CHAPTER 906
POSTJUDGMENT PROCEDURES

Table of Contents

Sec. 52-362. Income withholding and unemployment compensation for support.
Sec. 52-362d. Lien against property of obligor for unpaid child support. Securing, releasing or foreclosing lien. Notice of lien and opportunity for hearing. Information re unpaid support reported to participating consumer reporting agency. Offset for child support arrearage against money payable by state to obligor. Notification by Connecticut Lottery Corporation. Hearings re alleged arrearages. Regulations.
Sec. 52-362f. Enforcement of child support orders by income withholding.
Sec. 52-362i. Court may require cash deposit of support to be held by Bureau of Child Support Enforcement or Support Enforcement Services.

      Sec. 52-362. Income withholding and unemployment compensation for support. (a) For the purposes of this section:

      (1) "Dependent" means a spouse, former spouse or child entitled to payments under a support order, provided Support Enforcement Services of the Superior Court or the state acting under an assignment of a dependent's support rights or under an application for child support enforcement services shall, through an officer of Support Enforcement Services or the Bureau of Child Support Enforcement within the Department of Social Services or an investigator of the Department of Administrative Services or the Attorney General, take any action which the dependent could take to enforce a support order;

      (2) "Disposable earnings" means that part of the earnings of an individual remaining after deduction from those earnings of amounts required to be withheld for the payment of federal, state and local income taxes, employment taxes, normal retirement contributions, union dues and initiation fees, and group life and health insurance premiums;

      (3) "Earnings" means any debt accruing to an obligor by reason of such obligor's personal services, including any compensation payable by an employer to an employee for such personal services whether denominated as wages, salary, commission, bonus or otherwise, including unemployment compensation if a purchase of service agreement between the Commissioner of Social Services and the Labor Commissioner is in effect pursuant to subsection (e) of section 17b-179;

      (4) "Employer" means any person, including the Labor Commissioner, who owes earnings to an obligor;

      (5) "Income" means any periodic form of payment due to an individual, regardless of source, including, but not limited to, disposable earnings, workers' compensation and disability benefits, payments pursuant to a pension or retirement program and interest;

      (6) "Issue" means: (A) Complete the withholding order form prescribed under subsection (q) of this section and serve such form on the employer or other payer of income, or (B) in the case of an income withholding order served electronically in accordance with subsection (h) of this section, transmit electronic data sufficient to implement the withholding to an employer that has agreed to receive electronic transmission of income withholding orders and notices;

      (7) "Obligor" means a person required to make payments under a support order;

      (8) "Support order" means a court order, or order of a family support magistrate including an agreement approved by a court or a family support magistrate, that requires the payment to a dependent of current support, cash medical support, a specific dollar amount of child care costs or arrearage payments;

      (9) "Unemployment compensation" means any compensation payable under chapter 567, including amounts payable by the administrator of the unemployment compensation law pursuant to an agreement under any federal law providing for compensation, assistance or allowances with respect to unemployment.

      (b) The Superior Court and any family support magistrate shall enter an order for withholding pursuant to this section against the income of an obligor to enforce a support order when the support order is entered or modified or when the obligor is before the court in an enforcement proceeding. The court shall order the withholding to be effective immediately or may, for cause or pursuant to an agreement by the parties, order a contingent withholding to be effective only on accrual of a delinquency in an amount greater than or equal to thirty days' obligation. Any finding that there is cause not to order withholding to be effective immediately shall be based on at least (1) a written determination that, and explanation by the court or family support magistrate of why, implementing immediate income withholding would not be in the best interests of the child, and (2) proof of timely payment of previously ordered support in cases involving the modification of such support. Before the court or family support magistrate enters an order for withholding which is effective immediately against an obligor who is before the court or a family support magistrate, it shall inform the obligor of the minimum amount of income which is exempt from withholding under state and federal law, of such obligor's right to claim any applicable state or federal exemptions with respect thereto and of such obligor's right to offer any evidence as to why a withholding order effective immediately should not enter. If the court or family support magistrate enters an order for withholding to be effective immediately against a nonappearing obligor, notice shall be served subsequently upon the obligor in accordance with section 52-57 or sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the obligor's last known address, informing such obligor: (A) That a support order has been entered to be enforced by an income withholding order, (B) that an income withholding order has been entered effective immediately as part of the support order, (C) of the minimum amount of income exempt from withholding under state and federal law and of such obligor's right at the hearing on the support order to claim any other applicable state or federal exemptions with respect thereto, (D) of such obligor's right to a hearing, upon motion to the court, to offer any evidence as to why the withholding order effective immediately should not continue in effect, (E) of the amount of income received by such obligor which formed the basis for the support order against such obligor, and (F) of such obligor's right to move to modify the support order if such obligor's income has changed substantially or if the support order substantially deviates from the child support guidelines established pursuant to section 46b-215a.

      (c) (1) If an obligor is delinquent on support payments on any prior order of support in an amount greater than or equal to thirty days' obligation, whether or not such order is subject to a contingent income withholding, such obligor shall become subject to withholding and the dependent shall cause a delinquency notice to be served on such obligor. The delinquency notice shall include a claim form and be in clear and simple language informing the obligor that (A) such obligor is delinquent under the support order in a specified amount and any additional amounts accruing until the effective date of the withholding order, (B) a withholding order has become effective against such obligor's income, (C) such obligor has fifteen days to request a hearing before the court or family support magistrate, and at such hearing such obligor may contest the claimed delinquency and the imposition of the income withholding, seek modification of the withholding order, and claim any lawful exemption with respect to such obligor's income, (D) such obligor has a right to seek modification of the support order by a proper motion filed with the court or family support magistrate, (E) eighty-five per cent of the first one hundred forty-five dollars of disposable income per week are exempt, and (F) the amount of the withholding order may not exceed the maximum percentage of disposable income which may be withheld pursuant to Section 1673 of Title 15 of the United States Code, together with a statement of such obligor's right to claim any other applicable state or federal exemptions with respect thereto. The claim form shall contain a checklist identifying the most common defenses and exemptions such that the obligor may check any which apply to the obligor and a space where the obligor may briefly explain the claim or request a modification of or raise a defense to the support order.

