2010 Wisconsin Code
Chapter 812. Garnishment.
812.44 Forms.

812.44

812.44 Forms.

812.44(1)

(1)

812.44(1)(a)

(a) The judicial conference shall review the forms in this subchapter and may periodically revise those forms. Those revisions may not alter the rights of the parties under this subchapter. The judicial conference shall notify the clerks of court and any interested person of any forms revised under this subsection.

812.44(1)(b)

(b) Except as provided under par. (bg), no party may use a form substantially different from those in this subchapter as revised under this subsection. No party may alter those forms in a manner that may mislead any other party. If the court finds that a party has used a misleading form, the court shall award the aggrieved party actual damages, costs and reasonable attorney fees resulting from the additional proceeding.

812.44(1)(bg)

(bg) If the judgment debt meets one of the conditions under s. 812.34 (1), the creditor shall amend the forms used under this subchapter to inform the garnishee and debtor that the exemptions provided under s. 812.34 (1) do not apply.

812.44(1)(c)

(c) No garnishee is required to act as requested by any form in this subchapter that does not identify the parties as required by s. 812.31 (4) or that is illegibly completed or otherwise unintelligible. No garnishee is liable to any person for refusing to so act. The garnishee shall mail that form back to the sending party, if known, within 3 days after receipt. The garnishee shall include with the returned form a statement specifying the defect in the form and that the garnishee is not acting as requested by the form under the authority of this paragraph.

812.44(2)

(2) The notice filed by the creditor to initiate an earnings garnishment under s. 812.35 (1) shall be in substantially the following form:
STATE OF WISCONSIN
CIRCUIT COURT: .... County
_____________________________________________________
A.B., Creditor File or Reference Number ......
vs. EARNINGS
C.D., Debtor GARNISHMENT
and NOTICE
E.F., Garnishee
_____________________________________________________
To the Clerk of Circuit Court:
Please take and file notice that the creditor has today commenced an earnings garnishment action under subchapter II of chapter 812 of the Wisconsin Statutes against the debtor and the garnishee to collect an unsatisfied civil judgment. The judgment was entered on the .... day of ...., ...., (year) by .... (County Circuit or Federal District) Court. The case number of the action in which the judgment is entered is .... [and a transcript of the judgment was entered in this county in file number ....]. The creditor's total claim for the unsatisfied portion of this judgment plus statutory interest and costs is $....
The names and addresses last known to the creditor of the parties to this proceeding are as follows:
Debtor
Name: ....
Address: ....
Garnishee
Name: ....
Address: ....
Creditor
Name: ....
Address: ....
Creditor's Attorney
Name: ....
Address: ....
Signature of Creditor or Creditor's Attorney: ....
Date: ....

812.44(3)

