Warrants issued for parents in child support arrears

Thursday, February 4, 2010

GREENCASTLE -- Arrest warrants were issued Wednesday through Putnam County Superior Court for 40 parents charged with criminal non-support of their dependent children.

Parents in arrears in child support can be charged with a Class C felony, punishable by up to eight years in prison, if they owe more than $15,000 in back support. Those who owe less than $15,000 are subject to a Class D felony charge, which carries a maximum sentence of three years in jail.

"I have asked for received warrants from the court for these individuals to be arrested," Putnam County Prosecutor Tim Bookwalter said. "Eleven of them now live out of state, and I have requested extradition orders for them to be extradited back to the state of Indiana to stand trial. We are asking those other states to assist in their apprehension and arrest.

The total support owed by those warrants have been issued for exceeds $600,000.

Warrants have been issued for:

* Dennis C. McClure, $59,157.19

* Harry R. Leak, $50,552.38

* Gary L. King, $47,239.36

* Joel B. Medina, $45,378.11

* Elvin A. VanPelt, $38,082.52

* Robert Crist, $34,889.37

* Brian Skeen, $33,064.23

* Allen L. Kennedy, $25,784

* James Upleger, $25,065.25

* Carroll Lanham, $19,236.90

* Chad H. Wilson, $17,969

* Charles Trammell, $17,860

* Christina M. LeGrand, $16,850

* Jason A. Young, $14,780

* Troy A. Martin, $13,775

* Michael King, $12,581

* Christopher Dover, $12,226

* Nathan Gootee, $11,738

* Damon Rubeck, $10,150.86

* Robert L. Clemons, $9,762.91

* Claude Terrell, $9,331.89

* Daniel R. Hagan, $8,662.11

* Keith Rogers, $7,906.24

* Don L. Smith, $7,827.50

* Brian Ohler, $7,734.43

* Joshua L. Shrout, $7,392.17

* Daryl L. Short, $7,160.69

* Jason Young, $6,670

* Jennifer N. Jones, $6,515

* Lynda L. Harris, $5,880

* Donell Johnson, $5,329

* Scott Austin Dotson, $5,204.01

* Michael Roush, $5,073.66

* Bobby J. Gilbrech, $4,820

* Ronald W. Miller, $4,764.23

* Robert A. Meyer II, $4,594

* Christopher Dover, $4,493

* Dennis Lovett, $4,345

* Marcus D. Jones, $3,372

* Rachel Strong, $2,977.70

"It should always be remembered that charges are mere allegations and defendants are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty in a court of law," Bookwalter said.

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  • Why did they let it get so high?

    Child support is so misused anyway.

    -- Posted by Sand mann on Thu, Feb 4, 2010, at 6:29 AM
  • Child support isn't the same anymore for those who are collecting it and scamming the welfare system at the same time.... I know of at least a couple of women who never paid their support for their children but when they fought to get them back it is the first thing they went for... They use them for the rewards! That is why it gets so high because they are being compensated by the welfare system.... I believe our ecomony is effected by those who abuse the welfare system.... We need something to be done!

    -- Posted by Innocent on Thu, Feb 4, 2010, at 7:16 AM
  • Child support misused? I really don't hate to tell you this, but what tiny bit of money a custodial parent gets in child support does NOT raise a child. It is meant to help support the life of the child. It may not always be used directly on the child every month but used to help partially pay for the electric bill or for fuel to take the child back and forth to school a few times. Those are things that a child also needs. Child support may not always be used for hard purchases, although it surely should be sometimes, but necessary nonetheless for support of life. My best advice, stay married.

    -- Posted by Hairy Tiger on Thu, Feb 4, 2010, at 7:41 AM
  • Hairy Eagle, i think that is a good concept , I'm taking reality! gouess the non custodial parent doesn't have to have all of the above you stated for the custodial parent when the child is at the non custodial parents home. Remember the custodial has to provide a roof ,elect, fuel for themselves. yes children forget and leave a light on . but come on does it cost more to heat a home with/without a child, housepayment , And don't forget the custodial parent is supposed to have child support. I bet most custodial parents , don't pay when the child is with the non parent for the week/s ( non parent has for week) bet most if they was honest , most aren't won't let non parent in childs life, maybe for money but not really in childs life.

    I have seen it all in my line of work. there are some good but I think the % isn't very high.

