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Ford v. Department of Social Services

Supreme Court, New York County

December 2, 2013

Clifton Laurell Ford, Petitioner,
v.
Department of Social Services, NEW YORK STATE OFFICE OF CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT, CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT UNIT, SUPPORT COLLECTION UNIT, Respondents.

Unpublished Opinion

For plaintiff Marjory Cajoux, Esq. The Law Offices of Marjory Cajoux.

For defendant New York State Office of Child Support Enforcement Eric T. Schneiderman, Attorney General Of Counsel: Garvin V. Smith, Assistant Attorney General.

For defendants New York City Child Support Enforcement Unit, Department of Social Services and Support Collection Unit: Michael Cardozo, Esq., Corporation Counsel for the City of New York Roy A. Esnard, Esq., Human Resources Administration Attorney Elizabeth Haynes, Esq., Of Counsel Human Resources Administration Office of Legal Affairs Child Support Litigation Unit.

Michael D. Stallman, J.

Petitioner Clifton Laurell Ford brings this Article 78 proceeding regarding various child support enforcement actions taken against him for failure to pay child support arrears. Respondents claim that petitioner owes $400, 000 in child support arrears accumulated over twenty-four years. Petitioner disputes this claim, alleging that respondents miscalculated the amount he owes. Petitioner's nonpayment of arrears resulted in enforcement actions, including suspension of his driver's license, an income execution, a levy on his bank account, seizure of his tax refund, and restrictions on his passport. Petitioner seeks an order:

(1) directing an audit of his child support account;
(2) directing credit for all child support payments he allegedly made toOCSE;
(3) lifting the levy on his bank account;
(4) vacating the income execution; and
(5) lifting the suspension of his passport and driver's license.

Defendant New York State Office of Child Support Enforcement (State Respondent) cross-moves to dismiss the petition as against it (Motion Seq. No. 001). Defendants New York City Office of Child Support Enforcement, Department of Social Services, and Support Collection Unit (collectively OCSE) move to dismiss the petition as against them (Motion Seq. No. 002).

BACKGROUND

The genesis of this Article 78 proceeding can be traced back to proceedings beginning over twenty years ago regarding petitioner's child support obligations for his daughter, Ashley Elizabeth Ford, born xx/xx/1988. In 1989, Janice Adel Dye, the mother and custodial parent of Ashley, filed a petition requesting child support payments from petitioner. On June 13, 1990, the New York Family Court entered an Order of Filiation declaring petitioner to be the father of Ashley Elizabeth Ford. (Haynes Affirm. Ex A [1990 Order].) On December 4, 1990, New York Family Court ordered petitioner to pay $950 per month for child support for his daughter. Retroactive support was set at $7600. Payments were to be made through OCSE. (See Haynes Affirm. Ex B.)

On December 17, 1990, petitioner filed a petition in New York Family Court to vacate the Order of Filiation. (See Haynes Affirm. Ex C.) Because the results of the court-ordered genetic marker testing indicated a probability of 99.84% that petitioner was the father of Ashley, the Family Court (Schnabel, J.) dismissed the petition. (See Haynes Affirm. Ex D.)

On June 22, 1993, pursuant to a petition filed on December 8, 1992, New York Family Court entered a money judgment against petitioner in the amount of $33, 250 for arrears for failure to pay child support and an order was entered directing petitioner to pay $750 for the basic child support of his daughter and $720 for child care ...


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