(3) The earnings garnishment form issued by the clerk under s. 812.35 (2) shall be in substantially the following form:
STATE OF WISCONSIN
CIRCUIT COURT: .... County
_____________________________________________________
A.B., Creditor
vs. File or Reference Number ....
C.D., Debtor EARNINGS
and GARNISHMENT
E.F., Garnishee
_____________________________________________________
THE STATE OF WISCONSIN, To the garnishee:
The creditor has been awarded a court judgment that has not been paid. As a 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 garnishment
(estimated) $....
TOTAL $....
The creditor believes that you will owe the debtor for earnings within the next 13 weeks. If the $15 fee is tendered with 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 beginning within the next 13 weeks.
2. If you are not likely to owe the debtor for earnings in pay periods beginning within the next 13 weeks, send a statement stating that fact to the creditor by the end of the 7th business day 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 the answer form to the creditor by the end of the 3rd business day after receipt of that 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 withhold or pay to the creditor any part of the debtor's earnings under this 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 earnings garnishment, place this earnings garnishment into effect the pay period after the last of any prior earnings garnishments terminates. Notify the debtor of the amount of the garnishment and notify the creditor of the amount owed on the pending garnishments by the end of the 7th business day after you receive these forms. If there are no prior pending earnings garnishments against the debtor's earnings, place this earnings garnishment into effect the pay period after you receive it.EARNINGS GARNISHMENTS LAST 13 WEEKS,
EXCEPT FOR PUBLIC EMPLOYEES
6. The garnishment of the earnings of employees of the state of Wisconsin and its political subdivisions remain in effect until the judgment is satisfied. The garnishment of earnings of other employees will affect the debtor's earnings for all pay periods beginning within 13 weeks after you receive it, unless the debtor's earnings are already being garnisheed. If this earnings garnishment is delayed under paragraph 5, above, it will affect the debtor's earnings for all pay periods beginning within 13 weeks after the first day of the pay period that you put this earnings garnishment into effect. If the amount claimed by the creditor is fully paid before the end of the 13 weeks, this earnings garnishment will terminate at that point.PAYING THE CREDITOR
7. Between 5 and 10 business days after each payday of a pay period affected by this earnings garnishment, pay the creditor 20% of the debtor's disposable earnings for that pay period. Payment is complete upon mailing.EFFECT OF COURT-ORDERED
ASSIGNMENTS FOR SUPPORT
8. If the debtor has assigned his or her earnings for support by court order, those support payments take priority over this earnings garnishment. If 25% or more of the debtor's disposable earnings is assigned for support by court order, do not pay any part of the debtor's earnings to the creditor. Instead, send the creditor a statement of that fact by the end of the 7th business day after you receive these forms. If less than 25% of the debtor's earnings is assigned for support by court order, the amount the creditor must be paid is reduced so that the total of earnings assigned and garnisheed does not exceed 25% of the debtor's disposable earnings.EXTENSIONS
9. The debtor and creditor may agree in writing to extend this earnings garnishment for additional pay periods beginning within 13 weeks after this earnings garnishment would otherwise terminate. If you receive a written extension stipulation, and an additional garnishee fee for each extension, you must honor it unless a different garnishment against this debtor's earnings is served upon you before the extension takes effect. In that case, the extension is void and you must return the extension fee to the party who paid it to you.

812.44(4)

(4) The notice of exemption served upon the garnishee under s. 812.35 (4) shall be in substantially the following form:
STATE OF WISCONSIN
CIRCUIT COURT: .... County
_____________________________________________________
A.B., Creditor
vs. File or Reference Number ....
C.D., Debtor EXEMPTION NOTICE
and EARNINGS GARNISHMENT
E.F., Garnishee
_____________________________________________________
To the debtor:
The creditor was awarded a judgment against you or your spouse by .... (County Circuit or Federal District) Court on the .... day of ...., .... (year) That judgment not having been fully paid, the creditor has now filed a garnishment proceeding against your earnings from the garnishee. This means that the creditor is seeking to take some of your earnings to satisfy part or all of the judgment against you or your spouse.
The total amount of the creditor's claim is as follows:
Unpaid balance on judgment$....
Unpaid postjudgment interest$....
Costs:
a. Garnishment filing fee$....
b. Garnishee fee$....
c. Service of process (estimate)$....
TOTAL$....
By law, you are entitled to an exemption of not less than 80% of your disposable earnings. Your "disposable earnings" are those remaining after social security and federal and state income taxes are withheld.
Your earnings are completely exempt from garnishment if:
1. Your household income is below the federal poverty level. See the enclosed schedules and worksheet to determine if you qualify for this exemption.
2. You receive aid to families with dependent children, relief funded by a relief block grant under ch. 49, relief provided by counties under section s. 59.53 (21) of the Wisconsin Statutes, medical assistance, supplemental security income, food stamps, or veterans benefits based on need under 38 USC 501 to 562 or section 45.351 (1) of the Wisconsin Statutes, or have received these benefits within the past 6 months.
3. At least 25% of your disposable earnings are assigned by court order for support.
If the garnishment of 20% of your disposable income would result in the income of your household being below the poverty line, the garnishment is limited to the amount of your household's income in excess of the poverty line.
If you qualify for a complete exemption or for a limit on the amount of the garnishment to the amount that your household's income exceeds the poverty line, you must give or mail a copy of the enclosed debtor's answer form to the garnishee in order to receive that increased exemption.
If your circumstances change while the garnishment is in effect, you may file a new answer at any time.
If you do not qualify for a complete exemption, but you will not be able to acquire the necessities of life for yourself and your dependents if your earnings are reduced by this earnings garnishment, you may ask the court in which this earnings garnishment was filed to increase your exemption or grant you other relief.IF YOU NEED ASSISTANCE
CONSULT AN ATTORNEY
If you have earnings that are being garnisheed that are exempt or subject to a defense, the sooner you file your answer or seek relief from the court, the sooner such relief can be provided. This earnings garnishment affects your earnings in pay periods beginning within 13 weeks after it was served on the garnishee. You may agree in writing with the creditor to extend it for additional 13-week periods until the debt is paid.PENALTIES
If you wrongly claim an exemption or defense in bad faith, or if the creditor wrongly objects to your claim in bad faith, the court may order the person who acted in bad faith to pay court costs, actual damages and reasonable attorney fees.

