NC Fathers

Sheriff Christopher Batten, Dawn Battle, and Columbus County Voters

Sheriff Christopher BattenThis article on Sheriff Christopher Batten and Sergeant Dawn Battle of the Columbus County NC Sheriffs Department is meant to get the attention of ALL Non-Custodial families in Columbus County NC whether you are paying child support or not. Before we begin our article, we invite you to join NC Fathers either by joining our FACEBOOK PAGE or MAILING LIST after reviewing our GOALS. NC Fathers is not a “Fathers Rights” organization; we exists to advocate for all non-custodial parents, step-parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and other family members in non-custodial families. As stated in our goals, we believe this group of individuals represents a huge amount of voters in Columbus County NC who can bring reform to the NC Family Courts for the presumption for equally shared parenting. Sheriff Christopher Batten and Sergeant Dawn Battle should know that we do not advocate custody for EITHER parent, and believe that children gain far greater resources and opportunities when they have two equal families at the table. So why are we writing to Sheriff Christopher Batten and Sergeant Dawn Battle about equally shared parenting when they have nothing to do about custody laws in NC and Columbus County? In February of 2012, we learned that the Columbus County Sheriffs Department, by way of Sergeant Dawn Battle, constructed a Facebook page entitled “Columbus County Deadbeat Parents” where she posts pictures of alleged parents who are in arrears on child support, and allows custodial parents to like the page and humiliate the parents that they feature and we are determined to put a stop to this for the reasons outlined in this article. If you are a Columbus County NC non-custodial parent, step-parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle, or friend of a non-custodial family who agrees with these tactics employed by Sheriff Christopher Batten, then we encourage you to continue reading. Important to note is that we emailed the Sheriff of Columbus County NC this blog and gave him the opportunity to respond to this article and he did so. His response is located at the end of this article along with our rebuttal to his concerns.

child support and dawn battle

Posts related to The Columbus County Sheriffs Department in NC, Sergeant Dawn Battle, and Sheriff Christopher Batten – Columbus County Department of Social Services, Judge Scott Ussery, Judge Marion Warren

Read our article on why Eastern NC non-custodial families numbering in the hundreds of thousands should take issue with WECT News reporter Gavin Johnson which helped populate Sergeant Dawn Battle’s website.

Sergeant Dawn Battle and Facebook

NC Fathers invites ALL Columbus County NC non-custodial family voters to click on the RED and BLUE graphic below to get a reminder of what the NC Family Courts, Judges, and others ask you to live with daily instead of allowing you to have equal parentage and access to your children so that you stay marginalized in your kids lives and pay government child support. And, we are going to point out how your marginalization helps generate federal money that the State of NC can use to provide vital services like maintaining Welfare, other low income assistance programs, and running the Columbus County NC Jail.

In short, while we do have a significant problem with Sheriff Batten alienating himself from non-custodial family voters, allowing the public to join a public social media page to hurl derogatory insults and humiliate other citizens, this blog is more about a system that uses your inability to have equal parentage and access to your children in favor of a system that benefits financially from your isolation. And, quite frankly, for non-custodial parents in Columbus County NC who may support Sheriff Batten and Sergeant Dawn Battle, the only thing that keeps you from being publicly denigrated by this agency is a loss of employment, illness, other health crisis in your family, the economy, or other unforeseen issue that affects your finances. We also suspect that many of you who DO pay your child support have had to endure the custodial parent in your life call you a “Dead Beat” parent simply because you refused to cower to their control and entitlement theory that you are a second class parent and they are the better parent.

NC Sheriff and Facebook

Sheriff Christopher Batten, Sergeant Dawn Battle, and the Denigration of NC Non-Custodial Family Voters in Columbus County NC

Here are some issues we think that the Sheriff of Columbus County NC, civil officer Sergeant Dawn Battle, and WECT Reporter Gavin Johnson should consider in their denigration of non-custodial families:

  • By inciting non-violent alleged offenders through public denigration, humiliation, and ridicule, Sheriff Christopher Batten is adding fuel to an already tense situation that likely will result in murder/suicide and domestic violence.
  • Sergeant Dawn Battle and supporters of the “Columbus County Deadbeat Parent” Facebook page are providing greater opportunity for the children in these families to be humiliated and bullied in school. We know this because in viewing this page, we have already seen one child of the accused come to this page in support of her non-custodial parent and witnessed the custodial mother making insults towards the other parent to the cheers of other custodial parents.
  • In virtually all custody orders, Judges demand that parents do not speak badly about the other parent within earshot of the child, yet this Facebook page is encouraging this.¬† Our organization has spent the past week taking screenshots of these parents on this Facebook Page and encourage non-custodial families to contact us to see if there has been a court ordered infraction resulting from this page.
  • Sheriff Christopher Batten, Sergeant Dawn Battle, and WECT Reporter Gavin Johnson certainly will never use a derogatory term for African Americans, Women, and other ethnic groups on their website, and history has taught us that this is bad. Yet here is an elected official and law enforcement officer doing it?

