REPORT TITLE:
Child Support Enforcement

DESCRIPTION:
Provides numerous revisions to comply with the mandates of Title
IV-D of the Social Security Act.  Compliance with these mandates
are required for continued funding of the Child Support
Enforcement Agency.

 
a                                                      ATG-8(00)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                        2758
THE SENATE                              S.B. NO.           
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2000                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            
                                                             
________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________


                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT

RELATING TO CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT.



BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 1      SECTION 1.  Section 571-52, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 
 2 amended to read as follows:
 
 3      "571-52  Assignment by court order of future income for
 
 4 payments of support.(a)  Whenever any person has been ordered
 
 5 to pay an allowance for the support, maintenance, or education
 
 6 of a child, or for the support and maintenance of a spouse or
 
 7 former spouse, and fails or refuses to obey or perform the
 
 8 order, and has been adjudged guilty of contempt of court for
 
 9 such failure or refusal, the court may make an order which
 
10 shall operate as an assignment by the person for the benefit of
 
11 the child or spouse, of such amounts at such times as may be
 
12 specified in the order, from any income due or to become due in
 
13 the future to such person from the person's employer or successor
 
14 employers, until further order of the court.  The assignment of
 
15 the amounts shall be to the clerk of the court where the order is
 
16 entered if for the support or maintenance of a spouse or former
 
17 spouse, or to the child support enforcement agency if for the
 
18 support[, maintenance, or education] of a child of if child
 
19 support and spouse support are contained in the same order.  The 
 

 
a                                                      ATG-8(00)
Page 2                                                     2758
                                     S.B. NO.           
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1 order of assignment to the child support enforcement agency shall
 
 2 be in the standard format prescribed by Title IV-D of the Social
 
 3 Security Act, as amended by the child support enforcement agency.
 
 4 The order of assignment shall be effective immediately after
 
 5 service upon an employer of a true copy of the order, which
 
 6 service may be effected by [certified or registered] regular mail
 
 7 [or], by personal delivery[.], or transmission by electronic
 
 8 means.  Thereafter, the employer shall for each pay period
 
 9 withhold from any income due to the person from the employer, and
 
10 not required to be withheld by any other provision of federal or
 
11 state law, and transmit to the clerk of the court or child
 
12 support enforcement agency as set forth in the order, as much as
 
13 may remain payable to the person for such pay period up to the
 
14 amount specified in the order of assignment as being payable
 
15 during the same period.  The person ordered to pay shall inform
 
16 the court immediately of any change which would affect the order
 
17 of assignment or the disbursement thereof.  Compliance by an
 
18 employer with the order of assignment shall operate as a
 
19 discharge of the employer's liability to the employee for that
 
20 portion of the employee's income withheld and transmitted to the
 
21 clerk of court or child support enforcement agency, as the case
 
22 may be, whether or not the employer has withheld the correct
 
23 amount.  The term "employer" as used in this section includes the
 

 
a                                                      ATG-8(00)
Page 3                                                     2758
                                     S.B. NO.           
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1 United States government, the State, any political subdivision
 
 2 thereof and any person who is or shall become obligated to the
 
 3 obligor for payment of income.
 
 4      (b)  Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a),
 
 5 whenever a court has ordered any person (hereinafter "obligor")
 
 6 to make periodic payments toward the support of a child and, upon
 
 7 petition of the person to whom such payments are ordered to be
 
 8 made, or that person's assignee, the court finds the obligor to
 
 9 be delinquent in payments in an amount equal to or greater than
 
10 the sum of payments which would become due over a one-month
 
11 period under the order, judgment, or decree providing for child
 
12 support, the court shall order an assignment of future income, or
 
13 a portion thereof, of the obligor in an amount adequate to insure
 
14 that past due payments and payments which will become due in the
 
15 future under the terms of the support order will be paid.  Such
 
16 an order shall operate as an assignment by the obligor to the
 
17 child support enforcement agency and shall be binding upon any
 
18 person who is or shall become obligated to the obligor for
 
19 payment of income and who has been served with a [certified] copy
 
20 of the assignment order.  For each payment made pursuant to an
 
21 assignment order, the person making such payment may deduct and
 
22 retain as an administrative fee the additional amount of $2 from
 
23 the income owed to the obligor.  Any assignment made pursuant to
 

 
a                                                      ATG-8(00)
Page 4                                                     2758
                                     S.B. NO.           
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1 an assignment order shall have priority as against any
 
 2 garnishment, attachment, execution, or other assignment order, or
 
 3 any other order unless otherwise ordered by the court and the
 
 4 same shall not be subject to any of the exemptions or
 
 5 restrictions contained in part III of chapter 651, and chapters
 
 6 652 and 653.
 
