County Error Costs Man 25 Years of Child Support for Deceased Son

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Lional Campbell lost his son 25 years ago, but due to a mistake in the Wayne County records in Detroit, the son-less father has been paying thousands of dollars in child support since his son's death.

Lional Campbell

To lose a child is already a heartbreaking experience that every parent fears, but to lose a child and still be financially responsible for it for 25 years after its death is unfathomable. Lional Campbell has been paying thousands of dollars in child support for his deceased son who passed away in 1988 from acute meningitis.

Campbell had another son by his deceased son’s mother and assumed his child support payments were being made to pay back child support for his other son who is now 34 years old. Campbell challenged Wayne County in Detroit when he noticed he was still paying thousands of dollars each month for back child support. He made the discovery that he was paying for his deceased son and notified the county. The county acknowledged its error and said no one had ever notified them that the child was deceased. “When I went there, the court said, ‘You’re right. You shouldn’t be paying no money,'” Campbell told a local news station. “I said, ‘Well that’s what they got me doing.'”

Instead of ceasing Campbell’s payments for his deceased son, the county told him that he still owes $43,000 for the deceased child because of surcharges. Further audits reduced the surcharges to $6,460.08. Campbell is disputing the county’s surcharges and is requesting another audit.

What do you believe will be the end result of this matter?


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  1. SayWhat

    February 18, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    He’s due a refund in full!

    • BillWill

      February 19, 2013 at 11:48 am

      Every supposedly new father needs to have a DNA test completed, can’t be sure about any of these women nowadays.

      • BillWill

        February 19, 2013 at 3:39 pm

        In most cases women have complete control of their bodies. When a consenting adult woman becomes pregnant, she is totally responsible for that result- why, because women tell us it’s their body and they can do with it as they please. Ex; If a woman intends to abort her fetus but, in the case where the father pleads with her not to ‘KILL’ his unborn child, he has to understand that he has no influence or control over what she does with HER body. Women- you can not have your cake and eat it too. When consenting adult women become pregnant through casual sexx remember, no one told you to get pregnant through causal sex therefore you are ultimately responsible, financial and otherwise for the safety and well being of “YOUR” child.

        • Jeteree Harris

          February 20, 2013 at 12:25 pm


        • Saroobe Malik

          February 20, 2013 at 12:47 pm

          Brother you have not all the facts. Let me share this with you? When you lay with a woman without protection, you are gambling on a child wheather you want one or not those are the facts. So don’t put all the responsibility on that woman. Ultimately you both are responsible. Nahh….you can’t stop her from doing what she wants with her body. But you can yield to that option to lay with her. Individuals decision bro. Learn from it?

        • JazzTazz

          February 20, 2013 at 1:01 pm

          wow!!! you are most DEFINITELY part of the problems in this world!!!

        • sonja

          June 14, 2013 at 11:46 am

          This is one dumb ass statement.casual are not that child has two parents.unfortunately this is why our children are raised in single parent homes. Its sad that most of our fathers feel the same as you.

      • Regina Ferguson

        February 22, 2013 at 9:18 am

        How about EVERYONE is responsible for their own actions. There is ALWAYS the possibility of pregnancy when unprotected sex is happening or even protected sex.
        If the guy doesn’t want any children then HE should ALWAYS PROTECT HIMSELF. He should not rely on anyone to protect him. It’s his body.
        If the lady happens to get pregnant then this is the time for THE BIG conversation.
        Men, pay your support (verify paternity) on time & every time. This way, 25 years from now you’ll be finished and not still paying for a kid that’s over the age of consent or dead.

    • Ruby from NJ

      February 19, 2013 at 12:04 pm

      SayWhat, you are absolutely right, but he won’t get it. This is shameful on the part of his baby mama and an example of governmental incompetence. This man is being gouged. The surcharges should be forgiven, since he overpaid the child support.

