Forget everything you ever learned on "Maury."

A man is being ordered by the state of Michigan to pay thousands of dollars in back child support or face prison time.

The problem? The child isn't his, and he has a DNA test plus the testimony of the child's mother to prove it.


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According to court records from 1987, Carnell Alexander's girlfriend put his name on a form as the father of her child when she applied for state assistance.

In the late 1980s, a process server told the court that he delivered the notice to Alexander.

That did not happen, however, as Alexander was incarcerated at the time for an unrelated crime.

It was during a traffic stop in 1991 that Alexander found out for the first time that he owed $60,000 in back child support.

A judge has since erased the debt that Alexander owed the mother of the child, but not $30,000 owed to the state.


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On "Happening Now," Diana Aizman said this case comes down to flaws in the legal system, since Alexander was not given due process in a blatant violation of his constitutional rights.

Dan Schorr agreed that the process server's lie (or mistake) nearly 30 years ago is the reason for all the trouble, but the statute of limitations would prevent any legal action against that individual.

Schorr said a default judgment such as this one can be set aside for good cause, if there's a reasonable explanation or if a gross injustice will be carried out.

"I presume that sooner or later a court will set this aside, because it's not right to have him liable for this judgment when he was never served," Schorr said.

Aizman pointed out that although state law may be on Alexander's side, he is a man of modest means and going up against the state will be extremely difficult for him.

"It's very clear that this guy is being treated unfairly. And, hopefully, the court will reverse the ruling and exonerate this man's judgment."

Watch the clip above.


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