Attachment of Earnings (Maintenance)

Link to law: http://rgd.legalaffairs.gov.tt/Laws2/Alphabetical_List/lawspdfs/45.52.pdf

Attachment of Earnings (Maintenance)
ATTACHMENT OF EARNINGS
(MAINTENANCE) ACT

CHAPTER 45:52

LAWS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

Act
14 of 1988

Amended by
28 of 1995
12 of 2000

L.R.O.

Current Authorised Pages
Pages Authorised

(inclusive) by L.R.O.
1–31 ..

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2 Chap. 45:52 Attachment of Earnings (Maintenance)

Note on Subsidiary Legislation

This Chapter contains no subsidiary legislation.

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Attachment of Earnings (Maintenance) Chap. 45:52 3

CHAPTER 45:52

ATTACHMENT OF EARNINGS
(MAINTENANCE) ACT

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
SECTION

1. Short title.
2. Interpretation.
3. References to debtor’s needs.
4. Power of Courts to attach earnings.
5. Application for attachment of earnings order.
6. Contents and effect of attachment of earnings order.
7. Compliance with order by employer.
8. Inter-relation with order or issue of warrant of commitment.
9. Variation, lapse and discharge of orders.

10. Normal deduction rate to be reduced in certain cases.
11. Termination of employer’s liability.
12. Application of sums received by Collecting Officer.
13. Power of Court to obtain statements of earnings, etc.
14. Obligation of debtor and his employers to notify changes of

employment and earnings.
15. Power of Court to determine whether particular payments are earnings.
16. Certain applications to be made by Collecting Officer only on request.
17. Costs on application under section 15.
18. Persons employed by the State.
19. Failure of debtor to attend hearing of application.
20. Transitional.
21. Act binds the state.
22. Forms, Schedule 5.

SCHEDULE 1.
SCHEDULE 2.
SCHEDULE 3.
SCHEDULE 4.
SCHEDULE 5.

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4 Chap. 45:52 Attachment of Earnings (Maintenance)

CHAPTER 45:52

ATTACHMENT OF EARNINGS
(MAINTENANCE) ACT

An Act relating to the attachment of earnings as a means of
enforcing the discharge of maintenance obligations.

[1ST DECEMBER 1991]

1. This Act may be cited as the Attachment of Earnings
(Maintenance) Act.

2. In this Act—
“the Court”, in relation to an attachment of earnings order, means

the Magistrate’s Court or the High Court;
“the debtor”, in relation to an attachment of earnings order or to

proceedings in which a Court has power to make an
attachment of earnings order, or to proceedings arising out
of such an order, means the person by whom payment is
required by the maintenance order to be made;

“earnings”, in relation to a debtor, means any sums payable
to him—

(a) by way of wages or salary, including fees, bonus
commission, overtime pay or other emoluments
payable in addition to wages or salary or payable
under a contract of service; or

(b) by way of pension, including an annuity in
respect of past services, whether or not the
services were rendered to the person paying the
annuity, and including periodical payments by
way of compensation for the loss, abolition or
relinquishment, or any diminution in the
emoluments of any office or employment;

“employer” in relation to an attachment of earnings order means
the person who is required by the said order to make
deductions from earnings paid by him to the debtor;

14 of 1988.

Commencement.
[169/1991].

Short title.

Interpretation.

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LAWS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

Attachment of Earnings (Maintenance) Chap. 45:52 5

Ch. 4:20.

Schedule 1.

References to
debtor’s needs.

Power of Courts
to attach
earnings.
[28 of 1995].

Application for
attachment of
earnings order.
[28 of 1995].

Ch. 46:08.

“High Court maintenance order” and “Magistrate’s Court
maintenance order” mean respectively a maintenance order
made by a High Court or a Magistrate’s Court;

“Magistrate’s Court” means a “Court” or “Summary Court”
or “Court of summary jurisdiction” within the meaning of
section 2 of the Summary Courts Act;

“maintenance order” means any order specified in Schedule 1 and
includes such an order which has been discharged if any
arrears are recoverable thereunder; and

“maintenance payments” means payments required to be made
under a maintenance order.

3. References in relation to sections 6(5)(b) and 13(1)(a)(ii)
to the debtor’s needs include references to the needs of any person
for whom the debtor must, or reasonably may, provide.

4. Where a maintenance order has been made, whether
before or after the commencement of this Act, the Court
making the maintenance order may upon an application made
under this Act, at the same time, or at any subsequent time as the
case may be, make an attachment of earnings order to secure
maintenance payments.

5. (1) The following persons may apply for an attachment
of earnings order:

(a) any person making an application for a
maintenance order;

(b) any person who is entitled to receive payment
under a maintenance order whether directly
or into a specified bank account or to the
Collecting Officer;

(c) without prejudice to paragraph (b), where the
application is to the Magistrate’s Court for an
attachment of earnings order and there is in
force an order under section 26(6) of the Family
Law (Guardianship of Minors, Domicile and

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6 Chap. 45:52 Attachment of Earnings (Maintenance)

Maintenance) Act, that those payments be made
to the Collecting Officer;

(d) the debtor.

