Friday v. Miss. Dep’t of Human Services (Mississippi 2021)

No. 2020-SA-00669-COA (Miss. Ct. App. 2021)
August 2021

A paternity action must be brought before a child turns 21. The Mississippi Department of Human Services filed to establish paternity for a child who at the time of filing was 20 years old. The father filed several motions to dismiss, arguing the child had turned 21 and the case shouldn’t proceed. The Chancery Court entered an order adjudicating the father’s paternity and ordering a year of support. The father appealed. He argued the Chancery court was without jurisdiction to hear the case. The appellate court upheld the adjudication of paternity. The statute clearly authorized the filing of the paternity petition. Under the father’s reasoning, all open cases would have to be dismissed at the running of the statute of limitations.