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SECTION 5222
Restraining notice
Civil Practice Law & Rules (CVP) CHAPTER 8, ARTICLE 52
§ 5222. Restraining notice. (a) Issuance; on whom served; form;
service. A restraining notice may be issued by the clerk of the court or
the attorney for the judgment creditor as officer of the court, or by
the support collection unit designated by the appropriate social
services district. It may be served upon any person, except the employer
of a judgment debtor or obligor where the property sought to be
restrained consists of wages or salary due or to become due to the
judgment debtor or obligor. It shall be served personally in the same
manner as a summons or by registered or certified mail, return receipt
requested or if issued by the support collection unit, by regular mail,
or by electronic means as set forth in subdivision (g) of this section.
It shall specify all of the parties to the action, the date that the
judgment or order was entered, the court in which it was entered, the
amount of the judgment or order and the amount then due thereon, the
names of all parties in whose favor and against whom the judgment or
order was entered, it shall set forth subdivision (b) and shall state
that disobedience is punishable as a contempt of court, and it shall
contain an original signature or copy of the original signature of the
clerk of the court or attorney or the name of the support collection
unit which issued it. Service of a restraining notice upon a department
or agency of the state or upon an institution under its direction shall
be made by serving a copy upon the head of the department, or the person
designated by him or her and upon the state department of audit and
control at its office in Albany; a restraining notice served upon a
state board, commission, body or agency which is not within any
department of the state shall be made by serving the restraining notice
upon the state department of audit and control at its office in Albany.
Service at the office of a department of the state in Albany may be made
by the sheriff of any county by registered or certified mail, return
receipt requested, or if issued by the support collection unit, by
regular mail.

(b) Effect of restraint; prohibition of transfer; duration. A judgment
debtor or obligor served with a restraining notice is forbidden to make
or suffer any sale, assignment, transfer or interference with any
property in which he or she has an interest, except as set forth in
subdivisions (h) and (i) of this section, and except upon direction of
the sheriff or pursuant to an order of the court, until the judgment or
order is satisfied or vacated. A restraining notice served upon a person
other than the judgment debtor or obligor is effective only if, at the
time of service, he or she owes a debt to the judgment debtor or obligor
or he or she is in the possession or custody of property in which he or
she knows or has reason to believe the judgment debtor or obligor has an
interest, or if the judgment creditor or support collection unit has
stated in the notice that a specified debt is owed by the person served
to the judgment debtor or obligor or that the judgment debtor or obligor
has an interest in specified property in the possession or custody of
the person served. All property in which the judgment debtor or obligor
is known or believed to have an interest then in and thereafter coming
into the possession or custody of such a person, including any specified
in the notice, and all debts of such a person, including any specified
in the notice, then due and thereafter coming due to the judgment debtor
or obligor, shall be subject to the notice except as set forth in
subdivisions (h) and (i) of this section. Such a person is forbidden to
make or suffer any sale, assignment or transfer of, or any interference
with, any such property, or pay over or otherwise dispose of any such
debt, to any person other than the sheriff or the support collection
unit, except as set forth in subdivisions (h) and (i) of this section,
and except upon direction of the sheriff or pursuant to an order of the
court, until the expiration of one year after the notice is served upon
him or her, or until the judgment or order is satisfied or vacated,
whichever event first occurs. A judgment creditor or support collection
unit which has specified personal property or debt in a restraining
notice shall be liable to the owner of the property or the person to
whom the debt is owed, if other than the judgment debtor or obligor, for
any damages sustained by reason of the restraint. If a garnishee served
with a restraining notice withholds the payment of money belonging or
owed to the judgment debtor or obligor in an amount equal to twice the
amount due on the judgment or order, the restraining notice is not
effective as to other property or money.

(c) Subsequent notice. Leave of court is required to serve more than
one restraining notice upon the same person with respect to the same
judgment or order. A judgment creditor shall not serve more than two
restraining notices per year upon a natural person's banking institution
account.