812.44(5)

(5) The debtor's answer form under s. 812.37 shall be in substantially the following form:
STATE OF WISCONSIN
CIRCUIT COURT: .... County
_____________________________________________________
A.B., Creditor
vs. File or Reference Number ....
C.D., Debtor EARNINGS GARNISHMENT
and DEBTOR'S ANSWER
E.F., Garnishee
_____________________________________________________
To the garnishee:
My earnings are COMPLETELY EXEMPT from earnings garnishment because:
... 1. The judgment has been paid or is void.
... 2. I receive, am eligible for, or have within 6 months received, aid to families with dependent children, relief funded by a relief block grant under ch. 49, relief provided by counties under section 59.53 (21) of the Wisconsin Statutes, medical assistance, supplemental security income, food stamps, or veterans benefits based on need under 38 USC 501 to 562 or section 45.351 (1) of the Wisconsin Statutes.
... 3. At least 25% of my disposable earnings are assigned for support by court order.
... 4. My household income is less than the poverty line, or this garnishment would cause that to happen.
... 5. I have another defense to this earnings garnishment (explain briefly).
........................
........................
I understand that if I claim a complete exemption or defense in bad faith, I may be held liable to the creditor for actual damages, costs and reasonable attorney fees.
DATE .... Signature of Debtor ....
Address ....
Telephone Number ....
Date Received by Garnishee ....

812.44(6)

(6) The creditor's objection to the debtor's answer and demand for hearing shall be in substantially the following form:
STATE OF WISCONSIN
CIRCUIT COURT: .... County
_____________________________________________________
A.B., Creditor File or Reference Number ....
vs. OBJECTION TO
C.D., Debtor DEBTOR'S ANSWER
and AND DEMAND FOR HEARING
E.F., Garnishee EARNINGS GARNISHMENT
_____________________________________________________
To the Clerk of Circuit Court:
I hereby object to the debtor's answer and demand a hearing to resolve the issues in controversy. By statute, this hearing must be held as soon as practicable after this objection and demand are filed. I object to the debtor's answer for the following reasons (explain briefly):
........................
........................
Please schedule this hearing and notify all parties.
To the best of my knowledge, the debtor's current address:
.... is the same as that stated in the notice I filed to commence this earnings garnishment.
.... is now
I understand that if I object to the debtor's answer in bad faith, I may be held liable to the debtor for actual damages, costs and reasonable attorney fees.
Date: .... Creditor or Creditor's Attorney: ....
Address: .....

812.44 - ANNOT.

History: 1993 a. 80, 490; 1995 a. 27, 224; 1997 a. 35, 250, 291; 1999 a. 32; 2001 a. 38; 2003 a. 138; 2009 a. 28.

812.44 - ANNOT.

NOTE: 1993 Wis. Act 80, which created ss. 812.30 to 812.44, contains extensive judicial council notes.

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