Wrong Father’s Name on Birth Certificate (Full Episode) | Paternity Court

Wrong Father’s Name on Birth Certificate (Full Episode) | Paternity Court


Please be seated. Good morning, Your Honor. Good morning. This is the case of
Hunter v. Holden.
Thank you, Jerome.
Good day, everyone. AUDIENCE: Good day. Mr. Hunter, you opened
your case in Paternity Court
because you say there is no way you fathered
the defendant’s son, Josiah. You worry she’s only
saying you did because of the financial
security you provide
for her, is that correct? Yes, Your Honor. JUDGE LAKE: All right. Ms. Holden, you admit you
were confused about
your son’s biological father because you were given
incorrect medical information, but you are 100% certain Mr. Hunter is the father,
is that correct? Yes, Your Honor. JUDGE LAKE: Mr. Hunter,
you say this is about financial security? Yes. JUDGE LAKE: Tell the court
why you feel that way, sir. Because I take care of him
financially, I do everything. Buy him diapers, milk.
I buy clothes. Everything a father has
to do to take care of
a child, I do it. So you pretty much
stepped up as a father. Yes, ma’am. You have. But you have doubts. Yes, ma’am. But, Ms. Holden, has he
gotten emotionally attached
to Josiah as well? Yes. He has? Yes, Your Honor. So, he pretty much has accepted this child
as his own? TASHA HOLDEN: Yes, Your Honor. JUDGE LAKE: And so, you all are in
a relationship. HOLDEN: Yes. What kind of relationship? Boyfriend and girlfriend. JUDGE LAKE: You’re boyfriend
and girlfriend. Yes, Your Honor. JUDGE LAKE: So, take me back to how this
relationship started, because I’m trying to
understand how a… You all are boyfriend
and girlfriend, but you have doubts
about the paternity, but you still accept, love, and are attached to this baby
like it’s your own. Yes. JUDGE LAKE: So, take me
back to this… How this relationship
started. Where did
you meet? Well, we lived
on the same street. Uh, I met him
when I was 15. JUDGE LAKE: Mmm-hmm. We both was in
a relationship. Then we both
became single. I invited him over
to my birthday party. And he offered
to pay for the booth at the party
and offered
to buy the cake. Well, that was a nice gesture
for a fried, Mr. Hunter. Yes, ma’am. Hmm. Did you have any benefits
in the back of your mind
that you were looking to… Get later? No, ma’am. JUDGE LAKE: You didn’t?
Just a nice guy? Yes, ma’am. Well, that’s pleasant
and refreshing, right, Jerome? So, well… (AUDIENCE APPLAUDING) JUDGE LAKE: But eventually,
the benefits did happen, or
you wouldn’t be here. Yes, ma’am. JUDGE LAKE: Okay.So, at what point
did you all turn this
platonic friendship
into a sexual relationship? Did you say, you know, “What about dating?”
How did this happen? Uh, the night
of the party, we both were intoxicated. Oh, here we go. (AUDIENCE LAUGHS) HOLDEN: I invited him over, and he came over… Yeah, but that night… …and one thing
led to another. That night, we didn’t
sleep together. Yes, we did, Your Honor. Okay, so on
the birthday night, you said you did
have sex, and Mr. Hunter,
you say you did not. Yeah, we didn’t that night. Yes, we did, Your Honor. Okay, so let’s…
All right… (CHUCKLES) Well… Okay. I’m not gonna say
I was like, “What?” Mr. Hunter, it
wasn’t memorable? I mean, what is
going on here? (AUDIENCE LAUGHS) Let’s move forward. So
at some point, you all
decide to date. BOTH: Yes. And you decided to continue on
with a sexual relationship? HOLDEN: Yes. So, were you having sex
with protection? Yes. No. JUDGE LAKE: Were… (AUDIENCE LAUGHS) Here we go! You all haven’t agreed
on one thing yet! Who said yes? She said no, I said
yes, we were using protection. No, we wasn’t. JUDGE LAKE: Okay. That’s what we call
reasonable doubt
in a criminal court. (AUDIENCE LAUGHS) Reasonable doubt.