Apparently the Sheriff in Columbus County NC and law enforcement officers believe that non-custodial parents in arrears on child support are purposefully refusing to pay child support while vacationing in the south Caribbean on their yacht while the unfortunate custodial parent is at home feeding the kids ramen noodles one time a day because that is all they can afford. Well here are the facts:

  • Custodial parents have access to heightened educational assistance, financial assistance, food assistance, housing assistance, medical and psychological, other programs, and tax incentives to make financial ends meet while non-custodial parents have ZERO assistance when they get into financial difficulty. And we don’t care about these children’s parents and just lock them up at the applause of custodial parents who would be in the same situation if they didn’t have growing assistance at their fingertips? NC Fathers believes that the parents publicly humiliated by Sheriff Batten are nothing more than impoverished parents who CAN’T support their children even if they wanted to and there is absolutely ZERO agencies wanting to help these kids parents.
  • Many of the fathers on the Columbus County Dead Beat parent Facebook page were never told by the custodial mother that they even had a child and are ordered to pay child support arrears for as many as ten years back.
  • Many of the parents on the Columbus County Dead Beat Parent Facebook Page have substance abuse issues and psychological problems that go untreated because they don’t have the resources afforded to custodial parents to get treatment. And of course, we all know that jail is the best place to get this treatment and make money right?
  • Many of the parents on the Columbus County Dead Beat Parent page have exhausted every single penny they have with attorneys who charge upwards of $20,000 just to get basic rights to their children and secure visitation, and who are usually ordered into child support enforcement court every few months by custodial parents with FREE attorneys that want more money and have no interest in their children benefiting from the non-custodial parent and family because it would affect the amount of child support and public assistance they get.
  • Many of the parents on the Columbus County Dead Beat Parent Facebook Page are victims of a false allegationS of Domestic Violence that are at epidemic levels by classy custodial parents who use this tactic as a tool in family court in order to alienate the other parent because they want control and access to social services programs. Also to note, Sheriff Batten and the NC Sheriffs Association are doing NOTHING to stop this because false allegations leading to arrests keeps the WELL FUNDED Domestic Violence lobby happy at election time. NC Fathers encourages EVERY NC non-custodial family to refuse to give money to the NC Sheriffs Association annual fund raiser on these grounds.

WECT Reporter Gavin Johnson

The Relation To Federal Funding and Non-Custodial Parents

For every non-custodial parent paying $500 a month in child support via enforcement, the State of NC gets back $500 in federal Title IV-D money from the Social Security Act that is then used to pay for things like incarcerated parents and Welfare. NC Fathers believes that many custodial parents choose this option over shared parenting because they need these programs to exists and use their kids as tools. And, since the State of NC has limited funding for these programs, they NEED non-custodial parents alienated from their children so that they pay greater child support and trigger greater funding.

How much Title IV-D money did you get last year Sheriff Batten? Does anyone think that WECT reporter Gavin Johnson will report on that, or anything related to this article? Don’t hold your breath!

Sheriff Christopher Batten should hear from Columbus County NC Non-Custodial Families

As stated earlier, for parents that know they have children, have the means to support their children, and who REFUSE to do so EVEN if they were allowed by the Columbus County NC Courts to do so as equal parents, then we absolutely believe that enforcement of child support is in the best interest of everyone involved. But, of course, we will let you decide if the 1950′s style derogatory stereotyping is in the best interest of anyone. However, as pointed out in this article, things aren’t as exactly cut and dry as they may seem. And, everything mentioned in this article on Sheriff Christopher Batten has the potential to affect EVERY SINGLE non-custodial parent, step-parent, grandparent, aunts and uncles, and other family members who vote in Columbus County NC.

NC Fathers does not care if you are a Democrat, Republican, Independent, Tea Party Supporter, Libertarian, African-American, Hispanic, Caucasian, or other ethnic background, this issue affects ALL non-custodial families that are being purposefully marginalized in their kids lives so that lawyers can get rich, the State of NC gets federal Title IV-D money for programs, and NC Sheriffs getting money for daily operations at their jails.

