When a wage or salary is garnished, the judgment debtor must be left with a minimum amount. Currently, the minimum amount of wages or salary that must be left for the debtor is $484.10 (as at October 2016). You can check the current amount on the
Local Court website.
There may be other amounts that come out of the judgment debtor's wages before the garnishee can pay you. Therefore, the employer can only send you the difference between the debtor's total wage or salary and the minimum amount of money they must leave the debtor to live on.
The garnishee is entitled to keep $13.00 for administration expenses in complying with the Garnishee Order. The $13.00 does not reduce the judgment debt and does not reduce the money the debtor has to pay you.
If the court issued a Garnishee Order for Wages or Salary the garnishee must make the payment to you within 14 days from the date the wage or salary is due to be paid to the judgment debtor.
If the court issued a Garnishee Order for Debts the garnishee must make payment of an amount either;
If the debt that is due for payment to the judgment debtor is not due for more than 28 days after service of the Garnishee Order, the garnishee must serve you with a notice. The notice must specify the date on which the debt is, or is likely to be, due for payment to the judgment debtor.
If the garnishee does not comply with the Garnishee Order, you can make an application to the court to have the judgment debt paid by the garnishee out of their own money.
There are no specific forms for this application so you may file and serve:
You can get copies of forms from:
If a garnishee does not comply with a Garnishee Order you should get
legal advice before taking any steps.
The employer must provide you with a statement setting out:
If you don't get a statement you can contact the employer and ask them to send you a statement.
If the employer believes that no wage or salary is payable to the judgment debtor they may serve you with a statement which sets out the reasons why.
If a bank or third party believes that there is no debt payable to the judgment debtor at the time of service of the garnishee order they may serve a statement setting out the reasons why.
If the court has granted the debtor the right to pay the judgment debt by instalments you can file an objection to the decision within 14 days of the making of the Order.
You must complete one form (there is no filing fee):
The Notice of Motion will be listed before a registrar or magistrate for hearing. It is up to you, as the objecting party, to satisfy the court that the order they are objecting against should not have been made. Each case will be decided on its own facts.
You cannot garnish a Centrelink benefit. It may also be difficult to garnish the bank account of a judgment debtor on Centrelink. This is because a certain amount of the Centrelink payment in their account is protected from a Garnishee Order and cannot be deducted to pay the debt. You can find out more about the judgment debtor's financial position by sending them an Examination Notice.
For information on how to do this see
Examination Notice - Step by step guide.
For information on other enforcement options, see
Enforcing a judgment debt.