Watkins Glen man jailed for $25G in missed child support

A Watkins Glen man has been sentenced to 120 days in jail Today for his failure to pay over $25,000.00 in back child support. According to Schuyler County Attorney Geoffrey Rossi, Richard A. Franklin age 39 of Walt Gilbert Road, was found guilty of a willful violation of a child support order. Court records indicated that Franklin had child support arrears in the amount of $25,818.00 and had not made any payments since August 2013. At Tuesday’s court appearance, Assistant County Attorney Steven Getman asked the court to incarcerate Franklin, due to a history of non-compliance. “This is not someone who tries and fails to keep up with payments,” Getman told the court. “This is someone who continues to violate the orders of this court….his failure to reimburse the county even a small part of what he owes is a direct assault on the taxpayers of the county.” Franklin was represented by Schuyler County Public Defender Wesley Roe. Roe had previously asked the court to consider sentencing his client to probation. After hearing from the attorneys, Family Court Judge Dennis Morris said, “there was no other option available,” given the history of the case, and ordered Franklin jailed for four months. Franklin had previously been ordered held in jail on a warrant, due to his failure to appear for prior court proceedings. Following the court appearance, he was returned to jail to complete his sentence. Rossi said he was pleased with the court’s decision. “This jail sentence sends a message that will hopefully resonate,” Rossi said. “Parents who fail to support their children can, and will, be punished when appropriate.” Under New York State law, a parent’s failure to pay court ordered child support constitutes prima facie evidence of a willful violation. If no payments are made, the burden shifts to the parent to show credible evidence of inability to make payments. If a willful violation is established, the respondent parent may be subject to garnishment of property, loss of business or recreational licenses and probation or incarceration. The county attorney’s office represents the Department of Social Services in prosecuting child support cases brought in the family court by that agency. In addition, the office provides support collection services for eligible custodial parents seeking assistance in establishing and enforcing orders for child support. The county attorney’s office was assisted in the prosecution and presentation of the case by employees of the county’s child support enforcement unit.

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