*Carnell Alexander is being pursued by the welfare dept. to reimburse them to the tune of more than $30,000 in the state of Michigan because an ex-girlfriend wrongly named him on paperwork as the child’s father when she applied for assistance in the 80s.
Alexander learned of the paternity case against him in 1991, after being stopped for a traffic violation. The police officer called him a dead-beat dad, and he was taken into custody.
“I knew I didn’t have a child so I was kind of blown away,” said Alexander in an interview late last year. A notification was sent to Alexander at a house in Highland Park. Because paperwork had been filed and he did not appear in court, Alexander was assumed to be a negligent father.
Alexander’s ex-girlfriend admits that she lied on government documents and wrongfully wrote that he was her child’s father.
“I put him down as father to get assistance,” the ex-girlfriend said. She didn’t realize that the state would file a case against Alexander and demand reimbursement of welfare benefits.
A paternity test even proved Alexander isn’t the child’s father. And although the mother knows the child’s other biological parent, the state hasn’t made any moves as of yet to pursue him for funds.
“A child that I did not father, that I did not biologically create, that I was not involved in raising,” said Alexander. “It is not fair.”
“I will go to jail if I have to because I am tired of the mishandling of the case,” said Alexander. He appeared before a judge with his attorney, Cherika Harrison. The judge gave Alexander another month to compile evidence that he should not be charged with the responsibility of the child. He was not placed into custody.
“It’s not right,” said Murray Davis of the National Family Justice Association. Davis says that there are thousands of men facing wrongful claims of paternity because Michigan has no paternity fraud laws that protect men.
“It’s so easy to say anyone is the father while applying for assistance,” he said.
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