Chicago, IL asked in Family Law, Child Support, Civil Litigation and Health Care Law for Nebraska

Q: My ex sent me bills for our daughter and I paid them. She did not include discounts. Can I file fraud charges?

I was billed $3600 and told that financial assistance wasn’t available and that the total was including insurance discounts. After reaching out to the hospital it was determined the total was roughly $400 and she didn’t even make a single payment. Now she’s taking me to court for contempt regarding order medical bills. That’s why I started actually verifying bill amounts.

1 Lawyer Answer
Julie Fowler
Julie Fowler
  • Omaha, NE
  • Licensed in Nebraska

A: If you feel a crime has been committed, you could try filing a police report but it would be up to law enforcement/prosecutor whether the circumstances meet the criteria for the State to be willing to file criminal charges. Sometimes if they feel the matter may not meet the criteria and could be better handled in a civil context, they won't file the criminal action.

Whether or not criminal charges are filed, this would likely be information that the Court would want to know as part of the contempt action. You may also want to consider filing your own contempt action to ask the Court to find that the other party violated the order by misrepresenting what was owed in order to get extra funds from you. If you also file a contempt action and the Court found that she violated the Order, the sanctions could include crediting for other amounts that you may owe her or ordering the other party to repay you the amounts that she kept that were beyond what was owed as part of the Court order. Other sanctions could include paying a share of your attorney fees and also order for all future payments to be made directly to medical providers instead of allowing one party to pay and requesting reimbursement.

It is becoming increasingly common in Nebraska for the custody court order to state that the parties are to pay their share to medical providers directly whenever possible to help prevent these types of problems and also so that a parent can use their HSA to pay their share with tax-free dollars. In short, depending on your specific facts, you may have a number of options. You should speak with an attorney about your specifics to see what options apply in your situation. A show cause/contempt can include sanctions up to 6 months of jail time, so you it is in your best interests to have an attorney assist you with this.

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