Thursday, September 2, 2010

CA Tribes Not Enforcing Child Support Orders, forcing the State to Support the Children

A growing tragedy in CA's Indian Country. Father's who are more than capable to take care of their kids aren't doing so.

When Christina Brown got together with her soon-to-be ex-husband in the early 1990s, they were poor. But he’s a member of the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians. When the tribe’s casino opened up a few years later, the checks started rolling in, around $20,000 a month. They moved out of their mobile home into a big house. Nice cars and a 34-foot Fleetwood motor home followed.

After what she described as a worsening domestic situation, she left him in 2007. Brown, who noted that she once had a drug problem, said she’s been clean for years now. But in other ways, her present looks a lot like her past. She’s on welfare and food stamps, living with her mother in a two-bedroom house, and running four payments behind on her car. OP: So tribal gaming hasn't helped these native children.

And there’s another crucial difference: she’s responsible for the children. She has five over all — one before her husband, three with him and one after. The three youngest live with her, including two from her husband, but she says he hasn’t paid child support in years, despite the fact that he still gets thousands of dollars a month from the tribe.

Under the program, the federal government offers grants to tribes of up to $200,000 to set up their own programs to enforce child support laws, and will pay 90 percent of the ongoing cost of these programs. As of late 2008, 30 tribes had approved child support operations through the program. None are in California

See More at: CAPITOL WEEKLY My comment there:

Remember when tribes told us it was about self reliance? No, it was about getting "ours". Child care is the basic responsibility of the parents and any tribal member should be paying for their own children. Instead, the tribes think it's just that the people of California pay. When tribes eliminate members from their tribal rolls, the tribe thinks it just that elders go back on the public dole. Legally they may be on firm ground, morally, they are bankrupt. Simply DO NOT patronize tribal casinos where you KNOW they have done their own people wrong. Pechanga, Redding, Enterprise, Picayune-Chukchansi, San Pascual, Guideville are just a few of the CA tribes that do not deserve your business. Original Pechanga's Blog has more...


'aamokat said...

Yes, and our buddies over at Pechanga have among the current members deadbeat dads also.

There was an article about three years ago or so that told the same story but in this case the child's grandmother, the mother of the tribal member's ex wife, was taking care of his children and not getting a dime of help from the father.

Sovreignty, ya gotta love it!

Hopefully I can track down the article, from the Press Enterprise I think.

Anonymous said...

There are many deadbeat fathers at Pechanga. It was so bad that Pechanga finally put in a program to deduct monies from per capita, but only at a fraction of what the courts ordered.

As a reminder, Pechanga still will not deduct for any alimony and many do not pay this court ordered payment.

Thus the broken families, many by addiction and violence are living below poverty levels and receive aid from federal and state programs just to get by each month.

Give it up for self reliance!!

'aamokat said...

"There are many deadbeat fathers at Pechanga. It was so bad that Pechanga finally put in a program to deduct monies from per capita, but only at a fraction of what the courts ordered."

I suppose this is a step in the right direction and I didn't know that they started doing this but what stops them from making the deadbeat dads pay the full amount that the court ordered?

It is not like they can't afford it.

I guess that if they made the deadbeats pay the fair amount, then it would appear that the courts were telling Pechanga what to do.

So sovereignty is more important than kids?

No doubt when the tribe approved making fathers pay at least some child support that some members voted against it as if they could possibly lose even one penny of their per capita, they can't have that.

Anonymous said...

paying child support is not an option unless you work under the table.

Sovereignty is not valid as it a a federal government issue. If you don't pay you lose any and ALL licenses, tax refunds, rtc. The problem with California is there are MANY dead beats out there so the state cann't get caught up.

It is the one thing that tribes can't hide from if people fight them. If you are due support and don't get it from a working person the state will get it for you from them.

But the operative word is fight for what you deserve.

I post on here on many issues and ask many questions, it is time I change my username, as some are not excited about my communication

'aamokat said...

The thing is deadbeat dads can get per capita and be very well off but if they aren't working, then the state can't collect from them.

Only the tribe can make them pay and if they don't do so or make them pay only a fraction of what the judgement is, then there is nothing the state can do about.

To put it bluntly sovereignty is their new god and it trumps people's rights of due process and the welfare of children.

Luiseno said...

I remember when the Tribe had to vote on if they would support Tribal children who had become orphans. There were many who stood up and complained over and over again about how they didn't think we should have been wasting there per-capa money (mainly members from the CPP) on Tribal orphans. One person in particular I remember who complained the hardest was Ed B.

Anonymous said...

I just don't get how they don't have to pay. It is my understanding that ANYONE who receives a check that is provable, social security, welfare, unemployment, etc... is required to pay support of any kind. Otherwise why not collect welfare, foodstamps and per cap checks....

It can be proven in court, which child support would fall under, that said parent is receiving checks and how much. The support would then be based off that.

This would be a great hole for the tribe to fall into if enough dead beats were required to go to court. Which, by the way is free for custodial parent.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, you are cleary not understanding the law. Yes, you are correct instating monies can be garnished that are from non-tribal enterprises. But these monies are TRIBAL PER CAPITA checks, thus not garnished by the state.

If a state income tax refund is due, it can also be witheld, but many members do not pay state income tax as they state they live on the reservation, even though they cleary live in the city of Temecula.

The state of California has no authority over per capita payments no matter what the courts state.

stand your ground said...

According to a court ruling Sept.17
his ass goes to jail for 20 days if he does not pay up.

Indian Country Today
Court orders tribal dad to pay up or serve jail time.