(Memphis) WREG is digging deeper into complaints about Tennessee child support cases.
Our investigation started after dozens of mothers say a man with more than 20 children wasn’t forced to pay.
We are working to get answers from the state of Tennessee.
WREG has been told over and over again by custodial parents it takes too long to get Shelby County to enforce child support payments.
After watching how quick an Arkansas judge threw the book at Terry Turnage, people wanted to know what’s taking Tennessee so long to act.
Terry Turnage wasn’t home when we went knocking but his neighbor who says he lives there hasn’t seen him since he got out of jail Wednesday.
“I pray for him they don’t realize what they’re doing. They ain’t got nobody to teach them,” said one neighbor.
Making Turnage pay the mothers he owes child support in Memphis will take the cooperation of the private company hired by the Department of Human Services, juvenile Court and law enforcement officers.
We asked DHS why it’s taking so long to arrest Turnage, especially since about 20 women started complaining at least two years ago.
The agency told WREG it doesn’t have the authority to issue warrants, the process is handled through the courts.
WREG sat in on a number of child support hearings at Shelby County Juvenile Court.
The case load was big, about 60 in the one court room in one day.
Many times the judge issued warrants, but we’re told finding the parent ordered to pay isn’t always easy, and it’s up to the police department or sheriff’s office to serve the warrant.
Another problem many parents say Maximus, the private company contracted by the state to handle collections of child support cases, isn’t doing its job.
After seeing our story one viewer wrote she dealt with Tennessee for a year and half and got no results.
When the case switched to California, it was resolved in three months.
She complained to Nashville but says it did absolutely nothing. DHS says it takes customers complaints very seriously and encourages feedback.
If you have an issue a link to reach the child support complaints department, contact www.tn.gov/humanserv/cs/complaints.pdf
WREG found out today DHS just renewed the contract for Maximus this month for another two years.