The trial court entered a judgment of dissolution of marriage. The husband was ordered to pay $370 per month in maintenance to his wife when their farmland sells.
An auction was held that same month. The sale did not take place yet.
The wife filed a wage garnishment against her husband’s employer. The employer did not pay out to the wife.
The husband filed a motion to dismiss the wage garnishment. He argued that the withholding notice failed to include all of the required information. The trial court granted his motion.
The court said that because the sale of the farmland had yet to occur, the withholding notice was invalid and did not require the husband’s compliance. Wife appealed.
The Appellate Court held that a payor’s (employer’s) obligations under the Act are mandatory. Therefore, the employer cannot challenge the validity of the underlying order for support. The case was sent back to the trial court for further proceedings.
The trial court held that the employer’s initial failure to pay over withheld amounts pursuant to the withholding notice was an innocent mistake. But the violation became “knowing” when the employer failed to correct the mistake until approximately a year later.
The court then assessed a statutory penalty in the amount of $53,000, which is $100 per day.
IRMO Hundley, 2019 IL App (4th) 180380
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