(2) Where a maintenance order is in force, an application
for an attachment of earnings order shall be made in accordance
with Form 1 or 5 of Schedule 5 as is appropriate and a summons
in Form 3 or 7 shall be served on the debtor.

(3) Where an application under subsection (2) is made
by the debtor it shall be endorsed with the prescribed notice in
Form 1 of Schedule 5 and a copy of the application so endorsed
shall be served on the person entitled to receive payment under
a maintenance order.

(4) Where a maintenance order is not in force, an
application for an attachment of earnings order may be made
at the same time as an application for a maintenance order,
and the Court shall hear the application for the attachment
of earnings order forthwith after the maintenance order has
been granted.

(5) An application for an attachment of earnings order
under subsection (4) shall be made by way of notice in Form 8
of Schedule 5 and a copy of the notice shall be served on the
person against whom the maintenance order is being sought.

(6) Where proceedings are brought—
(a) in the High Court for the enforcement of a

maintenance order by committal under—
(i) section 5 of the Debtors Act; or

(ii) rules 64 and 65 of the Matrimonial
Causes Rules; or

(b) in Magistrate’s Court for the enforcement of a
maintenance order under section 82 of the
Summary Courts Act,

the Court may make an attachment of earnings order to secure
payments under the maintenance order.

Schedule 5.
Form 1 or 5.
Form 3 or 7.

Schedule 5.
Form 1.

Schedule 5.
Form 8.

Ch. 8:07.

Ch. 45:51
Sub. Leg.

Ch. 4:20.

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Attachment of Earnings (Maintenance) Chap. 45:52 7

6. (1) An attachment of earnings order shall state the following
particulars relating to the debtor as are known to the applicant thereby
enabling the debtor to be identified by the employer:

(a) his full name and address;
(b) his place of employment;
(c) the nature of his work; and
(d) his national insurance number, if any.

(2) An attachment of earnings order shall be an order directed
to the employer and shall operate as an instruction to that person—

(a) to make periodical deductions from the
debtor’s earnings in accordance with Part I of
Schedule 2; and

(b) at such times as the order may require, or as the
Court may allow, to pay the amounts deducted
directly to the person to whom payment under
the maintenance order is required to be made or
to the Collecting Officer or as otherwise specified
in the order.

(3) The Court may order that maintenance payments
due under an attachment of earnings order be paid into an account
at any bank as designated by the person to whom payment under
the maintenance order is required to be made.

(4) Where there is a change in the bank account, notice is
required to be given to the Court of such change by the person to
whom payment under the maintenance order is required to be
made within seven days of such change.

(5) An attachment of earnings order shall further specify—
(a) the normal deduction rate, that is to say, the rate,

expressed as a sum of money per week, month
or other period, at which the Court thinks it
reasonable for the debtor’s earnings to be applied
to meeting his liability under the maintenance
order; and

(b) the protected earnings rate, that is to say, the rate
below which, having regard to the debtor’s
resources and needs, the Court thinks it

Contents and
effect of
attachment of
earnings order.
[28 of 1995].

Schedule 2.
Part I.

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8 Chap. 45:52 Attachment of Earnings (Maintenance)

reasonable that the earnings actually paid to him
should not be reduced.

(6) In the case of an order made to secure payments under
a maintenance order, not being an order for the payment of a lump
sum, the normal deduction rate—

(a) shall be determined after taking into account any
right or liability of the debtor to deduct income
tax and other compulsory social security
contributions in accordance with Schedule 3
when making the payments; and

(b) shall not exceed the rate which appears to the
Court necessary for the purpose of—

(i) securing payment of the sums falling due
from time to time under the maintenance
order; and

(ii) securing payment within a reasonable
period of any sums already due and
unpaid under the maintenance order.

(7) For the purposes of an attachment of earnings order,
the Collecting Officer shall be, subject to later variation of the
order under section 9—

(a) in the case of an order made by the High Court,
the Registrar of the Supreme Court, or
Sub-Registry or such other officer as may be
designated;

(b) in the case of a Magistrate’s Court, the Clerk or
an Assistant Clerk of the Peace designated by
the Chief Magistrate under the provisions of
section 26(3) or (4) of the Family Law
(Guardianship of Minors, Domicile and
Maintenance) Act.

7. (1) Where an attachment of earnings order has been
made, the employer shall, if he has been served with the order,
comply with it; but he shall be under no liability for non-compliance
before fourteen days have elapsed since the service.

Schedule 3.

Ch. 46:08.

Compliance
with order by
employer.

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Attachment of Earnings (Maintenance) Chap. 45:52 9

(2) Where a person is served with an attachment of
earnings order directed to him and he does not have the debtor in
his employment, or the debtor subsequently ceases to be in his
employment he shall, in either case, within ten days from the date
of service or, as the case may be, the cesser, give notice of that fact
in writing to the Court.

(3) Part II of Schedule 2 shall have effect with respect to the
priority to be accorded where two or more attachment of earnings
orders have been directed to an employer in respect of the same debtor.