So, now, listen. You’re having sex, one says
you’re using protection,
one says you’re not. Are you having sex
with anybody else? Is this
a committed relationship or did you all fall
into a sexual relationship without any foundation
of a commitment? We was just friends.
It wasn’t a committed
relationship because I knew she had another friend. So you knew she had
another friend? Yes, Your Honor. Was this a friend you were
having sex with, Ms. Holden? Yes, Your Honor. Were you using protection
with that friend? No, Your Honor. All right. So,
when you find out
you’re pregnant, you got one friend
that you’re dating that Mr. Hunter’s aware of, and now you’ve also
made this friend, Mr. Hunter, into
a sexual partner. When you get pregnant,
who do you tell? Mr. Hunter. JUDGE LAKE: You do? Yes. What happened? Um, I called him over, and he came over
and I was so sleepy, and he was like,
“You must be pregnant,
’cause I’m sick.” He was telling me
he was sick. And I was like, “Yes.” And then he was like,
“You just broke my heart.” And then I was like,
“Well, I’m sorry.” Why did it break your heart
that she was pregnant,
Mr. Hunter? I didn’t wanna have
no more kids, because
I have kids. JUDGE LAKE: Okay. Did you assume, when
she told you, that
the child was yours? Yes, ma’am. JUDGE LAKE: You did? Yes, ma’am. JUDGE LAKE: All right,
now, Ms. Holden, did you ever say
to Mr. Hunter, “Well, I’m still having…” Were you still having sex
with the other guy, too? No, Your Honor. Did you think it was
Mr. Hunter’s child? Well, I told him that
I did sleep with
somebody else. And I told him
that I do apologize. You told me, “It could be.
It could.” Well, I told him
he could be the father. Right. I could be. Oh, could. In this courtroom,
“could” is an action word. Because that means there could possibly
be another father. Yes. HOLDEN: Yes. All right. So once
you heard that, Mr. Hunter, what… How did you feel? I was feeling
some type of way. JUDGE LAKE: Explain. I was… I was… I was feeling, like,
okay, I could be as if, like, “Okay, now you’re
sleeping with… Who knows
who you’re sleeping with?” I’ve been through
other situations
in my past, well, now it’s
like it’s a roll
playing in my head again. “Here we go again.” Something, you know,
the same situation. And, you know, when she said
she could, it kind of like, it made me feel
some type of way. ‘Cause you’ve been through
a paternity situation before? Yes, ma’am. JUDGE LAKE: And so, once this happened,
you immediately felt like,
“Here we go again.” Yes, ma’am. HOLDEN: Your Honor,
because I named my son after someone else. What? (AUDIENCE LAUGHS) Yes. HOLDEN: Yes. So, Ms. Holden,
did you know Mr. Hunter had doubts
all this time? Yes. JUDGE LAKE: You did? Yes. Did you invite him
to the hospital
for the birth? No, ma’am. JUDGE LAKE: You didn’t? No, ma’am. This is confusing.
Now, you’re paying
for everything but you don’t wanna
get attached because
of your previous… Paternity situation. Right. JUDGE LAKE: But you’re
accepting his support,
right, Ms. Holden? Yes, Your Honor. JUDGE LAKE: But you don’t
invite him to the hospital? No, he dropped me off. I didn’t wanna come,
anyway, I mean… (AUDIENCE LAUGHING) I dropped her…
I took her to the hospital, I just didn’t wanna come
because of my past. I didn’t wanna… So you drove her
all the way there… Yeah, I took her. …dropped her at the hospital
to have the baby… Yes. …the baby that
could be yours. Right. …but you didn’t go
upstairs to participate. BOTH: No. Did you put Mr. Hunter’s name
on the birth certificate,
Ms. Holden? No, Your Honor. JUDGE LAKE: Did anybody bring a copy of that
birth certificate? HUNTER: I have evidence. Oh, I’d like to see that.