(d) Notice to judgment debtor or obligor. Except where the provisions
of section fifty-two hundred twenty-two-a of this article are
applicable, pursuant to subdivision (a) of such section, if a notice in
the form prescribed in subdivision (e) of this section has not been
given to the judgment debtor or obligor within a year before service of
a restraining notice, a copy of the restraining notice together with the
notice to judgment debtor or obligor shall be mailed by first class mail
or personally delivered to each judgment debtor or obligor who is a
natural person within four days of the service of the restraining
notice. Such notice shall be mailed to the defendant at his or her
residence address; or in the event such mailing is returned as
undeliverable by the post office, or if the residence address of the
defendant is unknown, then to the defendant in care of the place of
employment of the defendant if known, in an envelope bearing the legend
"personal and confidential" and not indicating on the outside thereof,
by the return address or otherwise, that the communication is from an
attorney or concerns a judgment or order; or if neither the residence
address nor the place of employment of the defendant is known then to
the defendant at any other known address.

(e) Content of notice. The notice required by subdivision (d) of this
section shall be in substantially the following form and may be included
in the restraining notice:

NOTICE TO JUDGMENT DEBTOR OR OBLIGOR

Money or property belonging to you may have been taken or held in
order to satisfy a judgment or order which has been entered against you.
Read this carefully.

YOU MAY BE ABLE TO GET YOUR MONEY BACK

State and federal laws prevent certain money or property from being
taken to satisfy judgments or orders. Such money or property is said to
be "exempt". The following is a partial list of money which may be
exempt:

1. Supplemental security income, (SSI);

2. Social security;

3. Public assistance (welfare);

4. Spousal support, maintenance (alimony) or child support;

5. Unemployment benefits;

6. Disability benefits;

7. Workers' compensation benefits;

8. Public or private pensions;

9. Veterans benefits;

10. Ninety percent of your wages or salary earned in the last sixty
days;

11. Twenty-five hundred dollars of any bank account containing
statutorily exempt payments that were deposited electronically or by
direct deposit within the last forty-five days, including, but not
limited to, your social security, supplemental security income, veterans
benefits, public assistance, workers' compensation, unemployment
insurance, public or private pensions, railroad retirement benefits,
black lung benefits, or child support payments;

12. Railroad retirement; and

13. Black lung benefits.

If you think that any of your money that has been taken or held is
exempt, you must act promptly because the money may be applied to the
judgment or order. If you claim that any of your money that has been
taken or held is exempt, you may contact the person sending this notice.

Also, YOU MAY CONSULT AN ATTORNEY, INCLUDING ANY FREE LEGAL SERVICES
ORGANIZATION IF YOU QUALIFY. You can also go to court without an
attorney to get your money back. Bring this notice with you when you go.
You are allowed to try to prove to a judge that your money is exempt
from collection under New York civil practice law and rules, sections
fifty-two hundred twenty-two-a, fifty-two hundred thirty-nine and
fifty-two hundred forty. If you do not have a lawyer, the clerk of the
court may give you forms to help you prove your account contains exempt
money that the creditor cannot collect. The law (New York civil practice
law and rules, article four and sections fifty-two hundred thirty-nine
and fifty-two hundred forty) provides a procedure for determination of a
claim to an exemption.

(f) For the purposes of this section "order" shall mean an order
issued by a court of competent jurisdiction directing the payment of
support, alimony or maintenance upon which a "default" as defined in
paragraph seven of subdivision (a) of section fifty-two hundred
forty-one of this article has been established subject to the procedures
established for the determination of a "mistake of fact" for income
executions pursuant to subdivision (e) of section fifty-two hundred
forty-one of this article except that for the purposes of this section
only a default shall not be founded upon retroactive child support
obligations as defined in paragraph (a) of subdivision one of section
four hundred forty of the family court act and subdivision one of
section two hundred forty and paragraph b of subdivision nine of section
two hundred thirty-six of the domestic relations law.

(g) Restraining notice in the form of magnetic tape or other
electronic means. Where such person consents thereto in writing, a
restraining notice in the form of magnetic tape or other electronic
means, as defined in subdivision (f) of rule twenty-one hundred three of
this chapter, may be served upon a person other than the judgment debtor
or obligor. A restraining notice in such form shall contain all of the
information required to be specified in a restraining notice under
subdivision (a), except for the original signature or copy of the
original signature of the clerk or attorney who issued the restraining
notice. The provisions of this subdivision notwithstanding, the notice
required by subdivisions (d) and (e) shall be given to the judgment
debtor or obligor in the written form set forth therein.

