New Guidelines For Warrants And Incarceration In Child Support Cases

A directive from the Administrative Office of the Courts lays out a new framework for use of incarceration in cases of parents brought into court for child support enforcement. The directive, entitled directive-15-08, comes in the wake of the state Supreme Court’s holding, in pasqua-v-council-186-nj-127-2006, that indigent parents charged with violating child support orders, who are subject to coercive incarceration at hearings to enforce litigants’ rights, have a right to appointed counsel. The directive sets forth standards on the conduct of proceedings, the use of forms and the setting of a “release amount” — namely, how much needs to be paid to free the obligor from custody. For additional information, see the state’s judicial website at – New Jersey Judiciary —