Child Support Suit

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Two members of the state's child support advisory committee have filed a lawsuit against acting Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Gorman Houston and other members of the committee, claiming they are operating in a secret and unconstitutional manner.

Committee members James Blackston and Brad Barber filed suit last week against Houston, Lewis Gosa, chairman of the Advisory Committee on Alabama Child Support Guidelines and Enforcement, and other officials with the state child support system.

Both men reside in Jefferson County and are non-custodial parents.

In March, the committee received a recommendation to raise the child support guidelines by an average of 32-percent, meaning many non-custodial parents could pay almost a third more in child support than they do now.

Barber and Blackston allege that Houston and two others met secretly on January eighth to issue a contract to Policy Studies Incorporated to review the state's child support schedule. The agency recommended the 32-percent increase.

Blackston and Barber contend the contract should have been approved by the entire committee.

Houston said Tuesday he wouldn't comment on the lawsuit until he reviews it with the attorney general's office.

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