Ryan Lipner, Self-Promoting "Hallmark Kid," Is Suing His Parents for Adult Child Support

Categories: Broward News
ryan-lipner.jpg
Courtesy of Ryan Lipner (of course)
Ryan Lipner
Ryan Lipner -- the charismatic, bipolar 27-year-old who ran a Hallmark store at age 10 and once took girls out in a Hummer limousine with a wad of hundred-dollar bills in his fist -- is suing his parents in an attempt to force them to pay child support for him for the rest of their lives.

Lipner has a knack for creating news about himself. We covered his doomed reign as "the Hallmark Kid" in a 2001 feature by Wyatt Olson and heard from him most recently in January after he dubbed himself a "presidential candidate."

His parents have been largely out of the picture since their 1992 divorce and the failure of the Hallmark businesses Lipner ran with his father, Larry.

The suit against his parents seeking adult child support dates to 2008, when the Department of Revenue's lawyers filed the claim on Lipner's behalf. His parents have been fighting it, saying he's able to fend for himself. "They'd rather pay their lawyers than pay me," says Lipner.

At the crux of Lipner's suit is his bipolar (manic-depressive) disorder, which he says makes it harder for him to work and earn money. In a motion filed with the court (which Lipner, with a checkered history of representing himself, typed up on his own), he points to a psychologist's evaluation from 2000 that found him mentally incompetent to face fraud charges related to the Hallmark stores.

"Mr. Lipner did not appear to be actually hallucinating during this assessment, however he appeared to be suffering from an active delusional belief system," wrote psychologist Michael Bramman.

Lipner's mother, Linda, wrote a response that was filed with the court: "Ryan chose to make bad choices in his life... This isn't his mother's legal responsibility to then pay for him for the rest of her life or even temporarily," she wrote. "If all parents of convicted criminals getting out of prison or mental hospitals had to contribute to their offspring's support, there would not be any homeless shelters in Florida or any welfare system as we know it."

Lipner says he might have some trouble in court because of his behavior. "They really don't like it when I come because my behavior's so out of control in the courtroom," he says.

In fact, Lipner told Bramman that "the judge is anti-Semitic and wants to send me to prison. I don't know what his fucking problem is, but he told me I better get a [psychological] evaluation before I go back to court."

If this is a legitimate way for people with disabilities to find financial support from uncooperative parents, the publicity that Lipner has chosen to give his case could come in handy, as more people realize they can seek adult child support.

He insists there's a reason for his actions beyond a desire for money and self-aggrandizement. "I'm the first person who walks and talks, who [could] get this adult child support," he says. "There could be a chain reaction of people standing in line at the Department of Revenue," filing for mandated payments from their parents.

The Department of Revenue, and all the spurned parents of Broward County, must not be too thrilled about that prospect. For better or worse, we haven't heard the last of the Hallmark Kid.

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12 comments
Bob Rutledge
Bob Rutledge

RL tried to rip me off in his 2nd scam where he opened 5 GNC stores. But he was not a franchisee. I got my money back because I went 750 miles to Pembroke Pines, found his house and threatened to whip his ass. If someone would really beat the crap out of him, he'd make something of himself.

Miss Chris
Miss Chris

I met Ryan Lipner while having lunch with a friend. He is authentic. "Bad choices" and risky behavior are classic signs of Bipolar. IT'S AN ILLNESS, NOT A CHOICE ! He's not just looking for money. Labeled "defective", he's just trying to survive the horrendous, sickening rejection of heartless, selfish, wealthy parents who never accepted, nurtured, supported, or cherished their imperfect precious boy. Starting at 10 years old, he was NEVER paid to work all those years in the Hallmark stores...and kicked out at 18 without a penny or a place to go. Bipolar does not go away when you turn 18. He needed help then, and he needs help now. Is no one else outraged at the parents' conduct?Shame on them for not loving their child and trying to give him the best life possible!I applaud your courage Hallmark Kid ! .Go for it !    and.....Yeah, he just might help others in the process.

Guest
Guest

Didn't this guy have two chicks die in his bedroom?

Yoyo11
Yoyo11

This guy has been given more press than he deserves. No more.

do a little research
do a little research

Lipner will not be the first adult child who "walks and talks" to collect child support.  There are many adult children who are recipients of child support beyond the age of 18. This is not really an anomaly.

Fat Hand
Fat Hand

Please don't let this be the last we have heard of the Hallmark Kid. He's got problems, but as long as your not being sued or screwed by him, he's entertaining, plus he's not nearly as big of an asshole as that guy Janseel Singh you wrote about yesterday who stabbed his frat pledge over a bag of weed. Give 'em hell Lipner!

Dickhead
Dickhead

Ryan Lipner is a manipulative little bastard

Stefan Kamph
Stefan Kamph

That's Richard Lippner. Yeah, it's tough for us too.

Stefan Kamph
Stefan Kamph

I'm looking to speak with someone at the Department of Revenue about how common and effective this type of claim has been in the past. In fact, as neo says, Lipner's grandstanding could effectively inform people about their options. That's why Lipner says he called us in the first place.

neo
neo

Even if what this guy is saying is true, and I do not believe that it is, what makes Lipner's law suit an anomaly is the fact that it is very public. Ryan Lipner's lack of restrain may in fact be what is necessary to get mental health consumers in the community to become aware that they too have the ability to sue for what the law enables them to sue for. If the child was diagnosed with a severe and persistent mental illness and the parent walked away from helping their son or daughter when the age of 18 came around, the law provides alternatives to the young adult. Rather than accept $54 per month to spend on themselves after their SSI check goes to an ALF provider a parent with financial resources may find him or herself having to accept responsibility for what they have already passed off as "the bad choices" made by their offspring.

Dickhead
Dickhead

Florida Statutes say that this is only for Adult Dependents who cannot take care of themselves. Mr. Lipner is not dependent on anyone let alone his parents. 

do a little research
do a little research

Michele Shrefiels is an attorney for OAG/DOR that in the past has appeared to feel strongly in favor of support in certain circumstances beyond the age of 18. She may have some info for you

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