It is rare for fathers to apply for Bureau of Child Support Enforcement (BCSE) services. Even the application form is geared toward a custodial mother. Fathers make a different sort of application when they file for custody. Why would a biological father, who is willfully not paying child support, ask the BCSE to force him to pay?
The steps in a BCSE application are defined in West Virginia code and in the published BCSE protocol serving as a guide for workers taking an application. The steps in taking and processing an application were never followed in this case.
First, an applicant for BCSE services must present a complete financial statement to the BCSE.
In this case, N.S. never presented the legally required financial statement to the court. The BCSE did not present his financial statement to the court. If no financial statement was given to the BCSE no processing of the application should have followed.
Second, the BCSE must contact the other party and inform them that an application for services has been made, and meet with the other party.
The mother was never contacted by the BCSE. She had never even heard of the BCSE until she received the summons. There was no contact, no notification of an application for services, and no meeting.
Third, the BCSE must present the parties with a paternity affidavit if one has not been completed and filed with the birth certificate.
The BCSE sent the mother no paternity affidavit.
The evidence in the court records, incomplete as it is, indicates that the BCSE opened and filed a case with no application having been made, and thus with no legal standing to open a case.
Remember, N.S. had stated explicitly that he did not want to pay child support or be involved in a court case. He was not supporting or visiting or showing interest in the child. The mother had not applied to the BCSE and did not wish to be involved in a court case.
What motivations propelled BCSE attorney Charles Shaffer and BCSE worker Cindi Jenkins to file this case so that judge Randal Minor could force the parties into his court?