      (2) An obligor shall become subject to withholding to enforce a prior order of support upon the request of the dependent regardless of any delinquency, and whether or not such order is subject to a contingent income withholding. In such cases, the dependent shall cause a notice to be served on such obligor which notice shall comply in all respects with the delinquency notice required under subdivision (1) of this subsection except that such notice shall not be required to allege a delinquency.

      (d) An obligor may claim a defense based upon mistake of fact, may claim an exemption in accordance with subsection (e) of this section with respect to the withholding order, or may file by motion a modification or defense to the support order being enforced by the withholding, by delivering a signed claim form, or other written notice or motion, with the address of the obligor thereon, indicating the nature of the claim or grounds of the motion, to the clerk of the Superior Court or the assistant clerk of the Family Support Magistrate Division within fifteen days of receipt of notice. On receipt of the claim or motion, the clerk shall promptly enter the appearance of the obligor, set the matter for a short calendar hearing, send a file-stamped copy of the claim or motion to the person or agency of the state to whom the support order is payable and notify all parties of the hearing date set. The court or family support magistrate shall promptly hear and determine the claim or motion and notify the obligor within forty-five days from the date of the notice required under subsection (c) of this section of its determination. Unless the obligor successfully shows cause why the withholding order should not continue in effect, the court or family support magistrate shall order that the outstanding withholding order continue in effect against the nonexempt income of the obligor to the extent provided under subsection (e) of this section. The order shall be a final judgment for purposes of appeal. The effect of the withholding order shall not be stayed on appeal except by order of the court or a family support magistrate.

      (e) A withholding order shall issue in the amount necessary to enforce a support order against only such nonexempt income of the obligor as exceeds the greater of (1) eighty-five per cent of the first one hundred forty-five dollars per week of disposable income, or (2) the amount exempt under Section 1673 of Title 15 of the United States Code, or against any lesser amount which the court or family support magistrate deems equitable. Subject to subsection (d) of section 46b-88, the withholding order shall secure payment of past and future amounts due under the support order and an additional amount computed in accordance with the child support guidelines established in accordance with section 46b-215a, to be applied toward liquidation of any arrearage accrued under such order, unless contested by the obligor after a notice has been served pursuant to subsection (c) of this section, in which case the court or family support magistrate may determine the amount to be applied toward the liquidation of the arrearage found to have accrued under prior order of the court or family support magistrate. In no event shall such additional amount be applied if there is an existing arrearage order from the court or family support magistrate in a IV-D support case, as defined in subdivision (13) of subsection (b) of section 46b-231. Any investigator or other authorized employee of the Bureau of Child Support Enforcement within the Department of Social Services, or any officer of Support Enforcement Services of the Superior Court, may issue a withholding order entered by the Superior Court or a family support magistrate pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, and shall issue a withholding order pursuant to this subsection when the obligor becomes subject to withholding under subsection (c) of this section. On service of the order of withholding on an existing or any future employer or other payer of income, and until the support order is fully satisfied or modified, the order of withholding is a continuing lien and levy on the obligor's income as it becomes due.

      (f) Commencing no later than the first pay period in the case of an employer, or the date of periodic payment in the case of a payer of income other than an employer, that occurs after fourteen days following the date of service of an order for withholding and within seven business days of the date the obligor is paid thereafter, an employer or other payer of income shall pay sums withheld pursuant to the withholding order to the state disbursement unit, as required by subsection (p) of this section. The employer or other payer of income (1) shall specify the dates on which each withholding occurred and the amount withheld for each obligor on each such date, and (2) may combine all withheld amounts into a single payment to the state disbursement unit with the portion thereof which is attributable to each individual obligor being separately designated. If an employer or other payer of income fails to withhold from income due an obligor pursuant to an order for withholding or fails to make those payments, such employer or other payer of income is liable to such person for the full amount of income not withheld since receipt of proper notice in an action therefor, and the amount secured in the action shall be applied by such person toward the arrearage owed by the obligor. Such employer or other payer of income shall be subject to a finding of contempt by the court or family support magistrate for failure to honor such order for withholding, provided service of the order is made in accordance with section 52-57 or by certified mail, return receipt requested.

      (g) All orders for withholding issued pursuant to this section shall take precedence over any execution issued pursuant to section 52-361 of the general statutes revised to 1983, or section 52-361a. Two or more orders for withholding may be levied concurrently under this section, but if the total levy in any week exceeds the maximum permitted under this section, all sums due shall be allocated by the state disbursement unit in proportion to the amount of such orders, giving priority in such allocation to current support.

      (h) Service of any process under this section, including any notice, may be made in accordance with section 52-57, or by certified mail, return receipt requested. If service is made on behalf of the state, it may be made by an authorized employee of Support Enforcement Services, by an investigator or other officer of the Bureau of Child Support Enforcement within the Department of Social Services, by an investigator of the Department of Administrative Services or by the Attorney General. Service of income withholding orders by Support Enforcement Services or by an investigator or other officer of said bureau upon an employer under this section may be made in accordance with section 52-57, by certified mail, return receipt requested, by first class mail or electronically, provided the employer agrees to accept service made electronically.

      (i) An applicant for employment or an employee subject to an order for withholding issued pursuant to this section shall have the same protection from discipline, suspension or discharge by an employer as provided in section 52-361a.

      (j) There shall be a fine of not more than one thousand dollars imposed on any employer who discharges from employment, refuses to employ, takes disciplinary action against or discriminates against an employee subject to an order for withholding issued pursuant to this section because of the existence of such order for withholding and the obligations or additional obligations which it imposes upon the employer.

      (k) The employer shall notify promptly the dependent or Support Enforcement Services as directed when the obligor terminates employment, makes a claim for workers' compensation benefits or makes a claim for unemployment compensation benefits and shall provide the obligor's last-known address and the name and address of the obligor's new employer, if known.

      (l) When an obligor who is subject to withholding under this section is identified as a newly hired employee pursuant to subsection (d) of section 31-2c, the state agency enforcing the obligor's child support order shall, within two business days after the date information regarding such employee is entered into the state directory of new hires, issue a withholding order to the employer of the employee in accordance with subsection (e) of this section.

