For a Judgment of child support to be valid, the Summons and Petition establishing the support must be personally served. A fraudulent declare of service of Summons and Petition, violates the due process rights of the supporting parent, and renders the subsequent Judgment void and unenforceable.
This is the summary of the decision in the case of County of San Diego v. Graham, reached by the Court of Appeal of California, Fourth Appellate District, Division One (San Diego), filed on July 21, 2010:
In this Case, the supporting father, Artis Earl Gorham appealed from an order of San Diego Court, denying his motions to set aside a 1998 default judgment obtained against him by the County of San Diego Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) and to dismiss the action. He argued that the trial court never acquired jurisdiction over him in this case because he was never served with a summons and complaint contrary to the fraudulent representation of the process server’s return, and, therefore, the judgment was void. Further, the summons and complaint were not served on him within three years of the date this action was commenced, which requires mandatory dismissal of the case under the Code of Civil Procedure.
The Court of Appeal agreed.
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