September 23, 2020

Deadbeat Parents Targeted With Suspension Of Hunting, Fishing, And ATV Licenses

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This is nothing new. Macomb County, Michigan is going to begin cracking down on deadbeat parents who will not pay child support, by revoking, suspending or not allowing them to buy a hunting or fishing license or register any off-road vehicle. This is a law that has been on the books for some time but Macomb and most other counties in Michigan choose not to enforce it, until now. And their reasoning behind this crackdown?

“This is about the kids,” said Lynn Davidson, Friend of the Court director. “It costs money to hunt. It costs money to have an ORV. If they (deadbeat parents) can have their toys, they can pay their child support.”

In Macomb County there are an estimated 40,000 parents who pay child support. Of those, about 8,900 have any or all of hunting and fishing licenses and/or register an off-road vehicle. Friend of the Court staffers will begin sifting through all of those license holders to see which ones pay child support and which ones are in arrears on their payments. (Is this public information?) Those more than 60 days will be sent a letter giving them the opportunity to make things right. After that if nothing is done, any licenses being held will be suspended and the same person will not be allowed to renew.

I know of nobody who doesn’t want children to be taken care of, so I can only presume that using the same logic as in Macomb county, they are looking into other means as well and not just targeting hunters, fishermen and ATV users.

According to an article in the Macomb Daily, officials say that between 10 and 20 percent of the 8,900 license holders may be affected. I assume that is some kind of an average that has been determined to be the percent of parents paying child support that are delinquent.

If those percentages are true, then anywhere between 890 and 1,780 parents could be targeted by this program. If those same percentages apply across the board then 31,100 should be scrutinized as well for their potential lack of making support payments. The 10-20 percent figure of deadbeats amounts to between 3,110 and 6,220 child support paying parents who may be not doing their duty. Those numbers are significantly more than hunting and fishing license holders. What is being done to target those deadbeats? Why just pick on those who fit this profile? (Ooh! Did I use a bad word here?)

Where is the ACLU when you need them? (insert rolling eyes here). I’ll bet that if you used your imagination here you could come up with an example or two of double standards and discrimination. I’m not stupid enough to travel down that road, so I’ll let you do the driving and you can take your own car too.

Tom Remington

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