    • me112233

      February 19, 2013 at 10:18 pm

      The man obviously was more than pleased to dip his wick into the pit of an evil woman. Not defending her greediness with respect to claiming child support for a child that has been dead for decades; yet, the fault lies squarely on the shoulders of the man involved here. He did her because he used the wrong head for thinking, and then apparently never used the other head to think, at least not until 25 years went by. Perhaps if Mr. Black Man had lived a moral lifestyle, none of this situation would have ever visited upon him. And to tell me, why isn’t the evil woman the subject of this story — the county is simply collecting child support that the woman is claiming is due her (if she had been honest in the first place, the man wouldn’t be in this predicament).

    • W.R. Jack

      February 20, 2013 at 12:12 pm

      Detroit is broke, really broke, they are doing everything within their powers to keep whatever money they receive.

  2. Janga

    February 19, 2013 at 9:31 am

    If he owed support from the time his son was alive, when he still should pay that & the surcharges attached to it! He owes it to the mother!

    • Duff

      February 19, 2013 at 10:44 am

      Child support is not for the mother. It’s for the child.

    • Ruby from NJ

      February 19, 2013 at 12:07 pm

      Don’t you get it, Janga? The woman has another child by some one else, and he was paying her money for his dead son,ie, supporting another man’s child without knowing it.

      • JazzTazz

        February 19, 2013 at 12:40 pm

        I think Janga gets it. Who supported that child when he was alive? Probably the state or maybe the mom worked two jobs. Either way HE DID NOT. If the mom did, he should reimburse HER. If the state did, he should reimburse the tax payers, with interest. He obviously thought he had escaped paying for his repsonsibility. Most dead beat dads DO try to escape and a lot of them DO ESCAPE. That child did not deserve to struggle to feed or clothe that child. And it makes no difference if she had a child by another man. BOTH men should have to support their children, Not the state or county. THE Father and Mother of the children. The child may be deceased now but for the time that child was here he deserved to be supported by both parents regardless of how the adults chose the paths in their lives.

      • Drea

        February 19, 2013 at 12:57 pm

        Where do you get that from? The man had two children with this woman, one alive, one dead. He thought he was still paying for the live child.

  3. Jah Larry Dread

    February 19, 2013 at 9:39 am

    A good lawyer with knowledge of IRS laws. A full refund would be awarded!

  4. Nolen

    February 19, 2013 at 10:33 am

    Well something like this happen to me as well the woman told the state that I was the father of her child when I was only the god father and she told me that they just wanted a name any name and they would not do anything to them which when she told me. Was A BUNCH OF BULLSH@T!!! and she knew I was not the father it took me 4 long years to get it strait and 2 times in jail for not paying child support to get it all back (money) and I say this to all men out there be carefull! this should be a warning to all!!!!! and this happen in KANSAS CITY MISSOURI!!!

    • Linda

      February 19, 2013 at 11:20 am

      Nolen, you situation is much different, and very deceitful at the least. But, you much understand, there are many men out there that dodge their responsibility. I have a 16 yr old son, an only child, I was married before he was conceived, just to make that clear. My son’s father recently started back paying child support about 5 or 6 months ago. He sometimes pays $12, $32, $40, $23, but not so often a $100 or more every other week. The court order is about $143 per week. The interest and arrearage continues. So @ this rate, my son’s father will be paying child support even after he’s grown. My son wears a 14 shoe, he stands 6’3, and weighs at least 230 by now. I have been supporting my son ALL his life, he was in a private school for 5 years, however; his biological father has done very little to support him. My son has not physically seen his father since he was 7 yrs old, and again he’s 16 yrs old now.

    • VoiceOf Truth

      February 19, 2013 at 12:53 pm

      Correct. Unfortunately, the way many people see it, the men are usually wrong and the women are always right in these situation. Men are made out to be demons, and women are made out to be angels. It takes a lot for normal, honest men to overcome the bias in the system. Yeah there are deadbeat dads (and moms), but not every man is a deadbeat simply because a vindictive mom uses the system to persecute the dad.

