Saturday, June 16, 2007
Order Requiring OAG to Return Money Seized from Dad's Bank Account for Child Support Reversed on Appeal
Nonresident's Fight to Invalidate Default Judgment for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction Leaves Him In No-Win Situation
Office of the Attorney General of Texas v. Joe V. Phillips Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] May 31, 2007)(Hanks)(order voiding child support arrearage reversed)
First Court of Appeals, in an opinion by Justice George Hanks, holds that California resident consented to personal jurisdiction when he challenged child support enforcement efforts based on Texas divorce and paternity determination on the ground that the Court did not have personal jurisdiction over him. California resident averred that he had no notice of the Texas proceeding, in which default judgment had been rendered against him, and that personal jurisdiction over him was lacking.
Attorney General appealed from Houston Family Court Judge Doug Warne's order that California resident owed zero $ in child support arrearages because underlying judgment was void. Holding that the judgment was merely voidable, not void, and that California resident waived his objection to personal jurisdiction by appearing in Texas court to fight the Attorney General [which acts as child support enforcement agency in Texas], the court of appeals reverses the trial court's order requiring the Office of Attorney General to return money seized from the man's bank account.
Dispostion: Trial court judgment reversed, and remanded to trial court for further proceedings
Panel members: Justices Sam Nuchia, George C. Hanks, Jr., and Jane Bland
Appellate cause no: 01-05-00973-CV
Full style: The Office of the Attorney General of Texas v. Joe V. Phillips
Trial Court: 311th District Court
Trial Court Judge: Hon. Doug Warne
Appellant's attorney: John B. Worley, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott
Appellee's attorney: Scott Ramsey
Legal lingo: Child support enforcement, arrearage, bank account levy, personal jurisdiction, in personam jurisdiction, long-arm jurisdiction statute, pleading jurisdictional facts, special appearance, void judgments, voidable judgments, nonpaternity, child of the marriage, marital presumption of paternity, parentage, collateral attack