 7      For purposes of this subsection, delinquencies in payments
 
 8 shall be computed on the basis of the moneys owed and unpaid on
 
 9 the date that the obligor under the support order has been given
 
10 notice pursuant to law of the application for the order of
 
11 assignment, and the fact that the obligor may have subsequently
 
12 paid such delinquencies shall not relieve the court of its duty
 
13 under this subsection to order the assignment.
 
14      (c)  An employer withholding income for payment to the child
 
15 support enforcement agency shall terminate such withholding upon
 
16 receipt of a notice from the child support enforcement agency to
 
17 terminate income withholding.
 
18      [(c)] (d)  It shall be unlawful for any employer to refuse
 
19 to hire a prospective employee, to discharge an employee, or to
 
20 take any other disciplinary action against an employee, based in
 
21 whole or part, upon an assignment authorized by this section.
 
22 Any employer violating this section shall be guilty of a
 
23 misdemeanor under section 710-1077(1)(g).
 

 
a                                                      ATG-8(00)
Page 5                                                     2758
                                     S.B. NO.           
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1      [(d)] (e)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, for
 
 2 purposes of this section, the term "income" shall include without
 
 3 limitation, salaries, wages, earnings, workers' compensation,
 
 4 disability benefits, commissions, independent contractor income,
 
 5 and any other entitlement to money including moneys payable as a
 
 6 pension or as an annuity or retirement or disability or death or
 
 7 other benefit, or as a return of contributions and interest
 
 8 thereon from the United States government, or from the State or
 
 9 other political subdivision thereof, or from any retirement,
 
10 disability, or annuity system established by any of them pursuant
 
11 to statute."
 
12      SECTION 2.  Section 571-52.2, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 
13 amended by amending subsection (d) to read as follows:
 
14      "(d ) The order for automatic assignment shall operate as an
 
15 assignment by the obligor to the child support enforcement agency
 
16 and shall be binding upon any person who is or shall become
 
17 obligated to the obligor for payment of income and who has been
 
18 served with a copy of the assignment order.  The order shall be
 
19 in the standard format prescribed by Title IV-D of the Social
 
20 Security Act, as amended by the child support enforcement agency.
 
21 The assignment shall be terminated when appropriate by the court
 
22 or the clerk of the court or the child support enforcement
 
23 agency; provided that payment of all overdue support shall not be
 

 
a                                                      ATG-8(00)
Page 6                                                     2758
                                     S.B. NO.           
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1 the sole basis for terminating the assignment.  An employer
 
 2 withholding income for payment to the child support enforcement
 
 3 agency shall terminate such withholding upon receipt of a notice
 
 4 from the child support enforcement agency to terminate income
 
 5 withholding.  In the event that the obligee retains private
 
 6 counsel or proceeds pro se, the obligee shall have primary
 
 7 responsibility for terminating the assignment.  If the obligee
 
 8 fails to terminate the assignment when appropriate, the obligee
 
 9 shall reimburse the obligor to the extent of any overpayment.  If
 
10 the assignment is not terminated when appropriate, the obligor
 
11 may seek reimbursement for any overpayment from the obligee or
 
12 from the child support enforcement agency, to the extent the
 
13 overpayment was disbursed to the department of human services.
 
14 The child support enforcement agency shall establish procedures
 
15 by rule in accordance with chapter 91 for the prompt
 
16 reimbursement for any overpayment to the obligor."
 
