This is an absolute egregious miscarrage of what “justice” used to mean.
National Coalition For Men
Working together since 1977 to free men from sex discrimination
Contact: Marc E. Angelucci, Esq. (626-319-3081) email@example.com
For Immediate Release
Los Angeles/July 29, 2010 - On July 28, 2010, the California Supreme Court declined to review a decision from the Third District Court of Appeal in San Diego, California that upheld an order forcing a Hari Wilburn to pay tens of thousands of dollars in child support for a child that is not his, even though DNA excludes him as the biological father and he never acted as the father. On August 17, 2010, at 9:30 a.m., the probate court in Department 2 of the San Diego Superior Court will hear the mother’s request to intercept Mr. Wilburn’s inheritance from his deceased mother in order to pay the child support order from 1991. (Hari Wilburn v. Cathy Tate.)
Mr. Wilburn was represented at the appellate level by attorney Marc E. Angelucci of the Men’s Legal Center, who founded the Los Angeles chapter of the National Coalition For Men (”NCFM”). NCFM, a nonprofit organization that addresses the ways sex discrimination affects men and boys and helped change California law in 2005 to help protect men from false paternity claims, supported Mr. Wilburn’s appeal and denounces the injustice of forcing the wrong persons to pay support.
In 1991, Cathy Tate named Mr. Wilburn as the father of her five-year-old child Alexis in a restraining order proceeding in San Diego. Mr. Wilburn, who was homeless, was never personally served and there is no record of any service except by mail to Mr. Wilburn’s mother’s address, which is not legally proper. Nonetheless, the court found Mr. Wilburn was served, issued a restraining order and ordered Mr. Wilburn to pay child support. Mr. Wilburn was not present in the court hearing.
Seventeen years later, in 2008, Ms. Tate asked the probate court to intercept tens of thousands of dollars Mr. Wilburn was about to inherit from his deceased mother, based on the 1991 support order. Mr. Wilburn’s family tracked down 22 year old Alexis and asked her to take a DNA test, which excluded Mr. Wilburn as Alexis’ biological father. Mr. Wilburn’s family hired an attorney, who filed a motion challening the child support order. Alexis signed a sworn declaration stating Mr. Wilburn never acted as her father and that she only saw him a few times in her life. The San Diego Superior Court denied the motion, ruling Mr. Wilburn should have challenged the order sooner, despite the fact that he was homeless and living under a bridge. On appeal, the Third District Court of Appeal upheld the order on the same grounds, and the California Supreme Court declined review.
“This is totally unjust,” said Angelucci. “It is wrong for the courts to force a man to pay child support for a child that is not his, especially where he never acted as the child’s father, like in Mr. Wilburn’s case.”
According to the American Association of Blood Banks, 30 percent of DNA paternity tests nationwide turn out negative. “That’s out of about 300,000 tests per year nationwide,” said Angelucci. “In raw numbers that amounts to at least 100,000 negative results per year in the U.S., and that’s only the men who get tested. So this is a serious, under addressed problem.”
Wilburn v. Tate appellate decision
“Who Knew I Was Not the Father?” by Ruth Padawer