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SB-616 Enforcement of money judgments: exemptions.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 09/14/2019 04:00 AM
SB616:v94#DOCUMENT

Enrolled  September 13, 2019
Passed  IN  Senate  September 11, 2019
Passed  IN  Assembly  September 10, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  September 06, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  August 13, 2019
Amended  IN  Senate  May 24, 2019
Amended  IN  Senate  March 28, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 616


Introduced by Senator Wieckowski
(Principal coauthor: Senator Hertzberg)
(Principal coauthor: Assembly Member Luz Rivas)

February 22, 2019


An act to amend Sections 699.520, 699.540, and 704.070 of, to amend, repeal, and add Sections 703.520 and 703.550 of, and to add Sections 704.220, 704.225, and 704.230 to, the Code of Civil Procedure, relating to civil actions.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 616, Wieckowski. Enforcement of money judgments: exemptions.
(1) Existing law authorizes a judgment creditor to levy upon the property of a judgment debtor to satisfy a judgment, and authorizes the judgment debtor to claim that certain property is exempt from the levy by following a specified procedure. Existing law authorizes a claimant to assert an exemption by filing a claim of exemption with the levying officer within 10 days after the date the notice of levy on the property claimed to be exempt is served on the judgment debtor. Existing law authorizes a judgment creditor who opposes a claim of exemption to file a notice of opposition to the claim and a notice of motion for an order determining the claim within 10 days after service of the notice of claim of exemption.
This bill would authorize a claimant to file a claim of exemption with the levying officer either in person or by mail and would specify that the period for filing the claim is 15 days if the judgment debtor is personally served with a notice of levy on the property claimed to be exempt, and 20 days if the claimant is served with notice by mail. The bill would deem the filing by mail complete on the date the claim is postmarked if the mailing is assigned a tracking number. If the mailing is not assigned a tracking number, the bill would deem the filing by mail complete on the date the claim is received by the levying officer. The bill would extend the period of time in which a judgment creditor may give notice of opposition to a claim of exemption to 15 days after service of the notice of claim of exemption. These provisions of the bill would become operative on September 1, 2020.
(2)  Existing law authorizes a judgment creditor to levy upon the earnings of a judgment debtor through specified wage garnishment procedures, and specifies the maximum amount of a judgment debtor’s disposable earnings, as defined, that are subject to that garnishment. Existing law specifies certain property of a judgment debtor as exempt, including 75% of paid earnings of an employee that can be traced into deposit accounts or in the form of cash or its equivalent if prior to payment to the employee those earnings were not subject to an earnings withholding order or an earnings assignment order for support.
This bill would instead, in the case of paid earnings that were not subject to an earnings withholding order or an earnings assignment order for support prior to payment to the employee, specify that disposable earnings that would otherwise not be subject to levy under the wage garnishment procedures described above are exempt. The bill would exempt from levy money provided to the judgment debtor by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
With certain enumerated exceptions, the bill would exempt from a levy money in a judgment debtor’s deposit account in an amount equal to or less than the minimum basic standard of adequate care for a family of four, as specified. The bill would require a levy against a judgment debtor’s deposit account to include a description of these requirements. The bill would also exempt from a levy money in a judgment debtor’s deposit account that is not otherwise exempt under these provisions to the extent that money is necessary for the support of the judgment debtor and the spouse and dependents of the judgment debtor. This bill would require the Judicial Council to amend or adopt necessary forms. These provisions of the bill would become operative on September 1, 2020.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 699.520 of the Code of Civil Procedure is amended to read:

699.520.
 The writ of execution shall require the levying officer to whom it is directed to enforce the money judgment and shall include the following information:
(a) The date of issuance of the writ.
(b) The title of the court in which the judgment is entered and the cause and number of the action.
(c) Whether the judgment is for wages owed, child support, or spousal support. This paragraph shall become operative on September 1, 2020.
(d) The name and address of the judgment creditor and the name and last known address of the judgment debtor. If the judgment debtor is other than a natural person, the type of legal entity shall be stated.
(e) The date of the entry of the judgment and of any subsequent renewals and where entered in the records of the court.
(f) The total amount of the money judgment as entered or renewed, together with costs thereafter added to the judgment pursuant to Section 685.090 and the accrued interest on the judgment from the date of entry or renewal of the judgment to the date of issuance of the writ, reduced by any partial satisfactions and by any amounts no longer enforceable.
(g) The amount required to satisfy the money judgment on the date the writ is issued.
(h) The amount of interest accruing daily on the principal amount of the judgment from the date the writ is issued.
(i) Whether any person has requested notice of sale under the judgment and, if so, the name and mailing address of that person.
(j) The sum of the fees and costs added to the judgment pursuant to Section 6103.5 or Article 6 (commencing with Section 68630) of Chapter 2 of Title 8 of the Government Code, and which is in addition to the amount owing to the judgment creditor on the judgment.
(k) Whether the writ of execution includes any additional names of the judgment debtor pursuant to an affidavit of identity, as defined in Section 680.135.
(l) A statement indicating whether the case is limited or unlimited.

SEC. 2.

