"Tony Jackson, a working class black man with a wife and two kids, got a bill from Gil Garcetti's deadbeat dad squad saying, he owes $13,000 in back child support, for a child, that he would soon prove, was not his. Jackson took a DNA test at a lab the court picked. It showed he was definitely not the father. Tough luck.
The law says anyone who receives an official court notice saying he owes child support has thirty days to respond--thirty days!--and if you don't respond in thirty days, you're considered "in default" and must pay support until the child is eighteen. Jackson was named by a woman he used to date, who, in order to qualify for welfare, had to name somebody as the father of her child.
So she picked Tony Jackson, even though he wasn't the father. Jackson didn't respond to the court order within thirty days, because he swears he never got the notice. He says he learned about it after it was sent to a former employer who never forwarded it to him.
Still, he was ordered to pay child support for a child everyone, even Gil Garcetti, agreed was not his. When I met Tony Jackson, he was a wreck. On the verge of suicide, I feared. He cried during our conversation. He said he couldn't take his own two kids out to a restaurant for a meal. He couldn't afford it because the court was taking the child support out of his paycheck before he even got it."