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Suit to establish paternity

The Fort Worth Court of Appeals heard an appeal from the father from a default judgment issued against him in a suit to establish parentage brought by the Attorney General.  The father argued that he was unable to attend the hearing because of a car accident and that retroactive child support was ordered paid to the mother was improper because the child had not lived with the mother for an extended period and that he had evidence to show he provided some child support.  The AG filed suit to establish paternity when the child was 17.  The father was served with citation and notice of trial but did not appear.  Based on the mother's testimony, the court entered a default judgment ordering retroactive child support to mother.

The father did not file a Motion for New Trial, but instead filed an Affidavit of Inability 21 days after judgment in which he claimed he could not pay court costs due to unemployment.

The Court of Appeals determined that the affidavit was insufficient for filing as a proper Motion for New Trial.  Even if they could they do not contain sufficient proof to meet the elements required.  The default judgment was affirmed.

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