CNN HEADLINE NEWS WITH ERICA HILL
ERICA HILL: Can someone really be forced to pay child support without proof he is the father?
KENDALL COFFEY: Well, what a year for strange paternity suits. We all remember the Anna Nicole Smith battle for Danielyn where DNA answered the questions once and for all. Here, we don’t have an answer. We basically have two guys. But the law doesn’t say you can have a tie in a paternity contest, so brother Raymond is the winner except that he’s not exactly thinking of himself as a winner in this case.
ERICA HILL: Is paternity being determined as it was pre-DNA on the mother’s word and what’s on the birth certificate?
KENDALL COFFEY: That’s right and it’s an amazing thing in this day and age because we all talk about the CSI affect, about DNA, about all the forensic evidence, but you still have, in a whole lot of cases, a situation where if whoever’s deciding a case chooses to believe one particular witness, that could be enough to put you behind bars or put you behind the baby carriage.
ERICA HILL: Does he have a case for appeal?
KENDALL COFFEY: Oh, he’s got a very tough time in this situation because the system isn’t really interested in the blame game either, attacking the mom or even blame-gaming his own brother. The system is fundamentally concerned about a baby girl who deserves to be supported. And if the best we can do is to pick brother Raymond instead of brother Richard, that’s the one who’s going to get the payments and that’s what is needed to protect the child.
ERICA HILL: Could both brothers ever be ordered to pay?
KENDALL COFFEY: This has got to be one of those situations where common sense tells you one thing and the law tells you something else. You’ve got two men. One is assuredly the uncle, one is the dad. You don’t really know which is which. Why not have in effect two “dunkles” and a fifty-fifty split. But, Erica, the law doesn’t let us have a tie like that and when there can’t be a tie, the mom’s testimony is going to be the tie-breaker.
ERICA HILL: So there’s no other way to determine the father here?
KENDALL COFFEY: The law doesn’t allow you to do any better than they’ve done. We know that the DNA says it’s one of these two. We don’t know how to go beyond that and what the judge had to do is listen to the mom. And what she said is during the critical days it was only brother Raymond that was involved with her, not brother Richard.
KENDALL COFFEY: One of the worst parts of this family feud is neither of these men is willing to step forward at this point to be some kind of a dad. They both are in a major state of denial and, until that’s resolved, this little girl is not going to have a dad.