444 U.S. 1098 (1980)

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U.S. Supreme Court

COUNTY OF VENTURA v. CASTRO , 444 U.S. 1098 (1980)

444 U.S. 1098

No. 79-633

Supreme Court of the United States

February 19, 1980

On petition for writ of certiorari to the Court of Appeal of California, Second Appellate District.

The petition for a writ of certiorari is denied.

Mr. Justice BLACKMUN, with whom Mr. Justice REHNQUIST joins, dissenting.

I believe that this case presents the substantial question whether the ruling of the California Court of Appeal is consistent with this Court's decision in D. H. Overmyer Co. v. Frick Co., 405 U.S. 174 (1972). See also Isbell v. County of Sonoma, 21 Cal. 3d 61, 145 Cal.Rptr. 368, 577 P.2d 188, cert. denied as out of time, 439 U.S. 996 (1978).

Page 444 U.S. 1098 , 1099

The case concerns an agreement of paternity signed by the alleged father of the unborn child of a welfare recipient. The mother-to-be applied for welfare assistance and informed county employees that respondent was the father of her unborn child. At the request of the District Attorney's office, respondent came to that office and spoke with Juanita Hickman, a family support officer.

Although respondent expressed some doubts, he told Hickman that "more than likely I am the father." Hickman explained to respondent that he could sign an agreement of paternity which would be filed in court and which would result in a judgment of paternity and an order to pay child support. He was advised, alternatively, that if he was not certain he was the father, the office would institute a paternity action and serve him with a summons and complaint; he then would have 30 days to answer and a trial would follow. Respondent signed a paternity agreement, prepared by Hickman. It was filed with the Ventura County Superior Court. The pertinent part of the agreement read:

"It is hereby agreed by plaintiff, through C. STANLEY TROM, District Attorney for the County of Ventura, and Rudy Castro, Jr., defendant, that the following facts are true and that a judgment be entered against the defendant in accordance with this agreement.

    "1. Defendant acknowledges that the District Attorney of Ventura County, does not represent him and that he understands that he has had an opportunity to have an attorney advise and represent him in this matter.

    "2. Defendant understands that a judgment for child support will be entered against him based upon this agreement.

    "3. The defendant is the father of: unborn child of Viola Gonzales, due to be born December 1977.

    "4. The defendant agrees to pay $125.00 per child per month commencing on Sept. 1, 1977, and on the same date [444 U.S. 1098 , 1100]

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