Photo of Ross Brockway

Ross Brockway

  • Hosted by Georgia Justice Project
  • Sponsored by FordHarrison LLP, Greenberg Traurig, LLP
  • Service location Atlanta, Georgia
  • Law school Harvard Law School
  • Issue area Family Law
  • Fellowship class year 2018
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Ross will represent low-income people in child support proceedings and advocate for child support reform in order to end the cycle of incarceration, impoverishment, and forced separation of families.

Although federal law requires courts to determine an individual’s ability to pay before setting child support orders and issuing consequences for failure to pay, Georgia courts frequently demand payments that people cannot afford and then harshly punish them for not paying. By suspending driver’s licenses, unduly garnishing wages, jailing parents for inability to pay, and continuing to impose debt during and following incarceration, the system unjustly separates children from their parents and solidifies poverty for the next generation. While some organizations have brought attention to the blatant violation of due process rights in Georgia’s child support system, no legal service organization currently provides free legal services to parents seeking child support modifications or facing penalties for inability to pay.

Ross is the right person for the project because:

  • As a former teacher, he has worked to support children and families struggling against poverty.
  • He has represented clients and advocated for policy reform at the intersection of child rights and the criminal legal system.
  • He believes that social justice depends on community strength and is committed to supporting family and community groups in their fight for equality.

Fellowship Plans

In the first six months, Ross will:

  • Develop expertise in child support law and form partnerships with local family organizations and criminal justice reformers.
  • Collect data on child support issues confronting parents who were formerly incarcerated or are at risk of incarceration.
  • Begin representation of low-income parents seeking support modifications and facing penalties for inability to pay.

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Elenore Wade

Host: Bread for the City

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