    -- Posted by Sand mann on Thu, Feb 4, 2010, at 8:25 AM
  • Ok, so I read this article. My ex-husband owes more than $18,000 in arrears and I don't see his name on the list. And by the way, Mr. Bookwalter, I'm a registered voter and I know this deadbeat parent round up came just in time for election year. I do not receive a welfare check, I don't get food stamps, my son does not receive Medicaid (my husband and I provide private insurance for my son), I don't receive housing assistance, or anything other than the hard earned money that my husband and I work for every week. So after years of paying attorney fees, going to court every few months, and getting the ruling of "I find you in contempt Mr., next time your in my courtroom for failure to pay child support, you will go to jail." Which, has only happened once in the last 6 years. And that was a civil matter, so no criminal charges were ever filed. Then, I decided, who else better force my ex-husband to be responsible than the State of Indiana and the Putnam County Prosecutor's office, because I pay taxes. So, I contacted the Prosecutor's office and Title IV. I've done what the nice lady in the Title IV office advised..."call when he's 30 days behind." Well guess what, my ex-husband is very well aware that all he has to do is make a payment here and there and he won't be bothered with letters and court appearances, let alone, the Judge enforcing regular child support payments. The article says, over $15,000 warrants a Class C felony, hmm...guess those who are keeping track of the arrears in my case, should go back to elementary math. And in the end of all this mess, I let my ex-husband see my son every other weekend and any time he wishes to or when my son asks to go see his father, because it's not my job to tell my son that his father is a loser. My son loves his dad and I have no right to tarnish my son's feelings towards his dad. It's not my job to explain to my son that his father would rather spend his money himself, because he does have a job, than to pay for a pair of school shoes or soccer registration.

    -- Posted by PuttingItBluntly on Thu, Feb 4, 2010, at 9:46 AM
  • For those who don't pay their support, what a bunch of low life losers. However, I would not send them to jail. What good does that do, other than the fact that we have to pay for their meals, clothes, education, etc... Put them on house arrest. Make them work. Take half of their pay.Publicly embarass them. I have a novel idea how about people start taking responsability for their actions. If you bring kids into this world raise them. If you can't afford kids or child suppourt don't have them. Our economy is in the dumps because too many people are living of the system and not taking personal responsability for anything they do.

    -- Posted by Heritage Lake Resident on Thu, Feb 4, 2010, at 10:05 AM
  • The problem is the prosecutors in all of Indiana only issue arrest warrents if the custodial parents is receiving goverment assistance. They don't care about the parents without goverment assistance.

    -- Posted by Hazel on Thu, Feb 4, 2010, at 10:36 AM
  • Where did all the comments go

    -- Posted by Sand mann on Thu, Feb 4, 2010, at 12:49 PM
  • Well said "Puttingitbluntly". I thought maybe you took my story. I agree with you 100%! My ex is in arrears by a lot more than some of those who are on that list but somehow he manages to slip thru the cracks as well. I was once told by my attorney that I was 1 in a million women who don't receive child support......so get used to it! That makes it all better ugh?

    -- Posted by opinionmatters on Thu, Feb 4, 2010, at 1:44 PM
  • I was told by Title 4 that as long as he makes an attempt to pay anything, no matter how far behind they are they will NOT do anything to the person that is in arrears. What a joke! I've been on that Title4 for about 10 years and they have done NOTHING for me at all.

    -- Posted by opinionmatters on Thu, Feb 4, 2010, at 1:53 PM

    -- Posted by TIM'S GIRL on Thu, Feb 4, 2010, at 3:24 PM
  • Sand mann...you have to be kidding. Misuse of child support! Your statement is a joke. I receive child support (when my ex husband feels like paying it or when they make him) and I can tell you that the money that I receive weekly doesn't even come close to what it costs to raise a child for 21 years. Food, clothing, shoes, school supplies, (registration is close $100 for younger children and $200-$300 for high school and it costs about $50 a month just for school lunch)after school acitivies, gas to drive them to and from everywhere they go, water, electricity, a home, heat/cooling, a vehicle, insurance, misc. household items like paper towel, toilet paper, soap shampoo..etc, entertainment (toys, videos, movies..etc) and all the other little thing kids want and need for 21 years.

    And about your "Remember the custodial has to provide a roof ,elect, fuel for themselves. yes children forget and leave a light on . but come on does it cost more to heat a home" statement. It does cost more. That child needs a home big enough to have their own bedroom, which they use electricity in to watch tv, have a light on, stay warm or cool in..etc. Plus they do take showers, eat food, wash their clothing, use the toilet..etc. So yes, it DOES cost more to house another human being.