17      SECTION 3.  Section 576B-101, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 
18 amended by amending the definition of "income withholding order"
 
19 to read as follows:
 
20      ""Income withholding order" means an order or other legal
 
21 process directed to an obligor's employer, as defined by sections
 
22 571-52, 571-52.2, [and] 571-52.3, 576D-14, and 576E-16, to
 
23 withhold support from the income of the obligor."
 

 
a                                                      ATG-8(00)
Page 7                                                     2758
                                     S.B. NO.           
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1      SECTION 4.  Section 576B-501, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 
 2 amended to read as follows:
 
 3      "[[]576B-501[[]  Employer's receipt of income withholding
 
 4 order of another state.  An income withholding order issued in
 
 5 another state may be sent to the person or entity defined as the
 
 6 obligor's employer under sections 571-52, 571-52.2, [and]
 
 7 571-52.3, and 576E-16, without first filing a petition or
 
 8 comparable pleading or registering the order with a tribunal of
 
 9 this State."
 
10      SECTION 5.  Section 576D-14, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 
11 amended to read as follows:
 
12      "576D-14 (a)  Implementation of income withholding.  For
 
13 cases being enforced under the Title IV-D state plan or for those
 
14 parents applying to the agency for services, the income of an
 
15 obligor who receives income on a periodic basis and who has a
 
16 support obligation imposed by a support order issued or modified
 
17 in the State before October 1, 1996, if not otherwise subject to
 
18 withholding, shall become subject to withholding as provided in
 
19 subsection (b) if arrearages or delinquency occur, without the
 
20 need for a judicial or administrative hearing.  The agency shall
 
21 implement such withholding without the necessity of any
 
22 application in the case of a child with respect to whom services
 
23 are already being provided under Title IV-D and shall implement
 

 
a                                                      ATG-8(00)
Page 8                                                     2758
                                     S.B. NO.           
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1 on the basis of an application for services under Title IV-D in
 
 2 the case of any other child on whose behalf a support order has
 
 3 been issued or modified.  In either case, such withholding shall
 
 4 occur without the need for any amendment to the support order
 
 5 involved or for any further action by the court or other entity
 
 6 which issued such order.
 
 7      (b)  If the obligor who receives income on a periodic basis
 
 8 becomes delinquent in making payments under a support order in an
 
 9 amount at least equal to the support payable for one month, the
 
10 agency shall issue an income withholding order that shall include
 
11 an amount to be paid towards the delinquency.  The income
 
12 withholding order shall be in the standard format prescribed by
 
13 Title IV-D of the Social Security Act, as amended by the child
 
14 support enforcement agency.  The order shall be served upon the
 
15 employer by [certified] regular mail [or], by personal [service,]
 
16 delivery, or [transmitted] by transmission to the employer
 
17 through electronic means.
 
18      (c)  Upon the agency's receipt of an interstate income
 
19 withholding request from another jurisdiction, the agency may
 
20 issue an income withholding order to collect the support imposed
 
21 upon the obligor by a support order issued or modified by the
 
22 other state.  The order shall include an amount adequate to
 
23 ensure that past due payments and payments which will become due
 

 
a                                                      ATG-8(00)
Page 9                                                     2758
                                     S.B. NO.           
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1 in the future under the terms of the support order will be paid.
 
 2      (d)  A copy of the order shall be filed in the office of the
 
 3 clerk of the circuit court in the circuit where the order was
 
 4 issued.
 
 5      (e)  Upon sending the order of income withholding to the
 
 6 employer, the agency shall send a notice of the withholding by
 
 7 regular mail to each obligor to whom subsections (b) and (c)
 
 8 apply.  The notice shall inform the obligor:
 
 9      (1)  That the withholding has commenced;
 
10      (2)  That the obligor may request a hearing in writing
 
11           within fourteen days of the date of the notice;
 
12      (3)  That, unless the obligor files a written request for a
 
13           hearing within fourteen days of the date of the notice,
 
14           the money received from the income withholding will be
 
15           distributed to the custodial parent or, in an
 
16           interstate case, the obligee in the other jurisdiction,
 
17           or in the case where the children are receiving public
 
18           assistance, to the State;
 
19      (4)  That the only defense to income withholding is a
 
20           mistake of fact; and
 
21      (5)  Of the information that was provided to the employer
 
22           with respect to the employer's duties pursuant to
 
23           section 576E-16.
 

 
a                                                      ATG-8(00)
Page 10                                                    2758
                                     S.B. NO.           
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1      (f)  The agency may delay the distribution of collections
 
 2 toward arrearages or delinquency until the resolution of any
 
 3 requested hearing regarding the arrearages or delinquency.
 
