Rapper DMX Sued for $1 Million in Back Child Support
Patricia Trejo has sued the rapper, also known as Earl Simmons, in a Los Angeles court for ten years worth of support payments for a daughter that DMX has denied is his. The lawsuit might prevent Simmons from embarking on an upcoming European tour if California officials block him from obtaining a passport. He’s applied for a special dispensation to allow him to travel with the support suit still pending.
DMX denies the 10-year-old girl is his daughter, and has offered to take a paternity test to prove it. Several dates on his “Undisputed Comeback Tour” still appear to be scheduled for March and April in Germany.
Overburdened and Underfunded
California leads the country with an incredible $19 billion in unpaid support as of December 2010. Nationwide, only 41.2 percent of custodial parents receive the full amount of support they are owed.
Parents have a number of options available to them to collect on unpaid child support, says Los Angeles-area attorney Raymond Goldstein of the Center for Enforcement of Family Support. Parents seeking support can either go through the Department of Child Support Services or seek out a private attorney to help get what they are owed. “The Department of Child Support Services can do anything that a private attorney can do,” Goldstein says. “As a general matter they usually don’t do certain things.”
DCSS can go after bank accounts and paychecks, as well as revoke or suspend a drivers or professional license, intercept a federal tax refund, garnish unemployment benefits and deny issue or reissue of a passport. However, bogged down under an excess of cases and struggling with strapped budgets, DCSS doesn’t have the resources to pursue every case to the full extent of the remedies available. “They do the best they can with what they’ve got, but they are overburdened and underfunded,” says Goldstein.
In the absence of relief through the government, family law attorneys can help, or enforcement specialists like Goldstein. “Uncollected judgement isn’t worth the paper it’s written on,” the attorney says. With enough time and resources to expend on a case, enforcement specialists can dump a cornucopia of collection methods on a debtor all at once to improve the odds of success. Among the options attorneys have are using examination requests to determine the entirety of a person’s assets, including those tied up in corporations that artists in particular often use to shield their income. Lawyers can go after property, rents, royalties, interest and any money they find belongs to the debtor even if it passes through a third party. Failure to cooperate with information requests can lead to contempt of court charges and jail time.
“You line up all the remedies, and the debtor wakes up one morning in a very uncomfortable position,” Goldstein says. “All his assets are tied up because he’s served personally with an examination order. He’s getting phone calls from friends and family members saying, ‘Why do I have an examination order?’ He’s getting discovery requests. Now he comes in with three inches of documents and his attorney says we’re gonna lose somewhere along the line. We need to consider settlement.”
Ruff Ryder’s Anthem
DMX, most famous for the 2001 hit “Ruff Ryder’s Anthem,” has one child with an ex-wife and reportedly at least two more with other women out of wedlock. Following a previous child support lawsuit which he lost after DNA evidence proved him to be the father, the rapper claimed that Monique Wayne raped him while he was passed out drunk in a hotel room.
He has been arrested with almost comic frequency over the course of his life on a series of drug, assault, weapons, driving, animal cruelty and sexual assault charges.