This topic contains information on the following subjects:
When CSS caseworkers attempt to locate a noncustodial parent (NCP) through means other than the ACTS automated Locate submittals, they must record in ACTS the sources that were checked and the types of information that were found. Caseworkers first record any information that they find on the appropriate screen in ACTS, then they record any manual Locate attempts using online sources (such as DMV, DOC, etc.) in ACTS.
If caseworkers locate an NCP by using a source other than an on-line or automated source, they should record their activity in ACTS.
The following Locate sources are available to caseworkers for online queries; they are also automated Locate sources:
The following Locate sources are available for manual queries:
In certain situations, it might become necessary to locate a custodial parent (CP). (EX: An outstanding child support check has not been cashed by a CP who has moved without notifying CSS.) The online query location resources are available for use in these types of situations.
Locate sources other than automated or manually-accessed interfaces include:
1. FORMER EMPLOYERS
NCGS ll0-139 (c) requires employers doing business or incorporated under the laws of the State of North Carolina to provide certain information about noncustodial parents (NCPs) for the purpose of establishing, enforcing, and modifying child support. When a local CSS agency can identify an NCP’s former employer, the agency should contact the employer to request the following information about the NCP:
2. LAST KNOWN ADDRESS/NEIGHBORS
3. LOCAL POST OFFICE
4. KNOWN PLACES OF CREDIT
5. INSURANCE AGENCIES
6. MORTGAGE COMPANIES
7. HOSPITALS (if a history of prior treatment exists)
8. CLUBS (where the NCP had membership)
9. HIGH SCHOOL/COLLEGE
10. KNOWN FRIENDS
11. PROBATION/PAROLE OFFICER
12. CLERK OF COURT RECORDS
13. SECRETARY OF STATE
14. REGISTERED AGENTS
15. LIMITED PARTNERSHIPS FILE
16. FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS and UTILITY COMPANIES
NCGS 110-139(d) specifies that financial institutions and utility companies are required to provide requested information as needed to locate a parent for the purpose of child support. Financial institutions are defined as federal, state, commercial, or savings banks, savings and loan associations or cooperative banks, federal or state chartered credit unions, benefit associations, insurance companies, safe deposit companies, money market mutual funds, and investment companies doing business in this state or incorporated under the laws of NC.
It is important to note that due to certain federal regulations, telecommunication utilities or providers of electronic communication service to the general public (for example, telephone companies and computer bulletin boards) are not bound by NCGS 110-139(d).
While utility company is not specifically defined in statute, such a company includes, but is not limited to, the following: electric service, gas companies (both natural and propane), water works, trash pick-up (EX: Waste Industries), and heating oil companies.
Financial institutions, utility companies, and cable television companies are required to provide the following information: full name, SSN, address, telephone number, account numbers, and other identifying data for the person who maintains an account at that utility company, cable television company, or financial institution.
If additional information, correspondence, memoranda agreements, documents, papers, or records relevant to a child support establishment, enforcement, or paternity establishment proceeding is needed, and reasonable attempts have been unsuccessful to receive such information, then the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has the authority to issue an Intrastate Administrative Subpoena (DSS-4709) to employers, financial institutions or companies, etc., for the purpose of determining an individual's assets.
An administrative subpoena for this purpose can only be issued by CSS when a proceeding for either establishment of paternity and/or support is pending with the courts. The subpoena should have the name of the person or entity to which the request is being made and a description of the information needed. The subpoena should be signed by the local CSS supervisor who serves as the Secretary's designated representative.
Subpoenas for the production of documentary evidence can be served through the delivery of a copy to the person named in the subpoena by a sheriff's deputy or by registered or certified mail (return receipt requested).
If the person refuses to comply with the administrative subpoena, local CSS can submit a motion with an affidavit explaining why an entitlement to an order to show cause is appropriate, which serves as notice to the court that the individual or entity has not complied with the subpoena. The individual or entity then has to show good cause as to why they should not comply with the requirements. If the judge decides the requirements are reasonable and proper, then the refusal to comply with the subpoena or with the order shall be considered contempt of court and penalties can be imposed for failure to comply with the subpoena.
Any information obtained as a result of a subpoena is confidential and can be used only by the CSS program in conjunction with an action to establish paternity or support, to collect, or to enforce an order for child support.
Prior to contacting either financial institutions, utility companies, or cable television companies for information, caseworkers should access other appropriate automated and manual Locate resources, so the providers of this information are not overburdened. These sources should only be contacted when other Locate resources indicate that the NCP does indeed use a particular financial institution or is thought to be using a local utility or cable television company.
A thorough search must be made in the local area (unless reliable information indicates that the noncustodial parent (NCP) is in another state). All local sources of Locate information cannot be listed here; however, suggested sources to check are listed above. Many local CSS agencies develop sources that are especially useful in their particular area. If a Locate search produces information that affects ACTS processing (such as, probation status, verification of address, insurance information changes, etc.), CSS caseworkers should update the appropriate fields in ACTS.
If caseworkers find a current out-of-county or out-of-state address, they can send a registered letter to the non-custodial parent at that address informing the NCP of his/her obligation (if no reason exists to believe he/she might flee). If it is believed that the NCP might flee, civil legal action should be initiated with no prior contact.
For questions or clarification on any of the policy contained in these manuals, please contact your local county office.