(4) On any occasion when the employer makes, in
compliance with the order, a deduction from the debtor’s earnings
he shall give to the debtor a statement in writing of the total amount
of the deduction.

8. (1) Where an attachment of earnings order has been
made to secure maintenance payments, no order or warrant of
commitment shall be issued in consequence of any proceedings
for the enforcement of the maintenance order begun before the
making of the attachment of earnings order.

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1) where an attachment
of earnings order has been made but the attached earnings fail to
satisfy the entire maintenance payments the Court may upon
satisfactory evidence that the debtor has the means—

(a) issue a warrant of commitment in respect of the
non-payment of the sum not secured under the
attachment of earnings order; or

(b) direct payment by instalment of the said sum.

9. (1) The High Court or the Magistrate’s Court may make
an order varying or discharging an attachment of earnings order.

(2) Where an order is varied, the employer shall, if he
has been served with notice of the variation, comply with the order
as varied, but he shall be under no liability for non-compliance
before fourteen days have elapsed since the service.

(3) Where an attachment of earnings order has been
made and the employer ceases to have the debtor in his

Schedule 2.
Part II.

Inter-relation
with order or
issue of warrant
of commitment.
[28 of 1995].

Variation, lapse
and discharge of
orders.
[28 of 1995].

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10 Chap. 45:52 Attachment of Earnings (Maintenance)

employment, the order shall lapse, except as respects deduction
from earnings paid after the cesser and payment to the Collecting
Officer of amounts deducted at any time and shall be of no effect
unless and until the Court again directs it to the employer, whether
the same as before or another.

10. (1) The following provisions shall have effect, in the case
of an attachment of earnings order made to secure maintenance
payments, where it appears to the Collecting Officer that:

(a) the aggregate of the payments made for the
purposes of the maintenance order by the debtor,
whether under the attachment of earnings order
or otherwise, exceeds the aggregate of the
payments required up to that time by the
maintenance order; and

(b) the normal deduction rate specified by the
attachment of earnings order, or, where two or
more such orders are in force in relation to the
maintenance order, the aggregate of the normal
deduction rates specified by those orders, exceeds
the rate of payments required by the maintenance
order; and

(c) no proceedings for the variation or discharge of
the attachment of earnings order are pending.

(2) In the case of an order made by the High Court, the
Collecting Officer shall give notice of his intention to apply to the
Court to vary the order to the person to whom he is required to pay
sums received under the attachment of earnings order and to the
debtor; and the Court shall make the appropriate variation order
unless the debtor requests it to discharge the attachment of earnings
order, or to vary it in some other way, and the Court thinks fit to
comply with the request.

(3) In the case of an order made by a Magistrate’s Court,
the Collecting Officer shall apply to the Court for the appropriate
variation order; and the Court shall grant the application unless

Normal
deduction rate to
be reduced in
certain cases.

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Attachment of Earnings (Maintenance) Chap. 45:52 11

the debtor appears at the hearing and he requests the Court to
discharge the attachment of earnings order, or to vary it in some
other way, and the Court thinks fit to comply with the request.

(4) In this section, “the appropriate variation order” means
an order varying the attachment of earnings order in question by
reducing the normal deduction rate specified thereby so as to
secure that that rate, or, in the case mentioned in subsection (1)(b),
the aggregate of the rates therein mentioned—

(a) is the same as the rate of payments required by
the maintenance order, or

(b) is such lower rate as the Court thinks fit having
regard to the amount of the excess mentioned in
subsection (1)(a).

11. Where an attachment of earnings order is discharged
under section 9, the person to whom the order has been directed
shall be under no liability in consequence of his treating the order
as being still in force at any time before a copy of the discharging
order is served on him.

12. (1) The Collecting Officer to whom a person makes
payments in compliance with an attachment of earnings order shall
after deducting such Court fees, if any in respect of proceedings
for or arising out of the order, as are deductible from those
payments, pay the remaining sums to the person entitled.

(2) Any sum paid to the Collecting Officer under an
attachment of earnings order made to secure maintenance payments
shall, when paid to the person entitled to receive those payments,
be deemed to be payments made by the debtor so as to discharge—

(a) first, any sums for the time being due and unpaid
under the maintenance order, a sum due at an
earlier date being discharged before a sum due at
a later date; and

(b) secondly, any costs incurred in proceedings
related to the maintenance order which were
payable by the debtor when the attachment of
earnings order was made or last varied.

Termination of
employer’s
liability.
[28 of 1995].

Application of
sums received
by Collecting
Officer.

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12 Chap. 45:52 Attachment of Earnings (Maintenance)

13. (1) Where in any proceedings a Court has power to
make an attachment of earnings order, it may—

(a) order the debtor to give to the Court, within a
specified period, a statement signed by him of—

(i) the name and address of any person by
whom earnings are paid to him;

(ii) specified particulars as to his earnings and
anticipated earnings, and as to his resources
and needs; and

(iii) specified particulars for the purpose of
enabling the debtor to be identified by any
employer, of his;

(b) order the employer to give to the Court, within a
specified period, a statement signed by him or on
his behalf of specified particulars of the debtor’s
earnings and anticipated earnings.

