A Wildomar mother who has been fighting to collect child support from her children's father, a member of the wealthy Viejas Band of Mission Indians in Alpine, has finally succeeded.
Christina Brown, who is not a tribal member, had taken her ex-husband, Sonnie Brown, to court to force him to pay child support and won. But the courts were powerless to collect thousands of dollars in late payments because the state can't garnishee the money that tribal members receive from casino profits.
Brown's ex-husband was not immediately available for comment.
Courts can sentence tribal members to jail for failing to pay, but they can't touch the money due to tribal sovereignty.
Brown's story brought statewide, public attention to the problem last year.
Last month, Brown finally received a $747 check in the mail after the Viejas tribal council reviewed a petition she submitted and agreed to voluntarily garnishee her ex-husband's monthly casino stipends ---- known as "per capita" payments ---- which total about $240,000 a year.
The amount Brown receives in the future is likely to increase to about $4,000 a month, she said. The smaller amount last month was due to a mistake in the paperwork, Brown said.
Brown, 39, said she was thankful for the tribe's decision.
"They made a huge difference in my kids' lives," she said.
Read MORE of Edward Sifuentes article From the NCTIMES
If Sonnie Brown is not taking care of his children willingly, he IS a deadbeat.
What a dick
lots of deadbeat dads one in washington as a republican congressman walsh from ill. but i am glad these children will have some money and he has to pay.
Dear Sonnie Brown,
YOU are a worthless jerk. And now, thanks to your tribal council, you are definitely WORTH LESS.
Wonder how poor Sonnie is doing now that he's having to provide for his children...?
Congratulations to christina brown.im also a single parent and im owed 80,000 in back child support.I know what ur going through and im a man.my es is from soboba
Nice to hear a success story for the children. My children’s father is Quileute which is a small tribe in La Push WA. They don’t have a casino and I don’t know if he gets other moneys from the tribe. He owes over 56,478 in back child support and I can’t even get a warrant out for his arrest because he wont provide the courts an address and Jefferson County Superior Courts state he has to be served in person. But he is hiding on the reservation. Any information for pro-bono attorneys and or how to serve members of tribes on tribal land would be greatly appreciated as no one is helping to include child support enforcement. Please visit WA State DSHS website http://www.dshs.wa.gov/ most wanted case number 3858280 to leave a tip of his whereabouts.
I think this is a good ruling for as long as all the spending really goes to the children's needs. Schooling alone is really expensive.
child support and florida
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