads in the minds of the public.
That was necessary in order to get the public on board and comfortable with today’s
de facto standard of not just bashing and denigrating single dads, but doing so while gleefully jubilating in the ideology that single dads are essentially the incarnate of evil. By imbuing the public with that perception (just look around you, it’s everywhere) they are in their ignorance convinced that single dads are disinterested in child rearing, don’t love their children, are incapable of being an effective parent and are therefore to be relegated to the status of trash in the court of public opinion.
By doing that, any single father who was to come forward publicly or otherwise to to complain of abuse by the courts, by the Child Support Enforcement Agencies (CSEAs), or of financial hardships and bankruptcy as a result of a crushing and exceedingly high “child support” obligation was said to be a “deadbeat” who just wanted to “get out of supporting his children.” And when in fact it’s very much to the contrary.
Think about that for a moment; as parents, there are thousands if not tens or hundreds of thousands of things we do for our children over the course of their lives. Child support for the noncustodial parent(NCP) is only one of those thousands of things, so why don’t we hear about the other thousands of loving deeds an NCP does for their children?
I’ll tell you why, it’s only because the State of Ohio doesn’t earn a financial profit (to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars) off of the other thousands of loving deeds an NCP happily performs while supporting their child(ren). However, child support profits pay Ohio and it pays dearly as explained, and to the tune of $223,000,000 in 2004 which I believe was Ohio’s “most profitable” year ever.
That having been said, a very naive populace has been conditioned by Ohio (through various campaigns over the years) to hate single fathers, denigrate them, and look upon them as nothing more than an ATM machine. That’s so because it’s implied that there’s nothing else they can (or want to) offer their children.
That’s a wholesale lie, and it couldn’t be further from the truth. But that thinking has been sold to (and bought by) the public by various Ohio pitchmen (IE Kim Newsom Bridge’s Ohio CSEA Director’s Association (OCDA) and ODJFS) for more than a decade now.
To put it in perspective, consider how politicians manipulate the media to malign and falsely portray their opponents. Well, the State of Ohio has done the same for more than ten years, only their opponent, the very target of Ohio’s exceedingly abusive and hateful propoganda, has been the hundreds of thousands of very good and equally loving single fathers who want nothing more than to love and support their children in all regards. Not just through child support payments.
However, with the filing of Dunlop’s and Cullinan’s lawsuits against ODJFS, Ohio’s very deceptive, draconian, highly abusive and seemingly illegal and possibly criminal “child support” collections practices are going to be brought to light in a court of law.
With those two cases having been filed, it causes one to wonder just how many more “aberrations” are out there in Ohio. If the allegations against ODJFS, were made against you, I, or some private entity, it would surely land one or more persons behind bars.
And that, under some felony indictment that contained the words “criminal”, fraud”, “inducement”, or “theft” among others. Mak eno mistake, the State is going to have a very difficult time keeping hidden (as they’ve done so well thus far) their highly questionable and quite possibly criminal and illegal “child support” collection tactics. Tactics whereby it appears they’ve thus far they’ve stolen from loving Ohio fathers hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of dollars that the State was never legally authorized to take.
So tell me, who are “the bad guys” now? Is it Ohio’s many good and loving single fathers, or is it the State’s numerous actors in the child support theatre, who out of Ohio’s best financial interests only, and interests that can only be achieved at the emotional and physical expense of Ohio’s precious and innocent children, are literally ripping off and stealing from the paycheck of Ohio’s struggling single fathers?
And thereby, through those same father’s bank accounts and paychecks the State is stealing directly from the very children that Ohio purports to be acting, “only in the best interests of.” That’s so, because now those fathers don’t have those monies (that the State ‘stole’) to spend on their children as they see fit so as to act in their best interests. And why don’t they? Only because the State pilfered them to earn a profit off of the backs of Ohio’s precious children.
Ohio Council for Fathers Rights