(2) Where an attachment of earnings order has been made,
the Court may at any time thereafter while the order is in force
make such an order as is described in subsection (1)(a) or (b).

(3) Without prejudice to subsections (1) and (2), where
a summons or a notice of an application for an attachment of
earnings order is served on the debtor, it shall include a requirement
that he shall give to the Court within fourteen days a statement in
writing of the matters specified in subsection (1)(a) and of any
other matters which are, or may be, relevant under section 6 to the
determination of the normal deduction rate and the protected
earnings rate to be specified in any order made on the application.

(4) In any proceedings in which a Court has power to
make an attachment of earnings order, and in any proceedings for
the making, variation or discharge of such an order, a document
purporting to be a statement given to the Court in compliance
with an order under subsection (1)(a) or (b), or with any such
requirement of a summons or notice of application for an
attachment of earnings order as is mentioned in subsection (3),
shall in the absence of evidence to the contrary, be deemed to be a
statement so given and shall be proof of the facts stated therein.

Power of Court
to obtain
statements of
earnings, etc.
[28 of 1995].

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Attachment of Earnings (Maintenance) Chap. 45:52 13

14. Where an attachment of earnings order has been made and
has not been discharged—

(a) the debtor shall notify the Court in writing of
every occasion on which he leaves any
employment, or becomes employed or
re-employed, not later in each case than
fourteen days from the date on which he did so;

(b) the debtor shall on any occasion when he
becomes employed or re-employed include in his
notification under paragraph (a) particulars of
his earnings and anticipated earnings from the
relevant employment; and

(c) any person who becomes the debtor’s employer
and knows that the order is in force and by
what Court it is made shall, within fourteen
days of his becoming the debtor’s employer
or of acquiring that knowledge whichever is the
later notify that Court in writing that he is the
debtor’s employer, and include in his notification
a statement of the debtor’s earnings and
anticipated earnings.

15. (1) Where an attachment of earnings order is in force,
the Court shall, on the application of the person in subsection (2),
determine whether payments to the debtor of a particular class
or description specified by the application are earnings for the
purposes of the order; and the employer shall be entitled to
give effect to any determination for the time being in force under
this section.

(2) The persons referred to in subsection (1) are—
(a) the employer;
(b) the debtor;
(c) the person to whom payment under the

maintenance order is required to be made, whether
directly, into a specified bank account or through
the Collecting Officer of the Court.

Obligation of
debtor and his
employers to
notify changes
of employment
and earnings.

Power of Court
to determine
whether
particular
payments are
earnings.

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14 Chap. 45:52 Attachment of Earnings (Maintenance)

(3) Where an application under this section is made by
the employer, he shall not incur any liability for non-compliance
with the order as respects any payment of the class or description
specified by the application which is made by him to the debtor
while the application or any appeal in consequence thereof is
pending; but this subsection shall not, unless the Court otherwise
orders, apply as respects such payments if the employer
subsequently withdraws the application or, as the case may be,
abandons the appeal.

16. (1) The Collecting Officer who is entitled to receive
maintenance payments under a maintenance order for transmission
to another person shall not—

(a) apply for an attachment of earnings order to
secure payments under the maintenance order; or

(b) except as provided by section 10(3) apply for
an order discharging or varying such an
attachment of earnings order; or

(c) apply for a determination under section 15,
unless he is requested in writing to do so by
the person entitled to receive maintenance
payments through him.

(2) Where the Collecting Officer is so requested—
(a) he shall comply with the request unless it appears

to him unreasonable in the circumstances to do
so; and

(b) the person by whom the request was made shall
have the same liabilities for all the costs properly
incurred in or about any proceedings taken in
pursuance of the request as if the proceedings had
been taken by that person.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (2)(b), any application
made by the Collecting Officer as required by section 10(3) shall
be deemed to be made at the request of the person in whose
favour the attachment of earnings order in question was made.

Certain
applications to
be made by
Collecting
Officer only on
request.

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Attachment of Earnings (Maintenance) Chap. 45:52 15

(4) An application for an attachment of earnings order
may be heard notwithstanding that it was not made within the six
months allowed by section 33(2) of the Summary Courts Act.

17. (1) On making a determination under section 15, the Court
may in its discretion make such order as it thinks just and reasonable
for payment by any of the persons mentioned in subsection (2) of
that section of the whole or any part of the costs of the determination
but subject to section 16(2)(b).

(2) Costs ordered to be paid under this section shall in
the case of costs to be paid by the debtor to the person in whose
favour the attachment of earnings order in question was made, be
deemed, to be a sum due under the maintenance order.

18. (1) Where a debtor is employed by the State and an
attachment of earnings order is made in respect of him, then, for
the purposes of this Act—

(a) the Chief Accounting Officer of the Department
in which the debtor is for the time being employed
shall be regarded for the purposes of this Act as
the employer and any transfer of the debtor from
one department to another shall not be treated as
a cessation of employment within the meaning
of section 9(3);

(b) any earnings paid by the State shall be treated
as paid by the said Chief Accounting Officer of
the department in which the debtor is employed.

