Clifford Hall thought he was doing everything right. He visited his 11-year-old son regularly and when he found that a glitch in the system was causing his employer to withhold his child support payments erratically he took it upon himself to pay $3,000 to cover the shortages. Clearly he is a good father, involved in his son’s life and seeing to it that his financial obligations are being met, unfortunately an over zealous judge did not agree with him.
As of his last appearance in court last November, Hall’s support payments were up to date and paid in full. Sometime in the last two months his support and visitation agreements with his ex-wife were modified without his knowledge and he found himself back in court where he was found to be in contempt of court for over paying his support by $3,000 and for visiting his son too often.
Judge Lisa Millard felt that his “crimes” could not go unpunished and sentenced him to spend 6 months in the county jail on the contempt charges.
“When she said I remand you to the Harris County Jail for 180 days my mouth just dropped,” Hall said in an interview with FOX 26 Houston.
As if this was not enough, the judge has also ordered him to pay his ex-wife’s attorney fees for the work done in obtaining the modifications that no one thought to notify Mr. Hall about.
“I can’t be there for my son in jail,” Hall said. “I can’t pay child support in jail. This is not in the best interest of the child.”
This is a sentence that makes no sense and benefits no one. Hall will not be able to provide support payments while he is incarcerated nor will he be able to visit his son and spend time bonding with him.
As if that is not enough, a gainfully employed man is being taken from the workforce and will spend half of the year being supported by the taxpayers who will also probably end up picking up the slack left by his interrupted support payments as well.
“This entire situation is shocking to me,” says community activist Quanell X. “I’ve never seen one like this.” X is the leader of the New Black Panthers in Houston and has promised to watch the case closely.
Watch the report from Fox 26 in the video below.
h/t: Police State USA