(h) Effect of restraint on judgment debtor's banking institution
account into which statutorily exempt payments are made electronically
or by direct deposit. Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (b)
of this section, if direct deposit or electronic payments reasonably
identifiable as statutorily exempt payments as defined in paragraph two
of subdivision (l) of section fifty-two hundred five of this article
were made to the judgment debtor's account during the forty-five day
period preceding the date that the restraining notice was served on the
banking institution, then the banking institution shall not restrain two
thousand five hundred dollars in the judgment debtor's account. If the
account contains an amount equal to or less than two thousand five
hundred dollars, the account shall not be restrained and the restraining
notice shall be deemed void. Nothing in this subdivision shall be
construed to limit a banking institution's right or obligation to
restrain or remove such funds from the judgment debtor's account if
required by 42 U.S.C. § 659 or 38 U.S.C. § 5301 or by a court order.
Nothing in this subdivision shall alter the exempt status of funds that
are protected from execution, levy, attachment, garnishment or other
legal process, under section fifty-two hundred five of this article or
under any other provision of state or federal law, or affect the right
of a judgment debtor to claim such exemption.

(i) Effect of restraint on judgment debtor's banking institution
account. A restraining notice issued pursuant to this section shall not
apply to an amount equal to or less than the greater of two hundred
forty times the federal minimum hourly wage prescribed in the Fair Labor
Standards Act of 1938 or two hundred forty times the state minimum
hourly wage prescribed in section six hundred fifty-two of the labor law
as in effect at the time the earnings are payable (as published on the
websites of the United States department of labor and the state
department of labor) except such part thereof as a court determines to
be unnecessary for the reasonable requirements of the judgment debtor
and his or her dependents. This amount shall be equal to seventeen
hundred sixteen dollars on the effective date of this subdivision, and
shall rise to seventeen hundred forty dollars on July twenty-fourth, two
thousand nine, and shall rise thereafter in tandem with the minimum
wage. Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to limit a banking
institution's right or obligation to restrain or remove such funds from
the judgment debtor's account if required by 42 U.S.C. § 659 or 38
U.S.C. § 5301 or by a court order. Where a judgment debtor's account
contains an amount equal to or less than ninety percent of the greater
of two hundred forty times the federal minimum hourly wage prescribed in
the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 or two hundred forty times the
state minimum hourly wage prescribed in section six hundred fifty-two of
the labor law as in effect at the time the earnings are payable (as
published on the websites of the United States department of labor and
the state department of labor), the account shall not be restrained and
the restraining notice shall be deemed void, except as to those funds
that a court determines to be unnecessary for the reasonable
requirements of the judgment debtor and his or her dependents. Nothing
in this subdivision shall alter the exempt status of funds which are
exempt from execution, levy, attachment or garnishment, under section
fifty-two hundred five of this article or under any other provision of
state or federal law, or the right of a judgment debtor to claim such
exemption.

(j) Fee for banking institution's costs in processing a restraining
notice for an account. In the event that a banking institution served
with a restraining notice cannot lawfully restrain a judgment debtor's
banking institution account, or a restraint is placed on the judgment
debtor's account in violation of any section of this chapter, the
banking institution shall charge no fee to the judgment debtor
regardless of any terms of agreement, or schedule of fees, or other
contract between the judgment debtor and the banking institution.

(k) The provisions of subdivisions (h), (i) and (j) of this section do
not apply when the state of New York, or any of its agencies or
municipal corporations is the judgment creditor, or if the debt enforced
is for child support, spousal support, maintenance or alimony, provided
that the restraining notice contains a legend at the top thereof, above
the caption, in sixteen point bold type with the following language:
"The judgment creditor is the state of New York, or any of its agencies
or municipal corporations, AND/OR the debt enforced is for child
support, spousal support, maintenance or alimony.".