The Michigan Court of Appeals is publishing Wayne County Social Services Director v. Yates (March 9, 2004; Case No. 244191). The father’s income withholding payments amounted to renewals of the full child support obligation and thereby served to extend the statute of limitations. The fact that he did not write the check himself did not render the payments involuntary.
Neff writes (excerpt):
Defendant argues because he made no payment, voluntary or otherwise, after the statute of limitations expired, there is no authority to support an extension of the limitations period. We disagree.
In Yeiter v Knights of St Casimir, 461 Mich 493, 494; 607 NW2d 68 (2000), the Supreme Court held that partial payments on a debt, “some of which were within the limitation period, . . . .” constituted a renewal of the promise to pay the amount owed. . . .
Although Yeiter did not involve a child support arrearage, the holding is clear that any payment on a debt, whether before or after the running of the statute of limitations, acts to extend the limitations period. The child support obligation in this case was a debt and payments were made pursuant to the income withholdings.
Plaintiff argues, in essence, that his payments were involuntary because they were made pursuant to an income withholding order. The logical thrust of the argument is that the payments could not represent a renewed promise to pay under these circumstances. This Court’s holding in Durecki, supra, rejects that very argument. In Durecki, the defendant argued that his payments were involuntary because they were made to avoid being held in contempt. This Court held that the claim of duress and therefore involuntariness was without record and legal support, citing both Miner, supra, and Neilands v Wright, 134 Mich 77: 95 NW 997 (1903). See also Morehead v Hoffdal, unpublished per curiam opinion of the Court of Appeals, issued September 25, 1998, (Docket No. 201019), where a panel of this Court held that successful actions to collect a child support judgment via income tax refund intercepts within the limitations period waived the statute of limitations defense without regard to the consent of the paying party. Id., slip op at