      (m) The provisions of this section shall be in addition to and not in lieu of any other remedy available at law to enforce or punish for failure to obey a support order.

      (n) When a support order is issued in another state and the obligor has income subject to withholding derived in this state, such income shall be subject to withholding in accordance with the provisions of this section, upon the registration of the support order in accordance with sections 46b-213g to 46b-213j, inclusive. Notice of rights to the obligor and the obligor's right to contest such order are governed by sections 46b-213k to 46b-213n, inclusive.

      (o) An employer who withholds the income of an obligor pursuant to a withholding order issued under subsection (e) or (l) of this section that is regular on its face shall not be subject to civil liability to any individual or agency for conduct in compliance with such order.

      (p) All withholding orders issued under this section shall be payable to the state disbursement unit established and maintained by the Commissioner of Social Services in accordance with subsection (j) of section 17b-179. The state disbursement unit shall insure distribution of all money collected under this section to the dependent, the state and the support enforcement agencies of other states, as their interests may appear, within two business days. Each dependent who is not receiving child support enforcement services, as defined in subsection (b) of section 46b-231, shall be notified upon the issuance of a withholding order pursuant to this section, that such services are offered free of charge by the State of Connecticut upon application to the Bureau of Child Support Enforcement within the Department of Social Services.

      (q) The judges of the Superior Court may adopt any rules they deem necessary to implement the provisions of this section and sections 46b-69a, 46b-178 and 52-361a and such judges, or their designee, shall prescribe any forms required to implement such provisions.

      (1955, S. 3204d; 1959, P.A. 655; 1963, P.A. 33; 1969, P.A. 447, S. 3; P.A. 73-373, S. 38; P.A. 76-66; 76-436, S. 142, 681; P.A. 77-389; 77-594, S. 6, 7; 77-614, S. 70, 610; P.A. 78-217, S. 1; P.A. 80-149, S. 2, 3; P.A. 81-266, S. 1, 2; P.A. 82-433, S. 2; P.A. 83-295, S. 17; 83-400, S. 1; 83-581, S. 34, 40; P.A. 84-455, S. 4, 5; 84-527, S. 17, 18; 84-546, S. 115, 116, 173; P.A. 85-548, S. 1; P.A. 86-359, S. 36, 44; P.A. 87-483, S. 1, 3; P.A. 89-302, S. 1, 7; P.A. 90-213, S. 38, 56; P.A. 91-391, S. 10; P.A. 92-253, S. 4; P.A. 93-262, S. 1, 87; P.A. 96-268, S. 9, 34; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-1, S. 71, 75; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-7, S. 28, 38; P.A. 99-193, S. 6; P.A. 00-68, S. 4, 5; 00-196, S. 35; P.A. 01-91, S. 19-22; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-2, S. 27, 28, 69; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-9, S. 129, 131; P.A. 03-89, S. 6, 7; P.A. 07-247, S. 62, 63; P.A. 11-214, S. 31; 11-219, S. 9, 10; 11-233, S. 13, 14.)

