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LRB-3395/1
TKK:klm&wlj
2017 - 2018 LEGISLATURE
August 24, 2017 - Introduced by Representatives Hutton, Tusler, Allen,
Ballweg, Gannon, Horlacher, Jarchow, Kuglitsch, Murphy, Quinn,
Rohrkaste and Spiros, cosponsored by Senators Wanggaard, Stroebel,
Kapenga and Nass. Referred to Committee on Financial Institutions.
AB476,1,4 1An Act to repeal 812.40, 812.405 and 812.42 (2) (b); to amend 812.33 (1), 812.35
2(5), 812.35 (6), 812.38 (2), 812.44 (3) and 812.44 (4); and to create 812.395 of
3the statutes; relating to: eliminating the 13-week limit on the garnishment
4of earnings of certain debtors.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill eliminates the 13-week limit imposed on the garnishment of earnings
of certain debtors. Under current law, a creditor may file a garnishment notice with
a court and pay a fee to a garnishee for the purpose of collecting an unsatisfied
judgment for money damages from earnings owed to the debtor by the garnishee.
Current law limits the number of weeks in which the earnings of a debtor, other than
a debtor who is an employee of the state or a political subdivision of the state, may
be garnished to 13 weeks.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
AB476,1 5Section 1. 812.33 (1) of the statutes is amended to read:
AB476,2,3
1812.33 (1) The creditor shall pay a $15 fee to the garnishee for each earnings
2garnishment or each stipulated extension of that earnings garnishment. This fee
3shall be included as a cost in the creditor's claim in the earnings garnishment.
AB476,2 4Section 2. 812.35 (5) of the statutes is amended to read:
AB476,2,115 812.35 (5) Upon being served, the garnishee shall determine whether the
6garnishee may become obligated to the debtor for earnings earned within pay periods
7beginning within 13 weeks after the date of service. If it is unlikely that the
8garnishee will become so obligated, the garnishee shall send a statement of that fact
9to the creditor by the end of the 7th business day after receiving the earnings
10garnishment form under sub. (3). The creditor shall send a copy of this statement
11to the court within 7 business days after receipt of the statement.
AB476,3 12Section 3. 812.35 (6) of the statutes is amended to read:
AB476,2,2413 812.35 (6) If the garnishee may become obligated to the debtor for earnings
14earned within pay periods beginning within 13 weeks after the date of service, but
15one or more earnings garnishments against the debtor have already been served on
16the garnishee and not terminated, the garnishee shall retain the earnings
17garnishment form and place the garnishment into effect the pay period after the last
18of any prior earnings garnishments terminates. The garnishee shall notify the
19debtor of the amount of the garnishment and shall notify the creditor of the amount
20owed on the pending garnishments by the end of the 7th business day after receipt
21of the garnishment form under sub. (3). If, before the earnings garnishment takes
22effect, the garnishee determines that it is unlikely that the garnishee will continue
23to be obligated to the debtor for earnings, the garnishee shall notify the creditor and
24court under sub. (5) within 7 business days after making that determination.
AB476,4 25Section 4. 812.38 (2) of the statutes is amended to read:
AB476,3,11
1812.38 (2) A motion or petition under sub. (1) may be made at any time during
2the pendency of the earnings garnishment. Within 5 business days after a motion
3or petition is filed under sub. (1), the court shall schedule the matter for a hearing
4to be held as promptly as practicable. The court shall notify the parties of the time
5and place of the hearing. Upon conclusion of the hearing, the court shall make
6findings of fact and conclusions of law. The court shall make such order as required
7by these findings and conclusions. If the order permits the garnishment to proceed,
8the date on which the order is served upon the garnishee shall substitute for the
9original date of service of the garnishment upon the garnishee under s. 812.35 (3) for
10the purpose of determining any 13-week period under s. 812.35 (5) or (6).
A court
11order shall bind the garnishee from the time the order is served upon him or her.
AB476,5 12Section 5. 812.395 of the statutes is created to read:
AB476,3,16 13812.395 Garnishment of earnings remains in effect. A garnishment of
14earnings payable to a debtor, including a debtor who owes victim restitution ordered
15under s. 973.20 (1r), remains valid and effective until the judgment is satisfied,
16unless sooner terminated by order of the court.
AB476,6 17Section 6. 812.40 of the statutes is repealed.
AB476,7 18Section 7. 812.405 of the statutes is repealed.
AB476,8 19Section 8. 812.42 (2) (b) of the statutes is repealed.
AB476,9 20Section 9. 812.44 (3) of the statutes is amended to read:
AB476,3,2221 812.44 (3) The earnings garnishment form issued by the clerk under s. 812.35
22(2) shall be in substantially the following form:
AB476,3,2323 STATE OF WISCONSIN
AB476,3,2424 CIRCUIT COURT: .... County

AB476,4,22 A.B., Creditor
AB476,4,33 vs.   File or Reference Number ....
AB476,4,44 C.D., Debtor   EARNINGS
AB476,4,55 and   GARNISHMENT
AB476,4,66 E.F., Garnishee
AB476,4,88 THE STATE OF WISCONSIN, To the garnishee:
AB476,4,109 The creditor has been awarded a court judgment that has not been paid. As a
10result, the creditor claims that a total of $.... is owed by the debtor, as follows:
AB476,4,1111 A. Unpaid balance on judgment $....
AB476,4,1212 B. Unpaid postjudgment interest $....
AB476,4,1413 C. Costs of this earnings garnishment
14 (estimated) $....
AB476,4,1515 TOTAL $....
AB476,4,1816 The creditor believes that you will owe the debtor for earnings within the next
1713 weeks
after the date on which you receive this form. If the $15 fee is tendered with
18these papers, you are directed by the court to do the following:
AB476,4,1919 DETERMINE WHETHER YOU WILL
AB476,4,2020 OWE THE DEBTOR EARNINGS
AB476,4,2321 1. Determine if you are likely to owe the debtor for earnings in pay periods
22beginning within the next 13 weeks earned on or after the date on which you receive
23this form
.
AB476,5,224 2. If you are not likely to owe the debtor for earnings in pay periods beginning
25within the next 13 weeks earned on or after the date on which you receive this form,

1send a statement stating that fact to the creditor by the end of the 7th business day
2after receiving the earnings garnishment forms.
AB476,5,33 IF THE DEBTOR SENDS YOU AN ANSWER
AB476,5,64 3. Whenever you receive a debtor's answer form from the debtor, mail a copy of
5the answer form to the creditor by the end of the 3rd business day after receipt of that
6form. Include the date you received the answer form on the copy sent to the creditor.
AB476,5,97 4. If the debtor's answer form claims a complete exemption or defense, do not
8withhold or pay to the creditor any part of the debtor's earnings under this
9garnishment unless you receive an order of the court directing you to do so.
AB476,5,1010 MULTIPLE EARNINGS GARNISHMENTS
AB476,5,1811 5. If the debtor's earnings are already being garnisheed when you receive this
12earnings garnishment, place this earnings garnishment into effect the pay period
13after the last of any prior earnings garnishments terminates. Notify the debtor of
14the amount of the garnishment and notify the creditor of the amount owed on the
15pending garnishments by the end of the 7th business day after you receive these
16forms. If there are no prior pending earnings garnishments against the debtor's
17earnings, place this earnings garnishment into effect the pay period after you receive
18it.
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