We also believe a LARGE majority of non-custodial parents daily hear the term “DeadBeat” from custodial parents who need family and friends to think they are victims, and who should continue to have a life handed to them just because they have a child and refuse to let the non-custodial family have equal access and parentage to their children even when they pay child support. Then, to have the Columbus County NC Sheriff, Sergeant Dawn Battle, and WECT reporter Gavin Johnson provide a stage for custodial parents to humiliate kids non-custodial parent is unacceptable. And, until you recognize your importance as a HUGE voter block in Columbus County NC this is going to continue.

Please consider sharing this important article on Sheriff Christopher Batten with other non-custodial families in Columbus County NC using sites like Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and other networks as we set out to reach our goal of uniting NC non-custodial family voters around a central lobby that holds elected officials, Judges, and others accountable for the purposeful alienation of us and our children to further financial, political, and news reporting agendas. And, we hope that you will join our MAILING LIST and FACEBOOK PAGE to support us.

Since Sheriff Batten and Sergeant Dawn Battle think that it cute to put Columbus County NC voters in their county on the global Internet, we feel that it is important that both should enjoy global search engine page one ranking for their names and position as well.

Begin Sheriff Batten’s response to NC Fathers

We are fortunate as Americans that we can express or opinions openly. Everything on our Face Book page is public record and can be obtained by any one at any time. We have run every name in our wanted data base and photos in our local paper in the past and TV has provided coverage as well. I am sorry you have taken offense to us taking the next step to bring these parents to the court system and provide the children they chose to bring into this world some of what they are entitled to through our courts.
We provide Christmas for a lot of Children in Columbus County and many of those have parents who chose not to support them.When processes are obtained and the court system issues the paperwork for their apprehension I will take what ever means necessary to bring these parents before the proper authority for a proper hearing. I will also forward this Statement along with your Blog to as many of the other 30,000 voters that you do not cover so they will too be informed of your opinion.
Thanks in Sheriff Chris Batten

I will add that if there is anything you feel we can do to make the Facebook page more appealing to those who we are trying to apprehend and meet your goal please feel free to share that information with Sgt Battle at 910-642-6551. These deadbeats don’t care if their children do not have clothes or shoes but they want us to have consideration for their feelings. Isn’t that just a little bit ODD
Sheriff Batten

Our response
NC Fathers does not object to Sheriff Batten bringing parents who have a valid order for arrest before a Judge for a proper hearing. What we object to is the use of 1950s style use of derogatory language that is only meant to convey hate. The Sheriff could just have easily named the Facebook Page “Columbus County Child Support Delinquents” but he chose to employ the tactics racists in the 50s used against minorities to convey their feelings about them, and this was commonly done via derogatory name calling. The fact that an elected official in 2013 would use these tactics is very concerning.
The fact that Sheriff Chris Batten would allow custodial parents to join his Facebook Page and further denigrate the accused is only going to lead to a further decompensation of the parents involved in the matters which will only lead to further problems for the children. It additionally will likely lead to Domestic Violence and/or Suicide of the children who will be ridiculed in school along these lines: “Your daddy is a Dead Beat and your Mother is on Facebook saying he is x, y, or z. When this happens, we are going to look at Sheriff Batten, Dawn Battle, and WECT for providing the fuel for this.
Sheriff Chris Batten can also turn his back on the fact that ALL non-custodial parents in Columbus County NC need to be the non-custodial parent by the courts so that they trigger Title IV-D money and maintain social services jobs, law enforcement jobs, child support enforcement jobs, and services for parents that the State of NC needs to meet the growing need of parents creating children that they cannot afford; and this includes the custodial parent as well Sheriff. Funny how he only wants to blame the non-custodial parent like we have the ability to wave a magic wand and get custodial mothers pregnant.
Sheriff Batten’s final sentence is interesting. He is correct, we don’t have the ability in Columbus County NC yet to affect an election, but we have only been around a year. What we do know is that given the divorce rate, there are a LOT of non-custodial parents, step-parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles who see first hand the difficulties we face that Sheriff Batten refuses to address. The courts are creating more and more each day and it’s just a matter of time before we reach them sir.

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What Columbus County NC Non-Custodial Families need to know about <a href="http://ncfathers.wordpress.com/2013/02/07/sheriff-christopher-batten-dawn-battle-and-columbus-county-voters-facebook">Sheriff Christopher Batten</a>.
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February 7, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized

19 Comments »

  1. If this Sheriff in Columbus County NC is this brazen publicly, I wonder what ridicule and humiliation these parents are facing IN JAIL when nobody is looking? Have you considered sending the Sheriff’s comments to the Justice department and the opposing political party that this Sheriff is a member of?

