McKinney v. Hamp

Benardrick McKinney and Kasey Hamp’s son, K.M., was born out of wedlock while McKinney attended and played football for Mississippi State University. Hamp sought assistance to pay for K.M.’s support and expenses. The Mississippi Department of Human Services (DHS) became involved in her child-support request; DHS filed a complaint in Tunica County against McKinney to determine paternity and child support. A paternity test showed a 99.99% probability that McKinney was K.M.’s father. Based on that test, DHS returned to chancery court, and the chancellor entered a temporary order awarding Hamp $150 per month in child support. McKinney voluntarily increased his support obligation to $750 per month. In his junior year, McKinney was selected in the National Football League (NFL) draft, and signed a contract to play professional football for the Houston Texans. Hamp, individually, filed a complaint for child support, pointing out that McKinney’s income had increased substantially since DHS had filed its complaint. McKinney had signed a four-year, several-million-dollar NFL contract, which included a substantial signing bonus. McKinney answered the complaint and raised a counterclaim seeking custody of K.M. In his answer, McKinney argued that because DHS had already obtained a child-support award in another suit, Hamp failed to both state a claim and join a necessary party—DHS. Hamp petitioned to amend her complaint to name DHS as a party, but the chancellor denied her request. In consolidated appeals, the Mississippi Supreme Court found the chancellor properly included McKinney’s signing bonus as part of his gross income when crafting a child-support award. The Court also held that a chancellor’s order for prospective monthly child-support payments could not be stayed by a clerk-approved supersedeas bond under Mississippi Rule of Appellate Procedure 8(a). But until opinion, the Supreme Court had not addressed Rule 8(a)’s effect on prospective child support payments, so it was reasonable for the father to have relied on his attorney’s advice that the award was stayed. Thus, he should not have been held in contempt for nonpayment of the increased support award. View "McKinney v. Hamp" on Justia Law