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NCFM Member Naomi Evans update on paternity fraud reform efforts in Washington

December 5, 2015
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paternity fraudNCFM NOTE: This article was earlier published but was lost when our website was attacked and seriously damaged. This is an important article for several reasons not the least of which is showing how the determination of a few people can have dramatic impact on government. Naomi, in her dogged pursuit of justice, uncovered an Achilles heal in child support services operations, not just in Washington, but most certainly throughout the United States. Federal law leans toward freeing cuckolded men while states appear to have misused the law to encourage entrapment for no reason other than money. That, coupled with the dialog below makes it abundantly clear that the states interest in dollars overrules interest in children. Read this report from Naomi a few times to understand the full impact of what was discovered. If we had 100 people like her changing the world to a better place for all of us would be a greatly improved task… click on the picture above for more information about efforts in Washington including information about a really in Olympia January 15, 2015. If you atten go please do.

______________________________

At the end of last March 2015, I wrote about the death of SB 5006 in Washington State.  This bill was the “Stop Paternity Fraud” bill introduced in the Senate for the second consecutive Legislative session by Senator Jan Angel of the 26th district.

View bill here: http://app.leg.wa.gov/BillInfo/summary.aspx?bill=5006&year=2015

To recap my story on this bill’s demise please check here: http://survivingpaternityfraud2ndwife.blogspot.com/2015/03/there-are-no-good-byes-only-see-you.html

So many wonderful things have transpired since my last post, I hardly know where to begin.  I have now received five installments from my public disclosure request to Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) regarding both SB 5006 and its companion bill HB 1524, that reveal an underhanded and corrupt plot to prevent the passage of this long overdue reform to end Paternity Fraud in Washington State.

The last 6 months I campaigned for and won (November 3rd) a seat on the Bremerton School Board which I will officially take office for on December 10th, 2015.

I have worked tirelessly with the help of a handful of victim/supporters to completely overhaul our approach to legislation in 2016.  This year’s legislation “The Brandon Jones Act” will be sponsored by Representative Matt Shea of Spokane Valley, and will be pre-filed sometime in December.

Due to my “gold mine” discoveries regarding DSHS’ plot against us, I was able to sit down with fellow paternity fraud victim Brandon Jones and re-write the entire bill that will be called “The Brandon Jones Act”. This Paternity Fraud bill is a conglomerate of some of the best pieces of legislation across the country I could find from states that have already passed similar reform. It was written to be the most comprehensive bill on Paternity Fraud reform to date, and uses the very legalese prescribed by the Federal Office of Support Enforcement to uphold Washington State’s qualification to their precious Title IV-D funding, while still providing a more complete level of justice for victims of Paternity Fraud.

Last year SB 5006 began and ended as two completely different pieces of legislation after being re-written by Senator Angel’s Legal Assistant’s in collaboration with DSHS demands.  Throughout the life of SB 5006 and HB 1524 DSHS made bold and unsubstantiated claims that this reform would disqualify the state child support plan and the State’s ability to collect incentive funds through Title IV-D of the Social Security Act.

However the truth found within DSHS emails through my FOIA request provide undeniable truth and clarity to our fight for this reform.

This clip from the Dept. of Social and Health Services ESA Bill Analysis of SB 5006 and HB 1524 dated January 23, 2015 shows their primary concerns-

  “the bill presents public policy concerns by overturning years of Washington case law holding (1) that the state does not wish to bastardize children (by allowing someone to disestablish paternity when there is no other father available to take his place_; (2) that when a non-biological father has become the child’s “psychological father” disestablishment is improper; and (3) that the best interests of the child-not the best interest of the father- should govern in disestablishment proceedings.”

 “This bill may create a violation of the state plan under Title IV-D of the federal social security act. Noncompliance with the state plan may jeopardize federal funding for the IV-D program; failure to have an approved child support program would jeopardize the TANF block grant. The bill presents state plan violation concerns in two ways: 1) it may allow for a “retroactive modification” of child support order by absolving the man of obligations under a child support order, and 2) it may allow a man to disestablish paternity regardless of what occurred prior to the disestablishment proceeding. The bill also presents a major workload impact for county prosecutors who represent DCS in the superior courts and ESA staff, both DCS and CSD. Retained support collections may be reduced if support arrears owed are cancelled and future child support obligations are terminated. In addition, if the bill allows a court to find a support order “void”, the state may have to reimburse the man for any support previously retained.