    Comment by Christy (non-custodial step-parent) | February 8, 2013 | Reply

  2. This is absurd. Any judge will tell you that regardless of the non-custodial parent being up to date on child support payments, that parent has every right to not be ridiculed, humiliated, or kept from their visitation rights. This Sheriff, the custodial parents, and anyone else that likes this, are aiding in creating Parental Alienation Syndrome for these children. If he were a good Sheriff, he would use his legal power to arrest these parents without publicly trashing them first. There are many valid reasons why a non-custodial parent can’t or won’t pay child support. The sheriff is the one who is a deadbeat.

    Comment by Derek | February 8, 2013 | Reply

  3. This is crazy! Does Sheriff Chris Batten realize that MANY of his deputies struggle to pay child support on the wages that a deputy sheriff makes? And, how many of them WANTED to be active fathers DIRECTLY supporting their kids instead of paying via the government as an alienated parent?

    I suspect that many Columbus County NC Deputy Sheriffs are secretly applauding this blog, as they know that in this economy it is too easy to get into financial trouble.

    Comment by Kevin H | February 8, 2013 | Reply

  4. If you can not help, at least do no harm. WECT, shame on you for using your large voice to shame others. I was an announcer for 25 years and this is NOT entertainment or breaking news. Shame on all involved. I am not proud of my fellow North Carolinians.

    Comment by Donna | February 8, 2013 | Reply

    • Donna, THANK YOU (as a female) for speaking out on this. Our position is that many WOMEN in non-custodial families are directly affected by a system that purposefully alienates mothers and fathers (and extended families) from their children so that custodial parents have access to services, control, and the ability to alienate. Our position to the Sheriff of Columbus County is that there are MANY factors leading to the inability for these parents to pay, but he insists that we are all living in luxury and PURPOSEFULLY refuse to support our kids. If Sheriff Batten really wanted to support children, he would be advocating for a system that provides resources and opportunities from a complete family instead of just one parent. I suspect this is politically motivated and he enjoys his Title IV-D funding that rural counties desperately need.

      Comment by stompkinsnc | February 8, 2013 | Reply

  5. Are you kidding me? I am in Columbus County and have been a past supporter of Sheriff Batten, but I can BET you that I will not be supporting him anymore. I am sick and tired of how the courts treat me and I hear the term dead beat from my ex-wife all the time and I’m not even ordered to pay child support! I also noticed that many of the people on the Sheriff’s Facebook page are black, and that Gavin Johnson is black. Surely as a WECT reporter, Mr. Johnson is well aware of horrible names African-Americans have been called in the past but it’s OK to do this to others?

    Comment by Jeffrey Hamilton | February 8, 2013 | Reply

    • Jeffrey,
      Good for you on the lack of support for this Sheriff. We suspect that Sheriff Batten and Dawn Battle figured everyone hates a “Dead Beat” parent therefore they were safe in making this page. What they apparently did not do their research on is the fact that non-custodial parents are very angry people at our system that CREATES absent parents in the courts and forces them to support their kids via government programs and that they usually hear this term used when in fact they are not behind on child support.

      As for Gavin Johnson, you bring up a good point. No doubt he has had derogatory comments hurled at him from ignorance, but he uses WECT and their reach to hurl derogatory insults at other groups? Does the word hypocrisy come to mind?

      Let them enjoy their page for now. Non-Custodial families are everywhere, we will find them.

      Comment by stompkinsnc | February 8, 2013 | Reply

  6. More like “Beat-Dead” parents. What Sheriff Batten doesn’t factor in is all the loving non-custodial parents that do their best to support their kids, then have something like unemployment or an injury happen, then the snow ball effect of not being able to get a downward adjustment in Child Support or the like happens. This causes the parent to get further behind, probably depressed, then pushes them to a point of hopelessness. The vast majority of these people are not dead-beats, but just fallen on hard times. Maybe the system should try to help and encourage them. It is rare to meet a parent that truly does not or would not care about their kids. Throwing them in jail does nothing to help the situation. I thought debtors prisons were a thing of the past because they didn’t work. Anyways, Sheriff Chris Batten really doesn’t get it or just really does not care to help fix the situation by using a Facebook page to denigrate people.

    Comment by Corey | February 8, 2013 | Reply

  7. If we were to use the sheriff’s rationale on free speech to justify his facebook page, then he shouldn’t mind being referred to as a “PIG” like in the 60′s, right?

    Comment by Rob Crumley | February 9, 2013 | Reply

  8. Isn’t their a new law, or its being researched, about cyber bullying? These parents should sue the county state and these individuals and then they could pay off their arrears and then some. Then they should print off any derogatory comments of the other parent and show them to the judges that order everyone be civil. Every 9 year old has a Facebook, how many have come across this? Disgusting.

