Something about which we’ve been unable to find any mainstream news reports comes this alarming information from F.R.A.M.E.D (Family Rights and Many Ending Discrimination).  It seems that New Jersey Family Courts have been using a software program which contained a “bug” which apparently inflated some child support figures that were being calculated during proceedings.

The New Jersey judiciary reports that it has identified and removed the reported glitch in the software. It is further report that the judiciary is “trying to figure out how many incorrect support orders were issued.”

The alert regarding the flaw was brought to light by matrimonial lawyer, Robert Rottkamp, who apparently discovered one his client’s obligations had been higher than the state’s guidelines after checking it with his own calculator program. The problem has affected as many as 131 cases across the state since 2005, which is when the New Jersey judiciary started using software purchased from Policy Studies Inc. The 131 case files are being culled and sent to the Administrative Office of the State Courts (AOC) for recalculations. If the AOC finds any discrepancy between what the obligation is now and what the recalculation suggests, those parties will be contacted and given an opportunity to request judicial review of the case, a court official says.

A couple of questions remain unanswered about this situation:

  • Why aren’t the 131 citizens who may have been affected by the nonconforming software program being told about the potential mistake to their cases regardless of the AOC findings?  Shouldn’t they have a right to have their own team review the calculations no matter what?
  • We’re surprised, given the numbers of people who are currently involved in such family court litigation, that only 131 cases were impacted since 2005.  Are they using different software in different jurisdictions?
  • Who is going to be responsible for the “judicial review” if the AOC manages to make contact with the affected parties and they request the review?

More from the article:

Policy Studies Inc. provides the child support calculations software to New Jersey and many other states. The guy who runs Policy Studies Inc., Robert G. Williams, is a fraud and profits off of his inflated child support calculations. He set up most state child support guidelines which are excessively high.

There seems to be  a significant level of impropriety in such a situation and for the full article, click here:  Court Fixes Bug in its Child Support Software