CHICAGO, May 3 – Markham Judge Coughlin vacated a $29,000 child support arrearage (and approx. $14K in interest) against U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Clay today. This arrearage was set January 10th, 2003, based on a default judgment of paternity. The effects of this arrearage were handcuffing Staff Sergeant Clay in his personal financial life and destroyed his credit. This also prevented career advancement in the military.
These pitfalls should now hopefully be at an end due to the court’s decision today. Staff Sergeant Clay’s veteran attorney, Jenét Pequeño of the Law Offices of Jeffery M, Leving, Ltd., successfully coordinated today’s strategic litigation.
“I critically researched the Soldier’s and Sailor’s Civil Relief Act and then filed my motion to vacate the default judgment pursuant to that important federal statute,” said Pequeño. Furthermore, Pequeño stated, “The court correctly vacated the 2003 default judgment.”
After today’s decision, Staff Sergeant Clay was granted a DNA test for the first time to determine if he is the father of the child for whom he had been paying child support for since 2003. Clay has been battling the court system for years for this opportunity to seek justice and was given that chance today.