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The Garnishment Act
This is an unofficial archived version of The Garnishment Act
as enacted by SM 1987-88, c. 9 on July 17, 1987.

R.S.M. 1987, c. G20

The Garnishment Act

HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:

Wages defined.

1

In this Act the expression "wages" includes salary, commission and fees, and any other money payable by an employer to an employee in respect of work or services performed in the course of employment of the employee; but it does not include deductions therefrom made by the employer under any Act of the Legislature of any province or the Parliament of Canada.

Garnishment of the Government of Manitoba.

2

The Government of Manitoba may be garnished under any Act of the Legislature, the same as ordinary persons, with regard to moneys due or accruing due to persons employed or paid by the government.

Service of process.

3

Every garnishment process under section 2 shall be served upon the Minister of Finance in his office.

Debts bound by garnishment process.

4

Subject as herein provided, service of garnishment process on a garnishee binds

(a) any debt due or accruing due, at the time of service, from the garnishee to the defendant or judgment debtor other than wages; and

(b) all wages that become due or payable from the garnishee to the judgment debtor within one month commencing on the day after service.

Exemptions.

5

Except as in this Act otherwise provided, 70% of any wages due or accruing due by an employer to any employee is exempt from seizure or attachment under a garnishing order issued out of any court; but in no case shall the amount of the exemption allowed under this section be less than

(a) in the case of a person without dependants $250., or such greater amount as may be prescribed by regulation, per month or pro rata for a shorter period; and

(b) in the case of a person with one or more dependants $350., or such greater amount as may be prescribed by regulation, per month or pro rata for a shorter period.

Where no exemption.

6

Where a debt is contracted for board or room or both and, in the opinion of a judge of the court in which the action is brought, the exemption under this Act is not necessary for the support and maintenance of the debtor, or of his family or dependants depending upon him for support, the debtor has no right of exemption of any part of his wages, and the judge may order that no exemption be allowed.

Exemption in certain cases.

7

Notwithstanding section 5, but subject to section 8, where the wages of a person are seized or attached by virtue of, or under

(a) a court order for alimony or maintenance; or

(b) a duly executed separation agreement; or

(c) The Family Maintenance Act;

the exemption allowed to that person is $250. , or such greater amount as may be prescribed by regulation, per month or pro rata for any part of a month.

Definition of "clerk".

8(1)

In this section, and in sections 9 and 10, "clerk" means

(a) where the Court of Queen's Bench has jurisdiction in the matter

(i) if the garnishing proceedings in the matter were begun in The City of Winnipeg, the Registrar of that court, and

(ii) if the garnishment proceedings in the matter were begun in any other judicial centre, the deputy registrar of the court for the judicial centre in which the proceedings were begun; and

(b) where the Provincial Court (Family Division) has jurisdiction in the matter, the clerk of the Provincial Court (Family Division).

Variation of exemption.

8(2)

A creditor who has initiated proceedings by way of seizure or attachment of the wages of a person under this Act or a debtor affected by such proceedings may make an application in writing supported by affidavit to the clerk of the court having jurisdiction in the matter for an increase or decrease, as the case may be, of the amount of exemption allowed under section 5 or 7.

Notice of hearing.

8(3)

The clerk of the court shall, within three days after the receipt of an application in writing under subsection (2), notify the persons affected by the application of the date on which he will consider the matter, which date shall not be later than seven days after the receipt of the application.

Hearing and order.

8(4)

On the date fixed by the clerk, he shall hear the matter, and after considering all the evidence adduced before him and having regard to the circumstances relating to the matter, may make an order

(a) confirming; or

(b) increasing; or

(c) reducing;

the exemption allowed under this Act.

Limitation on variation of exemption.

8(5)

No order shall be made by a clerk under subsection (4) or by a judge under subsection (8) which

(a) has the effect of increasing the exemption allowed under section 5 or 7 to more than 90% of the wages due or accruing due; or

(b) reduces the wages of the employee to an amount less than the exemption to which he is entitled under section 5 or 7.

Appeal.

8(6)

Any person affected by an order made under subsection (4) may, not later than 14 days from the date of the order, by a notice of motion, appeal the order to a judge in chambers in the court having jurisdiction in the matter.

Service.

8(7)

The notice of motion mentioned in subsection (6) shall be served by the appellant

(a) on the clerk of the court whose order is being appealed; and

(b) on every other person affected by the appeal; at least three days before the date fixed for the hearing of the appeal.

Disposition of appeal.

8(8)

The judge hearing the appeal may confirm, or, subject to subsection (5), vary the order appealed against.

Release of garnishment on terms.

9(1)

Where a garnishment order has been made against the debtor, he may apply to the clerk of the court in which the action is brought for the release of the garnishment and for the payment of the judgment by instalments and, if the clerk deems it proper in all the circumstances of the case, he may make the order, fixing therein the amounts and times of payment, and, so long as the debtor is not in default under the order, no further garnishment of the debtor's wages shall be had in respect of the judgment debt.

