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  1. #1
    ThomasR is offline Junior Member
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    Request to establish paternity... DENIED!!!! Unethical Court Commissioner!!! HELP.

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? California

    When I was 16, my girlfriend at the time (also 16) got pregnant. I am not convinced that the child is biologically mine since she had multiple partners.

    However, when the child was born I signed my name to the birth certificate and I did so at the age of 17 and without parental consent. So, naturally the State of CA seems me as the presumed father because I never removed myself from the childs birth certificate within 2 years of being born.

    Naturally, the relationship disolved between us and we each went our separate ways. Now, I am 21 (almost 22) and the child is 4 years old. I got hit with a summons, this year, from Child Support Services to appear in court for a hearing on an order for me to provide 50% medical coverage for the child.

    I hired an attorney to prepare a response to the effect that I, first, wanted to establish paternity. The documents were filed and a hearing was held on Oct 27th, 2009 (this past Tuesday).

    In the courtroom was me (unrepresented), the girl and along with her one of those Child Services DA's.

    Well, the commissioner stated that the only way she would allow my request to establish paternity is if BOTH parties agreed to it.

    The commissioner began her questioning of the plaintiff (my ex-girlfriend) and asked her if she consented to the DNA test. My ex-girlfriend replied 'yes'. The commissioner then asked her, again, if this is something that she really wanted to do and did she want some time to think about it. My ex-girlfriend replied "no, it's OK". Then, the commissioner asked her again (in a questioning voice) "are you sure that this is something that you want to do? If you would like, I will call a recess and give you time to think about it.". My ex-girlfriend replied "no, if Thomas (me) wants the test it is OK with me".

    The commissioner then asked me if I had a relationship with the child. I replied "no". The commissioner asked me "what does the child call you?". I replied "Thomas". Then I said to the Commissioner, "he calls (her) live in boyfriend "daddy", not me." The commissioner asked my ex-girlfriend "is this true?". My ex-girlfriend replied yes.

    Next, the commissioner asks my ex-girlfriend once again "are you sure this is something that you want to do? I need to ensure that you are not being coerced." in a leading voice. At that time, the DA leans over to my ex-girlfriend and says something to her and my ex-girlfriend replies to the commissioner "no, I don't feel comfortable doing the testing".

    I could not believe that this commissioner actually coerced my ex-girlfriend into disagreeing with the testing, after she agreed to it 3 times during the commissioners' questioning. It blew me away, completely. Once my ex-girlfriend said the word "no", the judge slaps the gavel down and denies my motion to establish paternity.

    I have until next week Friday to file an appeal. I cannot afford an attorney and do not know where to turn. Can anyone help me?

    The case is in San Bernardino, CA Child Services court.

    Thank you.
    Last edited by ThomasR; 10-31-2009 at 12:25 PM. Reason: additional info
  2. #2
    Ohiogal is offline Senior Member
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    You established paternity by signing the affidavit of paternity 4 years ago. You should never have signed if you didn't want to be the baby's daddy. You did. That was your error. You are not entitled to a DNA test four years after the fact just because she is going for child support.

    YOU made a decision to be the baby's daddy. There are consequences to said decision. You said you hired an attorney -- so did you fire said attorney before the hiring? Or did you just have the attorney prepare paperwork? Unless her live in boyfriend wants to establish paternity -- or some other guy steps up to the plate -- you are the father by virtue of legally admitting you were daddy. Changing your mind doesn't work.
    Parents should remember 3 things: Love your kids more than you hate your ex; when you have children the relationship with the other parent is until death; your children determine what type of nursing home you end up in.
    Nothing stated by me should be taken as giving you legal advice or forming an attorney/client relationship.

    Attorney-GAL in Ohio.

    I've removed the knife from my back, polished it, and will one day return it -- long after you think I have forgotten.
  3. #3
    ThomasR is offline Junior Member
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    Request to establish paternity... DENIED!!!! Unethical Court Commissioner!!! HELP.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ohiogal View Post
    You established paternity by signing the affidavit of paternity 4 years ago. You should never have signed if you didn't want to be the baby's daddy. You did. That was your error. You are not entitled to a DNA test four years after the fact just because she is going for child support.

