Step 1. Apply to set aside a garnishing order
If a creditor obtains a garnishing order against you, you can apply to court to set aside (or “release”) the order. You might argue that the order causes you serious financial hardship. Or that the order isn’t necessary to ensure you pay the judgment.
The first step is to prepare a court form to start the application. Which form you use depends on where the garnishing order was obtained.
- If the garnishing order was obtained in Small Claims Court, prepare an Application to a Judge (Small Claims Form 17). The form includes instructions on how to fill it out.
- If the garnishing order was obtained in Supreme Court, prepare a Requisition (Supreme Court Form 17). The BC Supreme Court website has an information package, with instructions, on release of a garnishing order.
Your material should explain why it would be “just in all the circumstances” to release the garnishing order. For example, if you’re claiming the order causes you serious financial hardship, provide a snapshot of your financial situation. Include a statement of finances and any other information that backs up your position. (See the Small Claims Court Statement of Finances or, for Supreme Court, the information package includes a statement of finances.)
Step 2. File and serve the application
File the application in the relevant court registry location nearest to where you live:
Under the law in BC, a court can release a garnishing order without telling the creditor it has done so. Still, it’s usually best to serve the application on the other party.
You can serve the application in various ways, such as leaving a copy with the other party or sending it by snail mail to the other party’s address. Check the service rules of Small Claims Court or Supreme Court for more details.
Step 3. Attend the court hearing
Attend court on the day of your scheduled hearing. Try to arrive a bit early to give yourself time to locate the courtroom.
When your case is called, tell the judge you’re making an application to release a garnishing order. Explain the facts that support your position. Address the judge as “Your Honour”.
The judge will make one of the following decisions:
- Grant your order and release all the money held in court.
- Grant an order to release only some of the money held in court.
- Refuse to grant your order.