    You are right, the custodial parent doesn't pay when the child is at the noncustodial parent's house. This is because the noncustodial parent is given a credit for the amount of overnight stays the child spends with them. Reducing their weekly child support obligation. My ex has been in arrears several times. Several times we have been to court because he is thousands behind and I have NEVER refused to allow him to see his son. I support my son whether he pays or not. The custodial parent can't say "well, I don't have money this week son..so you can't have food" Now if the custodial parent was living the high life while the child was doing without, then I could see the complaint. But as long as the child is being well provided for, then it doesn't matter which penny is spent where. When support is set, they use a worksheet. They set an amount going by both parent's incomes, day care, insurance that is paid, overnight stays at each house..etc. They look at it like, the parents are married and living in the same home, and based on income who would be providing what percentage of the childs financial needs. They don't say "oh we like her better than you so you are paying x amount" They know what it costs to raise a child and they set child support accordingly. Supporting your child should be a privilege. Instead of complaining, be happy the child is healthy and being taken care of. Have I ever gotten a thank you from my ex for raising such a well mannered son, making sure he has good grades and gets an education, for providing for him when he didn't, for making sure our son is healthy and happy and has everything in life he could possibly want? Heck no, all I get is, "you know the new van your mom got? I paid for that because I pay support" or "I don't have to buy you Christmas because everything your mom gave you, is from me too because I pay her child support" or "we could go somewhere fun buddy but I can't afford it bc I have to pay your mom child support" He forgets to mention to him that he hasn't had a steady job in 10 years and THAT is why he can't afford things. I am so sick of hearing from whining noncustodial parents that have a child support obligation. Try being the custodial parent for a while and see how easy it is to support a child with no help.

    -- Posted by putnammom on Thu, Feb 4, 2010, at 5:43 PM
  • Here we go again. Once a year the criminal list gets printed (regardless if it's an election year or not), and once a year the title 4 office gets bashed, by the people they work hard to help, for doing their job. People need to get their information straight before they post misinformed comments about a system of red tape they do not understand.

    "Hazel" what you are saying about prosecutors only issuing arrest warrants for people who are on assistance is not even remotely close to being true, I wonder where you got that from? Did you just make it up? However, I can understand how it seems that way since due to today's poor economy a lot of people are on assistance. But making blanket assumptions of something you really haven't the correct knowledge about, does more harm than good and frankly makes you sound mis-informed.

    "Puttingitbluntly" and "opinionmatters" From a little internet research what I found is that there could be multiple reasons as to why the fathers of your children aren't being charged with criminal charges. There are very strict guidelines as to who can and cannot be charged with criminal non-support, guidelines you can read by going on the state's website, or simply by using Google. You could even call your local prosecutor's office and calmly and politely ask what the exact criteria for criminal non-support is, and even why your child's father wasn't on the list. Don't be rude about it, you aren't the only one seeking justice in this situation. All of these things seem more productive than posting comments on a story about how frustrated you are, and how the system has wronged you.

    I'm sure the workers in the Title 4 office have to adhere to very strict guidelines when they file criminal non-support, so don't act like they aren't doing their jobs just because you aren't getting an immediate outcome. Also, if your child's father files tax-returns, in the state of Indiana, you could see the money owed to you come in as well. "Puttingitbluntly" sounds like your child is really blessed to at least have his father active and involved his life, would that not change if he were in prison?

    Bottom line here is this: don't go blindly posting comments and pointing fingers, about something you don't have all the correct facts about.

    -- Posted by annoyed_citizen on Thu, Feb 4, 2010, at 5:46 PM
  • putnammom: thank you for posting something factual! YOU GO GIRL! Keep doing what you do!

    -- Posted by annoyed_citizen on Thu, Feb 4, 2010, at 5:50 PM
  • Innocent until proven guilty????? You put it out here for all to see....guilty or not.........sad

    -- Posted by sad_but_true on Thu, Feb 4, 2010, at 9:39 PM
  • Annoyed_citizen, I do have the facts. I have a degree in Criminal Justice/Criminology and I am very well aware of the laws and statutes of the State of Indiana. I am also aware of the grants and funding that are provided to the Title IV office. Maybe you should do a little research on that before you attack my comments. The funding that is provided for this program is public record, so check it out before you make your opinion based on "what little you have read on the internet." It will explain the purpose of the program, its mission and what funds go where. And to be even more blunt, until you have raised a child by yourself, with no help from the other parent or government assistance, keep you opinions to yourself. I'm blessed to have a wonderful kid and with or without child support, he will grow up with morals, respect for others, and great education that I will provide for him, because in the end I would spend every last penny I have to continue provide the lifestyle and comfort that I always have provided for my son...because that's what parents do...

    -- Posted by PuttingItBluntly on Fri, Feb 5, 2010, at 8:00 AM
  • PuttingItBluntly I just want to thank you for your comments. You have said all the things that I wanted to say. I am a parent of two great kids that me and my husband have raised and supported for the last several years without any consistent support from their father. All I can say is that if you have children, then be mature enough to help take care of them financially and emotionally. If you can't, then get another job. There is no reason that we should have to work two jobs. I thank God everyday for my two healthy and amazing kids! I will do everything it takes to provide for them with or without the help of the non-custodial parent.