    YOU made a decision to be the baby's daddy. There are consequences to said decision. You said you hired an attorney -- so did you fire said attorney before the hiring? Or did you just have the attorney prepare paperwork? Unless her live in boyfriend wants to establish paternity -- or some other guy steps up to the plate -- you are the father by virtue of legally admitting you were daddy. Changing your mind doesn't work.
    Ohiogal,

    I appreciate your response but I read your response as an emotional one, ignoring the facts surrounding my question.

    As the Ca family law commissioner who heard my case had stated, I, in the eyes of the court, am the 'presumed' father. However, in reading California Law and who qualifies as a 'presumed' father, I do not fit the criteria. That is why I requested to establish paternity, in addition to the fact that the mother had multiple partners and I have no relationship with the child. And yes, I just hired an attorney to write and file the motion... not for representation.

    As to the root of my legal question... how can a court commissioner, legally, lead and coerce the plaintiff (my ex-girlfriend) into disagreeing with a paternity test after she had told the commissioner 3 separate times during the hearing that she consented and, what are my options?

    I welcome another reply from you, but lets stay focused on the question.
  4. #4
    TheGeekess is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThomasR View Post
    Ohiogal,

    I appreciate your response but I read your response as an emotional one, ignoring the facts surrounding my question.

    As the Ca family law commissioner who heard my case had stated, I, in the eyes of the court, am the 'presumed' father. However, in reading California Law and who qualifies as a 'presumed' father, I do not fit the criteria. That is why I requested to establish paternity, in addition to the fact that the mother had multiple partners and I have no relationship with the child. And yes, I just hired an attorney to write and file the motion... not for representation.

    As to the root of my legal question... how can a court commissioner, legally, lead and coerce the plaintiff (my ex-girlfriend) into disagreeing with a paternity test after she had told the commissioner 3 separate times during the hearing that she consented and, what are my options?

    I welcome another reply from you, but lets stay focused on the question.
    OG is an attorney, in case you didn't read her signature line. She told you like it is.
  5. #5
    ThomasR is offline Junior Member
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    Request to establish paternity... DENIED!!!! Unethical Court Commissioner!!! HELP.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheGeekess View Post
    OG is an attorney, in case you didn't read her signature line. She told you like it is.
    ??? Are you her bodyguard or something? Let her reply for herself.
  6. #6
    Artemis_ofthe_Hunt is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThomasR View Post
    ??? Are you her bodyguard or something? Let her reply for herself.
    ok well, she doesn't need a bodyguard... but.... take the advice the way you want... solicite more if you'd like. You more than likely won't get any other answers, unless they are the incorrect ones.... She'd be the resident expert on the subject....
  7. #7
    Stevef is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThomasR View Post
    Ohiogal,

    I appreciate your response but I read your response as an emotional one, ignoring the facts surrounding my question.
    Ohiogal addressed the only relevant fact.

    Other than that, the magistrate helped the mother avoid doing a really, really stupid thing. She is under no duty to help the legal father avoid his obligation.
  8. #8
    ThomasR is offline Junior Member
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    Request to establish paternity... DENIED!!!! Unethical Court Commissioner!!! HELP.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stevef View Post
    Ohiogal addressed the only relevant fact.

    Other than that, the magistrate helped the mother avoid doing a really, really stupid thing. She is under no duty to help the legal father avoid his obligation.

    Are any of you respondents Family Law attorneys in California?

    I hear and understand what is being said in the replies but you all seem to assume that a minor who signs a birth certificate (without parental consent or guidance) is fully knowledgable of what he/she is doing.

    What damage (emotional or otherwise to the child) can a paternity test do if it reveals that the 'presumed father' of the child is not biologically related and has no relationship with the child?

    As far as what the commissioner did during the hearing, is it the commissioner's role to guide a defendent or plaintiff to make the decision the commissioner wants to hear or is it the role of the commissioner to hear testimony and render an unbiased ruling?