      History: 1959 act provided order directing execution may be against such lesser amount as court deems equitable, stipulated it be for payment of amounts due and which thereafter become due and extended application to order for support of wife; 1963 act added provision re executions issued in favor of welfare commissioner; references to commissioner of finance and control were added in 1967 in provision re executions in favor of welfare commissioner in conformity with provisions of 1967, P.A. 314, S. 1 which made finance and control department responsible for billing and collection of money due the state in child welfare cases, etc.; 1969 act removed welfare commissioner from purview of section and added provision allowing concurrent levy of two or more executions; P.A. 73-373 applied provisions to orders calling for support of husbands and substituted dissolution of marriage for divorce; P.A. 76-66 authorized execution against amounts exceeding $50 per week rather than $25 per week; P.A. 76-436 removed references to orders of courts other than superior court, reflecting transfer of all trial jurisdiction to superior court, effective July 1, 1978; P.A. 77-389 applied provisions to support orders generally where previously applicable to orders for "weekly" support; P.A. 77-594 allowed service of execution in favor of finance and control commissioner "by certified mail, return receipt requested", sent by the family relations officers of the issuing court; P.A. 77-614 replaced commissioner of finance and control with commissioner of administrative services; P.A. 78-217 based execution on amounts exceeding first $70 of disposable earnings per week rather than $50 and defined disposable earnings for purposes of section; P.A. 80-149 required that debtor's payments to administrative services commissioner be made monthly rather than at three-month intervals; P.A. 81-266 added provisions authorizing court to order execution at time obligation is established and allowing automatic execution if obligor defaults and fails to move court or show cause why the execution order should not go into effect; P.A. 82-433 designated previous provisions as Subsecs. (a) and (c) and added provisions for the execution against unemployment compensation in new Subsec. (b); P.A. 83-295 amended Subsec. (c) by replacing "the family relations officer" with "the family relations caseworker, the family relations counselor or a support enforcement officer" but failed to take effect, that subsection having been deleted by P.A. 83-400; P.A. 83-400 replaced previous section with revised provisions re definitions and procedures concerning wage executions and permitting such executions to be effective immediately; P.A. 83-581 amended Subsec. (c) to replace a reference to "section 52-361" with "section 52-361a" but failed to take effect as did P.A. 83-295; P.A. 84-455 amended Subsec. (a)(1) to allow enforcement of support orders by investigators of the bureau of collection services and amended Subsec. (j) to permit service of process by bureau of collection services investigators; P.A. 84-527 amended Subsec. (d) to provide that the claim form inform the obligor that $100 rather than $70 of disposable earnings per week are exempt, and amended Subsec. (g) to increase from $70 to $100 the amount of weekly disposable earnings exempt from execution or assignment; P.A. 84-546 made technical changes in Subsecs. (a), (i), (k) and (m); P.A. 85-548 revised section, substituting "an application for child support enforcement services" for "assignment of earnings" and "garnishment" for "execution", deleting former Subsec. (c) re dependent receiving assistance from state, and relettering remaining Subsecs. accordingly, amending Subsec. (d) by changing the time limit for payment of past due amounts by obligor from 20 to 15 days, amending Subsec. (e) providing procedure re defense based on mistake of fact to garnishment and motion for modification or defense to support order, amending Subsec. (g) re withholding of sums pursuant to garnishment by employer, adding Subsec. (k) re fine for employer who discriminates against employee subject to garnishment, adding Subsec. (l) re notification of termination of employment of obligor and adding Subsec. (n) re support order issued in another state; P.A. 86-359 added references to family support magistrate and assistant clerk of the family support division throughout section, amended Subsec. (b) re authority to order garnishment on prior support order provided delinquency notice is served on obligor, amended Subsec. (g) by changing "monthly" to "within ten days of the date the obligor is paid", amended Subsec. (h) re allocation of sums due by employer, giving priority to current support, and inserted new Subsec. (o) requiring IV-D agency to insure prompt distribution of money collected pursuant to section, relettering former Subsec. (o) as (p); P.A. 87-483 amended Subsec. (c) by deleting provision requiring that all past due amounts be paid within 15 days to stay garnishment; P.A. 89-302 amended Subsecs. (b), (e), (h), (j), (k) and (n) by changing "garnishment" to "order for withholding" or "withholding" or "withholding order", added "for cause or pursuant to an agreement by the parties" and deleted provision re delinquency notice by dependent upon obligor; amended Subsec. (c) by adding "on any prior order of support" after "payments", changed "garnishment" to "withholding" or "withholding order"; amended Subsec. (d) by deleting "to pay all amounts past due, or" after "fails" and changing "garnishment" to "withholding order"; amended Subsec. (f) by changing "garnishment" to "withholding order" and added provision re additional amount equal to 20% of current order or $10 weekly, whichever is greater, to be applied toward arrearage; and amended Subsec. (g) by changing "garnishment" to "order for withholding" or "withholding order", added provision requiring employer to specify dates on which each withholding occurred and amount withheld and after "court", added "or family support magistrate"; P.A. 90-213 changed references to the family division to the support enforcement division in Subdiv. Subsecs. (a)(1), (i) and (l) and deleted reference to support enforcement services of the family division in Subsec. (g); P.A. 91-391 added Subsec. (b)(2)(E) and (F) requiring notice of amount of income which formed basis for support order and of right to modify order if income changed substantially or if order substantially deviates from child support guidelines, amended Subsecs. (c) and (e) increasing exemption from $100 to $135 of disposable earnings per week and amended Subsec. (l) by requiring employer to notify if obligor makes claim for worker's compensation or unemployment compensation benefits; P.A. 92-253 amended Subsec. (a)(3) by adding phrase "including payments from retirement plans"; P.A. 93-262 authorized substitution of commissioner and department of social services for commissioner and department of human resources, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 96-268 redefined "disposable earnings" by subtracting the amounts withheld for state and local income taxes from "disposable earnings", amended Subsecs. (c)(5) and (f)(1) by increasing $135 to $145, and amended Subsec. (g) by changing references to "bureau of collective services" to "state acting by and through the IV-D agency", effective July 1, 1996; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-1 made technical changes in Subsec. (n) and added reference to Secs. 46b-213g to 46b-213j, inclusive, and notice of rights of obligor governed by Secs. 46b-213k to 46b-213m, inclusive, effective January 1, 1998; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-7 amended Subsec. (a) by redefining "dependent" and "earnings" and adding definition of "income" in new Subdiv. (5), renumbering former Subdivs. (5) to (7), inclusive, as Subdivs. (6) to (8), inclusive, amended Subsec. (b) by deleting provision re filing of affidavit or court order for effective contingent withholding order and substituting provision that such order is effective on accrual of delinquency in amount greater than or equal to 30 days obligation and provision re finding not to order immediate withholding, added Subsec. (c)(2) re withholding to enforce prior order, whether or not such order is subject to contingent income withholding, deleted former Subsec. (d) and redesignated existing Subsecs. (e) to (l), inclusive, as Subsecs. (d) to (k), inclusive, amended Subsec. (e) by deleting provision re additional amount equal to 20% of order or $10 whichever is greater, by adding provisions re additional amount computed in accordance with child support guidelines, re application of such additional amount if there is an existing arrearage order from court or magistrate in IV-D case and re issuance of withholding order by Child Support Enforcement Bureau or Support Enforcement Division of the Superior Court, amended Subsec. (f) by making distinction between employer and payer of income other than employer and by changing "ten days" to "seven business days", amended Subsec. (g) by changing sums due allocated by employer to sums due allocated by IV-D agency in proportion to amount of orders, added Subsec. (l) requiring issuance of withholding order within two business days after information re employee who is new hire is entered into state directory of new hires, added Subsec. (o) re immunity from civil liability of employer who withholds income pursuant to withholding order that is regular on its face, redesignated former Subsecs. (o) and (p) as (p) and (q), respectively, amended Subsec. (p) by specifying that distribution be within two business days, replacing provision requiring "prompt distribution", and made technical changes throughout the section, effective July 1, 1997; P.A. 99-193 amended Subsecs. (c)(1)(E) and (e)(1) by adding 85% provision, amended Subsec. (f) by adding provisions re the state disbursement unit and a dependent in a IV-D support case, amended Subsec. (g) by changing "IV-D agency" to "state disbursement unit", amended Subsec. (p) by adding provisions re withholding orders payable to the state disbursement unit and distributions to the dependent, the state and the support agencies of other states, and made technical changes; P.A. 00-68 amended Subsecs. (a)(1) and (h) to substitute "Department of Administrative Services" for "Bureau of Collection Services"; P.A. 00-196 made a technical change in Subsec. (d); P.A. 01-91 amended Subsecs. (a)(1), (e), (h) and (k) by changing "the Support Enforcement Division" to "Support Enforcement Services" and further amended Subsec. (h) by adding provision re service of income withholding orders upon employer in accordance with Sec. 52-57, by certified mail or first class mail; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-2 amended Subsecs. (e) and (h) by duplicating change made by P.A. 01-91, and adding reference to service by an investigator or other officer of bureau in Subsec. (h), and amended Subsec. (f) to broaden applicability of withholding requirements and to condition contempt finding upon service of order in accordance with Sec. 52-57 or by certified mail, return receipt requested, effective July 1, 2001; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-9 revised effective date of June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-2 but without affecting this section; P.A. 03-89 amended Subsec. (d) by deleting provision re stay of wage withholding order pending decision by court or family support magistrate on obligor's motion to modify or claimed defense against such withholding order, amended Subsec. (e) by adding provision re authority of Bureau of Child Support Enforcement or Support Enforcement Services to issue wage withholding orders entered by Superior Court or family support magistrate pursuant to Subsec. (b), and amended Subsec. (p) by adding provision re notice to dependents not receiving child support enforcement services that such services are offered free of charge upon application to the Bureau of Child Support Enforcement; P.A. 07-247 amended Subsec. (a)(7) by redefining "support order" to include cash medical support and specific dollar amount of child care costs and making technical changes, and amended Subsec. (e) by providing that amounts payable pursuant to a withholding order are subject Sec. 46b-88(d); P.A. 11-214 amended Subsec. (n) to substitute reference to Sec. 46b-213n for reference to Sec. 46b-213m; P.A. 11-219 amended Subsec. (a) to add new Subdiv. (6) defining "issue", redesignate existing Subdivs. (6) to (8) as Subdivs. (7) to (9) and make a technical change, amended Subsec. (b) to substitute "enter" for "issue" re order, and amended Subsec. (h) to permit service of income withholding orders to be made electronically, provided employer agrees to accept service made electronically; P.A. 11-233 made identical changes as P.A. 11-219.

