Thursday, July 7, 2022

Schuyler County man jailed for failure to pay nearly $31,000 in back child support

A Schuyler County man was given a 60-day jail sentence for not paying nearly $31,000 in past-due child support, following an appearance in Schuyler County Family Court on Wednesday (July 6, 2022).

According to the office of Schuyler County Attorney Steven Getman, the man was found in willful violation of a prior court order because he failed to pay $30,993.72 in court-ordered support for the benefit of his two children. This failure to pay stretched back to at least November 2018, court records showed.

Assistant County Attorney Vinton Stevens presented the violation case for the County Attorney’s office. At Wednesday’s court appearance, Stevens advised the court that the respondent had paid only $1,910.65 toward the amount due. Stevens also noted that the man was recently apprehended on a criminal court warrant in Chemung County, and he was already facing extradition to another state for a separate criminal prosecution.

Based on the evidence, Stevens argued that the respondent should be sentenced to 60 days in jail, consecutive to any sentence for the Chemung County criminal matter.

The respondent was represented by Schuyler County Assistant Public Defender Mark Raniewicz. Raniewicz asked the court to consider his client’s circumstances, arguing that the respondent intended to get a job and pay support upon his release from incarceration and that the court should impose any jail sentence concurrent to any sentence in Chemung County.

After hearing from the attorneys, and giving the respondent an opportunity to speak, Schuyler County Family Court Judge Matthew Hayden confirmed the man had willfully violated the child support order, and determined that the respondent should be jailed. Therefore, he sentenced the respondent to sixty days incarceration, consecutive to any sentence in the Chemung County criminal matter and entered a money judgement for the past due child support. Hayden also directed that the respondent could be released from jail if he paid the full amount of back child support.

Getman said he was satisfied with the court’s decision.

“These jail sentences send a message that will hopefully resonate,” Getman said. “Under New York State law, parents who willfully fail to obey court orders of child support can be sentenced to up to six months for contempt of court.”

“Parents who refuse to support their children can, and will, be punished when appropriate.”

The County Attorney’s Office represents the Department of Social Services in prosecuting child support cases brought in Family Court by that agency. In addition, the office provides support collection services for eligible custodial parents seeking assistance in establishing and enforcing orders for child support.

The County Attorney’s Office was assisted in the prosecution and presentation of the case by employees of the County’s Child Support Enforcement Unit.

The man’s name and address was not released to protect the privacy of his children and family.