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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Ben and Kalita Michelle Rose had a child in February 1998. After the Attorney General of Texas filed a petition to establish the parent-child relationship, Ben filed a general denial. Kalita requested child support, including retroactive child support from the date of their child’s birth. On July 18, 2003, Kalita served Ben with a request for production or inspection of documents. When Ben provided only his 2000 income tax return one month later, Kalita filed a motion to compel discovery and for sanctions. Following a Dec. 9, 2003, hearing, the trial judge entered an order overruling Ben’s objections to Kalita’s July request for production and ordering production of all documents by December 23, 2003. The judge also ordered Ben to pay attorney’s fees of $720 to Kalita’s attorney as a sanction because of Ben’s failure to comply with a proper discovery request. On Jan. 20, 2004, Ben filed a motion for new trial, claiming a judgment had been signed Dec. 22 and that neither Ben nor his counsel were present. Kalita filed a motion for further sanctions on Feb. 25, 2004. The motion alleged that Ben had failed to deliver the documents or to pay the $720 in attorney’s fees as a sanction as ordered by the trial judge. Ben filed a motion to set aside default judgment on motion to compel and sanctions that was identical in content to his previously filed motion for new trial. On March 1, 2004, the trial judge entered an order, denying both of Ben’s motions and granting Kalita $750 in attorney’s fees. In an order dated March 11, 2004, the trial judge granted Kalita’s motion for further sanctions. The judge again ordered Ben to deliver all documents requested by Kalita in her request for production by March 15, 2004, and to pay attorney’s fees of $750 to Kalita’s attorney as a sanction for Ben’s failure to comply with the court’s Dec. 22, 2003, order as well as the previous sanction amount of $720. The judge cautioned Ben that the failure “to comply with any portion of this Order will result in his answer being stricken and a default judgment being entered against him as a sanction for his discovery abuse and his repeated violations of this Court’s Orders.” On May 5, 2004, the trial judge signed an order striking Ben’s answer for his failure to provide discovery to Kalita and for his failure to comply with the trial court’s previous orders. The judge noted that lesser sanctions had been tried but had been “ineffective to bring about compliance.” The judge also found that Ben was estopped from asserting his monthly net resources were less than $6,000 per month. During trial, Kalita testified Ben is an engineer with JBO Integration and owns JBO Design Consultants. Kalita testified that between September 2003 and February 2004, approximately $5,000 a month was transferred into one of Ben’s bank accounts. According to Kalita, the $5,000 transfer was “in addition to his income” that Ben receives from “his main job.” Kalita testified that although they did not know how much Ben earned, it appeared that he made more than $6,000 a month. She testified Ben had been ordered to pay monthly temporary support of $550 beginning Sept. 11, 2001, and that he currently owed $6,158.59 in back support. Kalita also testified she was requesting Ben pay Justin’s monthly health insurance premium of $21.78. The trial judge found Ben to be the father of Kalita’s child, appointed Ben and Kalita joint managing conservators, and ordered Ben to pay child support of $1,221.78 per month. This appeal followed. HOLDING:Affirmed. The court concludes there was a direct nexus between Ben’s offensive conduct (failing to provide financial documentation regarding his monthly net resources in order to determine child support obligations) and the sanctions leveled against him. The sanctions were just in that they were directed against Ben’s abuse and toward remedying the prejudice caused to Kalita. The trial judge did not abuse her discretion in striking Ben’s answer and deeming his monthly net income to be $6,000, the court decides. Texas Family Code �154.129 provides for child support to be 20 percent of the obligor parent’s net resources when the obligor parent has only one child before the court and no other children for whom the obligor parent has a duty of support. In this case, Ben’s net monthly resources were deemed to be $6,000. The $1,200 per month child support amount ordered by the trial judge comports with the family code provisions. OPINION:Whittington, J.; Whittington, Wright and Mazzant, JJ.

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