In March 2015 a child maintenance claim was made against me. A woman I don't know named me on her application as the parent of a their child. I disputed parentage straight away but the Child Maintenance Service (CMS formerly CSA) ignored my letters and refused to help me carry out a DNA test. They continued pursuing me and have since taken £4000 of my money and forced me to pay maintenance for some elses child with a detachment of earnings order (DEO).
• The CMS assumed parentage despite me telling them there is no way I could be the father
• I was never named on birth certificate, never been married and have never had any children
• My case could have been resolved within weeks but has now lasted over two and half years
• Without permission, the CMS took my personal details from my employer and HMRC
• CMS sent me threatening letters to take me to prison and remove my driving licence
• They enforced an order to collect £212 per month which I could not challenge or contest
• During this time I was unable to afford their payments and have since suffered ill health
• A DNA test in May 2017 finally proved 100% that I am not the father
• However - the CMS have continued ignoring me and my demands for a full explanation
• They have also refused to return any of the charges they took from me even with my MPs help
Read more: CMS admissions of serious failings to my MP
Read more: One of my many complaints to the CMS
Read more: My complaint to the DWP minister
Read more: About my story at the Civil Observer
I now need legal assistance to challenge the Child Maintenance Service and their unfair statue laws and procedures that allowed this to happen. These include constant harassing calls and misleading letters. Forcing paying parents into financial hardship without considering the impact of their actions. Enforcing rules which cannot be challenged in court. And regular breaches of the Data Protection Act.
Find out more about my story at the Civil Observer
Why am I taking legal action?
Despite making numerous phone calls and writing many many letters of complaint the Child Maintenance Service completely ignored my pleas insisting that I cannot be the father.
I did not know the woman who made the claim against me, there was no evidence apart from her say so and I've been left stressed and financially worse off through no fault of my own.
I am taking legal action to get compensation and ensure another stranger cannot be falsely accused and be put through what I have been through without proper checks by the CMS.
Why is this case important?
Because the Child Maintenance Service have a lot of powers but act like they answer to no one. They regularly make life changing mistakes causing undue stress forcing paying parents into poverty. They consistently ignore letters, avoid answering questions over the phone - even hanging up after refusing to give their own names or where they are based.
CMS judgements affect the lives of millions of people everyday. Their negligence and abuse of their powers means some people simply give up under the pressure which has lead to a reported 60 suicides.
Read more: Father commits suicide after child support demands
The CMS do not exercise fairness in many of their procedures. Under their rules, detachment of earnings orders (DEOs) should only be used as a last resort but they consistently use them as the first option. No one wants to see a child suffer, but should a paying parent - in my case not even a parent - be made to suffer instead?
I need your help to stop unfair Child Maintenance Service rules with a Judicial Review of:
1. The Child Maintenance Services' regular breaches of the Data Protection Act.
2. The CMS' consistent breaches of the Human Rights Act 1998 and the ECHR.
3. The CMS' ability to enforce DEOs without a court order or any external oversight.
4. The CMS' ability to make parental responsibility assumptions just on someones say so, without a B/C, marriage certificate, or DNA test.
5. The CMS approach in sending misleading letters and letters threatening passport or driving licence removal and imprisonment.
6. The CMS' failure to consider the impact their decisions have on paying parents.
7. The CMS' failure to carry out more stringent checks to prevent malicious, false or fraudulent maintenance claims.
“I wish I could say that your situation is an isolated matter and that these things rarely occur with the CSA/CMS. It happens to many fathers because the system was designed that way.“
David Joseph, Family & Employment Lawyer at Selwyns Law
How much is being raised and why
An initial amount of £10,000 is being raised to enable solicitor David Joseph of Selwyns Law, working with counsel to consider potential legal routes, send a letter before claim and begin litigation against the Child Maintenance Service to seek a judicial review
Please support this important challenge to stop the Child Maintenance Service continuing their unfair practices.
Follow my progress
I have recently setup a news publication to campaign against unfair treatment by public organisations such as the Child Maintenance Service. I will be sending featured stories monthly to politicians and people in positions of power to campaign for others and help create positive change.
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