In the hypothetical situation laid out below, what governing entity over DSS could one turn to? In general, what action can be taken against a government entity such as DSS to force adherence to court order?

Suppose a case were brought by plaintiff + DSS alleging defendant hadn't paid child support in 10 years and defendant brought 10 years' bank statements to court proving no missed payments ever. Then suppose the judge declared "this is not an evidentiary hearing and if defendant wants one, I guarantee I'll make it worse for them", and set significant arrears anyway. Then suppose between additional monthly garnishments for arrears, voluntary payments by check and tax refund interceptions, the defendant had to date paid 1.5x the arrears back and yet DSS was still coming after them threatening to revoke passport if they didn't pay it yet again and immediately. And further suppose DSS admitted they sometimes take up to two years to process and apply payments by check and/or intercepted tax refunds so they'll probably keep intercepting and attacking for the next two years.

  • @DaleM I believe a DSS (Department of Social Services) is a statewide institution belonging loosely to the state in which it operates. And NC is a state belonging to the United States. ncdhhs.gov/divisions/dss
    – Still.Tony
    Commented Oct 13, 2020 at 1:36
  • 1
    Actually, D=Division, a part of the Department of Health and Human Services. You can hire a lawyer and try to sue them. A different lawyer.
    – user6726
    Commented Oct 13, 2020 at 1:42
  • 1
    I can't decide if this is a rant, or a request for legal advice. I voted to close. Commented Oct 13, 2020 at 3:59
  • @DavidSupportsMonica If you can't detect the question which is clearly stated in the title AND first line or you feel your opinion is superior to that of the general consensus, voting to close is your perogative. law.meta.stackexchange.com/a/117/3282
    – Still.Tony
    Commented Oct 13, 2020 at 11:43
  • @DavidSupportsMonica Furthermore, you should try reading again. I just researched some "rants" across law stackexchange and this question does not show those characteristics. Every sentence adds information and none but the last line which is delineated into a separate paragraph even mention a state of mind in response to the situation.
    – Still.Tony
    Commented Oct 13, 2020 at 11:49

1 Answer 1


The appropriate course of action would be to demand an evidentiary hearing, present evidence, and appeal the judge's ruling if it is contrary to the evidence in the record.

Abandoning your attorney because the judge is sounding ominous would be foolish indeed.

You can't do anything about the judge or about DSS.

  • I understand the sentiment of wanting to "demand" but I don't know how to demand anything from that court. To add more info, I also filed for a change of custody just before this started and it's been over 18 months without them even setting a hearing date. I also don't know if throwing more money at it will pay off. Thus far, DSS taking $4500 has removed $1000 of bogus arrears. At that rate, it will only cost me $9000 more to remove the other $2k of arrears. I paid my attorney $7k to prep for and attend the single hearing where I lost miserably. Paying $9k seems more certain vs the attorney.
    – Still.Tony
    Commented Oct 13, 2020 at 12:00
  • 1
    As he said, abandoning your attorney is foolish. Your attorney knows how to demand. This is not a DIY problem if you don;t know how to DIY.
    – user6726
    Commented Oct 13, 2020 at 15:28
  • @user6726 and ohwilleke, What I'm hearing based on your collective experience is that in a situation like this, resuming the fight by having the same attorney demand an evidentiary hearing will likely have the best outcome. Can that judge make good on his threat that if I try to get an evidentiary hearing, he'll guarantee he hears the case and make the outcome worse?
    – Still.Tony
    Commented Oct 13, 2020 at 19:07
  • A judge can rule against you even when a judge shouldn't. It absolutely happens. But, if you have your evidence lined up properly it is hard to do so and you have the best shot at maximally good outcome. You really have no other viable options other than settlement, which you might also strongly consider.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Oct 13, 2020 at 21:29

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .