FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Lori Sitler
Phone: (302) 577-8314
Pager: (302) 247-1132
Date: June 5, 2002
TWO KEY BILLS FROM ATTORNEY GENERAL'S LEGISLATIVE AGENDA ARE PASSED
Child Support Payments Protected From Creditors and Inmate Lawsuits Curbed
(Dover, DE): Two key bills from Attorney General M. Jane Brady's 2002 Legislative agenda have been passed by the General Assembly. Senate Bill 314, sponsored by Senator Henry and Representative Hudson, prohibit the attachment of child support payments to satisfy a debt owed by the custodial parent. This bill ensures that child support payments are properly utilized for the care of children. Attorney General Brady commented, "This bill was prompted by a case in which a mother who owed child support to a custodial father sought to attach her child support payments to satisfy a property settlement issue with the father. While her attempt was successfully prevented by order of the Court, this change in the law will clarify that child support payments are for the benefit of children."
SB 314 is the third initiative in the area of child support undertaken by Attorney General Brady during her tenure. Previous efforts include the creation of a criminal statute for failure to pay child support and a driver's license revocation provision for failure to pay child support.
Also passed was Senate Bill 349, sponsored by Senator Vaughn and Representative Lee, which will help curb frivolous lawsuits brought by inmates. This bill prevents prisoners from filing law suits without paying the usual filing fees if three previous suits filed by the prisoner have been dismissed by the Court as being without merit. Brady said, "The Courts have historically not charged incarcerated persons fees for filing lawsuits while they are in prison. I believe that those who have been shown to have abused the legal system should have to bear the cost of bringing additional suits."