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Do We File Contempt if a Party Fails to Appear for Genetic Testing?

Legal Authority:

State Statute: 56 O.S.   240.23(A)(5)

OAC Policy: OAC 340:25-5-200(d)(14)

When staff schedule a genetic test in a paternity case per a Genetic Test Order, but the party fails to appear, staff follow these steps before consulting with their State’s Attorney to determine if CSS should file a contempt action:

1) Attempt to contact the party who failed to comply with the Genetic Test Order to verify their address and determine why they failed to appear for testing.

2) Reschedule the genetic test at least one more time. Notify the party that the consequences for failing to comply with the genetic test order may be a default paternity order or a contempt action to ask a court to compel the party to appear for genetic testing. Examples of contact include:

  1. calling the party;
  2. sending a warning letter to the party; or
  3. emailing the party if there is an email address on file.

3) If staff are not successful after completing steps one and two, staff ask the State’s Attorney how to proceed with the case, such as:

  1. filing a contempt action; or
  2. seeking an order to use a previous genetic test sample.

While this mainly applies to custodial parents,  staff can also use the same process for non-custodial parents who fail to appear for genetic testing.