• Report: #988936

Complaint Review: Ogemaw County FOC, MI

  • Submitted: Sun, December 30, 2012
  • Updated: Sun, December 30, 2012

  • Reported By: JZachary — Flint Michigan United States of America
Ogemaw County FOC, MI
806 W. Houghton Ave. West Branch, Michigan United States of America

Ogemaw County FOC, MI Tonya Schagel, enforcement officer Victimizing mentally ill/disabled, Prosecuting SSI/DI recipients, lying under oath. West Branch, Michigan

*Consumer Comment: I know exactly how you feel!

*Author of original report: Yes?

*Consumer Comment: Ummm...

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I have been dealing with this problem for the better part of 7 yrs.  This office, particularly the named (Tonya Schagel, formerly Gouin) have illegally attempted to prosecute me at least twice, has changed support amount and not notified anyone (me or my attorney).  I have multiple physical/neurological disabilities including ankylosing spondylitis, autism, mood disorder, ADHD, and many social barriers with regard to being in public.  I applied for SSI and would have been accepted (was given a closed period of disability because of short lived employment i had aquired) had i not succumbed to the constant weekly harassment/threats on my freedom (i had no representation, and had just left the hospital for mental health concerns, I was subsequently thrown in jail, released, immediately show caused upon my release for non-payment, referred to MI rehab services where I got a PT job, and after about 3-4 months was forced to resign due to my license being suspended by the FOC even as payments were being taken out of my check as per the withholding order, was again show caused and incarcerated, again released and immediately show caused, again referred back to the program MRS, the program this time around elected to send me to college and now the enforcement officer is again changing the support amount with out any notification and show causing me for non payment.  I am now reapplying for SSI under the guidance of my vocational counselor and attorney...  This court has forced me to proceed without council, refused me a hearing, and many more things...  Let it be known this individual and the office she represents are GUILTY of fraud, false imprisonment, perjury, civil rights violations, abuse of authority, denial of due process, denying representation to the indigent, cruel and unusual punishment, and exploitation of the mentally ill/disabled....  PLEASE HELP US I am not the only one being victimized, my attorney has other clients on SSI/DI being illegally prosecuted by FOC

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/30/2012 10:03 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Ogemaw-County-FOC-MI/West-Branch-Michigan-48506/Ogemaw-County-FOC-MI-Tonya-Schagel-enforcement-officer-Victimizing-mentally-illdisabled-988936. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Comment

I know exactly how you feel!

AUTHOR: JustMe - ()

To the original poster: I know exactly where you are coming from. Unfortunately, Tonya is not the only employee at the Ogemaw County, Michigan Friend of the Court that has been handling things in a shady way. I could give you a list of names of individuals that the employees of this particular Friend of the Court , such as, Tonya, Sara, and also some lady named Karrie, Carrie, something like that has handled their cases (both payers and payees) and has had nothing but problems because of the way these employees have and still do handle things.

It appears that in some cases, probably a lot more than anyone is aware of, they do not apply the laws regarding how child support amounts are calculated to each case the same. It appears that they pick and choose how they will calculate amounts, depending on the person/persons involved, who they want to go after for arrearages (some with what appears to be a vengeance due to ill personal feelings the employee has against an individual in a particular case). In some cases, they will use one formula to set a child support amount and in others with the exact same set of circumstances, they will set some off the wall amount. This Michigan Child Support Formula is supposed to be used by every Friend of the Court in Michigan as a Gold Standard for calculating child support amounts. Though it does allow for some variations, it does state the specific circumstances that have to apply in order for this variation from the Gold Standard for calculation to be used.

One person's child support will be set merely based on minimum wage, 40 hours per week (this is usually what most states do when setting the lowest amount unless the person is disabled, the child has increased medical needs, etc. However, as a general rule, it's supposed to be if a person who is able bodied is either unemployed or underemployed, that the child support is supposed to be set at the "potential income", which the lowest for an able bodies is minimum wage, 40 hours per week. However, another person can purposely be only working 30 hours per week, but at a slightly higher wage than Michigan's current minimun wage, and they will set that person's child support based on what they are actually making instead of potential. How can they do that? I do not have the answer. I know many others that are dealing with this same Friend of the Court and are wondering the same thing.

Why is a person A: that is not currently employed or under employed expected to pay more because his/her child support amount is based on a set minimum wage (say when it was $7.40 per hr) at 40 hours a week= Gross pay of $296, yet person B: is only working 30 hours per week at $8= Gross pay of $240, but does have the potential to earn the equivilant of what A does whether it means picking up a 2nd job to make the difference up or whatever or based on previous work history of making at least that at every job and the fact that every employee over a certain age in Michigan has to be paid at least minimum wage so this person can only make less than A does if this person does not make any attempt to increase weekly hours either at the current job or seeking a second), but this same court does not go by the "potential" and settles for calculating soley based on only working 30 hours per week but for more pay than what person A is. In other words person B has the same potential to earn the minimum of minimum wage 40 hrs per week (same as A's was based on) but isn't. Person B: More pay but less hours than person A.)

I personally know of two different female payees on two different cases through this F.O.C that wanted to write off several thousands of dollars in arrearages owed by payers in their cases and not only got the runaround and told they could not, even though they were not on any type of public assistance, but once it was proven that that was a lie and they could indeed write off any or all of the arrearages owed in their cases, these females were treated by the above employees as if they were some type of criminal or as if writing off the arrearages owed in their case was committing the crime of the century.