  5. soulshadow55

    February 19, 2013 at 11:11 am

    I think his real mistake was not checking his child support statement every month to make sure that he was, in fact, only paying for the child what was still alive. It was only when he took the time to really check his statement that he noticed that he was still being charged for the child that was deceased.

    It seems that the government-sponsored child support system has gone from being a place where mothers can get gauranteed monetary support for their children to a skame where any father will do. It’s becoming a place where fathers have no rights but to dish out payment after payment into a system that doesn’t listen to them and could care less if they are truly the father of the children they are forced to support.

  6. Gregory J Daffin

    February 19, 2013 at 11:15 am

    The entire child support system is dead…..and needs to be buried and redeveloped. Those in power in this old system, still do not care about fathers who have done what’s required and have been wronged. It’s also good to see that there are mothers who believe there’s a problem with the system too. Why won’t those who run this thing change it?
    As always….driven by the dollar!

    • Linda

      February 19, 2013 at 12:23 pm

      Gregory, I am totally against the system screwing over fathers who are doing their part. But, I am totally for the system going after the DEADBEAT dads. I only have one son, and my son was born in a marriage, however; his father happens to be a DEADBEAT dad. My son has not seen his father since he was 7 yrs old. Whenever his father calls which is very rarely, he is always asking my son to forgive him and that he promise to keep in touch. My son suffers from low self esteem per his father not wanting to play a role in his life.

  7. t_99

    February 19, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    WTW, owing surcharges on back child support for a deceased child? This man definitely needs a good lawyer. This is just ridiculous.

  8. Butch

    February 19, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    @Ruby from NJ…Re-read the story…he had two kids from the same lady! I bet he actually owes it. It goes by ur income, and just because one child is deceased, doesn’t necessarily mean, he doesn’t owe it LOL! With all the dope smokers & alcoholics we have working these days, nothing gets past me in my thinking!
    A lot of dudes need to keep it their pants. Only immature individuals make babies and can’t support them. WOMEN INCLUDED!

  9. Peter D. Slaughter

    February 19, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    It was done on purpose
    Just another racist shakedown of a black man overall.

  10. tim

    February 19, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    It’s crazy how the system takes someone’s money and knowingly leaves another person in the dark. If the state wasn’t getting their cut we wouldn’t have a child support system and a lot children don’t even get the money anyway, it’s being spent on someone’s hair and nails or some other nonsense. We have many DEADBEAT MOMS out here too that exploit the kids and fathers as well, when your job has laid you off they want that money, when you lose your job they want that money, when things don’t work out between the parents they want that money. So in reality you’re basically paying to have kids today and your kids are the only ones not benefiting from it… And it never makes sense to be in jail when you can’t support yourself first then your children. How about we start locking up some of the moms when they blow the support money when you go to see the children and they look a hot mess. I think things would change and we won’t see people going through this type of BS…

  11. Here we go again

    February 19, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    The system has no problem collecting from the men that would otherwise be taking care of their children anyway, but they refuse to enforce parenting time.

    A let’s get this straight, men have no control whether or not they are forced to pay child support. Period. Woman gets dumped and becomes bitter/angry she runs to the county for get back and they gladly help her for a piece of the pie which they get in the form of “fees”. Let’s be real here, it’s 2013 and there are just as many deadbeat MOMS who keep the kids away from their father so they can have more money to go party with as there are men who leave their kids high and dry.

  12. Rap T.

    February 19, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    This do not surprise me, the state of Georgia has me paying my child’s mother support payments and the child is staying with me. Incidently I’m not in arrears. Georgia will not give me a court date, so all I can do is wait. My son hasn’t stayed with his mother since October, 2011 and she hasn’t bothered to give any support money back. This proves that the mother is low down, but I also hold Georgia as guilty as she is for not bringing this to court!!

  13. rachelj

    February 19, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    @ woodie Willis , you sound like a deadbeat to me. Why do you think 2 people having sex and only one of rhem is reasponsible. A man knows when he opens his leg he is possible to drop a life that is half h is DNA. No excuses for either one.

