I just received seven Notice of Child Support Liens from the OAG. Each notice names the Obligor, the outstanding debt, and other info related to the lien's judgment/lawsuit. All the liens predate the AF seizure dates. Can a lien of this type attach to "all nonexempt real and/or personal property of the above-named obligor which is located or existing within the State/county of filing" within an asset forfeiture, ie. contraband? And if so, does the OAG need to intervene?
Check out Family Code 157.311 et seq. You may need to go to family court to litigate this. If the property itself would be lawful but for the manner acquired or used (for example, a house or car), the child support lien probably has priority but you should read the statute to see if you agree on the facts of your case. The child support lien is a remarkably strong piece of legislation and is sort of a 'super lien' in a lot of ways -- it's got a lot more kick than a lot of the other interests you probably see claimed in forfeiture cases. The state interest in having deadbeat parents support their minor children is very strong, and I imagine a lot of the family courts would believe that as long as the property is taken from the bad actor the state benefits at least as much, possibly more, if the property supports the minor children of the actor than if it goes to the government. If you get a different result in court, please share it. Very interesting.
Seems like it would be bad PR for prosecutors to take an asset that could be used to pay child support. The children probably need that money more than law enforcement and prosecutors.
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