Moul’s “Deadbeat” Parent Bill Getting Results
HARRISBURG -- In 2008, Rep. Dan Moul (Adams/Franklin) sponsored legislation that was signed into law that makes it a crime to deliberately flee the Commonwealth to avoid paying child support. Moul’s legislation put teeth into Pennsylvania’s child support laws by permitting the extradition of deadbeat parents back to Pennsylvania to face charges. This week, Moul’s efforts paid off.

Beth Ann Holderman of Emmaus, Lehigh County, contacted Moul about two weeks ago to inquire about his legislation. She had spent years tracking down Joshua Garlathy, her former boyfriend and the father of her now 19 year-old daughter. She had located him several times throughout the years, but each time he fled. She recently learned he was living in Hawaii. This time Garlathy would not escape.

Aided by Pennsylvania’s tough new law, and after securing an arrest warrant in Lehigh County, Holderman enlisted the help of nationally known bounty hunter, Scott Bernstein, who this week lured Garlathy back to Pennsylvania, via the Internet, on the premise that Garlathy, an aspiring musician, would be cast in a movie with actress Jennifer Aniston. Instead, Garlathy, who owes about $43,000 in delinquent child support payments, is now being held by Lehigh County prison.

“I am thrilled that my legislation is doing as it was intended to do – holding parents accountable for the welfare of their children,” said Moul, who serves as vice chairman of the House Children and Youth Committee. “These kids do nothing to deserve such disregard and any parent who would deliberately shirk their responsibility in this manner should take notice. You can run, but you can’t hide.

“Living so close to the Maryland border, I have heard many heart-wrenching stories about parents moving across the Mason-Dixon line, out of the reach of Pennsylvania law enforcement – just to avoid paying child support,” said Moul. “I was moved by the story of a woman from my area whose ex-husband had the means to support their child, but instead, moved across the Maryland border to avoid paying child support. She was left to care for their child without any financial help from him. While he lived a comfortable life just a few miles away, they were relegated to a life on public assistance. He was carefree. She worried daily about how she would shelter, clothe and feed her child. It is just not right.”

In Pennsylvania, delinquent child support payments account for about $1.4 billion.

State Representative Dan Moul
91st District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact: Donna Pinkham
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