For over 2 1/2 years, there have been serious ethical problems committed by the Swain County DSS who handles my child support case.
In 2010, the first Swain Co. DSS attorney started having a relationship with my ex-wife, aka the Plaintiff. This is a blatant violation of the Swain County DSS Business Code of Conduct. He threatened to sue me twice after I filed a complaint. The NC DSS removed him from my case. He is not assigned to my case but still has been active in my case to help benefit the Plaintiff. This attorney was involved in the child support hearing I had in January 2013. So much for him being removed from my case. Swain County’s policy states that the DSS attorney must avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest. But I guess this doesn’t apply to him.
So Swain Co. DSS had to contract a conflict attorney. He had no clue who he represented. Swain Co. DSS, NC DSS and NC State Bar all have documents plainly stating that the DSS attorney represents the agency, not the plaintiff. The DSS attorney needs to remain fair and unbiased in case child custody and support switch parents. This conflict attorney continued filing court paperwork stated he was the “Substitute for the Party Plaintiff” and “representing on behalf of (the Plaintiff).” Both are completely false. The NC DSS policy stated the DSS attorney must be an objective third party and provide “fair proceedings.” After twice formally requesting that he clarify his representation with his client, Swain County DSS, he finally called NC DSS. At the next CS hearing, this attorney promptly stood up when my case was called and immediately requested to be removed from my case. Prior to the hearing, I had told the attorney that the first thing I was going to do was to request him to be removed for ethical violations.
So Swain Co. DSS had to contract another attorney, this attorney refused to answer any of my questions or address any of my issues. She consulted with the Swain Co. DSS attorney who is not supposed to have anything to do with my case. Twice she subpoenaed a friend of the Plaintiff who does not work at Swain Co. DSS to work on my case. This attorney refused to answer why my case worker was not working on my case. She lied to me and stated that the girl she subpoenaed to work on my case was employed by Swain Co. DSS. I told her I called her at Swain Co. DSS three times and each time I was told she did not work there. The Attorney then lied to the Judge and stated I requested that both of my motions be dismissed. I never discussed anything like this with the attorney. Both of my motions were dismissed. My son is 19 and I am still paying child support to my ex-wife for him.
I filed multiple complaints with Swain Co. DSS, NC DSS and NC Attorney General’s office. I recieved no replies because I guess they don’t answer to anybody. So I started calling county and state public officials. I did it for about a month and a half. Then amazingly, I received a letter from Swain County’s attorney. I guess the old adage, the squeaky wheel gets the oil, is true. She said that remediation had occured and no further action would be taken. I don’t believe that remediation is the remedy for serious ethical violations. And knowing Swain County, nothing has been said or done. This post is just the tip of the iceberg. I could write a book about the ethical problems at Swain Co. DSS.
But anyway, I have a court date scheduled to try to get my 19 year old and my 18 year old off of my child support obligation. I was told by the Swain County Manager that the third DSS attorney was still contracted to handle my case. I am very upset about this because she is a nothing but a liar. So what can I do as a Pro Se Defendent to ensure that I will have a fair, unbiased CS hearing?