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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
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Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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ACT III CCPA related: just discovered during a california family

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ACT III CCPA related: just discovered during a california family court hearing to determine support arrears, that some of my disposable income during 2007 - 2008 were 100% garnished. Can the court appointed Receiver to over see the garnishment, and to distribute the funds garnished, be held liable for the wrongful garnishment?
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

The receiver has qualified immunity in these actions, which means absent gross negligence they could not be sued for such negligent conduct in performance of their jobs. If you can prove the receiver was grossly negligent (such as they intentionally and maliciously took the 100%) then you could have sued them for this negligence. The statute of limitations of such a claim in CA would be 3 years from the date of the act of wrongful garnishment. If you are outside of that 3 year statute of limitations period, then I am afraid you can no longer file suit.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your response. May I know the code sections which your answer was based on?



Thank you Jay for your response.

The CA courts hold that absolute quasi-judicial immunity is properly extended to neutral third persons who are engaged in mediation, conciliation, evaluation or similar dispute resolution efforts through the courts, which would include the receiver. Under the concept of "quasi-judicial immunity," California courts have extended absolute judicial immunity to persons other than judges if those persons act in a judicial or quasi-judicial capacity, which includes performing subordinate judicial duties ordered by the appointing court" have been granted quasi-judicial immunity. See: Tagliavia v. County of Los Angeles, supra, 112 Cal.App.3d at p. 763, 169 Cal.Rptr. 467.

The absolute immunity which is accorded persons acting as an integral part of the judicial process protects them from having to litigate the manner in which they performed their delegated functions." See: Myers v. Morris (8th Cir.1987) 810 F.2d 1437, 1465-1468, cert. den. 484 U.S. 828, 108 S.Ct. 97, 98 L.Ed.2d 58).

Thus, to overcome this common law quasi-judicial immunity you have to prove intentional malicious and willful misconduct.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

thanks for the explanation of absolute immunity.


In my case, I believe that the receiver had misinterpreted the garnishment order made by the court and acted on her own in collecting and distributing all of my disposable income. My understanding is that the CCPA sets the limits on the maximum garnishment amount and that no court in US or its agents can violate this restriction.


In my research of California CCP codes, section 336 seems to be applicable to my situation.. What do you think?



Thank you for your response.

The 5 year limitation is for actions involving real property, which means real estate. Money is personal property and as such comes under the 3 year statute of limitations. CA CCP 338.

Under the CCPA, Title III, it permits a greater amount of an employee’s wages to be garnished for child support, bankruptcy, or federal or state tax payments. Title III allows up to 50 percent of an employee's disposable earnings to be garnished for child support if the employee is supporting a current spouse or child, who is not the subject of the support order, and up to 60 percent if the employee is not doing so. An additional five percent may be garnished for support payments over 12 weeks in arrears.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes, I am aware of the limits set inTitle III CCPA. and I qualified to be garnished to the maximum 65%.. No problem. I'm seeking remedy and relief for the wrongful withholding of the remaining 35% of my disposable income.


I also just came to know about the incorrect distribution of funds during a recent family court hearing (4/12/2013)


Do I have legal grounds for relief here?

If you had no reasonable means to discover that they were taking too much, then you can use that discovery rule to seek to justify the delay on the filing of your claim and as a stay of the statute of limitations until you actually discovered the mistake.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

What specific discovery rule is applicable for my case? this also brings up the question of which court would I need to file my claim?


Thank you for your response. Again, you are asking for a specific rule when the "date of discovery" is an equitable resolution created by the courts and is not written into the statutes of limitations. You have to file your claim in the same exact court where the support award garnishment was issued.