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Courts Decide Paternity Case


This matter deals with a paternity proceeding. The petitioner of the case is Felix O. The respondents in the case are Janette M. and Herbert M. The case is being heard in the Family Court of the State of New York in Kings County.

This is a petition made by Felix O. for an order to declare him to be the father of Precious Jewel M. and for an order to set his child support obligation. Respondents Janette M., the mother and Herbert M, the husband both oppose the petition. The respondents were married at the time of Precious Jewel’s birth and are still married now.
Felix filed the paternity petition on the 7th of January, 2004 when Precious Jewel was four and a half years old. For a number of reasons the case took a long time to conclude. None of the reasons were the fault of Felix. A New York Family Lawyer said the respondents, Janette and Herbert successfully evaded service for over a year and a half. Finally, a warrant was issued when Janette failed to appear the second time she was served. She was brought into court on the warrant on the fifth of August, 2004 and ordered to appear in court on the 29th of November, 2004. Herbert was issued a summons to appear as well. The date was then moved to the 15th of February, 2005.

Neither Herbert nor Janette appeared in court on the 15th of February. Herbert had not been served at this point as he refused to open the door to the police when they came to serve him with the papers. The court issued a new summons and sent it by mail. The new court date was set for the 17th of March, 2005. They failed to appear again. Finally, on August 10th of 2005, a year and a half after the petition was filed the hearing was finally commenced.

The trial took over four years. It was disrupted at one point as the Felix’s original attorney requested to be relieved from the case. Issues of everyone showing up in court also delayed the case. A New York Custody Lawyer said Janette, Herbert, and Precious Jewel all moved to have the petition dismissed and the motions were denied and the case went on.

Felix states that he and Janette had a relationship starting in 1998. He states that around three months after they started dating she informed him that she was pregnant. He said that he assumed the child was his. Felix states that they decided to have the baby and that he started giving her around fifty or sixty dollars each month throughout the pregnancy to help. The couple spent time together until December of 1998. Felix testified that he did not know that Herbert and Janette were married during this time.

Case Decision

The respondents argue that the petitioner gave up his right to paternity by waiting until the child was four and half before requesting the paternity test. A Nassau County Family Lawyer said they further argue that it is not in the best interest of the child for the paternity test to be conducted.

The court finds that Herbert would continue to love the child no matter what the results of the paternity test. In addition, Felix has the right to know whether or not he is the father of the child. A Queens Family Lawyer said for this reason the petition is granted and the paternity test will be conducted.

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