ANNAPOLIS - Washington County child support enforcement officials are asking for legislation that would give people an incentive to show up for out-of-court mediation.
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About one-third of child support cases are settled at conciliation conferences, saving time for the courts and the parties involved, said Washington County Department of Social Services Director David Engle.
But word has gotten out that there is no punishment for not showing up for the conferences, he said.
Social Services is asking the state to give Washington County Circuit judges the power to issue a so-called body attachment, where a police officer brings a violator before the court to explain the absence. A bond could be set, which would be forfeited if the violator didn't show up at the next court appearance.
The Washington County Delegation sponsored similar legislation two years ago, but the bill failed because it would have given the broader power to Social Services, Hagerstown lawyer Tim Gordon said.