State of Tennessee sued for seeking child support from wrong man

Ann Knef Oct. 9, 2008, 10:59am

Illinois resident Joshua Brown is suing the state of Tennessee for sending him a notice indicating he had a child in Tennessee with a female other than his wife.

Brown claims the state sent him a non-custodial parent delinquency notice on March 26 indicating he was responsible for past due child support.

"The Notice was discovered by his wife," states the complaint filed Oct. 7 in St. Clair County Circuit Court. "Mr. Brown's parents and in-laws learned of the Notice from his wife and also inquired."

Brown claims he "reassured all" that he was not having an extra marital affair that produced a child.

He claims he informed the state that it had the wrong person by pointing out the difference in middle initial and social security number, but the state persisted by notifying his employer. He claims he also received a notice that his income would be withheld for child support.

"Plaintiff's wife again saw these various documents again causing turmoil and strife in the home," the complaint states. "Plaintiff again tried to assuage his family's fears.

Brown claims he contacted an attorney after the state sent him a notice that his employer was being directed to add the Tennessee child to his health care plan.

He claims the correspondence eventually ceased when the state was "apparently satisfied" that it had the wrong man.

His suit seeks damages for defamation.

"This publication caused his pregnant wife and himself severe hardship, caused plaintiff to lose sleep, have constant anxiety, suffer humiliation, embarrassment, nervousness and mental pain and suffering," the complaint states.

"That Defendant knew or should have known of the falsity of such statements considering the different middle names and different social security numbers."

Brown is represented by Jarrod Beasly of the Kuehn Law Firm in Belleville.

He is seeking "an amount in excess of $50,000 for the damage to his reputation at work, at home and within his family, punitive damages and cost of this suit."

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