PATERNITY FRAUD: Iowa Supreme Court Ruling

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A ruling released by the Iowa Supreme Court Friday opens the door for paternity fraud lawsuits.

The court ruled in favor of 28-year-old Joseph Dier of Grundy Center in a case where Cassandra Jo Peters claimed Dier was the father of her child. Dier voluntarily made monetary contributions to help with the care of the child and Peters, and once he learned the child was not his he sued to recover that money.

The child was born in 2009 and Dier sought custody. After receiving the report of a child custody evaluation, Peters thought she might lose custody of the child and requested a paternity test. Results showed Dier was not the father. Dier requested another test which came back with the same results.

In the Iowa Supreme Court’s decision justices wrote, “Because we conclude that such a cause of action is consistent with traditional concepts of common law fraud there is no prevailing public policy reason against recognizing such a cause of action, and Iowa’s statutes do not speak to the issue, we hold that a cause of action may be pursued.”

The court’s decision overrules a district judge decision from last year that said paternity fraud lawsuits were not allowed in the state.

Read the court’s entire decision here.