Thursday, November 29, 2012

Commonwealth Edison v. Denson case brief

Commonwealth Edison v. Denson (Ill. App. 1986)  
Facts: Employer-Caterpillar- appeals from two separate judgments of circuit court of the county. First action brought by plaintiff-appellee, Com Ed to collect monies due by Denson. On June 1984, court entered judgment against Denson for $600 plus costs. Summons was issued for a wage deduction order in the amount of the judgment and Com Ed served interrogatories on Caterpillar, Denson’s current employer. Caterpillar responded and forwarded a check to Com Ed for $140. It declined to deduct the full amount because it already deducted $60 per week for a support order. The second action was brought by plaintiff-appellee, Newsome PT to collect monies due and owing by Dwight Morgan. On October 1984, the court entered judgment for Newsome against Morgan for $748. Summons was issued and Newsome served interrogatories on Caterpillar, Morgan’s current employer. Cat contends that under Illinois law, no garnishment is allowed that would exceed the lesser of 15% of gross earnings, or the amount by which the weekly disposable earnings exceed 30 times the Federal minimum hourly wage, which was 3.35 at the time. The garnishment restrictions of the Consumer Credit Protection Act preempts state laws insofar as state laws would permit recovery in excess of 25% of an individual’s disposable earnings. 15 USC §1673.

Issue: Are support orders and creditor garnishment to be calculated separately? 
Holding: No combine the two. If the support order is 25%, and the support garnishment has priority in accordance w/ state law, the CCPA does not permit the withholding of any additional amounts pursuant to an ordinary garnishment, which is subject to the restrictions of 1673.
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