May 15, 2017
[Copyrighted Material Omitted]
from the Superior Court of the District of Columbia
(DRB-1540-83), (Hon. Jennifer Di Toro, Motions Judge)
W. Schwartz, Jr. was on the brief for appellant.
McDowell, Stephanie Troyer, and Jonathan Levy were on the
brief for appellee.
Beckwith and McLeese, Associate Judges, and Nebeker, Senior
Appellee Freddie Massey was ordered to pay child support to
his ex-wife, appellant Carolyn Pope Massey, at the time of
their divorce in 1985. In 2014, Mr. Massey filed a motion to
reduce arrears, which the trial court granted upon concluding
that the statute of limitations barred the collection of the
outstanding arrears. Ms. Pope Massey appeals the judgment
vacating all of Mr. Masseys outstanding child support
arrears. We affirm.
Massey and Ms. Pope Massey married in 1969 and had four
children before divorcing in 1985. Mr. Massey, the defendant
in the divorce action, was ordered to pay $450 per month in
child support as part of the judgment of absolute divorce.
The parties youngest child, Freddie Massey Jr., emancipated
on his twenty-first birthday in October of 1999. Mr. Massey
remained in arrears, which totaled approximately $49,000 at
the time of the judgment under review.
2007, the District of Columbia Child Support Services
Division intercepted Mr. Masseys federal tax refund in
partial satisfaction of the arrears. On May 17, 2007, Mr.
Massey, acting pro se, filed a motion to terminate the child
support order and all arrears on the grounds that he was
homeless and disabled and could not afford the payments. The
motion was denied without prejudice on January 22, 2008. In
2012, Mr. Massey began receiving Social Security Disability
Insurance (SSDI) benefits, which the government withheld in
part for child support. On December 3, 2012, Mr. Massey filed
another pro se motion to terminate his child support
obligations on the grounds of disability, unemployment, and
his need for his SSDI benefits. This motion was denied on
January 19, 2013.
8, 2014, Mr. Massey filed a third pro se motion to terminate
his child support obligations, which was largely identical to
the second motion with the addition of the handwritten
notation "stature [sic] of limitations Oct, 1999."
He subsequently obtained counsel from the Legal Aid Society
of the District of Columbia and filed a new motion to reduce
the arrears on statute-of-limitations grounds on October 21,
2014. At a hearing on May 6, 2015, the court heard argument
from Mr. ...