Rolling Hills attorney Michael Lyons has been suspended from his law practice for failing to properly serve two clients. More recently, he has been arrested and accused of failing to pay child support.
But this week the Los Angeles County district attorney's office hit Lyons right in the assets by impounding his $35,000 Rolls-Royce.
County officials plan to sell the 1972 sedan to pay $28,000 in child support that they said Lyons owes.
"We would cheerfully go after his bank accounts or real estate if he had any," said Deputy Dist. Atty. Thad Young.
"But we can't find any (substantial) assets. He rents his office. His house in Rolling Hills has a big mortgage. The car is the only paid asset that he has."
Lyons owes the money for his daughter Michelle, 6, according to Young. He said Lyons, 35, has not paid monthly support of $1,500 for more than a year.
The suspended lawyer was arrested about a week ago after not appearing in court on criminal charges of failure to pay child support. He is now scheduled to appear in Los Angeles Municipal Court on Dec. 28.
Lyons said he could not pay because he had been out of work until last month. "At one point I had a lot of money, and she (the mother, Carolyn Cole) thinks I still do," he said.
According to the California State Bar, Lyons' license was suspended for one year, beginning Aug. 21, after complaints by two clients. The bar found that Lyons failed to file a petition for one client and a lawsuit for another.
This is not the first time that authorities have been after Lyons for failing to pay child support. About two years ago, a criminal case against him was dropped after he made good on overdue payments for another child, Young said.
Lyons paid in cash the last time around, but his payment this time is locked up in a Police Department garage in San Pedro.
"If you know anybody who wants a Rolls-Royce," Young said, "tell them to follow the marshal's sales."