Noncustodial Parents in the Witness Protection Program
POLICY INTERPRETATION QUESTIONS
DATE: June 4, 2003
TO: State and Tribal IV-D Directors and Regional Program Managers
FROM: Sherri Z. Heller, Ed.D.
Office of Child Support Enforcement
SUBJECT: Noncustodial Parents in the Witness Protection Program
On occasion, we receive inquiries concerning noncustodial parents (NCPs) who are in the Federal Witness Protection Program and what steps should be taken to have these NCPs fulfill their child support obligations. The purpose of this issuance is to provide written guidance on this question.
QUESTION 1: How can a IV-D agency secure support from an NCP who is in the Witness Protection Program?
RESPONSE 1: OCSE contacted the Witness Security Program of the U.S. Marshals Service. If a IV-D agency trying to obtain support has information that an NCP is in the Witness Security Program, a letter must be written to the program. The letter must include the name, Social Security Number and the date of birth of the NCP who is reportedly in the program. The names of the child and custodial parent, a copy of the support order, and the amount of child support owed must also be included in the letter. Any additional information should also be included. The U.S. Marshals Service will respond to the written inquiry.
The letter should be mailed to: U.S. Marshals Service, Washington, DC 20530-1000 ATTN: Witness Security Program.
The U.S. Marshals Service will not respond to phone calls made to the office, nor will it provide a point of contact for these types of inquiries.
QUESTION 2: If the IV-D agency discovers that an NCP is in the Witness Security Program and is unable to obtain the child support, can the case be closed?
RESPONSE 2: The IV-D agency may close the case if the case meets one of the case closure criteria found at 45 CFR 303.11(b). For example, 45 CFR 303.11(b)(4) allows case closure if the NCP’s location is unknown and the state has made diligent efforts using multiple sources, in accordance with 45 CFR 303.3, all of which have been unsuccessful, to locate the noncustodial parent, either over a three-year period when there is sufficient information to initiate an automated locate effort, or over a one-year period when there is not sufficient information to initiate an automated locate effort. The IV-D agency may also close the case if the case meets any of the other case closure criteria in 45 CFR 303.11(b).
Inquiries should be directed to the appropriate Regional Office.