Jerome, hand me that
evidence, please. This is Josiah’s
birth certificate? HOLDEN:Yes, Your Honor.JUDGE LAKE:Mr. Hunter, is
that your last name under…
HUNTER:No, ma’am.Whose last name
is that, Ms. Holden? The other guy. The other guy. AUDIENCE: Oh… JUDGE LAKE: So, wait a minute. Mr. Hunter dropped you
off at the hospital, you gave birth to the baby and named the baby
after another man. Yes, Your Honor. (SIGHS) Oh, my goodness. Ms. Holden, why would you name
your son after someone else if your boyfriend is
standing right there? Because I had
two different dates
from the doctor. I have the evidence
to prove to you. JUDGE LAKE: Oh, you
brought some evidence? Let me see it. Yes, ma’am. JUDGE LAKE: Jerome,
hand me that evidence. JEROME: Sure. May I explain
to you… JUDGE LAKE: Yes. Please explain
to me, Ms. Holden. You brought a calendar. Yes, ma’am. Step up to
the calendar, please. In November, the 15th, this is when
I slept with
Mr. Hunter. I went to
the doctor. My first due date
they gave me was August 2nd. Okay. And then I went
back to the doctor, and they gave me August 9th and I slept with
the other man
on the 18th of November. JUDGE LAKE: So that’s
just three days apart. HOLDEN: Yes, ma’am. JUDGE LAKE: So… When you had
the original due date, you counted back. It led me to believe… Yes, that Mr. Hunter
was the father. But then you went back,
and sometimes due dates… You know, the dates change
as they begin to… HOLDEN: Yes. So that’s what made me
believe the other man
was the father of Josiah. So at that point,
you counted back and you felt like,
in your own mind, it was more responsible
to give him the other
person’s name. Yes, ma’am. But Josiah was born
the 22nd… July 22nd, yes. He was born
three weeks early. So that made me
to believe that… Hunter… JUDGE LAKE: Oh,
then you went, flipped back and thought
it was Mr. Hunter’s baby. HOLDEN: Yes. JUDGE LAKE: But you
had already put the other guy’s name
on the birth certificate. Yes, Your Honor. JUDGE LAKE:Oh, my goodness.All right, you can return
to the podium. Wow. And so, did you
explain all of this
to Mr. Hunter? Yes, Your Honor. HUNTER: No. No, ma’am. JUDGE LAKE: This
really is a… This is a mess.
This really is. Josiah is named
after another man. But now you’re
in court claiming Mr. Hunter is his
biological father. Yes, Your Honor. HUNTER: Mmm. Now, Mr. Hunter,
when you heard her
explain that story, did you feel more convinced
that Josiah was yours? No, Your Honor. You didn’t. HUNTER: I feel like it’s more of a financial
than anything, because you got the dates,
they’re all mixed up. JUDGE LAKE:Right. I mean,
and truth be told, I’ve done
this long enough to know,
even with Josiah coming
three weeks early,
if you sleep with two
different men, three days
apart, unprotected, that’s the… It’s called
a window of conception
for a reason. And so, you’re still
within the window. Okay. JUDGE LAKE: You’re in
the window of doubt. And in the window
of confusion. You know, Mr. Hunter,
I can see this
really bothers you. I mean, it bothers me
because I’m starting
to get attached. He recently just started… He’s coming
to me, so… JUDGE LAKE: I understand. And as a man, you are looking at
this baby wondering
if it’s yours, but you know this baby is
coming to you because
he thinks you are his daddy. Right. And you’re starting
to form a bond? HUNTER: Yeah. I mean, he recently just
started calling me dada, so, you know… AUDIENCE: Aw. That’s a beautiful thing,
when you hear a child
say that. And they always say
dada first. (ALL CHUCKLING) JUDGE LAKE: They do. They do. And I see
the tear in your eyes, because it’s a
beautiful thing, right? Yeah. And if he’s calling you daddy,
and you’re having doubt, what runs through your mind?
