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Wage Garnishment

If you know where the person who owes you money works, you can "garnish" his or her non-exempt wages. The Garfield Heights Municipal Court can garnish non-exempt wages from any employer in Ohio. Learn more about property which is exempt from garnishment or attachment.

To garnish wages, complete these steps:

  1. Mail the person who you have a judgment againt (also known as the defendant or judgment debtor, a Notice of Court Proceeding to Collect Debt  (also known as the “15 Day Demand Letter”). This form in the Court Forms on this site.
  • Fill out two copies of the Notice and mail one copy of the completed form to the judgment debtor at his or her last known address by ordinary U.S. mail.  When you mail the Notice, remember to get a "Certificate of Mailing" from the Post Office (USPS Form 3817).  This receipt shows when you sent the form.  You are will have to pay a fee for the Certificate of Mailing and you will not be able to get the money back through your lawsuit.
  • You must wait between 15 and 45 days after mailing the 15 Day Demand before moving on to Step 2.
  1. Complete the Wage Garnishment Packet.

Your Wage Garnishment Packet must include the following forms:

  1. File the "Garnishment Packet" with the Clerk of Court

File your complete Garnishment Packet and the filing fee with the Clerk of Court. The Clerk accepts cash, credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, Discover) or check made payable to “Garfield Heights Municipal Court.”

What happens after I file the wage garnishment? 

The Clerk of Court will serve notice of the wage garnishment on the employer of judgment debtor. The employer will have 15 days to reply with payroll information if the judgment debtor works there.

If the employer does not respond, you can file a motion against the employer to have them held in "contempt of court" for failing to follow the order of garnishment.

Garnishments are first come first served. That means that if two people are trying to garnish someone's wages, the second person to file will have to wait for their turn to get paid.

Garnishments remain in effect until the entire amount is paid, or for at least six months.  You may file again if you do not receive all the money from the garnishment.

If the garnishment is successful, the Clerk will send your money to you after the employer has sent each payment to the Clerk's office.  This time frame may be extended if the judgment debtor requests a court hearing to review the garnishment.  If the Judgment Debtor requests a hearing, all parties will be notified of the location, date, and time of the hearing. 

What are my obligations as a Employer when I receive a Garnishment Order?

The Ohio Judicial Conference provides directions to employers on complying with garnishment orders in The Employer's Guide to Processing Continuous Orders of Garnishments.