Moral Low Ground

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Houston Dad Clifford Hall Jailed 6 Months for Over-Paying Child Support

January 13, 2014 by Brett Wilkins in Courts, Crime & Punishment with 0 Comments

A Texas father has been sentenced to six months behind bars in a dispute over child support payments, despite the fact that he’s paid his ex-wife the entire amount owed.

Fox 26 reports Clifford Hall of Houston has paid $3,000 in delinquent child support to his ex-wife after learning that a court had modified his payment schedule without his knowledge.

“I discovered for some reason his employer was withholding a large amount some weeks, a small amount some weeks, a zero amount some weeks,” Hall’s attorney, Tyesha Elam, told Fox 26.

Not wanting to go to jail, Hall quickly paid the $3,000 in back support, which turned out to be more than he actually owed. By the time he and his ex appeared in Judge Lisa Millard’s court in November, Hall was more than caught up with his payments.

“Opposing counsel testified twice that he’s all paid up,” Elam said.

However, the lawyer representing Hall’s ex-wife wanted Hall to pay an additional $3,000 in attorney’s fees. Judge Millard concurred. According to court documents, Hall wasn’t adhering to the court-mandated visitation times for his 11-year-old son. He was ‘over-visiting’ the boy without knowing it. Hall claims this is another modification of which he was not aware.

Judge Millard sentenced Hall to six months behind bars. She found him in contempt of court, after which time he stormed out of the courtroom in frustration. An arrest warrant was issued.

“My mouth just dropped,” Hall told Fox 26.

“He couldn’t have gotten a worse result,” added Elam. “What did I do that my client has overpaid, over-visited, and is now paying $3,000 in attorney fees and is now going to jail for six months?”

Community activist Quanell X told Fox 26 that Millard’s “court failed the child,” as well as Hall.

“The system broke down,” he said.

Hall, who is likely to turn himself in to authorities within days, wondered how he would be able to support his son while incarcerated.

“I can’t be there for my son in jail,” he told Fox 26. “I can’t pay child support in jail. This is not in the best interest of the child.”

“I’m his father, it’s my responsibility to take care of him,” Hall said.

petition on the activist site calling on Texas Governor Rick Perry to “remove all charges” against Hall has received more than 2,500 signatures as of Monday afternoon.

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