Other impacts: Prosecutors and Attorney General’s Office. Superior Courts. Possible impact on the Office of Administrative Hearings if “fathers” who have disestablished paternity try to attack administrative support orders by requesting hearings under Chapter 34.05 RCW.”

Note there is no concern for the natural children of theses duped fathers.

national coalition for menDSHS continued to chant the mantra of “Disqualification of Title IV-D funding” throughout the life of SB 5006, even after the bill was changed in accordance with their demands, and in truth after they had received confirmation from the Federal Office of Support Enforcement Region 10 Manager that one simple sentence added to the original bill would have insured Washington State remain within compliance of federal subsidies and would have allowed men to disestablish non-genetic paternity as well as completely vacate the previous order of paternity.

The only thing that needed to be stipulated within the bill was that a “disestablishment of paternity based on DNA evidence of non genetic ties would be deemed Material Mistake of Fact or Fraud”. That is it!

Email correspondence between Washington DSHS Nancy Koptur and Federal Office Region 10 manager David Johnson dated January 23, 2015 at 4:20 PM reveals this question:

 “Hi Dj and Levi!

This session, Senator Angel sponsored SB 5006, which is just like SB 5997 from the 2014 session (which didn’t go anywhere). The bill is intended to allow a man to get out of acknowledged, adjudicated or presumed fatherhood by presenting genetic tests, at anytime, no matter what may have happened in the past. DCS’ position has been that the bill presents state plan issues. We have been talking with Senator Angel and committee staff and think that we have come up with some suggestions that would help get her the result she wants while avoiding any state plan issues. We would like you to review SB 5006 and proposed changes and let us know: (1) whether SB 5006 as initially drafted does present state plan issues, and (2) whether our proposed changes would remove any state plan issues.

The Senate Bill had its public hearing on January 19th but has not yet been scheduled for executive session. We are still working with committee staff. I should also point out that a companion bill has been introduced in the House, but HB 1524 has not yet been scheduled for public hearing.

We would appreciate your advice as soon as possible, because it appears that the bill has “legs” this year and is probably going to make it at least through the Senate. We don’t think it will pass the House, but it’s hard to tell. 

Thanks in advance.

Nancy Koptur”

The response from the Federal Office’s David Johnson (Dj) to DSHS Nancy Koptur and Wally McClure sent January 27th, 2015 at 3:28 PM explains in detail that the US Codes are written so as to allow for cases of Fraud in Paternity to be remedied using DNA evidence and that men disestablishing non-genetic paternity are in fact allowed to Vacate/Nullify a previous order based on Fraud. It is the States who have abused the US Codes for their own financial gain!

“Paternity establishment and disestablishment is for the most part a state, rather than a federal issue. [PIQ-03-01]. The federal government requires IV-D programs to have laws that provide for paternity establishment both judicially and through voluntary acknowledgment processes. [45 CFR 303.5].”

“With respect to the voluntary acknowledgment process, federal statute requires that once the “free” 60-day rescission period has elapsed, a party who signed a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity may challenge the paternity establishment “in court only on the basis of fraud, duress, or material mistake of fact, with the burden of proof upon the challenger….” [42 U.S.C. 666 (a)(5)(D)(iii), emphasis added]. “

“Each state’s law, proposal or practice is unique and requires individual scrutiny. [PIQ-03-01]. If the legislation under consideration maintains the federally required judicial standard of review (“fraud, duress or material mistake of fact”) by clarifying that a contrary genetic test result is one manifestation of “material mistake of fact,” I do not believe OCSE will have concerns. If however a contrary genetic test is considered a new, different, stand-alone standard, we would need to look at the implications of the proposal in practice more carefully.

