An arrest warrant has been issued for Josh Gordon, arising out of a paternity case in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. This news came as a surprise to lots of people, who were surprised that one could get arrested for this. We even had an internal discussion about it. So yes, you can have an arrest warrant issued for failing to comply with a judicial order or subpoena, in this case, one to submit to a paternity test within a particular time period.
The alternative would be to allow putative (or alleged) fathers to simply decide when or if they wanted to participate, which doesn’t seem like a particularly great system for actually getting people to pay child support. And since the costs could be born by the state (particularly when the state may be providing public funding for the child and mother), the state has an interest in trying to get that support order instituted.
In this case, a woman filed a complaint in juvenile court that Josh Gordon is the father of her one-year old daughter. Subpoenas were issued to Gordon, his employer (the Cleveland Browns), the NFL, and his agent, Drew Rosenhaus. Gordon never responded to the order to submit to testing by September 25, 2015, so nearly a year later, the judge issued a warrant for his arrest.
According to NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy, this news will not affect his status with the league, where Gordon is due to return from his suspension week 5.
“We are aware of the situation,” a Browns spokesman said in an emailed statement. “Josh and his attorney are working with the Cuyahoga County Courts to resolve this matter. We have no further comment at this time.”
If he doesn’t, his whereabouts on October 9th, for a home game against the New England Patriots, should be known and allow for authorities to locate him. The good news is he probably just needs to comply and submit to the paternity test, and follow judicial orders in the future in this case.