Ex parte order.

9(2)

An order made under subsection (1) may be made ex parte, but the clerk may vary it at any time upon the application of the debtor or creditor with at least three days notice in writing to the other party.

Copy to judgment creditor.

9(3)

Forthwith after an order is made under subsection (1), a copy thereof shall be sent by prepaid mail by the clerk of the court to the judgment creditor or his agent.

Variation of order.

9(4)

Upon an application to a judge for the purpose, an order made under subsection (1) may be varied by the judge.

Procedure.

9(5)

Subsections 8(6), (7) and (8) apply with such modifications as the circumstances require to an application under subsection (4).

Termination of order.

10

Where, under section 9, an order is made by a clerk of the court or the order is varied by a judge, providing for the release of a garnishment order and the payment of the judgment by instalments, the order of the clerk or that of the judge, as the case may be, shall be terminated

(a) where the judgment debtor is in default in paying any of the instalments for more than five days; or

(b) by the issue of a judgment or garnishment order or both against the judgment debtor in a cause other than that with respect to which the instalment payments were ordered.

Garnishment of wages before judgment prohibited.

11

The wages of a person shall not be seized or attached by a garnishing order until judgment has been entered against him; and no garnishing order to seize or attach the wages of a person shall be issued from a court until judgment has been entered against him.

Memo on garnishing order against wages.

12(1)

Where the debt against which the garnishing order is issued is for wages, there shall be annexed to the garnishing order a memorandum

(a) showing the residence of the judgment debtor;

(b) indicating the nature and place of the occupation of the judgment debtor in the service of the garnishee at the time of the issue of the garnishing order;

(c) setting forth the provisions of section 8 and except where the garnishing process was issued by virtue of or under

(i) a court order for alimony or maintenance, or

(ii) a duly executed separation agreement, or

(iii) The Family Maintenance Act, or

(iv) a judgment for board or room or both in respect of which a judge of the court in which the action is brought has made an order under section 6 ordering that no exemption be allowed, setting forth the provisions of sections 4, 5 and 9;

(d) if the judgment is for board or room or both and a judge of the court in which the action is brought has made an order under section 6 ordering that no exemption be allowed, a statement indicating that that is the case and setting forth the provisions of section 6; and

(e) if the garnishing process was issued by virtue of or under

(i) a court order for alimony or maintenance, or

(ii) a duly executed separation agreement, or

(iii) The Family Maintenance Act, a statement indicating that that is the case and setting forth the provisions of section 7.

Presumption as to board and room.

12(2)

Where no statement under clause 1(d) is included in a memorandum attached to a garnishing order, it shall be presumed by the garnishee that the exemption of the debtor has not been disallowed under section 6.

Presumption as to orders re. alimony, etc.

12(3)

Where no statement under clause (l)(e) is included in a memorandum attached to a garnishing order, it shall be presumed by the garnishee that the garnishing process was not issued by virtue of or under

(a) a court order for alimony or maintenance; or

(b) a duly executed separation agreement; or

(c) The Family Maintenance Act.

Duration of compliance with garnishing orders.

13(1)

Where a person obtains a court order

(a) for maintenance under The Family Maintenance Act; or

(b) for alimony or maintenance; or

(c) for the maintenance and education of a child under The Child and Family Services Act; or

(d) registers a maintenance order to which The Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Orders Act applies;

and pursuant to that order or registration applies for and obtains a garnishing order that is served on the employer of the judgment debtor (in this section called the "garnishee*'), the garnishee shall deduct from the salary or wages of the judgment debtor then due, or thereafter accruing due, from time to time, such amounts in accordance with the garnishing order, and notwithstanding the provision of any other Act or rule, remit those amounts to the Provincial Court (Family Division) or to such other person named in the garnishing order, for as long as the judgment debtor remains in his employ and the garnishing order remains in force.

Service of extra copy of garnishing order on garnishee.

13(2)

At the time of service of a garnishing order upon a garnishee under subsection (1) or (3), the garnishor shall leave with the garnishee an extra copy thereof and the garnishee shall as soon as possible thereafter deliver or mail the extra copy of the garnishing order to the judgment debtor.

Compliance where court order varied.

13(3)

Where the amount required to be paid pursuant to subsection (1) is varied the garnishor shall obtain a garnishing order that complies with the varied order and shall serve the garnishing order and an extra copy thereof on the garnishee who shall comply with the terms thereof in accordance with subsection (1).

No costs allowed to garnishee.

13(4)

A garnishee on whom a garnishing order is served under subsection (1) or (3) is not entitled to any costs for complying with the garnishing order except

(a) the costs to which he is entitled when a garnishing order is originally served on him; and

(b) a fee thereafter of $1. for each cheque or payment that he makes or deposits into court in compliance with the garnishing order.

