There is a newer version of the Arkansas Code
2010 Arkansas Code
9-14-210. Office of Child Support Enforcement -- Employment of attorneys -- Real party in interest -- Scope of representation.
Title 9 - Family Law
Subtitle 2 - Domestic Relations
Chapter 14 - Spousal and Child Support
Subchapter 2 - Enforcement Generally
§ 9-14-210 - Office of Child Support Enforcement -- Employment of attorneys -- Real party in interest -- Scope of representation.
(a) The Department of Human Services or the Office of Child Support Enforcement of the Revenue Division of the Department of Finance and Administration, or both, shall employ attorneys to assist in the establishment and enforcement of support orders in the State of Arkansas.
(b) An attorney employed by the Department of Human Services or the office, or both, or employed by a county, prosecuting attorney, or local child support enforcement unit pursuant to a cooperative agreement with the office shall undertake representation of the action instead of the prosecuting attorney in actions brought pursuant to Title IV-D of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. 651 et seq., under the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, 9-17-101 et seq.
(c) An attorney employed under this subchapter, whether directly or by contract with the office, may be designated a special deputy prosecutor by the prosecuting attorney of that judicial district, for the limited purposes of prosecuting in a court of competent jurisdiction actions brought under 5-26-401 or 5-54-102, in those cases proceeding under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. 651 et seq. However, nothing in this section shall be construed to entitle such attorneys to those rights, benefits, or privileges that accrue to a prosecuting attorney under any other provision of state law, except as set forth below:
(1) (A) As a special deputy prosecutor, the attorney shall have the power to issue subpoenas in all matters being investigated by the office under 5-26-401 or 5-54-102 and may administer oaths for taking the testimony of witnesses subpoenaed before him or her.
(B) Such oaths shall have the same effect as if administered by the foreman of a grand jury.
(C) The subpoena shall be substantially in the form set forth in 16-43-212;
(2) (A) Appointment as a special deputy prosecutor shall not entitle the attorney to receive any additional fees or salary from the state for services provided pursuant to the appointment.
(B) Expenses of the special deputy prosecutor and any fees and costs incurred thereby in the prosecution of cases under 5-26-401 or 5-54-102 shall be the responsibility of the office under the Title IV-D program;
(3) A special deputy prosecutor appointed and functioning as authorized under this section shall be entitled to the same immunity granted by law to the prosecuting attorney;
(4) The prosecuting attorney may revoke the appointment of a special deputy prosecutor at any time.
(d) The State of Arkansas is the real party in interest for purposes of establishing paternity and securing repayment of benefits paid and assigned past due support, future support, and costs in actions brought to establish, modify, or enforce an order of support in any of the following circumstances:
(1) Whenever public assistance under the transitional employment assistance program, i.e., temporary assistance for needy families, or 20-77-109 or 20-77-307 is provided to a dependent child or when child support services continue to be provided under 45 C.F.R. 302.33 as it existed on January 1, 2001;
(2) Whenever a contract and assignment for child support services have been entered into for the establishment or enforcement of a child support obligation for which an automatic assignment under 9-14-109 is not in effect;
(3) Whenever duties are imposed on the state in Title IV-D cases pursuant to the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, 9-17-101 et seq.; or
(4) When a child is placed in the custody of the Department of Human Services and rights have been assigned under 9-14-109.
(e) (1) In any action brought to establish paternity, to secure repayment of government benefits paid or assigned child support arrearages, to secure current and future support of children, or to establish, enforce, or modify a child support obligation, the Department of Human Services or the office, or both, or their contractors, may employ attorneys.
(2) An attorney so employed shall represent the interests of the Department of Human Services or the office and does not represent the assignor of an interest set out in subsection (d) of this section.
(3) Representation by the employed attorney shall not be construed as creating an attorney-client relationship between the attorney and the assignor of an interest set forth in subsection (d) of this section, or with any party or witness to the action, other than the Department of Human Services or the office, regardless of the name in which the action is brought.
(f) (1) In any action brought by the Department of Human Services or the office, or both, or their contractors, to establish paternity, to secure repayment of government benefits paid or assigned child support arrearages, to secure current and future support of children, or to establish, enforce, or modify a child support obligation, if another party pleads a claim relating to child custody or visitation, property division, divorce, or other claims not directly related to support, the office shall advise the assignee, as set forth in subsection (d) of this section, of the need for separate legal counsel.
(2) However, for the benefit of the court clerk, in any action brought by the Department of Human Services or the office, or both, or their contractors, pursuant to subsection (d) of this section, the name of the physical custodian shall be set out in the body of any petition filed and order entered in the matter.
(g) It shall be unlawful for any person to use or disclose information concerning applicants for, or recipients of, child support enforcement services provided by the office under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. 651 et seq., except for purposes in furtherance of child support activities, including the following:
(1) Administration of the state plan for child support enforcement required under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. 651 et. seq., or administration of the Title IV-D program;
(2) Any investigation, prosecution, or criminal or civil proceeding conducted in connection with the administration of any plan or program listed in subdivision (g)(1) of this section;
(3) Administration of any federal program that provides assistance, in cash or in kind, or services directly to individuals based on need;
(4) A report to the appropriate agency or official of information on known or suspected instances of physical or mental injury, sexual abuse or exploitation, or negligent treatment or maltreatment of a child who is the subject of a child support enforcement service when circumstances indicate that the child's health or welfare is threatened; and
(5) When authorized in writing by the custodial or noncustodial parent, child support payment records for use by attorneys and abstractors to facilitate the release or satisfaction of child support liens on real property.
(h) The office may release information on the whereabouts of a party under the following conditions:
(1) The party requesting the information is the noncustodial parent or the physical custodian who submits the request by affidavit that clearly states the reason the information is requested, and that sets out the unsuccessful attempts to acquire the information from other sources;
(2) The party requesting the information shall submit the affidavit requesting the release of information to the office by first class mail;
(3) Within seven (7) days of receiving the request, the office shall notify the party whose whereabouts are subject to disclosure that a request for location information has been made and that the requested information will be provided within twenty (20) days of the date of the notice unless the office receives a copy of a court order that enjoins the disclosure or otherwise restricts the requesting party's rights to contact or visit the party or the children, or the party requests an administrative hearing to contest the disclosure.
(i) (1) Whenever an administrative hearing is requested, the office shall not disclose the whereabouts of a party until the administrative hearing is held or completed.
(2) If any reasonable evidence of domestic violence or child abuse is presented at the administrative hearing or by affidavit and the disclosure of the last known address or any identifying information could be harmful to a party or the child, the office shall not release the information.
(j) It shall be unlawful to disclose to any committee or legislative body any information that identifies by name or address any applicant or recipient of Title IV-D of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. 651 et seq., child support enforcement services.
(k) A release of information on the whereabouts of a party made in compliance with 9-14-205 is a permissible release of information in connection with the administration of the Title IV-D program.
(l) A release of payment information made in compliance with 9-14-807 is a permissible release of information in connection with the administration of the Title IV-D program.
(m) A violation of subsection (g), subsection (h), subsection (i), subsection (j), subsection (k), or subsection (l) of this section shall constitute a Class B misdemeanor.
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