HOUSTON (CBS Houston) – A man is facing six months of jail time for a contempt charge stemming from a mistake that his employer made.
Clifford Hall fell behind in child support for his 12-year-old son and owed more than $3,000. He said that he didn’t know there were any problems until his ex-wife sued him in 2013, so he went to his bosses at AT&T. They later admitted that they made a clerical error, but it was too late.
“The money was withheld from me, they didn’t send it off for some strange reason,” Hall explained to KHOU.
Hall eventually paid what was due plus an extra $1,000. Due to a change in the law, however, Hall could not avoid jail time.
“The law says it was due on the first,” attorney Tyesha Elam told KPRC. “You didn’t pay it on the first, you can go to jail for six months.”
Hall is also being accused of keeping the mother away from his son longer than allowed and not following a court-ordered visitation schedule.
The judge in the case, Lisa Millard in the 310th Family Court, explained to KHOU that the employer error was never entered as evidence and that AT&T affidavit didn’t exist then.
He was unsuccessful in trying to appeal the case and was ordered to begin serving a jail sentence.
Hall hopes his story can become a cautionary tale.
“Fathers, please learn from my experience,” Hall shared with KPRC.
His attorneys are planning to appeal his case in federal court.