Appellate Court Hears Arnoux Argue on Employer Child Support Withholding Penalty

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Matthew ArnouxOn Feb. 11, 2015, Matthew C. Arnoux of the family law firm of Birnbaum, Haddon, Gelfman & Arnoux, LLC, argued before the First District Appellate Court on behalf of a client who was adversely affected when Provident Hospital incorrectly withheld child support she was due.

The court, which took the matter under advisement, posted a recording of the court proceedings on its website.

BHGA represents a single mother who is raising two children. A child support order was entered when she was divorced in June 2010. Her ex-husband worked at Provident Hospital.

Provident Hospital failed to remit two child support payments to her, and BHGA succeeded in getting the hospital to pay the back child support to the single mother.

At issue in the original trial, however, was whether Provident Hospital should be penalized for not withholding correctly under the Illinois Income Withholding for Support Act. Arnoux has settled several cases over the course of the last year involving improper child support withholding by employers.

The trial court denied the request for Provident Hospital to pay BHGA’s client a penalty. Arnoux argued that the trial court applied an incorrect standard when weighing the strength of evidence needed to rebut a statutory presumption in the case — that the hospital’s failure to withhold was a “knowing” action which triggers a penalty.

Arnoux characterized the hospital’s position as an insufficient “I made a mistake” defense.

Another issue argued was whether the actions of Provident Hospital of Cook County — whether “knowing” or not — were immunized from penalty by the state’s Tort Immunity Act. BHGA argued that the issue had been waived and that the act does not cover such penalties arising from improper child support withholding.

To learn more about his professional credentials, please view the website biography of Matthew C. Arnoux.