2017 - 2018 LEGISLATURE
August 24, 2017 - Introduced by Representatives Hutton, Tusler, Allen,
Ballweg, Gannon, Horlacher, Jarchow, Kuglitsch, Murphy, Quinn,
Rohrkaste and Spiros, cosponsored by Senators Wanggaard, Stroebel,
Kapenga and Nass. Referred to Committee on Financial Institutions.
1An Act to repeal
812.40, 812.405 and 812.42 (2) (b); to amend
812.33 (1), 812.35 2
(5), 812.35 (6), 812.38 (2), 812.44 (3) and 812.44 (4); and to create
812.395 of 3
the statutes; relating to: eliminating the 13-week limit on the garnishment
4of earnings of certain debtors.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill eliminates the 13-week limit imposed on the garnishment of earnings
of certain debtors. Under current law, a creditor may file a garnishment notice with
a court and pay a fee to a garnishee for the purpose of collecting an unsatisfied
judgment for money damages from earnings owed to the debtor by the garnishee.
Current law limits the number of weeks in which the earnings of a debtor, other than
a debtor who is an employee of the state or a political subdivision of the state, may
be garnished to 13 weeks.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
812.33 (1) of the statutes is amended to read:
The creditor shall pay a $15 fee to the garnishee for each earnings 2
garnishment or each stipulated extension of that earnings garnishment
. This fee 3
shall be included as a cost in the creditor's claim in the earnings garnishment.
812.35 (5) of the statutes is amended to read:
Upon being served, the garnishee shall determine whether the 6
garnishee may become obligated to the debtor for earnings earned within pay periods 7
beginning within 13 weeks
after the date of service. If it is unlikely that the 8
garnishee will become so obligated, the garnishee shall send a statement of that fact 9
to the creditor by the end of the 7th business day after receiving the earnings 10
garnishment form under sub. (3). The creditor shall send a copy of this statement 11
to the court within 7 business days after receipt of the statement.
812.35 (6) of the statutes is amended to read:
If the garnishee may become obligated to the debtor for earnings 14
earned within pay periods beginning within 13 weeks
after the date of service, but 15
one or more earnings garnishments against the debtor have already been served on 16
the garnishee and not terminated, the garnishee shall retain the earnings 17
garnishment form and place the garnishment into effect the pay period after the last 18
of any prior earnings garnishments terminates. The garnishee shall notify the 19
debtor of the amount of the garnishment and shall notify the creditor of the amount 20
owed on the pending garnishments by the end of the 7th business day after receipt 21
of the garnishment form under sub. (3). If, before the earnings garnishment takes 22
effect, the garnishee determines that it is unlikely that the garnishee will continue 23
to be obligated to the debtor for earnings, the garnishee shall notify the creditor and 24
court under sub. (5) within 7 business days after making that determination.
812.38 (2) of the statutes is amended to read:
A motion or petition under sub. (1) may be made at any time during 2
the pendency of the earnings garnishment. Within 5 business days after a motion 3
or petition is filed under sub. (1), the court shall schedule the matter for a hearing 4
to be held as promptly as practicable. The court shall notify the parties of the time 5
and place of the hearing. Upon conclusion of the hearing, the court shall make 6
findings of fact and conclusions of law. The court shall make such order as required 7
by these findings and conclusions. If the order permits the garnishment to proceed,
8the date on which the order is served upon the garnishee shall substitute for the
9original date of service of the garnishment upon the garnishee under s. 812.35 (3) for
10the purpose of determining any 13-week period under s. 812.35 (5) or (6).
A court 11
order shall bind the garnishee from the time the order is served upon him or her.
812.395 of the statutes is created to read:
13812.395 Garnishment of earnings remains in effect.
A garnishment of 14
earnings payable to a debtor, including a debtor who owes victim restitution ordered 15
under s. 973.20 (1r), remains valid and effective until the judgment is satisfied, 16
unless sooner terminated by order of the court.
812.40 of the statutes is repealed.
812.405 of the statutes is repealed.
812.42 (2) (b) of the statutes is repealed.
812.44 (3) of the statutes is amended to read:
The earnings garnishment form issued by the clerk under s. 812.35 22
(2) shall be in substantially the following form:
STATE OF WISCONSIN
CIRCUIT COURT: .... County
File or Reference Number ....
THE STATE OF WISCONSIN, To the garnishee:
The creditor has been awarded a court judgment that has not been paid. As a 10
result, the creditor claims that a total of $.... is owed by the debtor, as follows:
A. Unpaid balance on judgment $....
B. Unpaid postjudgment interest $....
C. Costs of this earnings garnishment14
The creditor believes that you will owe the debtor for earnings
within the next
1713 weeks after the date on which you receive this form
. If the $15 fee is tendered with 18
these papers, you are directed by the court to do the following:
DETERMINE WHETHER YOU WILL
OWE THE DEBTOR EARNINGS
1. Determine if you are likely to owe the debtor for earnings
in pay periods 22beginning within the next 13 weeks earned on or after the date on which you receive
2. If you are not likely to owe the debtor for earnings in pay periods beginning 25within the next 13 weeks earned on or after the date on which you receive this form
send a statement stating that fact to the creditor by the end of the 7th business day 2
after receiving the earnings garnishment forms.
IF THE DEBTOR SENDS YOU AN ANSWER
3. Whenever you receive a debtor's answer form from the debtor, mail a copy of 5
the answer form to the creditor by the end of the 3rd business day after receipt of that 6
form. Include the date you received the answer form on the copy sent to the creditor.
4. If the debtor's answer form claims a complete exemption or defense, do not 8
withhold or pay to the creditor any part of the debtor's earnings under this 9
garnishment unless you receive an order of the court directing you to do so.
MULTIPLE EARNINGS GARNISHMENTS
5. If the debtor's earnings are already being garnisheed when you receive this 12
earnings garnishment, place this earnings garnishment into effect the pay period 13
after the last of any prior earnings garnishments terminates. Notify the debtor of 14
the amount of the garnishment and notify the creditor of the amount owed on the 15
pending garnishments by the end of the 7th business day after you receive these 16
forms. If there are no prior pending earnings garnishments against the debtor's 17
earnings, place this earnings garnishment into effect the pay period after you receive 18