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      Sec. 52-362d. Lien against property of obligor for unpaid child support. Securing, releasing or foreclosing lien. Notice of lien and opportunity for hearing. Information re unpaid support reported to participating consumer reporting agency. Offset for child support arrearage against money payable by state to obligor. Notification by Connecticut Lottery Corporation. Hearings re alleged arrearages. Regulations. (a) Whenever an order of the Superior Court or a family support magistrate for support of a minor child or children is issued and such payments have been ordered to be made to the state acting by and through the IV-D agency and the person against whom such support order was issued owes past-due support in the amount of five hundred dollars or more, the state shall have a lien on any property, real or personal, in which such person has an interest to enforce payment of such past-due support. The lien for past-due child support shall be secured by the IV-D agency pursuant to procedures contained in the general statutes applicable to the type of property to be secured. After securing the lien, the IV-D agency shall provide such person with notice of the lien and an opportunity for a hearing before a hearing officer of the Department of Social Services pursuant to section 17b-60 to contest the lien. The IV-D agency shall file a release of such lien if a hearing officer determines that the conditions for the existence of a lien are not satisfied. Any such lien on real property may, at any time during which the obligor owes the amount of past-due child support secured by such lien, be foreclosed in an action brought in a court of competent jurisdiction by the Commissioner of Social Services in a title IV-D case or by the person to whom the child support is due. A lien for past-due support arising in any other state shall be given full faith and credit by this state provided such other state has complied with its procedural rules relating to recording or serving of liens.

      (b) On October 1, 1991, and monthly thereafter, the Department of Social Services shall compile a list of all obligors who owe overdue support in the amount of one thousand dollars or more accruing after the entry of an initial court order establishing a child support obligation. Any overdue support in an amount of one thousand dollars or more shall be subject to the reporting provisions of this section. The state shall report to any participating consumer reporting agency, as defined in 15 USC 1681a(f), information regarding the amount of such overdue support owed by an obligor if the amount of such overdue support is one thousand dollars or more, on a computer tape in a format acceptable to the consumer reporting agency. Such information shall be reported by the department only after notice has been sent by the department to such obligor of the proposed action, and such obligor is given an opportunity for a hearing before a hearing officer of the department to contest the amount of the alleged arrearage. Any such notice sent to such obligor shall contain a telephone number and address of the Department of Social Services and shall contain the following language in bold type: "If you are no longer in arrears or have received this notice in error, please contact the department at the following address or telephone number." On a monthly basis, the Department of Social Services shall provide to each consumer reporting agency informed of the original arrearage of an obligor updated information concerning any such obligor and the status of payments, including a list of obligors who no longer owe overdue support, in such acceptable computer format. The department shall designate one or more persons in the department to receive telephone or other requests from an obligor or a consumer reporting agency regarding verification of information supplied to a consumer reporting agency. The department shall respond to any such request within five working days of its receipt. Upon satisfactory verification that an obligor is no longer in arrears, the department shall send a statement to such obligor, and such statement shall constitute proof to a creditor that such obligor is no longer in arrears as of the date of the statement. A participating consumer reporting agency which receives such updated information from the department that an obligor no longer owes any overdue support shall record such information within thirty days of receipt of such notification unless the information was in a format which was unusable by the agency or contained an error which prevented the agency from matching the updated information to previously supplied data. Any consumer reporting agency which negligently or wilfully fails to use reasonable efforts to comply with any requirement imposed under this subsection with respect to an obligor shall be liable to such obligor in an amount equal to the sum of (1) any actual damages sustained by the obligor as a result of such failure, and (2) a reasonable attorney's fee as determined by the court.

      (c) When any person redeems a winning lottery ticket worth five thousand dollars or more at the central office of the Connecticut Lottery Corporation, the Connecticut Lottery Corporation shall check the name and other identifying information of such person against a list of obligors supplied by the Commissioner of Social Services. If such person is included on the list of obligors, the Connecticut Lottery Corporation shall request confirmation from the Commissioner of Social Services that such person is in fact an obligor, and upon notification by the Commissioner of Social Services that money is due from any such person as a result of a claim for support which has been assigned to the state pursuant to section 17b-77, or is to be paid to the state acting by and through the IV-D agency, the Connecticut Lottery Corporation shall withhold from any lottery winnings payable to such person under the provisions of chapter 226 or chapter 229a the amount of such claim for support owed to an individual for any portion of support which has not been assigned to the state and then the amount of such claim for support owed to the state, provided the Connecticut Lottery Corporation shall notify such person that (1) lottery winnings have been withheld as a result of the amount due for such support, and (2) such person has the right to a hearing before a hearing officer designated by the Commissioner of Social Services if such person contests the amount of the alleged claim for support. The Connecticut Lottery Corporation shall pay any such person in accordance with any decisions of the hearing officer or the court upon appeal of the hearing officer's decision.

