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If administrative enforcement is unsuccessful, the CSEA has the option of civil litigation by filing a motion for contempt in the domestic or juvenile division of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas. If the obligor is found in contempt and fails to comply with the court's orders, the judge has the option of imposing a jail sentence. If the obligor continues to ignore the court order, the case can be referred to the Franklin County Prosecutor's office for criminal non-support.

Frequently Asked Questions

I understand my case is now in your Litigation Department being prepared for court. When will I get a court date?

Court dates are determined by a variety of factors. In certain types of cases, we can't get a court date until we get "service of process" on the other party. In other types of cases, we get a court date when the case is filed. Then, if we are unable to get service of process on the other party, the case can be continued a few times to allow us to obtain service. Bottom line--the CSEA does not decide what your court date will be. All court dates are set as time is available on the court calendar.

So, you're taking my case into court. Why do I have to put in an appearance at this hearing?

You are the best source of information concerning your case. Your testimony may be critical to the material issues at hand.

But, the obligor is not paying the ordered child support. Doesn't that prove that this person is in contempt?

The nonpayment of support will certainly be evidence supporting that contention. However, the obligor is not in contempt until such time as the court rules on the contempt motion which will be put forward by the CSEA attorney. The obligor may present defenses of which only you may have knowledge enough to prove or disprove.

The other party has already been found to be in contempt of court in this matter and he (or she) still is not paying. Why can't he (or she) just be arrested and put in jail?

Our judicial system affords the other party the right to present evidence in their own behalf. The contempt hearing is held for just this purpose. At this hearing, the court will decide whether or not to impose the jail sentence.