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State, Dep't of Children & Family Servs. v. Peters

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, First Circuit

June 5, 2015

STATE OF LOUISIANA, THROUGH THE DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES, CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT, IN THE INTEREST OF MATTHEUS JONES MINOR CHILD (REN) OF MONICA JONES
v.
KRISTOPHER PETERS

Appealed from The Family Court. In and for the Parish of East Baton Rouge State of Louisiana. Case No. F188360. The Honorable Pamela Baker, Judge Presiding.

Cathryn Cloninger-Kojis, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Counsel for Appellant, State of Louisiana.

Kristopher Peters, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Appellee, In Proper Person.

BEFORE: GUIDRY, THERIOT, AND DRAKE, JJ.

OPINION

Page 1201

[2014 1800 La.App. 1 Cir. 2] THERIOT, J.

In this case, the State of Louisiana, through the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), appeals the family court's calculation of child support obligations. For the reasons set forth herein, we amend the judgment of the family court and affirm as amended.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On January 14, 2013, DCFS, in the interest of Mattheus Jones, minor child of Monica Jones, filed a petition to establish paternity and support alleging that Kristopher Peters was the biological father and had failed or refused to pay child support. Although personally served, Kristopher did not file an answer to the petition. DCFS moved for a preliminary default that was granted by the family court on April 19, 2013. On numerous occasions, the family court ordered Kristopher to submit to a paternity test; however, Kristopher never appeared for the test.

Due to Kristopher's unwillingness to submit to a paternity test, DCFS filed a motion to make the presumption of Kristopher's paternity absolute. Kristopher failed to appear for the hearing on the motion. The family court signed a judgment on February 21, 2014, declaring Kristopher to be the biological father of Mattheus and ordering Kristopher to pay child support of $200.00 per month and to pay $98.00 for the cost of the paternity test.

In the family court's child support worksheet, $508.00 was deducted from Monica's total income for " extraordinary adjustments." The deduction corresponds to Social Security income Mattheus received as dependent pay in conjunction with Monica's own Social Security benefits.

DCFS filed a motion for new trial on February 27, 2014, arguing that the deduction of $508.00 from the basic child support obligation should have been applied as a credit against Monica's potential child support obligation. [2014 1800 La.App. 1 Cir. 3] The family court denied the motion for new trial and DCFS appealed the judgment.

Page 1202

ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR


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