In and of itself, a contrary genetic test result as evidence supporting a parent’s request for judicial relief, evaluated against the “fraud, duress or material mistake of fact” standard of review, does not present a federal concern.

With respect to the question on retroactive modification, PIQ-03-01 Q&A #5 seems to be directly on point by contrasting and comparing a retroactive modification from vacating an order (to annul, set aside, cancel or rescind.)”

Note: the PIQ-03-01 that is being referenced in the above email can be found here:  http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/css/resource/paternity-disestablishment

The Q&A #5 referenced lastly is this:

Question: If a state enacts a paternity disestablishment law that provides that a support order be vacated, and arrearages owed under that order are also vacated if paternity is disestablished, would that law violate section 466(a)(9) of the Act, otherwise known as the Bradley Amendment?

Response: No. Section 466(a)(9) of the Act requires states to enact laws requiring the use of procedures under which any payment of support under a child support order is, on and after the date it is due, a judgment by operation of law. Under section 466(a)(9), child support orders may not be retroactively modified by any state and must be given full faith and credit by sister states. Vacating a support order and arrearages that accrued under an order once paternity has been disestablished in accordance with state law is distinct from modifying arrearages that accrued under a support order. Black’s Law Dictionary (6th ed. 1990) defines “vacate” as “annul; set aside; cancel or rescind.” “Modify” is defined as “alter; change in incidental or subordinate features; enlarge, extend; amend; limit, reduce.” A vacated judgment is one that, as a legal matter, has no effect and is treated as if it never existed.

Now keep in mind this revelation was presented to DSHS at the end of January, at a point in time that SB 5006 was still being revised to adhere to the demands of DSHS. SB 5006 was finally finished with its “make over” on February 5th and subsequently voted through the Senate Law and Justice Committee who passed the bill onto the Ways and Means Committee, where again DSHS testified that it would likely violate the “state’s plan”. This is truly where the plot thickens…

Even after Washington State DSHS had confirmed that the new Substitute SB 5006 no longer posed a violation to their collection of Title IV-D funding, leaders within DSHS began “bullying” the Central Budget Office (CBO)- who was responsible for writing the “Fiscal Note” for SSB 5006- to add exaggerated language as a “fear tactic” to members of the legislature concerned with budget matters; as shown through the following email correspondence.

Nancy Koptur (DSHS) to Wendy Polzin (DSHS/FSA) February 13, 2015

“Hello! David would like the language in the fiscal note on page 2 (please see the language I circled in the attached) to be stronger if we are confident that the bill would very likely result in a violation of the state plan. If we are confident that it would, then he would like us to replace “Enacting this bill could potentially result in violation of…” To “Enacting this bill would very likely result in…” Please let me know if you have any questions about this. Thank you!

Note: the reference to “David” is DSHS top dog David Stillman.

Email correspondence continues… From: Wendy Polzin (DSHS/FSA To: Nancy Koptur (DSHS/DCS) February 13, 2015 at 1:34 PM

“Hi Dori and Nancy,

I understand that you are wanting a change in language to the substitute version of the fiscal note. I don’t understand right now where the increased concern is coming from. Dianna said DCS has had conversations with the feds about the bill, and I’d like to understand more about the concerns. Please provide detail on the nature of their concerns with SSB 5006, examples of cases that would put the state at risk of a state plan violation and why. That will help me understand why we are more likely to risk a state plan violation now than before.

Thank you,

Wendy”

Response- From: Nancy Koptur (DSHS/DCS) To: Wendy Polzin (DSHS/FSA) February 13, 2015 at 1:35 PM

“Wendy, I think the easy answer is: David wants the stronger language in the fiscal note, and what David wants, David gets. Why is this a problem for you?

Nancy Koptur”

Response- From: Mickie S Coates (DSHS/FSA) To: Nancy Koptur (DSHS/DCS) February 13, 2015 at 1:43 PM

“Nancy,

We are not trying to be difficult. Please understand that we here in the CBO are the first to get the call when there are questions on fiscal notes. We need to be in a position/have the knowledge to explain or defend the note. Please, can you help us understand what new knowledge you all acquired that makes passage of this bill a likely plan violation. Our understanding before (as stated in the previous fiscal note) is that a violation could occur under certain circumstances. However, we did not understand that it is likely that a violation will occur. Please, will you simply share with us what knowledge you acquired that necessitates the stronger language?

