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Archive for Tuesday, August 23, 2011

40 years ago: County attorney begins pursuit of deadbeat dads

August 23, 2011

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From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Aug. 23, 1971:

Douglas County Attorney Mike Elwell reported to the county commissioners this morning on his progress in prosecution of delinquent fathers. Elwell was sending a letter to women receiving Aid to Dependent Children (ADC) payments from the Douglas County Welfare Department. The letter requested that the women sign criminal complaints against their husband if the men had deserted the family and were paying no child support. The mothers were being asked to provide the fathers’ last known address and date of last contact, as well as a physical description. The wording of the letter gave mothers two weeks to sign the complaints, saying that “failure to comply with this request will result in this information being turned over to the Welfare Department, which in turn will affect the payments you are presently receiving ... for the support of your child.” Elwell told commissioners that he was not sure if the ADC payments could actually be cut but that he was “using this method to encourage them to comply.”

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