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WAGE GARNISHMENTS

NOTE: THIS IS A SUMMARY OF THE PROCEDURE FOR BANK GARNISHMENTS. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE LEGAL ADVICE NOR INTENDED TO PROVIDE A COMPREHENSIVE AND COMPLETE STATEMENT OF THE LAW AND IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROPER LEGAL ADVICE. NEITHER THE COURT NOR THE CLERK IS PERMITTED TO GIVE LEGAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD CONSULT AN ATTORNEY IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR NEED LEGAL ADVICE.

The law permits a person who has obtained a judgment to garnish the wages of the person who owes them money.

The procedure for a Wage Garnishment is:

  1. A person seeking an order of garnishment of personal earnings, after obtaining a judgment, must make a demand in writing to the person who owes the money. The demand must be substantially in the form set forth in the statute. Click here to view the statutory form.
  2. The demand must be made after the judgment is obtained and at least 15 days and not more than 45 days before the request for the order is filed in the court by delivering it to the person by personal service by the court; by sending it to the person by certified mail, return receipt requested; or by sending it to the person by regular mail evidenced by a properly completed and stamped certificate of mailing by regular mail, addressed to the person’s last known place of residence.
  3. The demand must be made in order to garnish personal earnings. If the demand has not been made the garnishment proceedings will be dismissed.
  4. If a proper demand has been made the person requesting the garnishment of the wages then may begin the garnishment process by filing a written affidavit with the Clerk of Court. The affidavit must set forth:

(1) The name of the judgment debtor whose personal earnings the judgment creditor seeks to garnish;

(2) The name and address of the garnishee who may be an employer of the judgment debtor and who may have personal earnings of the judgment debtor;

(3) That the written demand has been made, as required.

(4) That the payment demanded in the notice has not been made, and a sufficient portion of the payment   demanded has not been made to prevent the garnishment of personal earnings.
(5) That the person signing the affidavit has no knowledge of any application by the person who owes the money for the appointment of a trustee to preclude the garnishment of the person’s wages; and

(6) That the person signing the affidavit has no knowledge that the debt to which the affidavit pertains is the subject of a debt scheduling agreement of a nature that precludes the garnishment of the personal earnings.

Note: The affidavit required must be accompanied by one of the following, depending on the method by which the written demand was delivered to the judgment debtor: (1) the return receipt requested for the written demand, the unclaimed letter, or a photographic or other direct image copy of the receipt or letter if the demand was sent by certified mail, return receipt requested; (2) proof of service by the court of the demand; (3) or a properly completed and stamped certificate of mailing by regular mail, a photographic or other direct image copy of the demand, and a sworn statement that it was sent by regular mail.

  1. The clerk then sends a copy of the affidavit to the garnishee [person’s employer] and notice of the garnishment is also sent to the person whose wages are to be garnished with a request for hearing form.
  2. A judgment debtor may request a hearing with respect to a garnishment order. The hearing shall be limited to a consideration of the amount of the personal earnings of the judgment debtor, if any, that can be used in satisfaction of the debt owed by the judgment debtor to the judgment creditor.
  3. The person subject to the garnishment may receive a hearing by delivering a written request for hearing to the clerk of the court within 5 business days after receipt of the notice. The request may set forth the reasons for disputing the garnishment of wages but does not have to include any reasons. If the request is made on time, the court must schedule a hearing no later than 12 days after the request is made, unless the person indicated on the form that the need for the hearing was an emergency, in which case the court must schedule the hearing as soon as practicable. If the requests a hearing on time, the clerk then sends a notice of the date, time, and place of the hearing by regular mail to the person who is owed the money or their attorney.