 4      (g)  Upon timely receipt of a request for a hearing from the
 
 5 obligor[,] pursuant to the notice provided under subsection (e),
 
 6 the agency shall refer the matter to the office and a hearing
 
 7 shall be conducted pursuant to chapters 91 and 576E.
 
 8      (h)  Upon receiving an order of income withholding from the
 
 9 agency, the employer is subject to the requirements of section
 
10 576E-16(b) through (h).
 
11      (i)  In a case being enforced under the Title IV-D state
 
12 plan or for those parents applying to the agency for services,
 
13 the agency may terminate income withholding by sending a notice
 
14 to the employer by regular mail or transmission by electronic
 
15 means.  The notice may be issued upon determination by the agency
 
16 that the obligor no longer owes the child support or that the
 
17 obligation is being satisfied through withholding by another
 
18 employer."
 
19      SECTION 7.  Section 576E-16, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 
20 amended by amending subsections (a) and (b) to read as follows:
 
21      "(a)  Whenever an administrative order is entered
 
22 establishing, modifying, or enforcing support, establishing an
 
23 arrearage that has accrued under a previous judicial or
 

 
a                                                      ATG-8(00)
Page 11                                                    2758
                                     S.B. NO.           
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1 administrative order for support, or establishing a public
 
 2 assistance debt, there shall concurrently be issued an order
 
 3 which shall operate as an assignment to the agency for the
 
 4 benefit of the child or in the case of spousal support, for the
 
 5 benefit of a spouse or former spouse, of such amounts at such
 
 6 times as may be specified in the order, from the responsible
 
 7 parent's income due or to become due in the future from the
 
 8 responsible parent's employer, or successor employers, [until
 
 9 further court or administrative order;] except when alternative
 
10 arrangements are ordered pursuant to section 576D-10.  The income
 
11 withholding order shall be in the standard format prescribed by
 
12 Title IV-D of the Social Security Act, as amended by the child
 
13 support enforcement agency.  A copy of the income withholding
 
14 order shall be filed in the office of the clerk of the circuit
 
15 court in the circuit where the order was issued along with the
 
16 copy of the support order as provided in section 576E-12.
 
17      (b)  The income withholding order issued pursuant to
 
18 subsection (a) or section 576D-14 shall be effective immediately
 
19 after service upon an employer of a copy of the order, which
 
20 service may be effected by [certified or registered] regular
 
21 mail, by personal delivery, or by transmission through electronic
 
22 means.  Thereafter, the employer shall for each pay period,
 
23 withhold from the income due to the responsible parent from the
 

 
a                                                      ATG-8(00)
Page 12                                                    2758
                                     S.B. NO.           
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1 employer, and not required to be withheld by any other provision
 
 2 of federal or state law, and transmit to the designated obligee,
 
 3 or upon request, to the child support enforcement agency of this
 
 4 State, as much as may remain payable to the responsible parent
 
 5 for such pay period up to the amount specified in the order as
 
 6 being payable during the same period.  The employer shall
 
 7 immediately inform the agency of any change that would affect the
 
 8 income withholding order or the disbursement thereof."
 
 9      SECTION 8.  Section 576E-16, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 
10 amended by amending subsection (d) to read as follows:
 
11      "(d)  An income withholding order shall remain in effect
 
12 until terminated when appropriate by court or administrative
 
13 order[.], except that an employer withholding income for payment
 
14 to the child support enforcement agency shall terminate such
 
15 withholding upon receipt of a notice from the child support
 
16 enforcement agency to terminate income withholding.  Payment by
 
17 the responsible parent of any delinquency shall not in and of
 
18 itself warrant termination of the income withholding order.  The
 
19 agency shall promptly refund any amount withheld in error to the
 
20 responsible parent."
 
21      SECTION 9.  Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed.
 
22 New statutory material is underscored.
 
23      SECTION 10.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
 
24 
 
25                       INTRODUCED BY:  ___________________________
 

a                                                      ATG-8(00)