    At the beginning of the hearing, the commissioner stated that if both (defendant and plaintiff) agree to establishing paternity it would be allowed. However, after both parties agreed 3 separate times during the hearing, the commissioner would not accept it and kept pushing until there was a disagreement.
  9. #9
    Ronin is offline Member
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    It is not uncommon, or unethical, for judges to repeatedly ask a party if they really really want to waive a right they have. In this case, the right to refuse to consent to paternity testing.

    This protects cases from being overturned on appeal when people argue they agreed to something without understanding their rights. When rejecting an appeal, the courts like to be able to note that a judge repeatedly asked the person if they really wanted to take a particular course of action, and the person went ahead and did it anyway.

    You willingly placed yourself in the position of legal father, and now on a legal hook you cannot get out of. You have surely done the math at some point, such that you probably figured the child is most likely yours. The fact she was intially willing to take the test is a good indicator she feels pretty comfortable this is your child.

    Although you were a 'minor' when you signed the birth certificate, you had plenty of time to modify this as an 'adult' within the two year time frame you allude to.

    For your own piece of mind, and even though it may not matter legally, it may be possible to discreetly obtain a hair sample DNA test in the future. If it determines you are the father, then maybe you can begin the process of growing up and becoming a responsible parent.
  10. #10
    Ohiogal is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThomasR View Post
    Ohiogal,

    I appreciate your response but I read your response as an emotional one, ignoring the facts surrounding my question.

    As the Ca family law commissioner who heard my case had stated, I, in the eyes of the court, am the 'presumed' father. However, in reading California Law and who qualifies as a 'presumed' father, I do not fit the criteria. That is why I requested to establish paternity, in addition to the fact that the mother had multiple partners and I have no relationship with the child. And yes, I just hired an attorney to write and file the motion... not for representation.

    As to the root of my legal question... how can a court commissioner, legally, lead and coerce the plaintiff (my ex-girlfriend) into disagreeing with a paternity test after she had told the commissioner 3 separate times during the hearing that she consented and, what are my options?

    I welcome another reply from you, but lets stay focused on the question.
    WRONG. You are the presumed father by signing the paternity affidavit under penalties of perjury -- that ACT is how you HELD YOURSELF out as the father of this child. YOU SWORE THAT YOU WERE LEGALLY THE FATHER and had yourself placed on the birth certificate as such. The court commissioner did not lead and coerce your ex girlfriend into anything. He asked. The court commissioner has to make sure the answer is entered knowingly, voluntarily and willingly. YOUR option was NOT to sign the affidavit and hold yourself out as the child's father which you did by signing the affidavit.

    Too bad you didn't care about the consequences of that action four years ago.

    Oh and while I do not need a bodyguard -- no one on here has volunteered for the position, I do expect that those I answer be able to COMPREHEND what I state. Which you have refused to do.
    Parents should remember 3 things: Love your kids more than you hate your ex; when you have children the relationship with the other parent is until death; your children determine what type of nursing home you end up in.
    Nothing stated by me should be taken as giving you legal advice or forming an attorney/client relationship.

    Attorney-GAL in Ohio.

    I've removed the knife from my back, polished it, and will one day return it -- long after you think I have forgotten.
  11. #11
    Ohiogal is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThomasR View Post
    Are any of you respondents Family Law attorneys in California?

    I hear and understand what is being said in the replies but you all seem to assume that a minor who signs a birth certificate (without parental consent or guidance) is fully knowledgable of what he/she is doing.

    What damage (emotional or otherwise to the child) can a paternity test do if it reveals that the 'presumed father' of the child is not biologically related and has no relationship with the child?

    As far as what the commissioner did during the hearing, is it the commissioner's role to guide a defendent or plaintiff to make the decision the commissioner wants to hear or is it the role of the commissioner to hear testimony and render an unbiased ruling?