 Section 699.540 of the Code of Civil Procedure is amended to read:

699.540.
 The notice of levy required by Article 4 (commencing with Section 700.010) shall inform the person notified of all of the following:
(a) The capacity in which the person is notified.
(b) The property that is levied upon.
(c) The person’s rights under the levy, including all of the following:
(1) The right to claim an exemption pursuant to Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 703.010).
(2) The right to make a third-party claim pursuant to Division 4 (commencing with Section 720.010).
(3) The right to, and the limitations of, the automatic exemption pursuant to Section 704.220. This paragraph shall become operative on September 1, 2020.
(d) The person’s duties under the levy.
(e) All names listed in the writ of execution pursuant to an affidavit of identity, as defined in Section 680.135, if any.

SEC. 3.

 Section 703.520 of the Code of Civil Procedure is amended to read:

703.520.
 (a) The claimant may make a claim of exemption by filing with the levying officer a claim of exemption together with a copy thereof. The claim shall be made within 10 days after the date the notice of levy on the property claimed to be exempt was served on the judgment debtor.
(b) The claim of exemption shall be executed under oath and shall include all of the following:
(1) The name of the claimant and the mailing address where service of a notice of opposition to the claim may be made upon the claimant.
(2) The name and last known address of the judgment debtor if the claimant is not the judgment debtor.
(3) A description of the property claimed to be exempt. If an exemption is claimed pursuant to Section 704.010 or 704.060, the claimant shall describe all other property of the same type, including exempt proceeds of property of the same type, owned by the judgment debtor alone or in combination with others on the date of levy and identify the property, whether or not levied upon, to which the exemption is to be applied. If an exemption is claimed pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 704.100, the claimant shall state the nature and amount of all other property of the same type owned by the judgment debtor or the spouse of the judgment debtor alone or in combination with others on the date of levy.
(4) A financial statement, if required by Section 703.530.
(5) A citation of the provision of this chapter or other statute upon which the claim is based.
(6) A statement of the facts necessary to support the claim.
(c) This section shall become inoperative on September 1, 2020, and, as of January 1, 2021, is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that becomes operative on or before January 1, 2021, deletes or extends the dates on which it becomes inoperative and is repealed.

SEC. 4.

 Section 703.520 is added to the Code of Civil Procedure, to read:

703.520.
 (a) The claimant may make a claim of exemption by filing with the levying officer, either in person or by mail, a claim of exemption together with a copy of the claim. If the claimant is personally served, the claim shall be made within 15 days after the date the notice of levy on the property claimed to be exempt is served on the judgment debtor. If the claimant is served by mail, the claim shall be made within 20 days after the date the notice of levy on the property claimed to be exempt is served on the judgment debtor. If the claim is filed by mail and assigned a tracking number by the United States Postal Service or another common carrier, the filing shall be deemed complete on the date the claim is postmarked. If the claim is filed by mail and not assigned a tracking number, the filing shall be deemed complete on the date the claim is received by the levying officer.
(b) The claim of exemption shall be executed under oath and shall include all of the following:
(1) The name of the claimant and the mailing address where service of a notice of opposition to the claim may be made upon the claimant.
(2) The name and last known address of the judgment debtor if the claimant is not the judgment debtor.
(3) A description of the property claimed to be exempt. If an exemption is claimed pursuant to Section 704.010 or 704.060, the claimant shall describe all other property of the same type, including exempt proceeds of the property of the same type, owned by the judgment debtor alone or in combination with others on the date of levy and identify the property, whether or not levied upon, to which the exemption is to be applied. If an exemption is claimed pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 704.100, the claimant shall state the nature and amount of all other property of the same type owned by the judgment debtor or the spouse of the judgment debtor alone or in combination with others on the date of levy.
(4) A financial statement if required by Section 703.530.
(5) A citation of the provision of this chapter or other statute upon which the claim is based.
(6) A statement of the facts necessary to support the claim.
(c) This section shall become operative on September 1, 2020.

SEC. 5.

 Section 703.550 of the Code of Civil Procedure is amended to read:

703.550.
 (a) Within 10 days after service of the notice of claim of exemption, a judgment creditor who opposes the claim of exemption shall file with the court a notice of opposition to the claim of exemption and a notice of motion for an order determining the claim of exemption and shall file with the levying officer a copy of the notice of opposition and a copy of the notice of motion. Upon the filing of the copies of the notice of opposition and notice of motion, the levying officer shall promptly file the claim of exemption with the court. If copies of the notice of opposition and notice of motion are not filed with the levying officer within the time allowed, the levying officer shall immediately release the property to the extent it is claimed to be exempt.
(b) This section shall become inoperative on September 1, 2020, and, as of January 1, 2021, is repealed.

SEC. 6.

 Section 703.550 is added to the Code of Civil Procedure, to read:

703.550.
 (a) Within 15 days after service of the notice of claim of exemption, a judgment creditor who opposes the claim of exemption shall file with the court a notice of opposition to the claim of exemption and a notice of motion for an order determining the claim of exemption and shall file with the levying officer a copy of the notice of opposition and a copy of the notice of motion. Upon the filing of the copies of the notice of opposition and notice of motion, the levying officer shall promptly file the claim of exemption with the court. If copies of the notice of opposition and notice of motion are not filed with the levying officer within the time allowed, the levying officer shall immediately release the property to the extent it is claimed to be exempt.
(b) This section shall become operative on September 1, 2020.