(2) For the purposes of this section, the expression “the
State” includes local and public authorities of all descriptions.

19. (1) Where after being served with a summons or a notice
of an application to a High Court or a Magistrate’s Court for an
attachment of earnings order or for the variation of such an order,
the debtor fails to attend on the day and at the time specified for
any hearing of the application, the Court may adjourn the hearing

Ch. 4:20.

Costs on
application
under
section 15.

Persons
employed by
the State.
[28 of 1995].

Failure of debtor
to attend hearing
of application.
[28 of 1995].

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16 Chap. 45:52 Attachment of Earnings (Maintenance)

and order him to attend at a specified time on another day and if
the debtor—

(a) fails to attend at that time on that day; or
(b) attends, but refuses to be sworn or give evidence,

the Court may proceed to hear the application notwithstanding
his absence or his refusal to be sworn or to give evidence.

(2) Subject to this section, a person commits an
offence if—

(a) being required by section 7(1) or 9(2), to comply
with an attachment of earnings order, he fails to
do so; or

(b) being required by section 7(2) to give a notice
for the purposes of that subsection, he fails to give
it or fails to give it within the time required by
that subsection; or

(c) he fails to comply with an order under
section 13(1) or with any such requirement of
a summons or a notice of application for
an attachment of earnings order as is mentioned
in section 13(3), or fails, in either case, to
comply within the time required by the order
or notice; or

(d) he fails to comply with section 14; or
(e) he gives notice for the purposes of section 7(2),

or a notification for the purposes of section 14,
which he knows to be false in a material particular,
or recklessly gives such a notice or notification
which is false in a material particular; or

(f) in purported compliance with section 7(2) or 14,
or with an order under section 13(1), or with
any such requirement of a summons or a notice
of application for an attachment of earnings
order as is mentioned in section 13(3), he makes
any statement which he knows to be false in a
material particular, or recklessly makes any
statement which is false in a material particular.

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Attachment of Earnings (Maintenance) Chap. 45:52 17

(3) Where a person commits an offence under
subsection (2) in relation to proceedings in, or to an attachment of
earnings order made by the High Court or Magistrate’s Court, he
is liable on summary conviction to a fine of one thousand
dollars or he may be ordered by a Judge of the High Court or by a
Magistrate in the Magistrate’s Court, as the case may be, to pay a
fine of one thousand dollars or, in the case of an offence specified
in subsection (4), to be imprisoned for fourteen days; and where a
person commits an offence under subsection (2) otherwise than
as mentioned in this subsection, he is liable on summary
conviction to a fine of one thousand dollars.

(4) The offences referred to above in the case of which
a Judge may impose imprisonment are—

(a) an offence under subsection (2)(c) or (d) if
committed by the debtor; and

(b) an offence under subsection (2)(e) or (f), whether
committed by the debtor or any other person.

(5) It shall be a defence—
(a) for a person charged with an offence under

subsection (2)(a) to prove that he took all
reasonable steps to comply with the attachment
of earnings order in question; or

(b) for a person charged with an offence under
subsection (2)(b) to prove that he did not know
and could not reasonably be expected to know
that the debtor was not or had ceased to be in his
employment and that he gave the required notice
as soon as reasonably practicable after the fact
came to his knowledge.

(6) Where a person is convicted or dealt with for an
offence under subsection (2)(a), the Court may order him to pay
to whoever is the Collecting Officer for the purposes of the
attachment of earnings order in question, any sums deducted by
that person from the debtor’s earnings and not already paid to
the Collecting Officer.

UNOFFICIAL VERSION


UPDATED TO DECEMBER 31ST 2014

MINISTRY OF LEGAL AFFAIRS www.legalaffairs.gov.tt

LAWS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

18 Chap. 45:52 Attachment of Earnings (Maintenance)

(7) Where under this section a person is ordered by a
Judge of the High Court or a Magistrate to be imprisoned, the
Judge or the Magistrate, as the case may be, may at any time revoke
the order and, if the person is already in custody, order his discharge.

(8) Any fine imposed by a Judge of the High Court
under subsection (3) and any sums ordered by the High Court
to be paid under subsection (6) shall be recoverable as a civil
debt; and any sum ordered by a Magistrate’s Court to be paid
under subsection (6) shall be recoverable as a sum adjudged to
be paid on a conviction by that Court.

20. (1) This Act shall apply with respect to maintenance
orders made under the former Acts as if they were maintenance
orders made under the Family Law (Guardianship of Minors,
Domicile and Maintenance) Act; and all such orders made under
the former Acts may be enforced, varied, discharged or suspended
and any arrears due under any such order may be remitted under
an attachment of earnings order made under this Act.

(2) In this section the expression “former Acts”, means
the Affiliation Act, the Separation and Maintenance Act and
Part I of the Infants Act since repealed by the said Family Law
(Guardianship of Minors, Domicile and Maintenance) Act.

