Carnell Alexander has had a rough life.
As I've written before , most of his misfortune, including landing in prison, is the result of him making bad decisions.
But a lot of it is the result of other people's lies.
A judge ruled today that Alexander must pay $30,000 in back child support to the state of Michigan after a former girlfriend lied when filling out paperwork for welfare.
Decades ago, the woman, who is not identified or criminally charged, said Alexander was the father of his child and not helping her financially.
More recently, the woman has told the court she was making stuff up.
DNA evidence has proven Alexander is not the father. He had never spent any time with the child or had any other children.
Still, judges have demanded Alexander repay the state funds given to the woman or go to jail.
The real father of the child, meanwhile, has no legal troubles and is now "part of the adult child's life," reports WXYZ.
Alexander was unaware the woman had listed him as a father until he was pulled over for a traffic ticket in Detroit in the early 1990s. Since then, Alexander has been to court a dozen times trying to get the situation corrected, but the judge ruled today that Alexander had to file a motion within a year of the woman filing for welfare.
The other lie that doomed Alexander?
A process server claimed Alexander was given a copy of a court order but refused to sign it. That scenario seems impossible, however, since jail records show Alexander was incarcerated at the time and was no longer living at the address the process server visited.
“How can you start a case with a lie?” said Alexander. “The mom lied. The process server lied. Now I have to pay for it."
Alexander said he did not immediately file a motion to counter his old girlfriend's claim because he had just gotten out of prison when he learned of the legal imbroglio, and was completely broke and could not hire an attorney.
He also had an 8th-grade education and probably didn't understand this debt would continue to plague him.
Attorney Cherika Harris is trying to right the wrong by working the case for free.
“The law is not going to fit into everybody’s situation,” said Alexander. "Why don’t they use common sense?”
Or why doesn't the judge make the people that lied pay back the $30,000? I guess that would be too similar to justice.
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