SEC. 7.

 Section 704.070 of the Code of Civil Procedure is amended to read:

704.070.
 (a) As used in this section:
(1) “Earnings withholding order” means an earnings withholding order under Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 706.010) (Wage Garnishment Law).
(2) “Paid earnings” means earnings as defined in Section 706.011 that were paid to the employee during the 30-day period ending on the date of the levy. For the purposes of this paragraph, where earnings that have been paid to the employee are sought to be subjected to the enforcement of a money judgment other than by a levy, the date of levy is deemed to be the date the earnings were otherwise subjected to the enforcement of the judgment.
(3) “Earnings assignment order for support” means an earnings assignment order for support as defined in Section 706.011.
(b) Paid earnings that can be traced into deposit accounts or in the form of cash or its equivalent as provided in Section 703.080 are exempt in the following amounts:
(1) All of the paid earnings are exempt if prior to payment to the employee they were subject to an earnings withholding order or an earnings assignment order for support.
(2) Disposable earnings that would otherwise not be subject to levy under Section 706.050 that are levied upon or otherwise sought to be subjected to the enforcement of a money judgment are exempt if prior to payment to the employee they were not subject to an earnings withholding order or an earnings assignment order for support.

SEC. 8.

 Section 704.220 is added to the Code of Civil Procedure, to read:

704.220.
 (a) Money in the judgment debtor’s deposit account in an amount equal to or less than the minimum basic standard of adequate care for a family of four for Region 1, established by Section 11452 of the Welfare and Institutions Code and as annually adjusted by the State Department of Social Services pursuant to Section 11453 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, is exempt without making a claim.
(b) (1) Subdivision (a) does not preclude or reduce a judgment debtor’s right to any other exemption provided by state or federal law.
(2) If the financial institution holding the judgment debtor’s deposit account has actual knowledge that the judgment debtor is entitled to one or more exemptions that the financial institution is required to apply pursuant to federal law or state law other than that set forth in subdivision (a), the following shall apply:
(A) If the sum of the amount of money in the deposit account that would be exempt from levy under the additional exemptions is less than or equal to the amount set forth in subdivision (a), the additional exemptions described in this paragraph shall be considered encompassed within the exemption set forth in subdivision (a) and subdivision (a) shall apply.
(B) If the sum of the amount of money in the deposit account that would be exempt from levy under the additional exemptions is greater than the amount set forth in subdivision (a), subdivision (a) shall not apply and instead money in the deposit account equal to or less than the sum of the additional exemptions is exempt without making a claim.
(c) Subdivision (a) does not apply to money levied upon to satisfy any of the following:
(1) A levy to satisfy a judgment for wages owed, child support, or spousal support. For purposes of this paragraph, “wages owed” includes damages and penalties.
(2) A provision of the Public Resources Code, Revenue and Taxation Code, or Unemployment Insurance Code.
(3) A warrant or notice of levy issued by the state, or any department or agency thereof, for the collection of a liability.
(d) A levy against a judgment debtor’s deposit account shall include a written description of the requirements of this section.
(e) (1) The exemption applies per debtor, not per account.
(2) If a judgment debtor holds an interest in multiple accounts at a single financial institution, the judgment creditor or judgment debtor may file an ex parte application in the superior court in which the judgment was entered for a hearing to establish how and to which account the exemption should be applied. Subject to a service of an order issued in that hearing, if any, the financial institution may determine how and to which account the exemption should be applied. This paragraph does not create a cause of action against a judgment creditor who executes a levy or against a financial institution that complies with a levy pursuant to the court’s determination.
(3) If a judgment debtor holds an interest in multiple accounts at two or more financial institutions, the judgment creditor shall, and the judgment debtor may, file an ex parte application in the superior court in which the judgment was entered for a hearing to establish how and to which account the exemption should be applied. Subject to a service of an order issued in that hearing, if any, the financial institutions shall comply with the levy subject to the exemption. This paragraph does not create a cause of action against a judgment creditor who executes a levy or against a financial institution which complies with a levy pursuant to the court’s determination.
(f) Subdivision (e) of Section 700.140 applies to a financial institution acting under this section.
(g) The Judicial Council shall amend or adopt all forms necessary to implement this section. The forms shall clearly delineate the amount of funds exempt from levy by a financial institution, including funds exempted by this section.
(h) This section shall become operative on September 1, 2020.

SEC. 9.

 Section 704.225 is added to the Code of Civil Procedure, to read:

704.225.
 Money in a judgment debtor’s deposit account that is not otherwise exempt under this chapter is exempt to the extent necessary for the support of the judgment debtor and the spouse and dependents of the judgment debtor.

SEC. 10.

 Section 704.230 is added to the Code of Civil Procedure, to read:

704.230.
 Money provided to the judgment debtor by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is exempt without making a claim.