21. This Act binds the State.

22. The Forms set out in Schedule 5 or forms to the like effect
may be used in the matters to which they apply.

Transitional.

Ch. 46:08.

Ch. 46:05.
Ch. 45:52.
Ch. 46:02.

Act binds
the State.

Forms.
Schedule 5.

UNOFFICIAL VERSION


UPDATED TO DECEMBER 31ST 2014

MINISTRY OF LEGAL AFFAIRS www.legalaffairs.gov.tt

L.R.O.

LAWS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

Attachment of Earnings (Maintenance) Chap. 45:52 19

SCHEDULE 1

MAINTENANCE ORDERS TO WHICH
THIS ACT APPLIES

1. An order for maintenance pending suit, maintenance or other payments
made, or having effect as if made under the Matrimonial Proceedings and
Property Act, Ch. 45:51.

2. An order for payments to or in respect of a child, being an order made,
or having effect as if made, under Part III of the said Matrimonial Proceedings
and Property Act, Ch. 45:51.

3. An order under section 13(2), 13(5), 13(6)(a), 13(6)(b), 14(1)(b), 15(b)
of the Family Law (Guardianship of Minors, Domicile and Maintenance)
Act, Ch. 46:08.

4. An order for maintenance made pursuant to a paternity order
under section 22 of the Family Law (Guardianship of Minors, Domicile and
Maintenance) Act, Ch. 46:08.

5. An order for maintenance or other periodical payments to or in
respect of a spouse or a child, being an order made, or having effect as if
made under section 25 of the Family Law (Guardianship of Minors, Domicile
and Maintenance) Act.

6. An order under sections 13 and 65 of the Children Act, Ch. 46:01.

7. An order for maintenance under the Age of Majority Act, Ch. 46:06.

8. An order for maintenance under Part III of the Wills and Probate
Act, Ch. 9:03.

9. An order under section 9(2) of the Infants Act, Ch. 46:02.

10. A maintenance order within the meaning of the Maintenance
Orders (Facilities for Enforcement) Act, 2000 (United Kingdom, and other
Commonwealth Maintenance Orders enforceable in Trinidad and Tobago)
registered in, or confirmed by, a Court in Trinidad and Tobago under the
said Act.

Section 2.
[12 of 2000].

UNOFFICIAL VERSION


UPDATED TO DECEMBER 31ST 2014

MINISTRY OF LEGAL AFFAIRS www.legalaffairs.gov.tt

LAWS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

20 Chap. 45:52 Attachment of Earnings (Maintenance)

SCHEDULE 2

DEDUCTIONS BY EMPLOYER UNDER ATTACHMENT
OF EARNINGS ORDER

PART I

SCHEME OF DEDUCTIONS

1. For the purposes of this Schedule the expressions used therein are
defined and explained as appears in the following three paragraphs.

2. “Pay-day” in relation to earnings paid to a debtor, means an occasion
on which they are paid.

3. “Attachable earnings” in relation to a pay-day, are the earnings which
remain payable to the debtor on that day after deduction by the employer of—

(a) income tax;
(b) contributions under any of the following enactments:

(i) the National Insurance Act, Ch. 32:01;
(ii) the National Insurance (Amendment) Act, No. l3

of 1984;
(c) contributions deductible under the Widows’ and Orphans’

Pensions Act, Ch. 23:54 in the case of male public officers
holding permanent appointment in the public service of
Trinidad and Tobago within the meaning of section 2 of the
said Widows’ and Orphans’ Pensions Act, Ch. 23:54.

4. On any pay-day—
(a) “the normal deduction” is arrived at by applying the normal

deduction rate, as specified in the relevant attachment of
earnings order, with respect to the period since the last
pay-day or, if it is the first pay-day of the debtor’s employment
with the employer, since the employment began; and

(b) “the protected earnings” are arrived at by applying the
protected earnings rate, as so specified, with respect to the
said period.

5. (1) Where on any pay-day the attachable earnings exceed the sum of—
(a) the protected earnings; and
(b) so much of any amount by which the attachable earnings on

any previous pay-day fell short of the protected earnings as
has not been made good by virtue of this subparagraph on
another previous pay-day,

Sections 6
and 8.

UNOFFICIAL VERSION


UPDATED TO DECEMBER 31ST 2014

MINISTRY OF LEGAL AFFAIRS www.legalaffairs.gov.tt

L.R.O.

LAWS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

Attachment of Earnings (Maintenance) Chap. 45:52 21

then, in so far as the excess allows, the employer shall deduct from the attachable
earnings the amount specified in the following subparagraph:

(2) The said amount is the sum of—
(a) the normal deduction; and
(b) so much of the normal deduction on any previous pay-day as

was not deducted on that day and has not been paid by virtue
of this subparagraph on any other previous pay-day.

(3) No deduction shall be made on any pay-day when the attachable
earnings are equal to, or less than, the protected earnings.

