Area of Law: Small Claims Court
Answer # 568
What is a garnishment hearing?Region: Ontario Answer # 568
A garnishment hearing is a hearing before a judge about issues arising from the garnishment.
If there is a problem with the garnishment, a debtor, creditor, co-owner of a debt (such as a person who has a joint bank account with the debtor), a garnishee, or any other interested person can request a garnishment hearing.
For example, a debtor may request a hearing if they do not agree with the Notice of Garnishment they were served, or if they claim that the creditor has already been paid in full. They may also request a hearing if the garnishment causes real financial hardship. In this case, they can ask a judge for an order to increase the amount of wages to be exempt from garnishment under the Wages Act, resulting in less money being deducted from their wages.
A creditor may request a garnishment hearing if they are not being fully paid by the garnishee.
Scheduling a garnishment hearing
The person requesting the hearing must complete and file a Notice of Garnishment Hearing. To do this, they must follow a number of steps, including:
- acquiring a hearing date from the court to put on the form,
- completing the form and serving it on the applicable parties, such as the creditor, debtor, garnishee (e.g. the bank or employer), co-owner of debt (if any), and any other interested person affected by the garnishment order, and
- file the original Notice of Garnishment Hearing at the court office before the hearing date.
To complete the form, you will need information about the garnishment order, including the names of the parties, the file number, as well as the date and terms of the order. There is no fee to file this notice.
At the hearing, the judge will hear each person’s story, and decide how to resolve the problem.
For more information regarding garnishment hearings, contact the Small Claims Court, or visit the Ministry of the Attorney General.
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