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This is regarding a wage garnishment. How do I go about recovering my refund after a claim of exemptions?

Los Angeles, CA |

On July 21st, I was granted a modification for the amount of money taken from my checks. The initial garnishment was 25%...$354 which I haven't been able to get back from my July 15th check. I'm getting the run around from the sheriff's office regarding my refund. I've been dealing with rude clerks & receiving contradictory info. Currently, my case status according to their website reads "case stayed".. but there's no disbursement information showing....just zero amount. Initially, I was told that they would hold on the money while waiting for a response for the plaintiff to see if they would oppose the claim. After the ten days, there was no word. The Sheriff office claims they don't have my money--they claim creditor has it. What should I do? They play games. Just want my $354 back

correction: sheriff office 'now' claims they don't have my money...they now say they need to wait till the creditor sends the refund to their office and will then forward a check to my payroll dept. My payroll dept hasn't received anything yet. What is the significance of 'case stayed'? Either the sheriff's office or plaintiff has my money & won't return it. Today is now August 5th. The modification was done July 21st. The same clerk I've been talking with now wants to change the story claiming I have no refund due. Initially, she told me that they would hold on the funds until the 10 days passed (for creditor to oppose the claim of exemption). They didn't oppose it. Then when I pressed harder, she claimed they don't have it...says plaintiff has it. What can I do? I am owed something since the modification was made. Instead of them taking 25% they will take only 5%.

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Attorney answers 2

Best Answer
Posted

Sheriff's office was legally required to hold the funds until the Claim of Exemption was heard and decided against you. Stop dealing with rude clerks and demand to see a supervisor. Have a certified copy of order on claim of exemption with you. Let them know if money is not refunded you will go back to court and get an order compelling sheriff to refund garnished amount.

The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of California. Responses are based solely on California law unless stated otherwise.

Asker

Posted

Just to let you know the sheriff's office lost my claim of exemptions form the first time...had to re-file. Precious time was wasted. Also, I was never informed about this lawsuit/judgment until this past june....judgment was made in nov 2010 without my knowledge. I can barely find any information on the plaintiffs lawyer (he's inactive--doesn't have a 'website' either) I never received a summons in the first place. Lot of shady things going on overall. Case status still remains the same. No pending payouts/disbursements recorded not even the $354 that was taken from my july 15th check. Do I file a civil or a small claims suit directly against the sheriff's office? Need to get my money back. I assume that the creditor never got the initial garnishment because it's not even notated on the website. So the sheriff's must have it. Too much confusion going on

Asker

Posted

their lawyer doesn't even have an email address either...I intend to file a motion to vacate judgment since I was never served properly

Steven Alan Fink

Steven Alan Fink

Posted

All attorneys are required to list e-mails with State Bar www.calbar.ca.gov Steve Law Offices of Steven A. Fink 13 Corporate Plaza Drive <http://maps.yahoo.com/#mvt=m&lat=33.607693&lon=-117.877037&zoom=16&q1=3 Corporate Plaza Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660> Suite 150 Newport Beach, CA 92660 www.stevefinklaw.com <http://www.falawyers.com/> (949) 706-5900 Tel (949) 706-5901 Fax sfink@stevefinklaw.com <outbind://13-000000002FE5B1D7FF7E434AAE96C22BE0D1488D07004B9DEF6432CF2F 49BF9B0D8117207E190000000028BF0000C501D3AD6C7519448EA8B6729471EBC8000000 0D0E1E0000/sfink@falawyers.com>

Asker

Posted

I appreciate the response and plan to seek legal action to recover the amount taken from me. How likely will I be awarded damages as well? Both the sheriff's office is stalling/playing games and plus the plaintiff never served me properly. They are an out of state creditor...their lawyer is in Calif. Again, his bar status is inactive and he has no website or email address. Just a physical address, phone number and fax number. This whole thing seems shady to me. I wonder if I can get damages from both sides (sheriff & plaintiff)

Asker

Posted

In addition, I plan to get the judgment vacated since I was never properly served; terminate the garnishment

Posted

You could bring an action to get the funds back in State court but the funds may also be held and credited against future witholding.

Disclaimer: This answer does not constitute legal advice. I am admitted in the States of New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts only and make no attempt to opine on matters of law that are not relevant to those three States. This advice is based on general principles of law that may or may not relate to your specific situation. Facts and laws change and these possible changes will affect the advice provided here. Consult an attorney in your locale before you act on any of this advice. You should not rely on this advice alone and nothing in these communications creates an attorney client relationship.