      (d) Whenever an order of the Superior Court or a family support magistrate of this state, or an order of another state that has been registered in this state, for support of a minor child or children is issued and such payments have been ordered through the IV-D agency, and the obligor against whom such support order was issued owes overdue support under such order in the amount of five hundred dollars or more, the IV-D agency, as defined in subdivision (12) of subsection (b) of section 46b-231, or Support Enforcement Services of the Superior Court may notify (1) any state or local agency or officer with authority (A) to hold assets or property for such obligor including, but not limited to, any property unclaimed or presumed abandoned under part III of chapter 32, or (B) to distribute benefits to such obligor including, but not limited to, unemployment compensation and workers' compensation, (2) any person having or expecting to have custody or control of or authority to distribute any amounts due such obligor under any judgment or settlement, (3) any financial institution holding assets of such obligor, and (4) any public or private entity administering a public or private retirement fund in which such obligor has an interest that such obligor owes overdue support in a IV-D support case. Upon receipt of such notice, such agency, officer, person, institution or entity shall withhold delivery or distribution of any such property, benefits, amounts, assets or funds until receipt of further notice from the IV-D agency.

      (e) In IV-D cases in which a notice is sent pursuant to subsection (d) of this section, the IV-D agency shall notify the obligor that such property, benefits, amounts, assets or funds have been withheld as a result of overdue support in a IV-D support case in accordance with an order of the Superior Court or family support magistrate of this state, or an order of another state that has been registered in this state. The IV-D agency shall further notify the agency, officer, person, institution or entity to whom notice was sent pursuant to subsection (d) of this section as follows: (1) Upon expiration of the time for requesting a hearing specified in section 17b-60, to make payment to the state from any such property, benefits, amounts, assets or funds withheld in accordance with subsection (d) of this section provided, in the case of retirement funds, such payment shall only be made in accordance with a withholding order issued under section 52-362 when the obligor is entitled to receive retirement benefits from such fund; (2) upon payment of such overdue support by such obligor, to release or distribute, as appropriate, such property, benefits, amounts, assets or funds to such obligor; or (3) upon issuance of a decision by the hearing officer or the court upon appeal of such officer's decision, to take such other action as may be ordered by such officer or such court, and such agency, officer, person, institution or entity shall forthwith comply with such notice received from the IV-D agency.

      (f) Support collected pursuant to this section shall be distributed as required by Title IV-D of the Social Security Act.

      (g) The Commissioner of Social Services shall adopt regulations, in accordance with chapter 54, setting forth procedures providing for adequate notice of (1) the right to a hearing before a hearing officer, and (2) procedures for a fair hearing for any person alleged by the commissioner to owe past-due or overdue child support to the state, or to an individual when the payments have been ordered payable to the state acting by and through the IV-D agency, if the commissioner has filed a lien on the property of such person or claimed an offset against money payable by the state to enforce a claim for payment of such past-due or overdue support, or intends to seize any benefits, amounts, assets or funds withheld in accordance with subsection (d) of this section or report such overdue support to a consumer credit agency.

      (P.A. 85-548, S. 7; P.A. 86-359, S. 38, 44; P.A. 88-257, S. 1, 2; P.A. 90-206; 90-213, S. 40, 56; P.A. 91-139; P.A. 93-262, S. 1, 87; 93-329, S. 1; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-7, S. 29, 38; P.A. 01-91, S. 23; 01-207, S. 9, 10, 12; P.A. 03-109, S. 1; P.A. 04-16, S. 16; P.A. 06-149, S. 25; P.A. 11-219, S. 17.)