NOTE THE FOLLOWING:

  • PLEASE REMEMBER AS NOTED IN THE REQUEST FOR HEARING: NO OBJECTION TO THE JUDGMENT CAN BE CONSIDERED AT THE HEARING.
  • Both the State law and Federal law determine how much money may be garnished from a person’s pay – not the Judge. The amount is determined based upon a mathematical calculation in the Ohio statute.
  • There is a floor and a ceiling on amounts that may be garnished. (a) If a person’s net take home pay, after deductions required by law, is less than or equal to 30 times the Federal Minimum Wage, then nothing may be garnished. (b) In any event, no more than 25% of the person’s net take home pay, after deductions required by law, may be garnished.
  • A Judge must follow the law. The Judge is not permitted to take into consideration the person’s personal situation, including but not limited to (i) the number of dependents (ii) recent job loss, under employment or wage reduction (iii) medical condition or medical bills (iv) loss of family income (v) divorce or separation or loss of a spouse or partner (vi) seasonal employment. The Judge has no power to change the law.
  • If either party believes that the law is unfair or that the wage garnishment law is a hardship then either party may contact his/her State Representative or State Senator, the Governor’s office, or his or her representative in Congress or the United States Senate or the officer of the President of the United States. Judges cannot make the law and are bound to follow the law. Only the state legislature or congress can revise the law- not the judge.

Click here to view a Power Point on Wage Garnishments

  1. If a timely request is not made, the court will order the person’s employer to pay some of the person’s wages into court, if they have not already been paid to the court based on the answer filed by the employer.
  2. If a hearing is held, the court will determine at the hearing the amount, calculated each pay period at the statutory percentage, of the person’s earnings for the present pay period, if any, that can be used to be applied to the judgment.
  3. If the person properly completes a payment to avoid garnishment and returns it with the required funds to the person owed the money or their attorney then the person may not send another notice of court proceeding to garnish wages until the expiration date of the person’s present pay period that is set forth by the person and their employer in the answer in the payment to avoid garnishment.

BANK GARNISHMENTS

NOTE: THIS IS A SUMMARY OF THE PROCEDURE FOR BANK GARNISHMENTS. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE LEGAL ADVICE NOR INTENDED TO PROVIDE A COMPREHENSIVE AND COMPLETE STATEMENT OF THE LAW AND IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROPER LEGAL ADVICE. NEITHER THE COURT NOR THE CLERK IS PERMITTED TO GIVE LEGAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD CONSULT AN ATTORNEY IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR NEED LEGAL ADVICE.

The law permits a person who has obtained a judgment to garnish the wages of the person who owes them money.

The procedure for Bank Garnishments is different than the procedure for Wage Garnishments. The main difference is with a wage garnishment the person whose wages are to be garnished is given notice and an opportunity to make a payment to avoid the wage garnishment. With a bank garnishment no prior notice is given to the person. Instead, the person is notified after the garnishment.

The procedure is:

  1. A proceeding for garnishment of a bank account after a judgment is begun by the filing of an affidavit in writing by the person who is owed the money or their attorney. The affidavit must set forth all of the following:

(A) The name of the person who owes the money;

(B) That the person has or may have a bank account or accounts;

(C) The name and address of the bank or credit union or other institution who may have control of the bank account.

  1. Upon the filing of the affidavit and payment of the filing fee and costs an order of garnishment will be sent to the bank.
  1.  After the order of garnishment is sent to the bank, the bank is to return an answer to the court order within five business days after receipt of the order. However, if the bank does not comply with the 5 day period the bank can still send to the court funds received after the 5 day period has expired.
  2. If the bank fails to answer, or answers but fails to answer satisfactorily or fails to comply with a proper court order the bank may be subject to contempt proceedings or subject to a special examination at the request of the person who is owed the money.
  3. A bank is not required to disclose the existence of a trust account established for the benefit of the person who    owes the money if the person is not the depositor and is not able to demand payment of the money deposited
  4. The person who owes the money may receive a hearing by delivering a written request for hearing to the court within five days after receiving it. The Clerk of Court will send a notice to the person along with the form    to request a hearing which is available here. The request may set forth the reasons for disputing the garnishment but does not have to. If a request for hearing is not received by the court on time the scheduled hearing must be canceled unless the court grants a continuance.
  1. The hearing is to be held within 12 days after the request for hearing is filed.
  1. NO OBJECTIONS TO THE JUDGMENT MAY BE MADE WITH THE REQUEST OR BE CONSIDERED AT THE HEARING. The hearing is limited to a decision as to the amount of money in the bank, if any, that can be used to satisfy the judgment.
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