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Garnishees compared across different States and Territories

Saturday, May 01, 2010 - Posted by Philip Harvey

A Garnishee is an enforcement action that either serves a Local Court order on an employee to redirect earnings over a certain threshold / agreed amount or is an order to a financial institution to remit funds held on account for the debtor. If an Employer / financial institution fails to action the Garnishee Order, enforcement action may be taken through the courts to gain payment.

New South Wales

Prerequisites  Judgment
Service Method Personal Service on the Employer / Financial Institution. Though some employers specify what service methods they will accept & act on
Valid for  Remains in force until balance of the Judgment Debt is paid or employment terminated
Official Name  Garnishee Order

Any amount paid under one or more garnishee orders must not, in total, reduce the net weekly amount of any wage or salary received by the judgment debtor to less than the standard workers compensation weekly benefit (section 122 Civil Procedure Act 2005). This amount is adjustable - refer to  http://www.workcover.nsw.gov.au/WorkersCompensation/WorkplaceInjuries/Benefits/weekly.htm

   

Victoria

Prerequisites 

Judgment / Hearing 

Service Method

Personal Service on the Debtor 14 days prior to the hearing, once a hearing has been completed, service of the Garnishee on the Debtor & employer.

Valid for

Remains in force until balance of the Judgment Debt is paid or employment terminated 

Official Name

Attachment of Earnings Order

Note for Vic - The maximum amount that can be taken from wages is 20%. The Registrar will make a decision, on all the information available, as to the appropriate amount to be garnished from the Debtor’s wage.

Queensland

Prerequisites 

 Judgment

 Enforcement Hearing Summons
Service Method  Personal service of the Redirection of Earnings Order on the employer and Defendant
Valid for   Remains in force until balance of the Judgment Debt is paid or employment terminated
Official Name  Redirection of Earnings

Notes for QLD;
Deductions to commence within 7 days of service of the Attachment of Earnings Order
Court will determine amount to be deducted under the Redirection of Earnings (Protected Earnings rate)

South Australia

Prerequisites 

Investigation / Examination Hearing 

Service Method

 Where the Court makes an order for attachment in the absence of either a garnishee or a judgment debtor: 
  (a) the judgment creditor must forthwith serve a garnishee, who was not present, with the order of attachment;
  (b) the Court must adjourn the hearing to a date, time and place fixed by the Court;
  and(c) the judgment creditor must serve notice of the adjourned hearing and the application on a garnishee or a    judgment debtor who was not present when the order was made at least 4 clear days before the adjourned date.  

  On proof of service of any document required to be served, the Court may proceed in the absence of a garnishee or  a judgment debtor.

  An order for attachment, which is confirmed or varied at an adjourned hearing in the absence of a garnishee, must  be served forthwith by the judgment creditor on the garnishee.

Valid for

 Remains in force until balance of the Judgment Debt is paid or employment terminated

Official Name

 Order for Attachment / Garnishee Order

Note for SA;
Where the employer does not comply with the garnishee order, you can apply to the court to have Judgment awarded against the employer.



Tasmania

Prerequisites 

 Service of Provisional Order

Service Method

Pre-paid post addressed to the address of the person or Personal Service. Provisional Order must be served on  both  the Garnishee (employer) and the Defendant. If after 21 days of service of the Provisional Order the debt is not disputed Final Orders must be served on both the Garnishee (employer) and the Defendant

Valid for 

Remains in force until balance of the Judgment Debt is paid or employment terminated

Official Name

 Garnishee

Western Australia

Prerequisites 

Judgment

Means Inquiry 

Service Method

 Personal Service / Service by pre-paid post to the Garnishee of the Earnings Appropriation Order

 Valid for

 Until balance of the Judgment Debt is paid or employment terminated

 Official Name

 Earnings Appropriation Order

WA Note:

Mean Inquiry must be conducted prior to making an application for Earnings Appropriation Order
Judgment Debtor must be in arrears at least two (2) payments under an Instalment Order made at a Means Inquiry
An order cannot be made against a Judgment Debtor if another earnings appropriation order is in effect.


Australian Capital Territory

Prerequisites 

Judgment

Enforcement Hearing
Service Method  Personal Service / Service by pre-paid post to the Garnishee of the Earnings Appropriation Order
Valid for Until balance of the Judgment Debt is paid or employment terminated
Official Name  Earnings Appropriation Order
ACT Notes:
Enforcement Hearing must be conducted prior to applying for Earnings Redirection Order unless the Plaintiff can supply to the Court a Financial Statement of the Defendants current income and liabilities
Court will determine amount to be deducted under the Redirection of Earnings (Protected Earnings rate)

Northern Territory

Prerequisites  Personal Service on the Defendant of the Attachment of Earnings Summons 14 days prior to the hearing. Defendant must within 7 days of the hearing provide the Court with declaration of Financial Circumstances. Should the Defendant fail to appear the Registrar may make Orders in their absence if the Plaintiff can provide evidence of the Defendants income / liabilities for the Orders to be made.
Service Method Personal Service on the Defendant and Employer of the Attachment of Earnings Summons
Valid for  Remains in force until balance of the Judgment Debt is paid or employment terminated
Official Name  Attachment of Earnings (attaches to a Wage or Salary)

 Garnishee Order (attaches to debt)

Note for NT - The Registrar will decide the amount to be deducted from the Defendants earnings.


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