A Jeffersonian In East Texas

January 11, 2008

Smith Officials, Wake Up! We are Trying To Help!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ajeffersonian @ 3:20 am

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Let’s try some logic!

The issue, as it is being presented to the residents of Tyler, and Smith county, is jail overcrowding.

The message from residents of the county is that we do not want to solve the problem by building a huge new jail complex.

Both of these propositions, taken together, constitute a pretty good argument for another option.

Building a smaller, or less expensive jail, is still part of the first proposition, and would satisfy no one. It will not fly.

Building a jail in stages is still a part of the first proposition, it is grounded as well.

So, logically, those propositions are not options. What is left? Only one thing, really, reduce the numbers!

If, indeed, Smith county officials are concerned with jail overcrowding, and that is the reason for the perceived need for a new jail complex, then it is time to look at that option!



  1. I like this website. I’ve got to share my story. I was unfortunately one of those targeted for back child support in Smith County. It’s unfortunate because immediately after my ex-wife and I separated, we both left Smith County! This was almost 10 yrs ago, and I had no clue about the jurisdiction. I had to change careers, and there were some periods when I was out of work. This is when I racked up the back child support. It got up over $10k. Meanwhile, my ex-wife remarried within 2-3 months after the divorce was finalized. Finally I got steady work, and it was just at that time that I received a summons. I showed up in court and was placed on probation. This was a little over 3 yrs ago. I was living in Harris County. The judge ordered me to show up in Smith County once a month to pay my probation officer. I was able to go to it a couple of times, but it became prohibitive. I wasn’t making enough money to afford the gas there and back, plus pay the fees to the probation officer and stay on top of child support. Another hearing was scheduled, and I explained it to the judge (Judge Kent, I think, but can’t swear to it…). I also explained that my present wife is disabled and unable to work, and I am responsible for taking care of her, her stepdaughter, and the son than she and I have had together. The judge didn’t care about the distance; she said people came in from Louisiana all the time, so why should I be any different? I felt like I was being punished for living outside the county. That day, I was required to go to my bank and get a cashiers check for about $300 or they would issue a warrant for my arrest. This, on top of the gas, etc. was killing me. I hired an attorney at that time “to keep me out of jail”. I paid $1000 and figured he had resolved things with Smith County. Now I don’t think he did a damn thing. Then my employer had layoffs. They offered to spare me, however, if I would relocate to another state. I did, and spent the past 3 years there. During this time, I have worked down over half of the back child support. Last year, the state increased my support by $50, to be applied to back child support. I had no problem with that. I made good with the company, and applied for a job which would allow me to transfer back to Texas. I got the job and came back at the end of last year. Everything seemed to be going well. I figured the Smith County Probationary stuff had resolved itself, and with my back child support now being below $5000, was excited about getting that monkey off my back. I’ve gotten to see my children again, and was excited about getting to build some kind of relationship with them. Now I’ve started getting calls from the probation unit again! I said I’m caught up; the account is even scheduled to go on positive status on my credit report this year. They say yeah, but there’s an outstanding warrant and if I get stopped in Texas, I’ll spend up to 10 days in jail while they drag me back to Smith County to appear before the judge. They want me to come in on my own recognizance to address the contempt of court charges. Uggh! I can see it now — I go up there, don’t have much to say other than that I have a great job, am working down the back child support, building a relationship with my children, and don’t have the resources to make the trip to a county none of us have lived in for 9 years! I’m pretty sure the judge will throw me in the clink, and I’ll lose everything…. I think about it all the time now……..Thanks, Smith County! /sarcasm I’m sorry for such a long comment, but I’m curious as to whether or not there are others out there with a story similar to my own.

    Comment by InThePoorhouse — January 11, 2008 @ 7:45 pm | Reply

  2. […] Comment By Reader On the Child Support Smith County Filed under: Uncategorized — ajeffersonian @ 9:26 am Tags: child support, child support laws in Texas, Smith county  The following comment was found under: Smith Officials, Wake Up! We are Trying To Help! […]

    Pingback by Comment By Reader On the Child Support Smith County « A Jeffersonian In East Texas — January 12, 2008 @ 9:26 am | Reply

  3. Please someone here my story I know we are not the only people this is happening to. My husband just got arrested on his way to work in the oil field. The Tyler judge put a warrant out for him. The charge? Revoked probation. He is current on child support, it automatically comes out of his check. We pay the $40 per month probation fee, also current. He calls every month to Tyler to let them know the 5 questions they ask when you’re on probation. So why is he revoked his probation? They say b/c he did not drive the 12 hour round trip every month to answer those questions. We use to drive down there and he was literally in there for 5 minutes. In 2008 our landscaping business started to buckle under the pressures of people cutting back and the cost of rising gas prices. So there was no way to come up with around $300 every month to drive to Tyler, an amount nobody benefits from us wasting. We called every month and explained our situation of either paying the cs or driving to Tyler. We chose to pay the support b/c after all it is supposed to be about the kids. There were months when we had to choose between our own house payment and the cs. We chose cs b/c they hang jail over his head like he’s a criminal.. We have been together since he was 20, he is now 34 and we have 3 boys too. We went without a water heater for 7 months but we paid the cs and the probation fee. What did we get for it? My husband of 14 years is sitting in jail b/c we did not rob a bank for him to drive back in forth to Tyler! He has now lost the job that was catching us up and we were scheduled to be in Tyler January 16th and told is probation officer we were catching up and he would be there!!! They put a warrant out in Dec. and did not inform him. He could have turned himself in on his off week and kept his job. But no. A man who’s only crime was not being rich enough for their demands and be stupidly promiscuous at 16 and it has cost him his freedom, my kids their father, and the kids on cs their monthly payment, b/c we did not drive to Tyler. He has changed his whole life around but yet here he is in jail and away from his family who needs him. Everybody was getting their money but nope, wasn’t good enough for Tyler. Now no one will get anything and we will probably loose everything. He is in jail he now has no job. They won’t let him bond out and now when he does get out he won’t have a job to pay next months cs and he will go back to jail! You think this system is for the children no way. Everything I have said is true and his probation officer can back it up. My life, my kid’s life, and my husband’s life were just stolen from us out of the blue, and there is not one thing we can do about it. That’s not JUSTICE! All the kids loose and he is locked up like a criminal, oh I’m sorry criminals get out on bond.. He won’t.

    Comment by Stacy — January 10, 2009 @ 2:00 am | Reply

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