30 or maybe 42
On December 26th, I awoke to the relief of knowing that Xmas had passed for another year. In fact, I am at the furthest date from Xmas that I would be for the entire year. Note: my antipathy towards Xmas is legendary…ask anybody, it has always been a cruel irony that most of my life has been spent working in retail where every Xmas season, I’ve been treated to at least half-a-dozen plays of, “Jingle Bell Rock” per shift. But, I digress.
My relief turns to horror when I am greeted by an alert on my iPod informing me that my bank account was now $0.00. This is not good. Given my experience, I immediately knew the culprit who drained my bank account of approximately $813. The Department of Child Support Services(DCSS) for the State of California. I begin to freak out…seriously freakout. Like everyone else, I have bills to pay. I call JP Morgan Chase, they confirm my suspicions: the Department of Child Support Services enforced a bank levy on my account completely draining it of all funds. I call the case worker, Desiree V-O of the Palmdale branch of the DCSS, nothing but voice mail. I leave a message communicating the urgency of the situation. No doubt, probably scheduled off…the day after Xmas. Miraculously, I am able to get through to the Bank Levy Department of the DCSS. I get through to a “Ms. Carillo” who informs me that I will be able to have the levy removed…for the moment, if I am able to provide proof that my bank account had less than $3500(where that number comes from, I have yet to determine), I am able to calm myself enough to simply ask what would be considered proof of my account balance. She said that a .pdf of my account activity would be sufficient. In a profoundly rare moment, she gave me an e-mail address to send it to. You have to understand, these bureaucrats consider Non-Custodial Parents, such as myself, to be a nuisance, and they would never want your concerns to clutter up their inbox. Amazingly, I sent the .PDF and by the end of the day, the funds were back in my account. Am I grateful for the speed at which they were able to correct the “error” that they made? Not in the least. I feel that I should never have subjected to this bank levy in the first place.
You have to understand, as I have stated several times in my postings, I am completely up to date in my Child Support payments as well as the agreed upon payment plan for the arrearages that were imposed upon me by DCSS. Also, please refer back to how these arrearages came into existence in the first place. That is an appalling episode in and of itself. It was because of the admitted errors by the DCSS in the administration of my account, that I was in arrears to begin with. I am completely compliant, yet the DCSS still feels that they have a legitimate right to seize my bank account and leave me penniless. It still boggles my mind. The rational and reason that “Ms. Carillo” provided was that they had the right to seize my account to prove that I had less than $3500 in my checking account. The result of this seizure was a $75 legal processing fee levied by my bank, JP Morgan Chase. While not a huge amount of money, in the context of living hand to mouth, it was significant.
This latest episode, is just another in a long line of indignities and injustices that I’ve suffered at the hands of CA DCSS and the Family Law system. I was in compliance and all they would have had to do was ask how much money I had in the account. I certainly could of provided proof of that prior to them seizing my account. They did not need to unilaterally seize my account, moreover, they should not have been given the right to do so in the first place.
I could go on and on about the unfairness of this situation, but I will stop here for now. Invariably the bureaucrats who implement and wield these overzealous and heavy-handed tactics do so because “the law” gives them the right to do this. Well, if this is the case, I have no reverence for the law. The law is malleable and it needs to be changed…the sooner the better.
Going forward, I will be contacting my elected representatives, Tony Thurmond of the Assembly 15th, Loni Hancock of the Senate 9th, and Mike Thompson of the Congressional 5th district regarding the issues that have been raised regarding the family law system in this state and the Department of Child Support Services specifically. Let me be clear: I am not asking for special favors…or miracles, I am simply asking that my elected representatives do their jobs by reviewing and evaluating the abuses that have been perpetrated on one of their constituents by the state agencies that are tasked with administering the family law agencies.
Perhaps in coming posts, I will be able to report on progress on this front.
That’s all for now.