Legal Question in Criminal Law in Maryland

I recently moved to California from Maryland. i currently pay Child Support for a child that lives in maryland. I fell on hard times and was laid off my job. I explained this to the Child support agent but she said 'she does'nt care", and issued a Bench Warrant for my arrest because i was too far behind in the arrears. My Unemployment recently kicked in, and the state of Maryland have been deducting the money right out of my check for 3 months now. But they still have'nt pulled the warrant. My question is, If i get pulled over in California, would i be extradited 3000 miles back to Maryland for something petty like a civil debt, even though i've been paying? I have'nt commited any crimes except losing my job, but the legal system calls it Contempt of court. I thought we abolished Debtors prison after the Revolutionary War.

Asked on 9/17/09, 3:30 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

William Welch William L. Welch, III Attorney

Whether Maryland would invest the money to extradite you depends on whether Maryland thinks that it could collect more than the cost of doing so. Courts issue warrants instead of the Office of Child Support Enforcement, which requests warrants.

What would probably happen is that the warrant remains outstanding until the court recalls it, which means that you would continue to be arrested and detained perhaps repeatedly. Whatever jurisdiction arrests you would hold you for the statutory period of time in which Maryland has to respond and then release you. They hope that this is an incentive for you would pay what you owe, and when the arrearage was current they would ask to recall the warrant.

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Answered on 9/22/09, 6:48 am

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