D.A. Fails to Get Suit on Child Support Dismissed

A Municipal Court judge on Wednesday allowed a taxpayer lawsuit against the Los Angeles County district attorney's child support unit to proceed.

Judge S. Patricia Spear did not grant the demurrer sought by county attorneys, which would have ended the lawsuit that seeks to compel the office to release child support money it has collected but says it cannot distribute.

The office has held as much as $25 million in an interest-bearing account, sometimes in violation of state law. But county officials say the amount has been reduced to about $10 million and that they are trying to distribute the funds.

The lawsuit, by taxpayer attorney Richard Fine, alleges that the office has no right to hold the money and should return it.

County lawyers were successful in getting an earlier version of the suit dismissed on technical grounds, but Fine amended it to meet the county's objections and refiled.

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