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Old 09-12-2007, 09:52 PM
CJ CJ is offline
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Any lawyers question

I have a customer that I took to small claims court and won and then I had his new employer served to garnish his wages. Needless to say the employer did not respond to the courts request to garnish the wages. To work things out, I called the employer and he told me the guy just quit yesterday and tough luck in collecting my money.

The next day I called the clerks office at the district court and told them what had happened. They said I should file for a contempt of court since the person was employed at the time of having the garnishment served and the employer did not respond in any way to the court. So I did.

Today I get notification that a date has been set for the employer to come to court for being contempt of court for not answering the garnishment.

The question I have is what happens at that hearing and can the employer be foirced to pay me for the garnishment since the guy was employed when the garnishment was served?

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Old 09-12-2007, 11:57 PM
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I would advise if you are going into court that you hire a lawyer.

I have heard of people (usually men) taking low paying jobs to get out of paying huge alimony and child support, since they take a percentage of your wages.
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Old 09-13-2007, 02:42 AM
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not a lawyer here but have some experience here, if im not mistaken: if the employer acknowledged the fact that they were supposed to garnish the guy's wages for a specified time and amount and failed to do so, they can be held in contempt of court and be forced to pay up.

i think.
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Old 09-13-2007, 04:04 AM
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Thanks to our scumbag legal system and your dirtbag customer, you don't get paid and you have to take your time to go track this turd down. I dealt with a wage garnishment once with a guy that was at fault in a car crash. I was able to get most of the money but it took a lot of legwork.

I don't know if your ex customer has any money or if he is like many that does not have a pot to piss in? Let us look at the big picture. How much does he owe you? If it is less than a couple thousand good luck. By the time you hire an attorney that will be gone. My dirtbag quit his job just like yours, but I had already gotten most of the money.

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Old 09-13-2007, 09:32 AM
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I think you need to look at the court order. IF it says something like:
If you fail to deduct and pay the proper amounts from the Obligor's income, you are liable for the amount you should have deducted plus costs, interest, and attorney's fees.
Then you have a good chance to recove your funds. If it doesn't have wording like that it may be more difficult but not impossible.
Also like it was stated before if the employer acknowledged he was supposed to garnish the wages and failed to do so he may be held liable.

I'm not a lawyer but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

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Old 09-13-2007, 09:34 AM
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Any lawyers here?

You gotta be kidding, right?
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Old 09-13-2007, 09:46 AM
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While your waiting for the lawyers to show up...

It would seem that the question is one of dates. How long from the time garnishment was to be enforced was the dead beat still an employee? If the former employer owes you a potion of the debt from that period then they owe you. The records of the employer will be the basis of the decision. Did the guy tell you when his employee left? There may or may not be a period of overlap.

Good luck, and don't take anything from this thread as legal advice, just thoughtful input.

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Old 09-13-2007, 09:47 AM
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If he is held in contempt of court a warrant will be issued for his arrest.
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Old 09-13-2007, 09:48 AM
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CJ - Was then employer served with MD form 3-646 WGR? There are some exemptions mostly based upon the wages the employee makes but it appears the most you can recover from the employer is $1,000 for violating a court order to garnish wages. The statute is in MD Commercial Law 15-601 - 607 and Maryland Rule(s) 3-646. Ask the Clerk of Court if you should attend represented for the proceeding or if the state is representing you e.g. State of Maryland and CJ vs Employer
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Old 09-13-2007, 08:21 PM
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I looked over all the forms and and it says specifically that the employer must either garnish the wages or respond in writing to the court as to why a garnishment will not take place, all within 30 calendar days of being served. I filed for contempt of court after waiting 45 days. From my understanding after speaking with some attorneys today at synogogue that the employer can be held liable for the dollar amount. I asked them if I need to hire a lawyer and they all said no, since this is a process proceding all on fact )fling the small claims form, I won, I filed for a garnishment, etc). they told me it is very black and white in cases like this. You either garnish the wages or inform the court as to why you are not going to garnish. I guess we will see and as far as showing up, the clerk said i do not have to show up since the contempt of court is with the District Court of Baltimore County Maryland.
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Old 09-13-2007, 08:59 PM
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I have to chime in. Can't resist. I feel for you having a dirt bag owe you money, but something about making that employer pay, just because you can, seems misguided. If the guy was still working there and the employer refused to garnish, then have at it. But, I'm not sure that forcing the employer to pay in this case serves to do much but punish a (near) bystander, given that he didn't employ the dirt bag for very long.

I don't have all the details so forgive me, but just because the law provides a remedy via statute, doesn't mean the use of that law serves public policy in every case.

The dirt bag will hopefully get another job, and you can go after that one.
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Old 09-13-2007, 11:35 PM
CJ CJ is offline
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I see your point of view, but the employer had a legal obligation to garnish the paycheck while the guy was employed or explain to the court why they were not going to garnish the check. After speaking with some attorneys today they informed me that the courts can look at this guys paycheck, then figure out what 25% of it would be and then multiply it by how many checks he received after the garnishment was served. Simply put the employer had a legal obligation and ignored it completely. If the employer complied by garnishing the check or informing them why they are not going to withhold pay I would not be taking them to court.
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Old 09-13-2007, 11:58 PM
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Just hire someone in the "waste business" to settle the debt.
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Old 09-15-2007, 07:47 AM
CJ CJ is offline
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Forgetta ,bout it.

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