Dorothy ScherrI just spent part of the day getting a Capias order from the Tarrant county court set up to be served in another county. This is equivalent to an arrest. The person arrested will be the father of a disabled child who was ordered to pay child support and spousal support before he went into active duty overseas. He did not pay as ordered. He has returned to Texas and still will not pay. Now he will have to face the music.

A CAPIAS (Latin legal term) is a writ issued by a court, ordering the Sheriff of a county to seize a person to bring that person before the court. It is equivalent to a warrant for arrest. I prepared this order and asked the judge to sign it, ordering the arrest of this father. The judge signed it this week. Now we have to get the Order to the sheriff of the other county, to find the father and arrest him.

The usual procedure is this: When someone is ordered to pay child support and fails to do so, there is a motion or a petition for enforcement of the order for payment of support, signed by the court. This is the motion I filed for the mother.

If the individual receives good notice of the hearing, and does not appear, the judge will issue a warrant for the arrest of the person and bring the person to court in order to deal with the child support that is not being paid.

Just so happens that the other county is home to a large military base. The father is stationed at the military base located in that county, and was summoned to come to a hearing in Fort worth to explain to the judge why he is not paying child support. He did not come. He did not call. He did not hire an attorney. We know for a fact that he received notice of the hearing. So the judge issued the warrant for his arrest. Judges do not like it when someone ignores an order to appear.

Unfortunately for the father, he will be arrested by the sheriff in the other county, and will be held for ten days, giving him the opportunity to pay the child support. Then he will be brought to Tarrant County, and held until the judge has a hearing date for him, which will be the next Monday. This will add another 4 to seven days to his ten days in jail. It is possible this man will be in jail for two weeks or more. This is very unfortunate, as it could all have been avoided if he had come to the hearing and explained to the judge his circumstances.

Now it is in the sheriff’s hands and we are waiting. I will update on what happens next.

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