PART II

PRIORITY AS BETWEEN ORDERS
6. Where the employer is required to comply with two or more attachment

of earnings orders in respect of the same debtor, then on any pay-day the employer
shall, for the purpose of complying with Part I of this Schedule—

(a) deal with the orders according to the respective dates on which
they were made, disregarding any later order until an earlier
one has been dealt with;

(b) deal with any later order as if the earnings to which it relates
were the residue of the debtor’s earnings after the making of
any deduction to comply with any earlier order.

SCHEDULE 3

TAXES, SOCIAL SECURITY CONTRIBUTIONS
RELEVANT FOR PURPOSES OF SECTION 6(6)

Contributions under—
(a) Section 36 of the National Insurance Act, Ch. 32:01;
(b) Section 37 of the National Insurance Act, Ch. 32:01;
(c) Section 56A of the National Insurance Act, Ch. 32:01.

SCHEDULE 4

ENACTMENTS PROVIDING BENEFITS WHICH ARE NOT
TO BE TREATED AS DEBTOR’S EARNINGS

The National Insurance Act, Ch. 32:01.
The Public Assistance Act, Ch. 32:03.

Section 7.

Section 6.

Section 2.

UNOFFICIAL VERSION


UPDATED TO DECEMBER 31ST 2014

MINISTRY OF LEGAL AFFAIRS www.legalaffairs.gov.tt

LAWS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

22 Chap. 45:52 Attachment of Earnings (Maintenance)

SCHEDULE 5
FORM 1

REPUBLIC OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

Region of ............................................................

IN THE MAGISTRATE’S COURT

THE ATTACHMENT OF EARNINGS (MAINTENANCE) ACT (CH. 45:52)

APPLICATION FOR ORDER TO ATTACH EARNINGS
The application of ........................................................................................

of .........................................................................................................................
made the ....................day of ....................................... , 20........ states that by a
maintenace order made at the .............................................................................
Magistrate’s Court held at ............................................................................. on
the ....................... day of .................................................. , 20....... (name of
debtor) was ordered to pay to ......................................... or to .............................
...................................................................... having the care of a minor child/
minor children the sum of ....................................................... per week/month.

AND the applicant further says that there is payable to the said
.................................................................... certain earnings capable of being
attached namely * ...............................................................................................
..............................................................................................................................

AND the applicant therefore prays that an order be made that the sum of
† ............................................................................................... or such part
thereof as the Court may order, may each week be attached out of the said
earnings and paid—

‡(1) directly to the applicant;
‡(2) to the bank account specified herein;
‡(3) to the Collecting Officer for the said Magisterial District;
‡(4) directly to the person entitled to receive payment under the

maintenance order.
Signed ...............................................

Applicant

Taken before me this .................. day of ..................................... , 20....... .

............................................... in the ...................................................................

Signed ...............................................
Clerk of the Peace

Section 5.
[28 of 1995].

UNOFFICIAL VERSION


UPDATED TO DECEMBER 31ST 2014

MINISTRY OF LEGAL AFFAIRS www.legalaffairs.gov.tt

L.R.O.

LAWS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

Attachment of Earnings (Maintenance) Chap. 45:52 23

ENDORSEMENT ON APPLICATION OF DEBTOR
To ........................................................................................................................

TAKE NOTICE that this application has been filed by .....................................
................................ (the debtor) and will be heard by the ................................
Magistrate at ....................................... on the ................. day of ...................... ,
20..... at ..................... o’clock.

Dated this .............................. day of ............................................., 20...... .

Signed ................................................

* Set out particulars of earnings.
† Insert amount of weekly/monthly sum payable under the Attachment of Earnings Order.
‡ Delete whichever is inapplicable.

FORM 2

REPUBLIC OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

Region of ............................................................

IN THE MAGISTRATE’S COURT

THE ATTACHMENT OF EARNINGS (MAINTENANCE) ACT (CH. 45:52)

FORM OF RECEIPT TO BE GIVEN BY
COLLECTING OFFICER

.................................................. Magisterial District
No. ................................................
.............................................................. vs. ...............................................................
Received from ........................................... this ..................... day of
.............................................. , 20....... the sum of ............................................
being amount due under an attachment of earnings order in respect of
............................ weeks/months payments ending the ............................ day of
............................................ , 20...... .

Signed .............................................

$

.................................................. Magisterial District.

Name of person entitled to payments under maintenance order

Clerk of the Peace

Collecting Officer

Section 6.
[28 of 1995].

UNOFFICIAL VERSION


UPDATED TO DECEMBER 31ST 2014

MINISTRY OF LEGAL AFFAIRS www.legalaffairs.gov.tt

LAWS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

24 Chap. 45:52 Attachment of Earnings (Maintenance)

FORM 3

REPUBLIC OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
Region of ..................................................................

IN THE MAGISTRATE’S COURT

THE ATTACHMENT OF EARNINGS (MAINTENANCE) ACT (CH. 45:52)

SUMMONS FOR ATTACHMENT OF EARNINGS

................................................... Magisterial District

To ........................................................................................................................