    At the beginning of the hearing, the commissioner stated that if both (defendant and plaintiff) agree to establishing paternity it would be allowed. However, after both parties agreed 3 separate times during the hearing, the commissioner would not accept it and kept pushing until there was a disagreement.
    YOU were old enough and knowledgeable enough to know how to stick your penis into her and ejaculate. Hence you were old enough to actually become a parent. You were old enough to then show up at the birth and sign the affidavit. You had a choice then not to sign. Heck you had TWO YEARS to change your mind. You did nothing to disestablish paternity until the state decides to hold you responsible for your actions.

    What harm is there in disestablishing paternity -- you volunteered for this job and to support this child. The state is NOT going to leave this child without a father just because you are not willing and don't want to pay child support. You could have asked for a paternity test 2 years ago. Instead you decided not to do so. Your stupidity.
    Parents should remember 3 things: Love your kids more than you hate your ex; when you have children the relationship with the other parent is until death; your children determine what type of nursing home you end up in.
    Nothing stated by me should be taken as giving you legal advice or forming an attorney/client relationship.

    Attorney-GAL in Ohio.

    I've removed the knife from my back, polished it, and will one day return it -- long after you think I have forgotten.
  12. #12
    AHA
    AHA is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThomasR View Post
    Are any of you respondents Family Law attorneys in California?

    I hear and understand what is being said in the replies but you all seem to assume that a minor who signs a birth certificate (without parental consent or guidance) is fully knowledgable of what he/she is doing.

    What damage (emotional or otherwise to the child) can a paternity test do if it reveals that the 'presumed father' of the child is not biologically related and has no relationship with the child?

    As far as what the commissioner did during the hearing, is it the commissioner's role to guide a defendent or plaintiff to make the decision the commissioner wants to hear or is it the role of the commissioner to hear testimony and render an unbiased ruling?

    At the beginning of the hearing, the commissioner stated that if both (defendant and plaintiff) agree to establishing paternity it would be allowed. However, after both parties agreed 3 separate times during the hearing, the commissioner would not accept it and kept pushing until there was a disagreement.
    Being young and stupid doesn't always mean a "get out of jail" free card once you're an adult.
  13. #13
    Artemis_ofthe_Hunt is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ohiogal View Post
    Oh and while I do not need a bodyguard -- no one on here has volunteered for the position, I do expect that those I answer be able to COMPREHEND what I state.
    OG, remember how I roll? I'd volunteer.... I need something else to do with my time while I wait for .... whatever I am waiting for....
  14. #14
    ThomasR is offline Junior Member
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    Request to establish paternity... DENIED!!!! Unethical Court Commissioner!!! HELP.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ronin View Post
    It is not uncommon, or unethical, for judges to repeatedly ask a party if they really really want to waive a right they have. In this case, the right to refuse to consent to paternity testing.

    This protects cases from being overturned on appeal when people argue they agreed to something without understanding their rights. When rejecting an appeal, the courts like to be able to note that a judge repeatedly asked the person if they really wanted to take a particular course of action, and the person went ahead and did it anyway.

    You willingly placed yourself in the position of legal father, and now on a legal hook you cannot get out of. You have surely done the math at some point, such that you probably figured the child is most likely yours. The fact she was intially willing to take the test is a good indicator she feels pretty comfortable this is your child.

    Although you were a 'minor' when you signed the birth certificate, you had plenty of time to modify this as an 'adult' within the two year time frame you allude to.

    For your own piece of mind, and even though it may not matter legally, it may be possible to discreetly obtain a hair sample DNA test in the future. If it determines you are the father, then maybe you can begin the process of growing up and becoming a responsible parent.

    Thanks, Ronin. Now here is a person who took the time to evaluate the question, apply logic and reasoning, and give an answer without an emotional attachment.

    As for Ohiogal... the 'penis' argument can be applied to the behavior of a dog, a giraffe, a cow, a rooster, an elephant or an illegal alien. Its a weak point.

    With the exception of Ronin, the rest of you might want to re-evaluate your contributions to the practice of Family Law.
  15. #15
    Blue Meanie is offline Senior Member
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    The act of becoming a parent MEDICALLY emancipates a minor...Therefor you did not need to have parental consent to sign a document for paternity.

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