Mickie S. Coates, DSHS Budget Manager Financial Services Administration, Central Budget Office”

Response- From: Nancy Koptur (DSHS/DCS) To: Mickie S. Coates (DSHS/FSA) February 13, 2015 at 1:47 PM

“I think this is just a matter of semantics. We usually say “this bill could potentially result in violation of our state plan.” David wants to say “this bill would very likely result in violation of our state plan.” I don’t really see a difference. The fact is that the original SB definitely violates our state plan. We did not however use that language in our analysis or the fiscal note. The bill was amended and the sponsor and staff felt secure that they had addressed all of our state plan concerns. They did not. The Region X OCSE office was not able to say that SSB 5006 removed all state plan concerns. It appears that David wants to emphasize the point that we still have state plan concerns and so wants the FN to read “this bill would very likely result in violation of our state plan.”

Based on what I know of SSB 5006 after its “make over” in comparison to what the Region 10 Federal office had written to State DSHS, I would say this last statement from Nancy Koptur was a flat out lie. DSHS had already changed SB 5006 to specify the language needed to avoid any violations and still two weeks later they were attempting to force the Central Budget Office to falsely represent the potential fiscal impact of this bill.

Lastly this email from Nancy answers a long time question of “how many men are victimized by Paternity Fraud?”

In the following email Nancy was asked by Kristin how many men would be impacted by this bill in order to correctly complete the bills fiscal note.  Nancy’s reply is very revealing and shows how far DSHS has gone to cover up the fact that Paternity Fraud occurs in Epidemic Proportions…

From: Koptur, Nancy (DSHS/DCS)
Sent: Monday, January 12, 2015 4:15 PM
To: Reichl, Kristin (DOH)

Subject: RE: SB5006

At this time, we can only say “indeterminate” or “uncertain” – the bill says that anyone who has ever signed a paternity acknowledgment, anyone who has been adjudicated to be the father, and anyone who was a presumed father, can ask to be disestablished as the father if he has genetic tests showing that he is not the father. So, anyone who is listed on a birth certificate is a potential petitioner under this act.
I remember when we were first required to set up the paternity acknowledgment process, I was talking to a friend who is a PhD biologist: she said that based on studies, if you did genetic testing on all the babies born to married couples, at least 40% would be the children of someone other than the husband. However, I don’t think I want to put that in our fiscal note!
If we come up with anything other than “uncertain,” I’ll let you know.

Nancy Koptur

I guess it’s like Marilyn Monroe said… “Sometime good things fall apart, so better things can fall together.”

Watching the death of SSB 5006 was like watching my child (slow motion) tumble down a flight of steps… You know it’s going to hurt…You know you are helpless to stop it… but after the dust settles you pick them back up and childproof those damned steps! The knowledge and irrefutable evidence gathered from my FOIA request has given me the tools to “baby proof” this year’s legislation.

So it is that me and my small (yet growing) band of supporters “2nd Wives Against Paternity Fraud”, with the continued help and support of NCFM and Representative Matthew Shea are gearing up for our third (hopefully final) attempt at reforming RCW 26.26 to finally end this evil crime in Washington State; armed with more experience, a better piece of Legislation, and a resolution to kick DSHS’ ass the next time they bring their lies into a Committee Hearing.

Please follow my articles leading up to the January 2016 start of the Washington Legislature for updates, and a series of articles dedicated to the many different Men and Women affected by Paternity Fraud.

As always, feel free to contact me at nlevans88@gmail.com

Please save the date for our January 15, 2016 Stop Paternity Fraud Rally in Olympia, WA at the capital from 12-3pm Rain or Shine!

Naomi Evans

national coalition for menThere are no kind words from here about bureaucrats those who benefit from paternity fraud, especially government officials who encourage it through horrifically unfair legislation.

No paternity fraud victim, unless willing, should be legally obligated to support children not his own, by his choice and no other.

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