Working with Low-Income Cases: Lessons for the Child Support Enforcement System from Parents' Fair Share. B. Case Reviewers and Associated Required Facilities, Paperwork, and Docket Space

05/01/1998

Using judges (or, to a lesser extent, referees or hearing officers) to review cases sends a strong message about the seriousness of the issues involved. However, in all the PFS sites, these officials handled a variety of types of family law and child support cases, not just referrals to PFS, and it proved complicated (though many of the sites found a way) to institute special PFS dockets just to consider referrals to PFS because of the busy schedule of these officials and the competing demands for courtrooms. Further, more formal hearings often involved more paperwork to schedule. These factors all contribute to the lengthier "lead time" involved for more formal hearings. For example, in one site it took three to four months to bring a contempt action, while a less formal review hearing could be conducted within one month.