ILNews

State can increase withholding without order

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrint

The Indiana Court of Appeals examined the state's code regarding the limits of a withholding amount in child support arrearage, and acknowledged that its interpretation of the statute allowing the state to increase the amount without a court order "may cause some concern."

In the case In Re: The paternity of A.M.P., State of Indiana v. Curtis Price, No. 71A04-0806-JV-337, the state appealed the trial court order granting its motion to correct error. The order contained a provision that prevented the state from withholding additional amounts from Curtis Price's paycheck to satisfy an arrearage unless the state had the trial court enter a new order to authorize the withholding.

At issue is whether the provision in the order is inconsistent with federal and state laws governing Title IV-D income withholding procedures.

Although the order is technically favorable to the state, the order interpreted Indiana Code Section 31-16-15-2.5(f) as prohibiting the state from "increasing the weekly amount withheld by Income Withholding Order without further court order," wrote Judge Margret Robb. The interpretation was based on construing the clause "unless otherwise ordered by a court" in subsection (f) as allowing the trial court to limit the state's authority to increase the weekly withholding amount to satisfy an arrearage.

This interpretation is a prima facie error, the appellate court concluded after examining Indiana's code and the federal provisions relating to child support withholding orders under the federal Social Security Act. Part of a provision states that "such withholding must occur without the need for any amendment to the support order involved or for any further action by the court...which issued the order."

"We think these provisions counsel against interpreting Indiana Code section 31-16-15-2.5(f) in a manner that requires judicial authorization before the State may increase the withholding amount to satisfy an arrearage," wrote Judge Robb.

The Court of Appeals interpreted the clause "unless otherwise ordered by a court" to merely refer to a trial court's authority under I.C. Section 31-16-15-2.5(g) to allow the trial court to disregard the limitations of (1) through (7) of subsection (f), and not as preventing the state from increasing such amounts on its own initiative.

"We recognize our interpretation may cause some concern, as it permits the State to forego judicial authorization before increasing the withholding amount, but the statute itself limits the withholding amount. ... and the State is required to send the obligor a notice of intent to withhold income before withholding occurs," wrote the judge. In addition, the federal code provides for a maximum "ceiling" for arrearage withholding.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Indiana State Bar Association

Indianapolis Bar Association

Evansville Bar Association

Allen County Bar Association

Indiana Lawyer on Facebook

facebook
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

ADVERTISEMENT