      History: P.A. 86-359 amended Subsec. (a) to add reference to family support magistrates' orders and to refer to the child support enforcement "bureau" rather than "unit"; P.A. 88-257 inserted new Subsec. (c) re withholding of order upon treasurer for payment due from winnings pursuant to chapter 226 as result of amount due for child support and amended relettered Subsec. (d) to include regulations re notice in cases where commissioner intends to claim offset against money payable by state; P.A. 90-206 amended Subsec. (b) by requiring that on and after November 1, 1990, and annually thereafter, department of human resources compile a list of obligors who owe overdue support of $1,000 or more and report such list to participating consumer reporting agencies, that notice to obligor contain telephone number and address of department and notice to contact department if error, that department provide monthly updated information re arrearages and that consumer reporting agencies notified that obligor no longer owes overdue support record information within 15 days of notification or be liable for damages incurred by obligor for failure to record such information; P.A. 90-213 changed office to which payments are to be made from the family relations office to the commissioner of administrative services or through the support enforcement division; P.A. 91-139 amended Subsec. (b) to provide that on October 1, 1991, and monthly thereafter the department is required to report on computer tape in format acceptable to the consumer reporting agency, to add "from an obligor or a consumer reporting agency" after "requests", to increase the time within which a consumer reporting agency is required to record updated information from 15 to 30 days after receipt, to add exception to such recording requirement providing "unless the information was in a format which was unusable by the agency or contained an error which prevented the agency from matching the updated information to previously supplied data", and to change liability of consumer reporting agency from being liable to obligor for damages incurred for failure by such agency to record that obligor no longer owes overdue support, to liability to the obligor in an amount equal to sum of actual damages and reasonable attorney's fee if agency negligently or wilfully fails to use reasonable efforts to comply with requirements of section; P.A. 93-262 authorized substitution of commissioner and department of social services for commissioner and department of human resources, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 93-329 amended Subsec. (b) by adding "initial" before "court order", adding "establishing a child support obligation" after "court order" and adding provision that overdue support in amount of $1,000 or more shall be reported unless court or magistrate makes specific finding that amount of overdue support shall not be reported; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-7 amended Subsec. (a) re lien for past-due child support by deleting references to Commissioner of Administrative Services, Support Enforcement Division of the Superior Court and Child Support Enforcement Bureau of the Department of Social Services and adding references to the state, acting by and through the IV-D agency and by adding provisions re lien secured by IV-D agency pursuant to procedures in general statutes, reapplications of lien proceeds and re full faith and credit, amended Subsec. (c) by making a conforming change, added new Subsecs. (d), (e) and (f) re withholding and seizure of unemployment and workers' compensation benefits, amounts due under judgment or settlement, retirement funds or assets held by financial institution of any obligor who owes overdue support of $500 or more, notice re withholding and application of overdue support collected and redesignated former Subsec. (d) as Subsec. (g), amended Subsec. (g) to provide for fair hearing re overdue support if IV-D agency has filed lien for past due support or intends to seize, withhold assets or benefits and made technical changes, effective July 1, 1997; P.A. 01-91, effective October 1, 2001, and P.A. 01-207, effective July 1, 2001, both amended Subsec. (d) by changing "the Support Enforcement Division" to "Support Enforcement Services"; P.A. 01-207 also amended Subsec. (a) to require proceeds of the lien to be applied to the family's current and past-due support first when past-due support is owing both to a family and to the state and to make a technical change, amended Subsec. (c) to make extensive changes, substituting "Connecticut Lottery Corporation" for "Comptroller", requiring such corporation to withhold from any lottery winnings payable under the provisions of chapter 226 or 229a the amount of such claim for support provided such corporation notifies such person that lottery winnings have been withheld as a result of amount due for support, eliminating references to the Treasurer and making technical changes for purposes of gender neutrality, and amended Subsec. (e)(1) to add "and any current support obligation", effective July 1, 2001; P.A. 03-109 amended Subsec. (a) by deleting requirement that lien proceeds be applied to family's current and past-due support first when past-due support is owing to both a family and the state, amended Subsec. (b) by deleting provision that allowed a court or family support magistrate to make a finding that overdue support in excess of $1,000 shall not be reported and by making a technical change, amended Subsec. (c) to require Connecticut Lottery Corporation to check the name and other identifying information of any person redeeming a winning lottery ticket worth $5,000 or more against list of obligors supplied by Commissioner of Social Services and, upon confirming that such person is an obligor, withhold lottery winnings for support owed, amended Subsecs. (d) and (e) by adding "of this state, or an order of another state that has been registered in this state" and, in Subsec. (e)(1), deleting "to satisfy such overdue support and any current support obligation", amended Subsec. (f) by replacing former provisions with provisions requiring collected support to be "distributed as required by Title IV-D of the Social Security Act", and amended Subsec. (g) by making a technical change; P.A. 04-16 made technical changes in Subsec. (c); P.A. 06-149 amended Subsec. (a) to substitute requirement that agency provide notice and opportunity for hearing after securing lien, and that lien be released if hearing officer determines conditions for existence of lien are not satisfied, for prior requirement that agency first provide notice and hearing prior to having lien, effective June 6, 2006; P.A. 11-219 amended Subsec. (d)(1) to designate existing provisions re benefits' distribution as Subpara. (B) and add Subpara. (A) re authority to hold assets or property for obligor, including property unclaimed or presumed abandoned under part III of Ch. 32, and amended Subsecs. (d) and (e) to add references to "property" and "officer".

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      Sec. 52-362f. Enforcement of child support orders by income withholding. (a) As used in this section, unless the context requires otherwise:

      (1) "Agency" means the Bureau of Child Support Enforcement within the Department of Social Services of this state and, when the context requires, means either the court or agency of any other jurisdiction with functions similar to those defined in this section, including the issuance and enforcement of support orders.

      (2) "Child" means any child, whether above or below the age of majority, with respect to whom a support order exists.

      (3) "Court" means the Superior Court of this state, including the Family Support Magistrate Division, or the court or agency of any other jurisdiction with functions similar to those defined in this section, including the issuance and enforcement of support orders.

      (4) "Income" means earnings as defined in subdivision (3) of subsection (a) of section 52-362.

      (5) "Income derived in this jurisdiction" means any earnings, the payer of which is subject to the jurisdiction of this state for the purpose of imposing and enforcing an order for withholding under section 52-362.

      (6) "Jurisdiction" means any state or political subdivision, territory or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

      (7) "Obligee" means any person or entity which is entitled to receive support under an order of support and shall include an agency of another jurisdiction to which a person has assigned his or her right to support.

      (8) "Obligor" means any person required to make payments under the terms of a support order for a child, spouse, or former spouse.

      (9) "Payer" means any payer of income.

      (10) "Support order" means any order, decree, or judgment for the support, or for the payment of arrearages on such support, of a child, spouse, or former spouse issued by a court or agency of another jurisdiction, whether interlocutory or final, whether or not prospectively or retroactively modifiable, whether incidental to a proceeding for divorce, judicial or legal separation, separate maintenance, paternity, guardianship, civil protection, or otherwise.

      (b) The remedies herein provided are in addition to and not in substitution for any other remedies.

      (c) When a support order has been issued in this state and the obligor has earnings subject to income withholding in another jurisdiction, (1) the agency shall on application of a resident of this state, (2) Support Enforcement Services shall on behalf of any client for whom Support Enforcement Services is providing services, (3) an obligee or obligor of a support order issued by this state may, or (4) an agency to whom the obligee has assigned support rights may, promptly request the agency of another jurisdiction in which the obligor of a support order derives income to enter the order for the purpose of obtaining income withholding against such income. The agency or Support Enforcement Services, as the case may be, shall compile and transmit promptly to the agency of the other jurisdiction all documentation required to enter a support order for this purpose. The agency or Support Enforcement Services also shall transmit immediately to the agency of the other jurisdiction a certified copy of any subsequent modifications of the support order. If the agency or Support Enforcement Services receives notice that the obligor is contesting income withholding in another jurisdiction, it shall immediately notify the individual obligee of the date, time and place of the hearings and of the obligee's right to attend.