  14. Cut it out

    February 19, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    Anybody ever notice how some women love to throw the “it takes 2” card until it comes to making a wise choice in who to have kids with? Then it seems that they feel they shouldn’t be held liable for producing offspring with these men they knew were trifling for the get go.

    We’re sick of the “deadbeat dad” crap. Quit poppin out babies by the first bum to pay you attention and you wouldn’t be stuck in your poor little “oh somebody help me I’m a single mom situation. Learn to choose better men and even if the relationship doesn’t last, you won’t have problems with him being a father.

    • mmdccbslm

      February 19, 2013 at 8:17 pm

      he wasn’t a deadbeat. he was robbed.

  15. barbara

    February 19, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    Women have been taking care of children all thier lives, and there is no excuse what the govenment is doing to this old man. There should be an investigation into the matter to see if an employee within the office is getting the money. I am sure the money is not going directly to the mother of the seond child. This is not right and times are to hard to steal from anyone. There should be answers to those questions as to why the office was not informed, when did the child die, and did the state pay for the prenatal care during the pregnancy? If any of those are questions get answered, maybe he will have a leg to stand on. Again, some thing is not adding up with this man money or the rules and laws put into force in this state. There are answers out there.

  16. mmdccbslm

    February 19, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    they are thieves, period!!!!!! once you enter the system, they use every means they can to screw you. NY and NJ are the same. My judge just made stuff up to force me to pay. and your lawyer is just there to keep you quiet.

  17. Carla Oliver

    February 19, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    Who was responsible to notify the agency of the unfortunate death of the child? THE MOTHER THATS WHO!!! Because he was court ordered to pay support they would not have believed him. I am so tired of women scheming to get money. YOU also are responsible for the child. She should be charged with conspiracy and made to pay the money back. He should also sue the child support system. This is ridiculous.

  18. patricia

    February 20, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    He should be getting a check because he didnt do anything wrong wouldn’t have them surcharge if they do there job now they still want this man to pay what about his money he already pay them for nothing hate child support they do nothing right

  19. Diane Maree

    February 20, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    Sorry on both sides….How did he not know the child was deceased? If paying all that child support-did he not have visitation rights or not ever build relationship with his son? Which is worse…the loss of the life of his son…lack of relationship….or paying money not knowing where it went? And the poor excuse of a mother SHOULD pay ALL of the money back NOT THE STATE! She received and spent it! Talk about abuse of the system. She will burn in hell for what she has done. This infuriates mee as I have to chase my children’s father down for support with no results. He will get a job and quit after a month hoping that CSE won’t catch up to him and that’s the story of his insignificant life. I wish the father well and hope he goes after the mother for the money and gets it bacK

  20. Denise

    February 20, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    If this man’s finances were still being deducted for a child that died 25 years prior, that would mean the mother continued to recieve support (food stamps,medical,housing)for 2 child even though one child was deceased. There is no way the mother did not know her money should have changed (but hey get all you can). The systems gets all in your business when you need assistance. This sounds like it was diliberately done, either on behalf of the mother or by friend of the mother working with her (Something sounds funny and this state is trying to cover it up with a surcharge issue?) Someone did not report something. Once paternity is determined the deductions start regardless of what the father says he can or not. So his payments went through the state instead of actually giving it to the woman personally (what some men should do anyway BUT THEY DON’T)and the deductions never stop for the deceased son. Whose to say he was a deadbeat, maybe he just didn’t want to give her money. People need to stop jumping to conclusions.

  21. Joanna

    February 20, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    Try being a mother who doesnt want the child support but the state tells you thats not your choice to make.

  22. Carla

    February 20, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    I have a child whose father owes more than $30,000 thousand in child supoort and she is 23 years old. Surcharges are what the father needs to pay along with the child support. So I agree with Janga and Linda about this man’s responsibilities. The mother is not at fault because what this man has been paying all these years was back child support. He was never current and had to end up paying even after the child’s death. The mother is not evil nor the dad. People often judge others based on limited information and not all the facts!