Duration of garnishing order.

13(5)

A garnishing order obtained pursuant to subsection (1) or (3) is subject to the exemption provided in section 7, has priority over any other garnishing order that may be served on the garnishee or any debt owed by the judgment debtor to the garnishee and remains in force until it is superseded by another garnishing order, revoked or withdrawn or until the debt for which it was issued is fully satisfied or for as long as the judgment debtor remains in the employment of the garnishee.

Judgment debtor leaving employment of garnishee.

13(6)

Where a garnishee is served with a garnishing order obtained pursuant to subsection (1) or (3) and subsequent to such service the judgment debtor leaves the employment of the garnishee, the garnishee shall in writing notify the Provincial Court (Family Division) of that fact and shall also mail a copy thereof to the garnishor.

Discontinuance of garnishing order.

13(7)

Nothing in this section prohibits a garnishor who obtained and served a garnishing order under subsection (1) or (3) from discontinuing the garnishing order and upon any such discontinuance the garnishor or a person acting under his authority shall serve the garnishee with a notice of discontinuance of the garnishing order in which case the garnishee is no longer required to comply with the garnishing order.

Filing of notice of discontinuance.

13(8)

Where a garnishor pursuant to subsection (7) discontinues a garnishing order, the garnishor shall file a notice of the discontinuance with the Provincial Court (Family Division) and deliver or mail a copy of the notice to the judgment debtor.

Non-application of section 9.

13(9)

Section 9 does not apply to a garnishing order obtained pursuant to subsection (1) or (3).

Form of garnishing order.

13(10)

A garnishing order issued under this section may be in Form 1 as set out in Schedule A to this Act or in such other form as may be authorized by the court from which the garnishing order is issued.

Proceedings in lieu of this section.

13(11)

Nothing in this section prohibits a judgment creditor from proceeding as otherwise provided in this Act to recover moneys due and payable under an order for maintenance in lieu of proceeding under this section.

Garnishment of pension benefits.

14(1)

Notwithstanding that the garnishment of a pension benefit is prohibited by or under an Act of the Legislature or a collective or other agreement, the pension benefit is subject to garnishment if the garnishing order whereby the garnishment is sought to be effected is obtained as provided in subsection 13(1) or (3).

Exemptions apply to pension benefits.

14(2)

Where a pension benefit is subject to garnishment, either by virtue of subsection (1) or otherwise, this Act applies thereto, with such modifications as the circumstances require but subject to subsection (3), to all intents and purposes as if the pension benefit were wages.

Calculation of exemptions.

14(3)

Where a judgment debtor receives both wages and pension benefits, whether or not both are payable by the same garnishee or on the same dates, both shall be lumped together for purposes of calculating any exemption to which the judgment debtor may be entitled under this Act.

"Pension benefit" defined.

14(4)

In this section, "pension benefit" includes any benefit, whether in the form of a periodic payment or in the form of a lump sum payment, payable under a pension scheme or plan, superannuation scheme or plan, life or fixed term annuity policy, or accident, sickness or disability insurance policy

(a) established or administered by or for the government or by or for a person, group, society, organization, association, corporation or body other than the government, or in which the government or the person, group, society, organization, association, corporation or body is a participant; and

(b) that is subject to the legislative jurisdiction of the Legislature;

and includes any benefit payable under The Workers Compensation Act, but does not include any deductions made therefrom under an Act of the Legislature of a province of Canada or the Parliament of Canada.

Regulations.

15

The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations and orders

(a) prescribing a greater minimum amount than that set out in section 5 for any exemption allowed thereunder;

(b) prescribing a greater amount than that set out in section 7 for any exemption allowed thereunder.

SCHEDULE A

Form 1

GARNISHING ORDER

(style of cause)

Judgment Creditor and

Judgment Debtor

TO THE GARNISHEE

Upon the application of the judgment creditor and on hearing read the affidavit of judgment creditor filed, and on hearing counsel (or, the solicitor) for the judgment creditor

1. IT IS ORDERED that the garnishee deduct from the wages of the judgment debtor, now due or hereafter accruing due from time to time, the following amount: $

2. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the garnishee within seven days after deduction thereof remit the said amount to

*(a) The Provincial Court (Family Division) at the following address:

or

*(b) The above named judgment creditor, at the following address:

3. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the garnishee continue to deduct the sum of $

(weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly, or monthly as the case may be)

and remit said amounts in the manner aforesaid for so long as the judgment debtor remains in the employ of the garnishee or until the garnishing order is revoked or withdrawn or superseded by another garnishing order, or until the debt for which it is issued has been fully satisfied.

SIGNED the day of , 19 .

(*use whichever is applicable and strike out the clause which is inapplicable.)