Chief Sponsor: Kelly B. Miles

Senate Sponsor: Ann Millner


8     General Description:
9          This bill modifies the Utah Administrative Services Code by amending provisions
10     relating to administrative garnishment orders.
11     Highlighted Provisions:
12          This bill:
13          ▸     authorizes the Office of State Debt Collection to determine the dollar amount that a
14     garnishee is to withhold from earnings and deliver to the office in a continuing
15     administrative garnishment order in certain circumstances;
16          ▸     specifies requirements for determining the dollar amount that a garnishee is to
17     withhold from earnings in a continuing administrative garnishment; and
18          ▸     makes technical changes.
19     Money Appropriated in this Bill:
20          None
21     Other Special Clauses:
22          None
23     Utah Code Sections Affected:
24     AMENDS:
25          63A-3-507, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2019, Chapter 269

27     Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:

28          Section 1. Section 63A-3-507 is amended to read:
29          63A-3-507. Administrative garnishment order.
30          (1) If a judgment is entered against a debtor, the office may, subject to Subsection (2),
31     issue an administrative garnishment order against the debtor's personal property, including
32     wages, in the possession of a party other than the debtor in the same manner and with the same
33     effect as if the order was a writ of garnishment issued by a court with jurisdiction.
34          (2) The office may issue the administrative garnishment order if the order is:
35          (a) signed by the director or the director's designee; and
36          (b) the underlying debt is for:
37          (i) nonpayment of a criminal judgment accounts receivable as defined in Section
38     77-32a-101; or
39          (ii) nonpayment of a judgment, or abstract of judgment or award filed with a court,
40     based on an administrative order for payment issued by an agency of the state.
41          (3) An administrative garnishment order issued in accordance with this section is
42     subject to the procedures and due process protections provided by Rule 64D, Utah Rules of
43     Civil Procedure, except as provided by Section 70C-7-103.
44          (4) An administrative garnishment order issued by the office shall:
45          (a) contain a statement that includes:
46          (i) if known:
47          (A) the nature, location, account number, and estimated value of the property; and
48          (B) the name, address, and phone number of the person holding the property;
49          (ii) whether any of the property consists of earnings;
50          (iii) the amount of the judgment and the amount due on the judgment;
51          (iv) the name, address, and phone number of any person known to the plaintiff to claim
52     an interest in the property; and
53          (v) that the plaintiff has attached or will serve the garnishee fee established in Section
54     78A-2-216;
55          (b) identify the defendant, including:
56          (i) the defendant's name and address; and
57          (ii) if known:
58          (A) the last four digits of the defendant's Social Security number;

59          (B) the last four digits of the defendant's driver license; and
60          (C) the state in which the driver license was issued;
61          (c) include one or more interrogatories inquiring:
62          (i) whether the garnishee is indebted to the defendant and, if so, the nature of the
63     indebtedness;
64          (ii) whether the garnishee possesses or controls any property of the defendant, and, if
65     so, the nature, location, and estimated value of the property;
66          (iii) (A) whether the garnishee knows of any property of the defendant in the
67     possession or under the control of another; and
68          (B) the nature, location, and estimated value of the defendant's property in possession
69     or under the control of another, and the name, address, and phone number of the person with
70     possession or control;
71          (iv) whether the garnishee is deducting a liquidated amount in satisfaction of a claim
72     against the plaintiff or the defendant, a designation as to whom the claim relates, and the
73     amount deducted;
74          (v) the date and manner of the garnishee's service of papers upon the defendant and any
75     third party;
76          (vi) the dates on which previously served writs of continuing garnishment were served,
77     if any; and
78          (vii) any other relevant information the office may request, including the defendant's
79     position, rate, and method of compensation, pay period, or computation of the amount of the
80     defendant's disposable earnings;
81          (d) notify the defendant of the defendant's right to reply to answers and request a
82     hearing as provided by Rule 64D, Utah Rules of Civil Procedure; and
83          (e) state where the garnishee may deliver property.
84          (5) (a) A garnishee who acts in accordance with this section and the administrative
85     garnishment issued by the office is released from liability unless an answer to an interrogatory
86     is successfully controverted.
87          (b) Except as provided in Subsection (5)(c), if the garnishee fails to comply with an
88     administrative garnishment issued by the office without a court or final administrative order
89     directing otherwise, the garnishee is liable to the office for an amount ordered by the court,