      (d) When a support order is issued in another jurisdiction and the obligor has income subject to withholding in accordance with the provisions of section 52-362, Support Enforcement Services shall, upon receiving a support order of another jurisdiction with the documentation specified in this subsection from an agency of another jurisdiction, or from an obligee, an obligor or an attorney for either the obligee or obligor, file such support order and documents in the registry maintained by Support Enforcement Services. Documentation required for the entry of a support order for another jurisdiction for the purpose of withholding of income shall comply with the requirements of section 46b-213h. If the documentation received by Support Enforcement Services does not conform to those requirements, Support Enforcement Services shall remedy any defect which it can without the assistance of the obligee or requesting agency or person. If Support Enforcement Services is unable to make such corrections, the requesting agency or person shall immediately be notified of the necessary additions or corrections. Support Enforcement Services shall accept the documentation required by this subsection as long as the substantive requirements of this subsection are met.

      (e) A support order registered under subsection (d) of this section shall be enforceable by withholding in the manner and with the effect as set forth for registered support orders of another jurisdiction pursuant to section 52-362. A support order from another jurisdiction filed under this section shall not be subject to modification by a court or other agency of this state except as provided in sections 46b-213o to 46b-213r, inclusive. Entry of the order shall not confer jurisdiction on any court of this state for any purpose other than withholding of income.

      (f) Upon registration of a support order from another jurisdiction pursuant to subsection (d) of this section, Family Support Magistrate Division or Support Enforcement Services of the Superior Court acting on its behalf shall proceed as provided in section 46b-213k.

      (g) An income withholding order under this section shall direct payment to the Bureau of Child Support Enforcement or its designated collection agent. The bureau or its designated agent shall promptly distribute payments received pursuant to an income withholding order or garnishment based on a support order of another jurisdiction entered under this section to the agency or person designated pursuant to subdivision (5) of subsection (a) of section 46b-213h. A support order entered pursuant to subsection (d) of this section does not nullify and is not nullified by a support order made by a court of this state pursuant to any other section of the general statutes or a support order made by a court of any other state. Amounts collected by any withholding of income shall be credited against the amounts accruing or accrued for any period under any support orders issued either by this state or by another jurisdiction.

      (h) The agency or Support Enforcement Services, upon receiving a certified copy of any amendment or modification to a support order entered pursuant to subsection (d) of this section, shall file such certified copy with the clerk of Support Enforcement Services, and Support Enforcement Services shall amend or modify the order for withholding to conform to the modified support order.

      (i) If the agency or Support Enforcement Services determines that the obligor has obtained employment in another state or has a new or additional source of income in another state, it shall notify the agency which requested the income withholding of the changes within ten days of receiving that information and shall forward to such agency all information it has or can obtain with respect to the obligor's new address and the name and address of the obligor's new employer or other source of income. The agency or Support Enforcement Services shall include with the notice a certified copy of the order for withholding in effect in this state.

      (j) Any person who is the obligor on a support order of another jurisdiction may obtain a voluntary income withholding by filing with the agency a request for such withholding and a certified copy of the support order issued by such jurisdiction. The agency shall file such request for a voluntary withholding with the certified copy of the support order from the jurisdiction that entered such order with the clerk of Support Enforcement Services of the Superior Court and Support Enforcement Services, acting on behalf of the Family Support Magistrate Division, shall issue an order for withholding. Any order for withholding thus issued shall be subject to all applicable provisions of this section.

      (P.A. 87-483, S. 2, 3; P.A. 89-302, S. 3, 7; P.A. 90-213, S. 42, 56; P.A. 93-262, S. 1, 87; 93-396, S. 10; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-1, S. 72, 75; P.A. 01-91, S. 25; P.A. 03-19, S. 120, 121; P.A. 11-214, S. 32.)

      History: P.A. 89-302 amended Subsec. (a), (d), (e), (f), (g), (h), (k), (l) and (m) by changing "garnishment" to "withholding" or "order for withholding"; P.A. 90-213 replaced bureau of the court with support enforcement division in Subsecs. (d), (f), (g), (k), (m) and (o), changed family division to bureau of collection services and changed requirement that the family division make payments to the IV-D agency in Subsec. (j); P.A. 93-262 authorized substitution of commissioner and department of social services for commissioner and department of human resources, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 93-396 made technical changes; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-1 made technical changes in Subsecs. (d), (e) and (f), deleted former Subsecs. (g), (h), (i), (n) and (o), redesignated former Subsecs. (j) to (m), inclusive, as Subsecs. (g) to (j), inclusive, and made technical and conforming changes in said Subsecs., effective January 1, 1998; P.A. 01-91 changed "the Support Enforcement Division" to "Support Enforcement Services" in Subsecs. (c), (d), (f) and (h) to (j), and changed reference to Sec. 46b-213f(a)(5) to Sec. 46b-213h(a)(5) in Subsec. (g); P.A. 03-19 made technical changes in Subsecs. (d) and (h), effective May 12, 2003; P.A. 11-214 substituted reference to Sec. 46b-213h for reference to Sec. 46b-213i in Subsec. (d) and substituted reference to Sec. 46b-213r for reference to Sec. 46b-213q in Subsec. (e).

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      Sec. 52-362i. Court may require cash deposit of support to be held by Bureau of Child Support Enforcement or Support Enforcement Services. If the court or family support magistrate finds that (1) an obligor is delinquent on payment of child support, and (2) future support payments are in jeopardy, or (3) the obligor has exhibited or expressed an intention not to pay any such support, the court or family support magistrate may order the obligor to provide a cash deposit not to exceed the amount of four times the current monthly support and arrearage obligation, to be held in escrow by the Bureau of Child Support Enforcement or Support Enforcement Services. Any funds from such cash deposit may be disbursed by the Bureau of Child Support Enforcement or Support Enforcement Services to the custodial parent upon a determination by said bureau or Support Enforcement Services that the obligor has failed to pay the full amount of the monthly support obligation. Payment shall be in an amount that, when combined with the obligor's payment, would not exceed the monthly support obligation. Payment from such cash deposit shall not preclude a finding of delinquency during the period of time in which the obligor failed to pay current support.

      (P.A. 93-329, S. 6; P.A. 01-91, S. 26; P.A. 11-214, S. 33.)

      History: P.A. 01-91 added references to Support Enforcement Services and made a technical change; P.A. 11-214 substituted "Bureau of Child Support Enforcement" for "Connecticut Child Support Enforcement Bureau".

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