Object to Claim of Exemptions of Wages by Debtor
Judgment creditors can ask the court to take part of a debtor’s wages to pay a judgment debt. This is called wage garnishment.
The debtor has the right to ask the court to exempt (protect) some, if not all, of his or her wages from being taken to pay the judgment. (See California Code of Civil Procedure, Sections 704.070 to 704.170 and Sections 706.050 and 706.051)
Information about what can be exempted is on the Exemptions from the Enforcement of Judgments (Form EJ-155).
NOTE: Worker’s compensation, unemployment, pension, social security, welfare, or insurance payments are protected and cannot be taken to satisfy a judgment.
As the judgment creditor, you may object to the debtor’s request for an exemption if you think that the amount the debtor has asked to be exempt is too much. The court will hold a hearing to decide whether or not to allow the debtor’s claim of exemption.
If you are not sure which forms to use, talk with your Small Claims Advisor or a lawyer.
- For help finding your court's Small Claims Advisor, click here.
- For help in getting low-cost legal aid, click here.
For help finding local court forms you may need, go to your county's court website: click here.
To Object to Claim of Exemptions of Wages by Debtor
Step 1. Get and fill out two forms:
- Notice of Opposition to Claim of Exemption (Wage Garnishment)
- Notice of Hearing on Claim of Exemption (Form WG-010/EJ-175)
A. Go to or call the court to pick a date for the hearing to oppose the debtor’s exemption. You must pick a date no later than 30 calendar days after the date you are filing the filled out forms WG-009 and WG-010/EJ-175.
B. Write in the time, place and date of the exemption hearing on Form WG-010, in the box under number 2, in letter a.
C. Make 4 copies of each form.
Step 2. File forms WG-009 and WG-010/EJ-175.
A. File these forms with the court clerk:
- a copy of the Notice of Opposition to Claim of Exemption (Form WG-009),
- the original of the Notice of Hearing on Claim of Exemption, Form WG-010/EJ-175, page 1 only.
B. File these forms with the levying officer:
- the original of Notice of Opposition to Claim of Exemption (Form WG-009),
- a copy of Notice of Hearing on Claim of Exemption, (Form WG-010/EJ-175.)
NOTE: You have only 10 days from the date that the levying officer mailed the Notice of Filing of Claim of Exemption (Wage Garnishment), Form WG-008, to you to file your opposition with the court.
Step 3. Serve copies of both forms on the debtor. This can be done:
- In person - at least 21 calendar days before the hearing date.
- By mail – at least 26 calendar days before the hearing date.
- By fax, express mail or an overnight delivery method– at least 23 calendar days before the hearing date.
Have your server fill out the Proof of Service form that is on the back of Form WG-010/EJ-175. Make a copy of it for your files.
Step 4. File your Proof of Service with the court at least 5 days before the court hearing.
Step 5. Attend the hearing during which the court will decide whether or not to allow the debtor’s claim of exemption on his or her wages.
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