Code of the District of Columbia

§ [16–572.02]. Notice to judgment debtor regarding wage garnishment.

On the date that the judgment creditor serves a writ of attachment on an employer-garnishee, the judgment creditor shall also mail to the judgment debtor at his or her last known address, by certified and first class mail, a copy of the writ of attachment. The writ of attachment shall be accompanied by a notice to the judgment debtor containing the following or substantively similar language:

"Notice to Judgment Debtor Regarding Wage Garnishment

"Why am I receiving this? The enclosed Writ of Attachment is a copy of a legal document that has been issued to your employer. You are receiving this notice because the plaintiff in the court case shown on the Writ of Attachment obtained a money judgment against you. A money judgment is a court's decision that you owe money to someone else (the "judgment creditor"). The judgment creditor is now seeking garnishment of your wages. Garnishment is a process in which a portion of an employee's wages are taken each pay period in order to pay money owed to a judgment creditor.

"Will my wages be garnished? If so, how much? D.C. law automatically protects certain amounts of wages from garnishment. For example, if you earn 40 times the D.C. minimum hourly wage per week or less (in other words, if you work the equivalent of full-time hours at minimum wage, or less), your earnings are fully protected against garnishment and nothing will be taken from your paycheck. However, if you earn more than that, your employer may be required to withhold a portion of your wages to pay to the judgment creditor. The amount of garnishment is calculated based on the formula stated on the Writ of Attachment.

"Is there anything I can do? If you are already protected from garnishment, or if you can afford the amount that will be taken out of your paycheck to pay the judgment creditor, you do not need to do anything. However, judgment debtors subject to wage garnishment have the right under D.C. Official Code § 16-572.01 to request that the court adjust the amount of wages subject to garnishment based on financial hardship. To make such a request, you or your attorney must go to the court and file a motion. In addition, there may be circumstances under which you may be able to ask the court to undo the judgment. If you file a motion to adjust the amount of wages subject to garnishment based on financial hardship, you should provide a copy of the motion to your employer immediately so that the garnishment can be put on hold until the court makes a decision."