Friday, July 13, 2001

'Deadbeat' parents could be left idling

The Associated Press

        LEXINGTON — Parents who fall six months behind on their child support payments soon could be getting “the boot” in Fayette County.

        The county sheriff's office and the county attorney's Division of Child Support are expected to announce today that they will use a new program to get “deadbeat” parents to pay up.

        After a 30-day amnesty period starting today, the sheriff's office will have the option of placing wheel locks or boots on cars registered to parents who are at least six months in arrears on child support payments.

        “This will be a last resort after all other collection methods have failed,” said Wanda Kinnaird of the Division of Child Support.

        Fayette County is the first to try the option since it was authorized during the 2000 General Assembly. If the program works well here, it will be expanded statewide, said Michael Jennings, spokesman for the state Cabinet for Children and Families.

        The use of boots for child support enforcement has been adopted by several jurisdictions throughout the nation.

        One of the first was Virginia's Fairfax County, a Washington suburb, where $347,000 was recovered after 70 vehicles were booted in the first few months of the program.

        A spokesman for the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky declined to comment on the program, but others say booting cars won't necessarily get deadbeat parents to pay up.


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