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81-Year-Old Woman Sues for Back Child Support

Posted Apr 5, 2010 10:36 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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There is no statute of limitations on child support, and an 81-year-old woman hopes she will be able to use the law to settle an old score.

Rosemary Douglas is asking a Los Angeles court to order Urban Joseph Grass to pay $57,000 in unpaid support payments for a child conceived in 1950 and born out of wedlock, the Houston Chronicle reports. Grass is 82, a year older than Douglas.

The dispute “seems familiar,” the Chronicle says. “She claims he never paid; he says he never knew. In this case, however, the mom has a head of gray hair and has been collecting Social Security for more than a decade. The father was born in the heart of the Jazz Age, when a fellow named Coolidge resided in the White House.

“And the ‘child’ in question is that only on some yellowing piece of paper. In real life he is a retired grandfather.”

Grass’ lawyer, Pedram Mansouri, says the case may turn on whether his client, now a resident of Pearland, Texas, ever got notice of a long-ago court hearing that produced a $50 a month child support order. He claims his client knew of only one court hearing that resulted in no order before the Army sent him to Korea.

Douglas told the newspaper that the principle is as important as the money. “If a judgment is rendered, you have to satisfy that judgment,” she said. “He owes this.”

Hat tip to Pat’s Papers.

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