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Local Judge Uses New Technology in Courtroom

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ROXBORO — A Person County judge has taken a novelapproach in hastening the judicial process in her courtroom. DNA testinghas come to Roxboro and the judge is using it to force fathers to takeresponsibility for their offspring.

State court officials say, to their knowledge, no one has ever triedthis approach before. Judge Patty Harrison has set up a DNA testing labnext-door to the courtroom to determine paternity of suspected "deadbeatdads".

Judge Harrison says her method is efficient.

Contesting paternity can tie up a child support for weeks, months, oreven longer. Judge Harrison now orders men who claim not to be the fathersof children in question to submit to a test that will prove ordisprove their claims.

Mothers and children come in at separate times in order to avoidconfrontations.

Tara Davis and her daughter were tested Monday. She told WRAL TV5'sMark Robertsshe approvesof the Roxboro system.

Court records show that many fathers don't take responsibility, butsome men, like Lamont Bradsher, say there are two sides to every story.

Six different men who had planned to fight against paternity in courtMonday admitted they were the fathers when faced with the DNA test. Thatmeans six children in Person County who didn't have it before Monday willhave financial support from their fathers.

Judge Harrison has the luxury of not being accused of doing this forpolitical reasons. While she is running for re-election, she is runningwithout opposition.

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