340:25-5-124.4. Multiple case processing
(a) Definitions. The following words and terms when used in this Section shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Multiple case action" means a noncustodial parent (NCP) has multiple cases that are worked together for the primary purpose of right-sizing the NCP's child support orders. A multiple case action includes either an establishment action, modification action, or both. Child Support Services (CSS) presents multiple case actions to the Office of Administrative Hearings: Child Support (OAH) or district court as appropriate. • 1 When appropriate, CSS may pursue enforcement action in addition to completing the other action(s). CSS follows Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:25-5-200.3 when multiple case processing involves enforcement actions only.
"Right-sizing" means establishing and modifying child support orders and setting judgment payments that reflect current circumstances and actual income, unless the evidence supports imputing, to encourage NCP compliance and consistent, reliable support collections for the child(ren) involved.
(b) Determination of multiple case actions. CSS determines whether there is evidence to justify a modification per OAC 340:25-5-198.2 and Section 237 of Title 56 of the Oklahoma Statutes (56 O.S. § 237). When determining whether it is appropriate to conduct a multiple case action, CSS considers:
(1) the NCP's income;
(2) the NCP's ability to pay all child support orders each month, in full; • 2
(3) if the NCP is paying on all cases; and
(4) the monthly child support amount per 43 O.S. §§ 118-118I. • 3
(c) Interstate multiple case actions. Multiple case actions involving non-Oklahoma orders are worked per this subsection.
(1) When Oklahoma has continuing exclusive jurisdiction, a case is included in a multiple case action.
(2) When Oklahoma does not have continuing exclusive jurisdiction and:
(A) current support is still due, a case may be included in a multiple case action when all necessary parties consent for Oklahoma to exercise jurisdiction to modify the support order per 43 O.S. § 601-611; or
(B) consent is not received for Oklahoma to exercise jurisdiction to modify, the interstate case is included only for determination of the judgment payment plan.
(d) Initial transfer of cases. When CSS initiates a multiple case action, CSS transfers cases as necessary to the office completing the multiple case action. • 4 through 6
(e) Initial notice. CSS provides notice to the custodial persons and the NCP, explaining their case:
(1) is involved in a multiple case action;
(2) was temporarily transferred, as appropriate, to another office for the multiple case action; and
(3) will be returned to its original office after completion of the multiple case action. • 7
(f) Child support computation preparation. In multiple case actions, CSS prepares:
(1) individual child support computation forms for each case, including medical support and child care costs for the family group; and
(2) one combination child support computation form that treats the NCP's children as one family, allowing a child support amount based on a pro rata share. The combined child support computation form uses the NCP's income and an average of all the cases' biological parents' (BP) income and does not include medical support or child care costs. • 8
(g) Filing. CSS files multiple case actions in OAH or district court and requests the court:
(1) consider all of the NCP's cases at the same time;
(2) deviate from the individual guidelines child support amount due to extreme economic hardship and to more equitably distribute the resources available, as supported by 43 O.S. § 118H and OAC 340:25-5-178;
(3) order a pro rata child support amount calculated by averaging the BPs' incomes and dividing the NCP's total child support amount evenly among all children; and
(4) add medical support and child care costs from the individual child support computation form to the pro rata child support amount. • 8 & 9
(h) Conclusion of multiple case action. After a multiple case action is concluded, the multiple case processing office transfers each case back to the original office. • 10
INSTRUCTIONS TO STAFF 340:25-5-124.4
1. Oklahoma Department of Human Services Child Support Services (CSS) staff uses the Case List By AP Number Inquiry (CLAP) screen in the Oklahoma Support Information System (OSIS) to verify if a noncustodial parent (NCP) has multiple CSS cases.
2. CSS staff uses the Income Hierarchy and the Compliance Predictor Tool, located in the Education section on the CSS Infonet, to determine the NCP's ability to pay.
3. CSS refers to the Consistent Excellence Right-sizing Orders User Guide for guidance on when to initiate a multiple case action.
4. When CSS office staff determines there are multiple cases that can be worked together and at least one of the cases is in another office, the managing attorney (MA) or designee contacts the other office(s) to coordinate the multiple case processing. The other office(s) must respond within three-business days to discuss which office(s) completes the multiple case action.
5. (a) Generally, the office with the majority of an NCP's cases is the multiple case processing office. MAs may agree to designate a different office as the multiple case processing office for reasons including, but not limited to, when:
(1) no office has a majority of cases;
(2) an establishment action is pending in one office; or
(3) most parties to the case are located closer to one office.
(b) When MAs cannot agree on case assignment, the regional administrator(s) (RA) resolves the office assignment. The assistant director for Operations resolves the office assignment when RAs do not agree.
6. (a) The MA of the office conducting the multiple case action requests an electronic case transfer from the other offices' MA and office manager.
(b) CSS staff in the case's original office electronically transfers a case within three-business days. When preparing the case for transfer, CSS staff completes:
(1) an arrearage computation for the office's cases and provides the entire Excel arrearage computation file to the multiple case processing office; and
(2) the electronic case transfer, per Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:25-5-124 Instructions to Staff #8 and 9.
(c) The case remains in the multiple case processing office's office code the action(s) is pending.
7. The original office sends letters to the custodial person (CP) and the NCP notifying them:
(1) the case may have been temporarily transferred to another office for multiple case action;
(2) of the benefits of multiple case actions;
(3) that CSS requests the administrative law judge or district court judge to consider all of NCP's cases at the same time; and
(4) that the case is returned to the original office when the court action(s) is complete.
8. CSS staff follows the Multiple Case Action section of the Consistent Excellence Right-sizing Orders User Guide on preparing individual and combination child support computation forms.
9. When preparing a multiple case action for court, CSS staff:
(1) states the child care costs and cash medical amount separately in both the order and child support deviation paragraphs;
(2) uses the combination child support Form 03EN025E, Child Support Computation, as a worksheet for settlement conference(s) with the CP, NCP, and other parties related to the case, and as an exhibit for the court hearing;
(3) does not attach the combination child support Form 03EN025E to the Motion to Modify; and
(4) saves a copy of the combination child support Form 03EN025E in each of the CSS case files.
10. (a) When the court action is complete, the multiple case processing office:
(1) updates the order on the OSIS Obligation Update screen (OBLU) within three-business days of the court entering the order and ensures an income assignment is generated;
(2) sends a copy of the order by regular mail with a certificate of mailing to the CPs and NCPs involved in the multiple case action within three-business days; and
(3) completes an electronic case transfer, per OAC 340:25-5-124 Instructions to Staff #8 and 9.
(b) When the multiple case processing office receives the transfer and new order information, the original office:
(1) dockets the court order in its district court;
(2) ensures the income assignment is sent; and
(3) initiates enforcement actions as appropriate.