    Comment by Tina | February 9, 2013 | Reply

  9. I have done quiet a bit of blogging on here and happen to be going through a corrupt system in a different county. We as voters need to join and let our voices be heard. This is happening to great dads and even an attorney that believes in fathers rights get their hands tied because of corrupt judges! We have to start somewhere. This post needs to go on every page we can put it on because just like some on the blog have back this idiot don’t know how very bad this issue really is! I divorced when my son was 12 and his father and I never went through this we didn’t put our son through anything like this. He is now grown and married is a soldier and has thanked us for still being friends and not putting him through it. He sees what is stepbrothers go through and it breaks his heart. Our children are not pawns. And the system and some to maybe most custodial parents make them that! And it is only hurting our children. I have repost ex this on my Facebook page to show awareness I plead with everyone to do the same! Thanks and best of luck.

    Comment by freidt2012 | February 9, 2013 | Reply

  10. I am a family court lawyer in another county who has followed your post on Sheriff Batten and have to speak on this issue. First, you are correct in saying that these sites do tend to increase conflict between two parents, especially when you solicit custodial parents to get on public forums such as Facebook and the admins allow them to divulge court related material that cab never be removed if the accused is found guilty. I have argued for years that putting mugshots of people on the Internet is dangerous because they get into Internet archives and what happens when the accused is found not guilty? Of course the Sheriff can remove information from his website, but not Internet archives and Facebook. I think this is just a lawsuit waiting to happen. What happens when one of the parents on this website is found not guilty, Sheriff Christopher Batten removes the person from his website or Facebook but the major archive sites keep the information in their database and that information is used by a 3rd party at a later date.

    Comment by NC Attorney | March 30, 2013 | Reply

    • Thank You for pointing out yet another example of why the site maintained by Sheriff Batten is a bad idea, we should have thought about that :)

      We actually have several of these Columbus County NC fathers coming into the organization and perhaps we should explore that angle with them. If you would like, leave another comment with your contact information and we will not publish it but have further discussions on this issue?

      Comment by stompkinsnc | March 30, 2013 | Reply

  11. I read this article on Chris Batten months ago while awaiting my custody hearing with my wife. At the time I was cautious about the contents and your message because it is my understanding that things have gotten better for Fathers in the courts. However, I am now a supporter of this site after my experiences in the Columbus County courts. I am now a non-custodial visitor to my children who’s importance is now child support rather than actually being active in my kid’s lives and understand this article much more.

    Comment by Jeremy | June 6, 2013 | Reply

  12. This is not surprising from Sheriff Chris Batten, anything for publicity. I support child support enforcement for fathers who KNOW they have children (so many are never told) and who make the decision to not be involved in their kids lives. However, if a Father wants to be active and involved I think he should have that and not paying child support, he should be supporting his kids directly. I suspect that many in Columbus County have been ordered into visitor roles and child support payers when they wanted to be joint fathers.

    Comment by Kristen | June 6, 2013 | Reply

    • Kristen, you think Chris Batten has any idea of how much it costs to even get into court? We suspect many are, like you said, never told they have children then years later accessed child support in the tens of thousands, then there are the ones who don’t have the money to fight within the system. Then there are the one’s who can’t find jobs, who experience illness or have to take care of a sick spouse or parent. There are just so many ways to get into economic difficulty today and this Sheriff seems OK with putting you in jail for it. But, I also bet he is fine with the seven major state programs to keep his beloved custodial parents living pretty good so they don’t have to experience the loss of their children. Pure politics. Just remember this, in paying child support it simply means that a parent was ordered not to be a active and equal parent with access to the child. On those grounds child support and the enforcement of that support is a very bad thing.

      Comment by stompkinsnc | June 6, 2013 | Reply

  13. I am a former deputy of Sheriff Batten who left on good terms and still consider the Sheriff a friend, but I very much understand what this article is saying. My wife left our marriage and the State and I could have very easily found myself in jail if I didn’t have the money to hire a good lawyer and a job to pay child support. I suspected there are other active deputies who struggle with this in the department. Your right about any of us have the opportunity to come under federal enforcement and imprisonment if we simply meet with hard economic times.

    Comment by Prefer to stay anonymous | June 6, 2013 | Reply

  14. Purely political. Allowing one parent to use the Internet of a government official to put information on a third party website about another parent is going to aggravate these situations and lead to more domestic violence in columbus county. But, I suspect that Sheriff Batten will never admit that because he loves his Title IV-D money.

    Comment by Harold (Columbus County NC) | June 6, 2013 | Reply


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