Here is another example of how each payer is treated differently regardless of household circumstances being the same. Payer A: Has two prior child support orders (both to the same payee (has two children with this payee), but each child's case was set up at different times in another county). However, despite these employees being fully aware of the two prior child support orders in a different county for Payer A, Payer A did not receive "prior child support credits" for either prior case when the third case, which was to a different payee (1 child with the 2nd payee) was set. Payer B: Had 1 prior child support order for Payee #1. When Payer B's child support was calculated for the 2nd case in this same county as his first order, he did receive a "prior child support order credit." Despite child support for Payer B's 2nd case was set almost 11 years after Payer A's 3rd case was set ( at the time Payer A's support was set, minimum wage was $3.35) and when Payer B's was set for the 2nd case minimum was $6.95, minimum wage was not only a lot higher at the time Payer's B's 2nd case was set, but Payer B's received a "prior child support order credit" base on 1 previous child with another Payee when Payer A had to prior child support orders and received no credit, and despite the almost $4 change in minimum wage, Payer B's base support amount was set at almost half per month than Payer A's was 11 years prior.

The above sounds very confusing and complicated, but the short of it is that they calculate each case (regardless of same circumstances) completely different depending on whether or not the above employees like you as a person. Why do some get "prior child support credits" that lower base support for subsequent cases for the same Payer, but others receive none. Why is the bare minimum minimum wage 40 hours per week used to calculate certain payers base child support amount, but others are allowed to work less hours than the bare minimum above and have only those wages considered instead of "potential" that is used in other cases?

I've also seen others go in and only be required to pay $8 per week and this person was more than able bodied to work, yet others going in on the same day to have support amounts set had theirs based on the minimum wage rule even if they were not working full 40 hours, yet others able bodies are not held to the minimum wage rule and can work less hours so that they do not have to pay as much child support. If the payer is able bodied then every single person should be held to the minimum wage rule when calculating child support regardless if they work less hours because those working less hours have the ability to pick up hours some where else to make up the difference.

I aplogize for being so long winded, but sometimes it requires putting a lot in black and white for someone else reading it to get the full picture. Another thing regarding the comment that the person made in response to the orginal poster: I do not recall the original poster stating that he was "gainfully employed." Employed and gainfully employed does not mean the same thing. For all we know, this gentleman could have been employed for 2-5 hours per week, struggling to even do that with all his health problems, but it is still not gainful employment. He just stated that he was employed. Did not state for how much per hour or how many hours per week worked. Plenty of disabled people are able to work a couple hours per week, but cannot physically work full time or even part-time where it can be considered gainful. Working 1 hour per week means you are employed.

I am curious to see if anyone else comes forward with complaints about this particular Friend of the Court and these particular employees. Something is not right. Why are payers being treated differently and why are some being held to higher financial standards and capabilities than others when it comes to calculating child support? Unfortunately, Ogemaw County is a small area with low population, so the chances that the above employess will be rubbing elbows daily with the same people that any complaints about their conduct has to be sent through will lessen the chances of any real investigations into their conduct being done or better yet, anything being done about it. One lies and the other vouch for them. That is what happens in small towns. People in small towns get away with murder because small towns usually mean everybody that is anybody knows and hangs close with others that are anyone with any kind of authortiy to do anything about the shady practices of certain offices. Especially where courts are concerned. Let me know if you find anyone else because I would be more than willing to come forwardwith several names of people going through similar things. Maybe if enough people get together and request an investigation done then maybe, just maybe something will be done. 

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#2 Author of original report

Yes?

AUTHOR: JZachary - (United States of America)

The whole story is immensely complicated, and loss of job would most likely occurred in not much longer of a period of time due the illness anyhow, like every other job i had and i would be better off publishing a novel size document on the ins and outs of this case, i have paperwork, letterheads from employers, the support of the plaintiff, etc etc, and most have done what seemed to come from you as well, appear critical... Anyone that has dealt with this agency can account for the total lack of legality and professionalism on behalf of the FOC.  As for "the whole story" i would be willing to talk anytime to explain in better detail, though the media of communication is my preferred due to some problems i have interacting with people...  Lets just say i was very naive, and susceptible to threats and intimidation rendered on me by the said parties...  Disabled or not, you will take any job you could get when the court disagrees with your health status and threatens jail time, right?  Needless to say I had no support network at this time, and with the help of MRS and an attorney i now have something of one, which is one factor leading me here...  Other incidents include flagging federal refunds for garnishment, then redacting it and refusing to give the cash back to us, attribute my account the funds and actually giving me a negative balance which was then whittled down to nothing via court dates every month for a year, keep in mind i have never been more than a 1000 behind in arrears and this is only because they are playing dirty by not notifying us of changes, letting it stack up and then slapping me with it all at once...  As for the others on SSI/DI this worker is doing this to, because it is a court order their is public record of this all...  However getting anyone to believe you when you describe this hard enough let alone getting someone to do something..  I will gladly offer anymore information you would like to know, any paperwork you would like to see, as well as contact to both my attny and my MRS vocational rehab counselor contact information if this would help better iterate the "whole story", Thank you for the query :)
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#3 Consumer Comment

Ummm...

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

You describe all of these conditions(physical and mental) that supposedly keep you from getting a job.  Yet you held a job and according to you the only reason you lost that job is because your license was suspended because of back Child Support...nothing about it being because of your condition.

I wonder what the full story is.

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