Wage Garnishment - Oberlin Municipal Court

Wage Garnishment
This presentation will begin in approximately 20 seconds
Neither the Judge nor any
member of the court staff or Clerk
of Court’s office is permitted to
give legal advice
Can the court change the amount
of my wage garnishment?
25% of my take home
pay was taken from
my paycheck
This does not leave
me enough money to
pay our bills
Can the court reduce
the amount of money
taken from my check?
Garnishment Law
Laws have been
passed by Congress
and by the Ohio
General Assembly
fixing the amount that
is to be withheld from
a person’s wages
(Ohio State House
The statutory formula
Both the Congress and
the State of Ohio General
Assembly have decided
that a formula should be
used to determine how
much money is to be
garnished from a
person’s wages.
The formula is based on
a mathematical
Under the statutory formula there is a floor and a ceiling
The floor – Any
person is permitted to
take home 30 times
the federal minimum
wage [after
deductions required
by law] and this sum
of money is protected
from garnishment
The ceiling- No
person can have
more than 25% taken
from wages [after
deductions required
by law]. Any sum
above 25% is
protected from
The Floor – An example
If your take home pay [after deductions
required by law] is $231.00 [per week
worked] or less your wages up to $231.00
cannot be garnished. [$7.70 x 30 hours]
Deductions required by law are deductions
for taxes but do not include voluntary
deductions such as contributions to a
retirement or savings plan
The Ceiling – an example
If your wages are $500.00 after deductions
required by law then your wages may only
be garnished $125.00.
If you multiply 25% times your wages after
deductions required by law this is the most
that can be garnished from that paycheck
But I have special circumstances…
The people who make the law have decided
that special circumstances are not allowed to
be taken into consideration by the Judge
A Judge is bound to follow the law. The Judge
is not permitted to take into consideration the
person’s personal situation, including but not
limited to (i) the number of dependents (ii)
recent job loss, under employment or wage
reduction (iii) medical condition or medical bills
(iv) loss of family income (v) divorce or
separation or loss of a spouse or partner. The
Judge has no power to change the law.
Examples of Special Circumstances that the law
does not permit the Judge to take into
My spouse recently
lost his/her job and
we are down to one
We are having a hard
time paying our bills
on one paycheck and
the 25% is just too
Special circumstances - cont
We have
extraordinary medical
We just had our 4th
Gasoline prices
continue to rise and I
drive 50 miles to work
every day
My wages are already garnished for child support – Can
more money be taken out of my paycheck?
It depends
The total amount taken
for a wage garnishment
for a judgment cannot
exceed 25% - If your child
support deduction is less
than that, then the
difference can be taken
for the judgment
As long as your employer is using the
correct mathematical calculation the Judge
is not permitted to change the amount that
is being withheld
Other Questions
The first time I learned of this Judgment is
when my wages were garnished
How can my wages be garnished without
having a trial?
Can’t the Judge stop the garnishment until
I can have a trial?
Default Judgment
The Judgment was probably taken against you by
The Judge is not permitted to stop the wage garnishment
after a Judgment with very few exceptions
If a Judgment was granted to the Plaintiff the court
record will probably show that you were either notified of
the filing of the case or were presumed to be notified of
the filing of the case
You may visit the court and look at the court file to see if
either you or someone else may have signed something
acknowledging receipt of the lawsuit or whether the
lawsuit was returned without signature
Default Judgment - continued
If you or someone else signed for the lawsuit or the
lawsuit was returned “unclaimed” the law presumes that
you received the lawsuit
If you did not you may be eligible to file a motion [Motion
to Vacate the Judgment] with the court asking that the
judgment be removed from your record until further
proceedings can be had to determine if you owe the
This procedure is somewhat complicated and may
require you to retain an attorney to represent you
Why do I have to have an attorney?
You do not have to have an attorney represent you but
you may need an attorney to properly process the
The Judge is not permitted to give you legal advice or
represent you – no matter what the circumstances
Your case is filed in the General Division of the Court
and you must follow the same rules and procedures as
an attorney – the Judge cannot make any exceptions
Motion to Vacate the Judgment
Neither the Judge nor any member of the Judge’s staff
or any member of the Clerk of Court’s office can give
you legal advice
The Judge is permitted to direct you toward resources
that may assist you
Since the procedure is somewhat complicated you
may need the assistance of an attorney. If you do not
have an attorney you may contact the Lorain County
Bar Association @ 440-323-8416. The Bar Association
has a referral service that may be of assistance to you.
Motion to Vacate the Judgment - cont
The Ohio Supreme Court website may also be of interest
to you. The website is www.supremecourt.ohio.gov
There is a link to Ohio Rules of Court then Ohio Rules of
Civil Procedure. The Ohio Rule of Procedure that applies
to a Motion to Vacate a Judgment is Civ. R. 60.
There may be other rules that apply and there may be
case law interpreting the rule that may apply
You are required to know and follow the rules. The Judge
cannot make an exception – even if you think this is
Isn’t there anything I can do ?
If you disagree with the law or believe it is
unfair you should contact your state
representative or state senator and
discuss how the law might be changed
If you do not know the name of your State
representative or State senator you may
visit the website of the Ohio General
The End