It’s been eight months. I just want peace of mind, I just wanna know
if that’s really
my child. I mean, I’ve been
through a bad past,
so everything I did with Josiah, I never
did that before. So… I guess
that’s why so attached. Yes, you’ve never been
there every morning, and seen them begin
to crawl around and pull up. What is he,
eight months? Oh, yeah, he’s getting
ready to walk soon. So he’s probably crawling
around and pulling up
on everything. HUNTER: Right. Yes, and testing
his boundaries. Yes. JUDGE LAKE: So,
Ms. Holden, I see it makes you
emotional, as well. HOLDEN: Yes, Your Honor. ‘Cause I grew up
without a father. How did it affect you,
growing up without a father? Um, it affected me emotionally
’cause I was into sports. And I didn’t have
a father figure there
to support me. And now I have
a little boy that might be
a football… Anything in sports,
and then he’ll need
a father there to support him. And your fear is Mr. Hunter
will leave, or not be as present
in this child’s life if it’s not his
biological child? Yes, Your Honor. I think he’ll leave…
(CLEARS THROAT)
Leave us. And it sounds like
he’s been a pretty good man. Yes, Your Honor,
he’s a very good man. Where’s the other guy?
Where is he? I don’t know. JUDGE LAKE: You don’t
know even where he is. No, Your Honor. Did you tell him
he could be
a possible father? Yes, Your Honor. And he has had
nothing to do with you or Josiah? BOTH: No. He don’t care. So there’s a lot
on the line, here, and the stakes are very high. And the real truth is,
Mr. Hunter, we hear
a lot of cases. This is what we do
each and every day. And given the circumstances
and the set of facts you’ve
put forth today, you do have a right
to be confused. HUNTER: Right. Like I said, a three-day
window is a tight window. I think it’s time for
the results. Jerome. Yes. Here you go,
Your Honor. These results were prepared
by DNA Diagnostics and
they read as follows. Just wanna know
if that’s really my child. JUDGE LAKE: In the case of
Hunter v. Holden,
when it comes to
eight-month-old Josiah, it has been determined
by this court, Mr. Hunter, you… Are not the father. (AUDIENCE EXCLAIMING) So very sorry. Sorry. JUDGE LAKE: Mr. Hunter,
I can see that hurt, and that’s not the news
I wanted to deliver today. I’m gonna still
be in his life. (AUDIENCE APPLAUDING) Ms. Holden, have you
thought about how
you will prepare Josiah in terms of finding
out, potentially, where his true
biological father is? HOLDEN: Yes, Your Honor. Or reaching back out
to this gentleman
to let him know? I’m using
“gentleman” graciously. HUNTER: I could tell you. We don’t wanna have
nothing to do with him. If it takes all of that
to be a father to the child, we don’t need it. JUDGE LAKE: Well,
let me say this
before we go. Every child has a right
to know who their
biological father is. That doesn’t mean
that person is gonna
step up to the plate and do what
they’re supposed to do. But they have a right
to know who they are and they also have the right
to be supported by that man. And I’m just gonna
say this to you. Whether or not he chooses
to be physically present
in Josiah’s life will be his own choice. But, he is responsible to
help take care of that child. It is beautiful and gracious
that you stepped up to
the plate, Mr. Hunter, but I’ll tell you what. You need to go back
to that courtroom
in your home state and make sure he takes
care of that child. Because one day,
Josiah may need that. You can save that money
for his college education. You can save that money
for him later on in life. But it’s his right.
We have children come
into this courtroom, 30, 40, 50 years old. They love and respect the man
who stepped up to the plate
for them, but they still are haunted
by that one question. Who is… Where is… My biological father? If you can give him
that answer, that’s a blessing. I wish you all
the very best of luck. Court is adjourned. (AUDIENCE APPLAUDS)

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