Carnell Alexander of Detroit has been issued a warrant for his arrest for unpaid child support payments. He has refused to pay child support for years because the child in question is not his.
Alexander says he learned about the warrant during a traffic stop in the early 1990s, when a police officer notified him about the paternity case. Alexander was shocked and confused, but soon learned that his ex-girlfriend had named him as the father. She told Action 7 News, “I put him down as father to get assistance.”
However, Alexander said, “I knew I didn’t have a child, so I was kind of blown back.” DNA tests proved that the child was not his.
The woman claims she did not know Michigan would open a paternity case against Alexander, who now owes over $30,000 in reimbursement for welfare benefits paid to his ex-girlfriend to care for the child.
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“A child that I did not father, that I did not biologically create, that I was not involved in raising," Alexander said. "It is not fair.”
Case documents state that Alexander was served in Highland Park. However, the Michigan Department of Corrections states that he was in jail at the time. Alexander says that this was either a fraudulent document or they served another man. Since he did not show up in court, he was listed as the father.
Alexander refuses to pay the child support payments. “I will go to jail if I have to because I am tired of the mishandling of the case,” he said. He plans to turn himself in.
Murray Davis, who works for the National Family Justice Association, said there are thousands of Michigan men in a similar situation because Michigan does not have a paternity clause to protect men.
Davis claims that paternity cases are not affected by whether the woman accidentally or purposefully names the wrong man. According to a study he conducted, 79 percent of men named as the father in paternity cases in Wayne County are wrongfully named.
“It is so easy to say anyone is the father while applying for assistance,” Davis said.