April 19, 1997 in Idaho

Doctor Pledges Child Support, Gets License Back Wallace Physician Is First Caught By New Law

By The Spokesman-Review
 

A Wallace, Idaho, physician has had his medical license reinstated after promising to start paying his overdue child support.

Dr. Joe Bayard Miller Jr., a family physician, agreed to make two $800 partial payments to care for his two teenage boys over the next 60 days.

During that time, he will attempt to have his monthly child-support obligation reduced by a court.

If he’s successful, he must regularly pay whatever the court deems appropriate. Otherwise, he must resume monthly payments of $1,000, plus an additional amount to cover back payments, or risk losing his license again, said Michelle Britton, regional Health and Welfare director.

Last week, Miller had his medical and driver’s license suspended by the state because he was $25,250 behind in payments to his ex-wife.

He was the first doctor caught by a new law allowing agencies to yank state-issued licenses from parents who are two months or $2,000 behind in child support.

A one-time surgeon who has been in and out of court for years for not paying child support, Miller, 45, immediately started negotiating with the state to resume paying after learning he’d lost his license.

Miller repeatedly has argued in court that he can’t afford to make his payments, but a judge in 1995 didn’t believe him and sent him to jail for a weekend.

Health and Welfare officials Friday lauded the outcome of the case as a success story for the state’s new law. They said their interest was not in taking licenses, but in getting parents to pay.

“It’s unfortunate it had to go this far … but certainly, the outcome here is very positive,” said department spokesman David Ensunsa.

Neither Miller nor his attorney, Jack Rose, returned telephone calls Friday.

, DataTimes


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