    -- Posted by opinionmatters on Fri, Feb 5, 2010, at 8:55 AM
  • PuttingitBluntly:

    I too am raising a child without government assistance, and without a dime of child support. I've been supporting my daughter for four years while going to college to get my degree in child and family law. The only assistance I've ever seen is in the form of what little financial aid I receive. Your struggles and frustrations aren't unfamiliar to me. I never said you weren't doing your very best at providing for your son. "And to be even more blunt" a degree in criminal justice is not the same as a degree in family and child law.

    What I did say is this: stop accusing people of not doing their jobs, or understanding the mathematics involved with their jobs. I have read all the public record on the Title IV-D office, and every scrap of information available in regards to state guidelines for child support. I even called a friend who works in the same office in Tippecanoe county and asked her what keeps parents off a criminal non-support list. She said that there are many stipulating factors (she explained about 5 different ones to me off the top of her head), that it is ridiculous what specific circumstances go into being able to file a criminal non support and that the best thing you could do is call the office and ask them to explain to you what is different about your case. The number in your county is (765) 653-8929. To me it seems better to call and ask what is going on, than to say people must not be doing their jobs, or they must not know how to do math. I'm not one to let things sit, I like to figure out why something that I think should be happening isn't. It's far more productive than sitting behind a computer and complaining to the world that you aren't getting your justice.

    -- Posted by annoyed_citizen on Fri, Feb 5, 2010, at 9:35 AM
  • I think that the kids are the ones to be most hurt by all the bickering about money. I see alot of parents now who work together to make a life for the kids even though they couldnt get along together married. I dont understand how anyone benefits by someone being put in jail for lack of support. If they are in jail(especially in this economic crisis ) how will the child benefit or the parent get the money they need to pay their child support or for that matter how will the parent who needs the money to pay the rent get help.What good is it doing to tell people they dont know their job, or that someone just wants to

    better themselves. Lets look at the children who just want everyone to be happy and stop screaming at one another and maybe theyll be happy w/o another game boy or new bike.

    -- Posted by dgranmoney on Fri, Feb 5, 2010, at 8:27 PM
  • I understand where you are coming from PuttingItBluntly, but as a stepmom of a wonderful little girl (my husband is the noncustodial parent) I also know there is another side to the equation. My husband and I are both very involved in his daughters life. In addition to the child support that we have never been late in paying, we have never hesitated or balked when asked to pay for anything extra. We buy her school clothes, pay for dance/tumbling lessons, pay half of her preschool tuition, and anything else that comes up. We have to provide a house with a room and safe environment for her when she is in our care, just as her mother does. I guess we are also in a rare situation in that we actually get along with her mom and soon to be stepdad. Yes, there are occassional differences of opinion, but we can be adults and work through it. So while you may not have that type of relationship with your ex, that doesn't mean that all "noncustodial" parents are dead beats. And I do appreciate what the Title IV office does and the work that they do, but try dealing with them from the father's perspective. My husband was treated like a dead beat low life, even when he went to them being fully cooperative and trying to do what was right. I'm sorry that he didn't let them walk all over him and that we had to get our attorney involved, but someone has to stand up for the dad's too because there are fathers out there that try to do what is best for their child and be fair when it comes to sharing expenses. I would know, I happen to be married to one of them.

    -- Posted by farmers wife on Fri, Feb 5, 2010, at 11:27 PM
  • You know, unless you have been in each situation, you really can't just believe what others say. I can not believe that I owe less than $3000 and I support 3 children besides the one I owe support on and I made the Banner but when he started paying support years ago, he was $5000 and refused to pay support. I not once went after him like he has me. He has only had our daughter for 3 years. She is 16!! Who do you think supported her for the other 13 years? I worked 2 full time jobs to support my children and now that I have had some surgeries and I am unable to work or pay support, you want to call me a dead beat? Anyone that knows me knows that I have always taken care of my children and put them first and even when the molestation of my children was plastered all over the front page of the Banner, causing us to move to get some peace, I showed up every day and did my job but now you want to turn things around and make it look like I don't care enough to care for my children, YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED of yourselves!!! I have spent more money on my children then the little that he paid to support his. If he can't support her, maybe he shouldn't have fought for her to stay with him when she told the judge she did not want to live with him. Him keeping her was his way of trying to control where I would live and I did not allow it.

    -- Posted by Jessica's mom on Mon, Feb 8, 2010, at 7:01 PM
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