Articles Posted in In the News (Paternity)

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DNA testingOne of the more “buzzworthy” and headline-grabbing family law cases of recent days came from Texas, where a court in that state recently ordered a man to pay $65,000 in child support for a 16-year-old girl despite unrefuted scientific proof (in the form of DNA testing) that the girl was not the man’s biological daughter. The case touches upon many issues related to the methods for establishing legal paternity and the role DNA testing should play in that process. A South Florida case from last year touched upon many of those same issues. That case, involving two men, a mother, and her young daughter, shed some light on Florida paternity procedures.

The Palm Beach County mother, A.D.A., was involved romantically with a man, M.J.L., until late 2009. When those two broke up, A.D.A. was “in trouble with the law” and also was in the late stages of a pregnancy. Shortly before Christmas, A.D.A. had a baby daughter. Also present at the hospital was M.J.L. and a new man in the mother’s life, D.M.F.

The daughter’s birth certificate listed no father. M.J.L. filed a paternity action early in 2010 but voluntarily dismissed his case in the following summer. Shortly after that dismissal, in late July 2010, A.D.A. and D.M.F. filed an Acknowledgement of Paternity, stating that D.M.F. was the natural father. In reality, D.M.F. couldn’t have been the biological father, since he did not enter the mother’s life until well after the March 2009 date when she conceived the child.

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lebron-james%20miami%20heat.jpgA federal judge has ruled in favor a Miami Heat basketball star LeBron James in a paternity lawsuit brought by a lawyer who alleged that he was the biological father of the NBA superstar. In June, 2010, Leicester Bryce Stovell filed a paternity lawsuit which claimed that in 1984 he had a relationship with the mother, Gloria James.

Stovell, a former lawyer for the United States Securities and Exchange Comission, requested a new paternity test and millions of dollars in damages. He alleged that both James and his mother defamed his character and comitted fraud in concealing that he was the biological father.

In an opinion filed on September 16, 2011, U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly granted a motion to dismiss the case. She found that the lawsuit failed to show that he had incurred actual damages. The court believed that the damages which were requested were speculative in nature. Stovell also sought damages for loss of love and affection. The court found that this was not a recognizable form of damages for common law fraud.

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Pitbull.jpg(Photo courtesy of pitbullmusic.com)

Divorce lawyers in Miami have been advised that rapper Pitbull, whose real name is Armando Perez, recently resolved a paternity case which was pending before Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Robert N. Scola, Jr.

Prior to the filing of the Miami paternity action, Pitbull was voluntarily paying $3,000 per month in child support to the mother of his child, Barbara Alba. In her petition, Alba requested child support, shared parental responsibility, a parenting plan and a time-sharing schedule. The mother also requested housing in a secured and gated community and child support based upon the rapper’s lifestyle.

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TMZ is reporting that former Miami Heat basketball player, Glen Rice, has filed a paternity action against his ex-girlfriend, Tia Santoro, in South Florida. Through his Miami paternity lawyer, Mr. Rice has requested a DNA test prior to any child support settlement agreement and parenting plan being resolved by the parties or ordered by the Court.

In prior weeks, Ms. Santoro requested law enforcement assistance in order to retrieve her personal belongings from Mr. Rice’s residence. After the breakdown in the relationship, Coral Gables Police Department provided assistance without any altercation from the parties.

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The Sun Sentinel is reporting that a Florida woman who was killed in her Tallahassee home had recently been awarded child support by a Florida marital and family law judge. Last Tuesday, Brandi Peters was awarded $307 per month in child support and retroactive child support in the amount of $22,925. The father of the twins, Antonio L. Anthony, had requested a paternity test which was denied by the court. Peters, her 3 year old son and 6 year old twins were all found dead on Saturday.

Law enforcement is treating the deaths as a homicide. They have spoken with the father of the twins and the father of the 3 year old son. The father of the twins has served three prior prison terms, was recently arrested in May, 2009 after serving a four year prison sentence and has prior offenses for aggravated assault with a weapon and armed burglary.

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According to cnn.com, the Miami Heat’s newest basketball player, LeBron James, is being sued in federal court for allegedly denying paternity by committing fraud and misrepresentation against the alleged putative father. The putative father is requesting DNA testing to ascertain whether or not he is the biological father as well as $4 million in damages. The biological father, Leicester Stovell, claims that he engaged in sexual relations with Gloria James, the mother of Lebron James, during 1984. Mr. Stovell claims that he filed the lawsuit two weeks ago since the statute of limitations is close to expiring. It is unknown whether or not a Miami divorce attorney or paternity lawyer has been consulted or retained.

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A former South Florida Cathoic priest, David Dueppen, has fathered a minor child with a former stripper, Beatrice Hernandez. On October 5, 2009, he filed a Petition for Paternity, Timesharing, Child Support and for Related Relief in the Miami-Dade marital and family court which handles divorce and paternity cases for residents of Aventura, Coral Gables, Miami Beach and Pinecrest. He is seeking shared parental responsibility, child support and 70% of the custody and timesharing of the minor child.

Through his Miami divorce and paternity lawyer, David Deuppen has allegedly admitted paternity and would like to be involved in the minor child’s life. He joined the priesthood in 1999 but took an indefinite leave of absence in August 2009 after Beatrice Hernandez reported that the priest fathered a child. Over one year ago, they restarted their relationship and had a child, Marilyn.

The parties also have a pending domestic violence action since Hernandez claims that Dueppen choked her during an argument about paternity and child support. The Miami-Dade court has issued a temporary injunction for protection against domestic violence.