Can Small Claims Court Garnish Wages

Can Small Claims Court Garnish Wages?

The answer is Yes!! Small claims court can garnish wages, and it’s important to understand the process involved.

Federal and state laws govern wage garnishment, and when a court grants approval for garnishment, the debtor’s employer will transmit the owed funds directly to the creditor.

This legal tool is utilized to collect debts effectively.

Can Small Claims Court Garnish Wages

What Is Garnishment

  • Wage garnishment involves a court ordering the debtor’s employer to withhold a portion of their wages.
  • The recipient specified in the court order receives the withheld amount.
  • A judge can order wage garnishment in child support cases or when the debtor owes another individual or company.
  • A court may order wage garnishment if:
    • The debtor is not self-employed and receives a regular wage,
    • The debtor’s income exceeds the poverty line,
    • The debtor does not have existing wage garnishments, and
    • The debtor is actively employed and has not filed for bankruptcy.
  • In cases of child support or spousal support, a court can order wage garnishment even if other wage garnishments are in place.
  • If the debtor contests the garnishment, a court will not issue the order, and this situation may require legal assistance, potentially from an attorney.


Garnishing Wages

Key Information:

  • When garnishing wages, you must have the correct legal name of the employer, their address, and the pay date.
  • You can garnish up to 30% of wages or salary at one time, and for more, you must repeat the procedure for each new pay period.

Garnishing a Bank Account


  • To garnish a bank account, you need to know the branch where the debtor banks to serve the garnishing order there.
  • There’s no limit on the amount you can garnish from a bank account, but it applies only to the debtor’s funds, not joint accounts.

Steps to Garnishment:

  1. Complete an Affidavit In Support Of A Garnishing Order After Judgment:

    A Commissioner for taking Affidavits for British Columbia, a notary public, lawyer, or authorized person at the Small Claims Court Registry (for a fee) must swear/affirm the Affidavit.

  2. Complete a Garnishing Order (After Judgment):
    • Fill out the form.
  3. File the Affidavit and Garnishing Order:
  4. Serve the Affidavit and Garnishing Order on the Garnishee:

    You can serve the Garnishee (employer or debtor’s bank) personally or through registered mail.

  5. Serve the Garnishing Order on the Debtor:
    • Provide the debtor with a copy of the order personally or via registered mail.
  6. File an Affidavit of Service:
    • Find the Affidavit of Service form attached to the Garnishment Order form.

Garnished Money:

  • The garnished funds go directly to the court.
  • Request the court to pay the money to you and notify the debtor.

Getting Money Paid into Court:

If the Debtor agrees:

  1. Have the debtor sign a Consent order specifying the payout amount from court.
  2. Complete a Request for payment out of court.
  3. File the Consent order and Request for payment out of court with the registry.

┬áDebtor doesn’t agree:

  1. Personally serve the Debtor with a Notice of Payment Out of Money Paid into Court by Garnishee form.
  2. Wait 10 days for the Debtor to file a notice of intention to dispute the payment out.
  3. If the Debtor doesn’t dispute, file an Affidavit of Service and a Request for payment out form to request the money’s release.

If you have a default order:

  1. File an Affidavit of Service of the Garnishment Order.
  2. Wait 90 days after money is paid into court.
  3. Request the Registry to release the money to you using the Request for payment out form.

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