Daughter sues CSA for bankrupting father

March 31, 2010

I do not know if this story will help but it’s mine and my daughters

Emma’s mother (Janette Plummer of Brighton) has last laugh at daughter’s expense

Sometimes it just seems to get nuttier and nuttier out there.

Case in point: Great Britain’s Child Support Agency is threatening to jail a father and sell his house to satisfy his child support debt. The only trouble is that the girl who’s the subject of the support order lives with him. So what the CSA wants to do is jail her custodial parent and put her on the street. All of which is in her interest according to the CSA. In fact, both father and daughter say that paying the amount will bankrupt him, which would of course severely affect her. And the money would go to her mother with whom she no longer lives. Meanwhile the mother has never paid a shilling in child support. So the girl is suing CSA.

Did you follow all that? If any of it makes sense to you, be sure to let me know. Read about it here (Daily Mail, 12/30/09).

It seems that 13-year-old Emma Chapelhow is fed up. Her parents, David Chapelhow and Janette Plummer divorced at some point, with Emma going to live with Janette. David paid child support, but the CSA, unilaterally and apparently without giving David the opportunity to contest the ruling, decided to radically increase the amount based on “lifestyle being inconsistent with income.” In the U.S. we call that ‘imputed income.’ In other words, the state decides that a parent is hiding income because he/she seems to be living a more lavish lifestyle than the income reported would support.

Maybe the CSA based its decision on Emma’s pony, Pringle. Who knows? But however it arrived at its conclusion, at some point it presented David with a bill for £43,000 which he says he can’t begin to pay. So he started fighting the ruling which has further depleted his resources. Currently, he and Emma live in a caravan (travel trailer) so they can rent their house to make ends meet.

And the CSA which seems dead set on bankrupting Emma’s custodial father, hasn’t so much as peeped about child support from Janette.

All of that has raised the ire of 13-year-old Emma, who’s filed suit against the CSA. Two years ago, a court ruled that Emma was mature enough to “instruct her solicitor,” which means she could decide what parent she wanted to live with. She chose her father whom she calls a ‘hero.’

He’s joined her suit against the CSA, which is legally obligated to “have regard to the welfare of any child likely to be affected by their decisions.” Emma, David and their legal representation apparently believe that tossing the dad in prison and selling his assets to pay a debt that may or may not be legitimate to a mother who no longer has custody and who does not herself pay to support her daughter, violates the CSA’s duty of ‘regard.’ Fancy that.

Just in case the CSA hadn’t behaved enough like a Mafia enforcer, it sent the bailiffs out to seize Pringle under the nose of the distraught Emma. Apparently it was just a bluff, but terrorizing a 13-year-old whose best interests you’re supposed to be protecting makes sense, doesn’t it? In any case, seizing an asset that seems to be the child’s to satisfy a parent’s support obligation to that child is surely a first.


  • Brokenfather says:

    Hi David.

    I remember reading that article at the time it was published.

    I hope you both get somewhere with this, but I sadly think that you are simply the wrong gender for the CSA to give a toss about you.


  • deadbeatdad says:

    Hi David may be worth your while joining us at http://www.deadbeatdadsassociation.co.uk we are now starting to sting the CSA ourselves as well as the courts, the land registry, banks and even councils. We have a good bunch of people who are now starting to chase the CSA and are now backing them into a corner and exposing their scams in the process. Be a pleasure to have you and your daughter on board. Did you know they cannot make you bank rupt, did you know they were only a company, did you know the CSA has £21000 worth of County Court Judgements registered against them, amazing what you find out isn’t it, and I bet you didnt realise they are a business and not an authority. Check out our site throw in a donation then lets start to bring them down

  • chall says:

    I remember this was in the papers.

    I also recall http://www.pcc.org.uk/case/resolved.html?article=NjIzMQ== from 18/02/10.

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