More than 70 people in Maryland were able to avoid time in jail by meeting with a family court Judge earlier in the month of February. The initiative was launched by the Baltimore City Sheriff’s Office, which centered around child support.
The event was held for just one day and it afforded more than 700 people the chance to reconcile any open warrants surrounding child support. The initiative was held at the Baltimore Circuit Courthouse. Those who attended and spoke with a Judge were issued a summons for a new court date and provided information about different services that can help them make their payments.
“This has given individuals an opportunity to come to terms with child-support issues,” a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office said. “Many times, they may be in a situation that prevents them from getting that situation taken care of.”
There are instances where some parents cannot pay their child support due to unemployment, mental health issues, substance abuse issues or not having a valid driver’s license. Child Support Services and the Department of Human Resources had agents on hand to help those who attended the initiative make payment plans.
The event is held once per year and is touted to be a safer alternative for the defendants and officers since arrests do not have to be made. The sheriff’s office also noted that the event helps save money at both the city and state levels.
By the end of the day, 71 people attended the event and 86 child support cases were reconciled. Six people were arrested because of open criminal warrants. The sheriff’s office said that these issues had to be addressed because they were criminal warrants and something other than child support.
The sheriff’s office made it known that the event is held in order to help those with open warrants in child support cases resolve the outstanding issues.
An experienced family law attorney in Gaithersburg, Maryland can answer all of your child support questions.
Source: Baltimore Sun, “Baltimore sheriff’s event helps people clear child support warrants, avoid arrest,” Jessica Anderson, Feb. 04, 2017