Carnell Alexander is on the hook for $30,000 in back child support for a child he didn’t father and never met, with a Detroit judge even acknowledging that he is not the child’s after.
An ex-girlfriend listed Alexander as the father of her child so she could apply for welfare benefits, and a court process server claimed to have gone to Alexander’s house and personally given him a notice of a paternity hearing. Only that never actually happened — Carnell was incarcerated at the time for a crime he committed in his youth.
Alexander never showed up to court, so he was listed as the child’s father by default.
“How can you start a case with a lie?” asked Carnell. “The mom lied. The process server lied. Now I have to pay for it.”
This week Carnell Alexander went to court, where many expected the case to be thrown out. A judge had given Alexander an extension so he could prove that the child wasn’t his.
But instead, Third Judicial Circuit Court Judge Kathleen McCarthy said that because Carnell Alexander waited so long to contest the case, he would have to pay the $30,000 in back child support.
“That motion must be filed within 3 years after the child’s birth, or within one year after the order of filiation is entered. The defendant has failed to timely file this motion setting aside the acknowledgement of parentage,” said Judge McCarthy.
She even blamed Carnell for not correcting the mistake himself.
“I am outraged that Mr. Alexander for two-and-a-half decades failed to take this matter seriously,” McCarthy said.
As Detroit’s WXYZ explains, it wasn’t so simple for Alexander to take the case to court.
“Carnell Alexander says there is a good reason for him not filing that motion. For one, he says when he learned he was allegedly a father, he had just gotten out of prison. He had no income and no savings. He has an eighth grade education. He could not find a lawyer to help him. He was on his own. He says while he may not have filed a certain motion required by the bureaucratic court system, he did make sure Friend of the Court workers and judges on the case knew he was not this child’s father, had never been in the child’s life, and didn’t want to be held responsible.”
But Carnell Alexander is still willing to fight the case and the $30,000 in child support for a child that’s not his. Alexander has said he’s willing to go to jail if he has to.