90     including:
91          (i) the value of the property or the value of the judgment, whichever is less;
92          (ii) reasonable costs; and
93          (iii) attorney fees incurred by the parties as a result of the garnishee's failure.
94          (c) If the garnishee shows that the steps taken to secure the property were reasonable,
95     the court may excuse the garnishee's liability in whole or in part.
96          (6) A creditor who files a motion for an order to show cause under this section shall
97     attach to the motion a statement that the creditor has in good faith conferred or attempted to
98     confer with the garnishee in an effort to settle the issue without court action.
99          (7) A person is not liable as a garnishee for drawing, accepting, making, or endorsing a
100     negotiable instrument if the instrument is not in the possession or control of the garnishee at
101     the time of service of the administrative garnishment order.
102          (8) (a) A person indebted to the defendant may pay to the office the amount of the debt
103     or an amount to satisfy the administrative garnishment.
104          (b) The office's receipt of an amount described in Subsection (8)(a) discharges the
105     debtor for the amount paid.
106          (9) A garnishee may deduct from the property any liquidated claim against the
107     defendant.
108          (10) (a) If a debt to the garnishee is secured by property, the office:
109          (i) is not required to apply the property to the debt when the office issues the
110     administrative garnishment order; and
111          (ii) may obtain a court order authorizing the office to buy the debt and requiring the
112     garnishee to deliver the property.
113          (b) Notwithstanding Subsection (10)(a)(i):
114          (i) the administrative garnishment order remains in effect; and
115          (ii) the office may apply the property to the debt.
116          (c) The office or a third party may perform an obligation of the defendant and require
117     the garnishee to deliver the property upon completion of performance or, if performance is
118     refused, upon tender of performance if:
119          (i) the obligation is secured by property; and
120          (ii) (A) the obligation does not require the personal performance of the defendant; and

121          (B) a third party may perform the obligation.
122          (11) (a) The office may issue a continuing garnishment order against a nonexempt
123     periodic payment.
124          (b) This section is subject to the Utah Exemptions Act.
125          (c) A continuing garnishment order issued in accordance with this section applies to
126     payments to the defendant from the date of service upon the garnishee until the [earlier] earliest
127     of the following:
128          (i) the last periodic payment;
129          (ii) the judgment upon which the administrative garnishment order is issued is stayed,
130     vacated, or satisfied in full; or
131          (iii) the office releases the order.
132          (d) No later than seven days after the last day of each payment period, the garnishee
133     shall with respect to that period:
134          (i) answer each interrogatory;
135          (ii) serve an answer to each interrogatory on the office, the defendant, and any other
136     person who has a recorded interest in the property; and
137          (iii) deliver the property to the office.
138          (e) If the office issues a continuing garnishment order during the term of a writ of
139     continuing garnishment issued by the district court, the order issued by the office:
140          (i) is tolled when a writ of garnishment or other income withholding is already in effect
141     and is withholding greater than or equal to the maximum portion of disposable earnings
142     described in Subsection (12);
143          (ii) is collected in the amount of the difference between the maximum portion of
144     disposable earnings described in Subsection (12) and the amount being garnished by an
145     existing writ of continuing garnishment if the maximum portion of disposable earnings exceed
146     the existing writ of garnishment or other income withholding; and
147          (iii) shall take priority upon the termination of the current term of existing writs.
148          (12) The maximum portion of disposable earnings of an individual subject to seizure in
149     accordance with this section is the lesser of:
150          (a) 25% of the defendant's disposable earnings for any other judgment; or
151          (b) the amount by which the defendant's disposable earnings for a pay period exceeds

152     the number of weeks in that pay period multiplied by 30 times the federal minimum wage as
153     provided in 29 U.S.C. Sec. 201 et seq., Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.
154          (13) (a) In accordance with the requirements of this Subsection (13), the office may, at
155     its discretion, determine a dollar amount that a garnishee is to withhold from earnings and
156     deliver to the office in a continuing administrative garnishment order issued under this section.
157          (b) The office may determine the dollar amount that a garnishee is to withhold from
158     earnings under Subsection (13)(a) if the dollar amount determined by the office:
159          (i) does not exceed the maximum amount allowed under Subsection (12); and
160          (ii) is based on:
161          (A) earnings information received by the office directly from the Utah Department of
162     Workforce Services; or
163          (B) previous garnishments issued to the garnishee by the office where payments were
164     received at a consistent dollar amount.
165          (c) The earnings information or previous garnishments relied on by the office under
166     Subsection (13)(b)(ii) to calculate a dollar amount under this Subsection (13) shall be:
167          (i) for one debtor;
168          (ii) from the same employer;
169          (iii) for two or more consecutive quarters; and
170          (iv) received within the last six months.
171          [(13)] (14) The administrative garnishment instituted in accordance with this section
172     shall continue to operate and require that a person withhold the nonexempt portion of earnings
173     at each succeeding earning disbursement interval until the total amount due in the garnishment
174     is withheld or the garnishment is released in writing by the court or office.