MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A Minnesota woman seeking more than $360,000 in child support from the estate of one-time NFL quarterback Tavaris Jackson, who died in a wreck in Alabama last year, should pursue her claim before a state appeals court, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled Friday.
The justices said the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals, not them, should consider a challenge by Jessa Roginski seeking to overturn a lower court order that threw out her claim against the estate of Jackson, who lived near his hometown of Montgomery at the time of his death in 2020.
Roginski went to the Supreme Court after an Alabama judge refused to enforce a child support order initially issued in Minnesota, where Jackson played for the Vikings for five years ending in 2010.
Court records show Roginski claimed she and Jackson were involved in an intimate relationship for three years and she gave birth to a girl in 2016. While a paternity test showed Jackson was the father, he didn't sign a form admitting paternity and the girl's birth certificate doesn't list a father even though Jackson acknowledged the girl as his own, a judge ruled.
Roginski asked an Alabama court to adopt a ruling by a judge in Hennepin County, Minnesota, who in 2017 ordered Jackson to pay $2,112 monthly in support for the girl until she turns 18 or graduates high school. While Roginski sought a total of $367,488, Jackson's estate argued that no order required that amount in payment.
The estate also argued that the woman's filing didn't comply with Alabama law, according to the Supreme Court, and the order shouldn't be enforced. A Montgomery County court threw out Roginski's claim a year ago, prompting the appeal.
Jackson had three other children, court records show.
Jackson was hired as quarterbacks coach for Tennessee State University in 2019 after a 10-year NFL career with the Seattle Seahawks, Buffalo Bills and the Vikings. A Chevrolet Camaro driven by Jackson ran off a road and struck a tree on April 12, 2020, fatally injuring him. Authorities said excessive speed contributed to the crash.