  23. Rhonda Gayle

    February 20, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    If he is paying back support for this long a period, more than likely it is because the boys’ mother was receiving public assistance while the boys were growing up. With the welfare rolls, it doesn’t matter if the child is grown and starting a family of their own, if the absent parent owes them money they will collect it until he pays it back…or dies, whichever occurs first. So the fact is, he may not be entitled to a full repayment, because if he owed them he is required to pay his arrearages, but he certainly should be paid up by now. And that is what he should be having audited.

    • Rhonda Gayle

      February 20, 2013 at 2:30 pm

      P.S. And what stopped him from going down and questioning why he was still paying so much? What took him 25 years to handle his business? I don’t like comparing human life to inanimate objects but let’s be real, when you no longer have to pay for something (house, car, credit cards) you make darned sure that the credit agency involved knows that this is your last payment! Forget the mother, why didn’t he?

  24. Michael P

    February 20, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    I am confused how people are commenting on this article and stating fact not in the article and assuming this not stated. Nothing in the article (shoddy reporting) gave us any insight the mother or her statement of the situation. I am assuming the and father don’t have a good relationship or non existing one but he had taken care of the other son (in the military) sometime in the past and told that a certain amount that he had paid BUT since the state had the first mistake how do we know that his payment were incorrect all these years paying for 2 sons instead one. Sounds paying what the state told him to pay and all the stated numbers sound confused. At some time during this period the mother knew that the money was incorrect. Although the accounts need to be audited. I bet this is only drop in the bucket for incorrect accounting and also astounded an immediate investigation to all the accounts (which should have been annually already any way)

  25. TBone

    February 20, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    This sort of thing happened to my dade. My older brother died in 1990 and an entire decade later, FL CS system had my dad to pay the arrears! Further, I personally was receiving and am paying CS for my son. I wasn’t one of those A-hole mothers that refused to letter baby daddy to see his kid. Hell, I relished it! But, he moved 4 hrs. away and THEN decided 5 years later that he wanted his son (w/o discussing the change with me first)!!

  26. NoBaby Daddydrama

    February 20, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    he was/is responsible for any monies owed to the children however the fact remains he thought he was paying back support for his living child..which will explain why there is back support..he was making his payments but it wasnt enough because no one ever thought to question the system, or the mother ..which she im more than sure was aware of what was going on and wasnt trying to rectify the error..he is paying the price for all deadbeat fathers…the man was taking care of his business without worrying about the extras…damn shame he has to pay such a price tho…people you really cant know who you laying down with because new day new personalities in people…its far safer to be celibate until married and at that time i pray it is with someone who shows by actions that they are into you as much as you are into them..thus the decrease in infidelities

  27. Hiroader2

    February 21, 2013 at 7:40 am

    TALK ABOUT RIDDEN UNTILL THE WHEELS FALL… It’s not like the law can’t do no wrong.., But some officials shouldn’t be allowed to walk around free when the law becomes the obvious crime its self…

  28. Beverly

    February 21, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    Wayne County Friend of the Court is nobody’s friend not the parents, and especially not the child. They don’t care about anything other than collecting money by any means necessary, even if they are wrong. They should institute a penalty each time money is collected or held in error, The court should be forced to pay, Years ago i collected child support which was automatically deducted from my exes check. Several time a year the money would be held, for no reason. When I went to the court to get an explanation, I was told “if you went on aid you wouldnt be down here trying to get this money it would go to the state and they’d give you welfare food stamps, and medicaid, and you wouldnt have to work! Complained but no result. The goverment need to overhaul the whole system nation wide, starting with wayne county michigan~!

  29. Marjorie

    March 14, 2013 at 1:32 am

    I agree women are ultimately responsible…another example; biological father can NOT get court order demanding a pregnant female to have an abortion under any circumstance! I have two sons who are 23 and 24 now whom I never collected child support for. Child support laws are antiquated in this day and age they should be abolished!

  30. harold mason

    March 14, 2013 at 10:50 am

    Sue the Judge that ordered it, the city and state for falsification of records!


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