WHEREAS application has been made on the ......................................... day of

............................ 20....... that by a maintenance order made at the Magistrate’s

Court for the Magisterial District held at .................................................. on the

.................. day of ............................................... , 20...... it was adjudged that

................................. was ordered to pay the sum of $................................... per

week/month to ......................................... or to ..................................................

having the care of the minor child/minor children ...................................................
And the applicant further states that there are certain earnings capable of being

attached, namely .................................................................................................

These are therefore to require you to be and appear on the .....................day

of ................................................... , 20..... at .............................. o’clock in the

forenoon in the Magistrate’s Court at ........................................... to show cause

Name and Address of Debtor

Section 5.
[28 of 1995].

UNOFFICIAL VERSION


UPDATED TO DECEMBER 31ST 2014

MINISTRY OF LEGAL AFFAIRS www.legalaffairs.gov.tt

L.R.O.

LAWS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

Attachment of Earnings (Maintenance) Chap. 45:52 25

why an order should not be made that the sum of ..............................................

..................................................................................... or such part thereof as
the Court may order may each week/month be attached out of the said earnings
and paid in the manner specified in the said application.

You are requested to give to the Court, within fourteen (14) days, a sworn
statement of the following matters:

(i) the name and address of any person by whom earnings
are paid to you;

(ii) particulars about your earnings and anticipated earnings
as well as your resources and needs;

(iii) particulars of the amount of income tax and compulsory
social security contributions which are to be deducted
from your earnings or anticipated earnings as the case
may be;

(iv) particulars for the purpose of enabling you to be
identified by any employer of yours.

Given under my hand this ........................... day of ...........................................

20...... at ..................................................... in the ..............................................

Magisterial District ...............................................

Signed ....................................................
Clerk of the Peace

UNOFFICIAL VERSION


UPDATED TO DECEMBER 31ST 2014

MINISTRY OF LEGAL AFFAIRS www.legalaffairs.gov.tt

LAWS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

26 Chap. 45:52 Attachment of Earnings (Maintenance)

FORM 4

REPUBLIC OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

Region of ..............................................

IN THE MAGISTRATE’S COURT

THE ATTACHMENT OF EARNINGS (MAINTENANCE) ACT (CH. 45:52)

ORDER TO ATTACH EARNINGS

To ........................................................................................................................

.................................................. Magisterial District
WHEREAS an application has been made by ................................ that by a
maintenance order made at the .............................. Magistrate’s Court held at
..................................................... on the ................................ day of
........................................... , 20....... it was adjudged that ..................................
of ................................................... who is employed at ....................................
as .......................................... NIS No. ................................ was ordered to pay
the sum of $ .................................... per week/month to .......................................
and there is now due thereunder the sum of ................................ being the amount
of arrears for .................................... weeks/months payments and that there is
payable to the said ............................................... certain earnings capable of
being attached, namely ........................................................................................
......................................

After giving the said ..................................................................................
an opportunity of being heard it is adjudged that the facts set out in the said
application are true.

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the said .............................................. (debtor)
do make payments out of those earnings in accordance with the Act to be
paid to ........................................ in the manner specified by the Court.

AND IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that for the purpose of calculating the said
payments the normal deduction rate shall be .................... per week/month and
that the protected earnings rate shall be .................................... per week/month.

Dated this ................... day of ..................................... , 20....... .

Signed .....................................................

......................................................... Magisterial District.

Name and Address of Debtor

Clerk of the Peace

Sections 4
and 6.
[28 of 1995].

UNOFFICIAL VERSION


UPDATED TO DECEMBER 31ST 2014

MINISTRY OF LEGAL AFFAIRS www.legalaffairs.gov.tt

L.R.O.

LAWS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

Attachment of Earnings (Maintenance) Chap. 45:52 27

FORM 5

REPUBLIC OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE

THE ATTACHMENT OF EARNINGS (MAINTENANCE) ACT (CH. 45:52)

APPLICATION FOR ORDER TO ATTACH EARNINGS
The application of ............................................................................................

of .........................................................................................................................
made the ........................... day of ............................. , 20...... to the High Court
states that by a maintenance order made in the High Court of Justice dated
the ........................ day of ................................ , 20...... was ordered to pay to
...................................................... or to ..............................................................
...................................................................... having the care of a minor child/
minor children‡ the sum of ............................................. per week/month‡.

And the applicant further says that there is payable to the said .........................
.................................................... certain earnings capable of being attached
namely *...............................................................................................................
............................................... .

And the applicant therefore prays that an order be made that the sum of
†.................................................................................................................. or
such part thereof as the Court may order, may each week be attached out of
the said earnings and paid—

‡ (1) directly to the applicant;
‡ (2) to the bank account specified herein;
‡ (3) to the Collecting Officer for the said Magisterial District;
‡ (4) directly to the person entitled to receive payment under the

maintenance order.

Signed .................................................

Taken before me this .............................. day of .............................., 20.........
at .......................................... in the ..................................................

Signed .................................................

Applicant

Registrar of the Supreme Court

Section 5.
[28 of 1995].

UNOFFICIAL VERSION


UPDATED TO DECEMBER 31ST 2014

MINISTRY OF LEGAL AFFAIRS www.legalaffairs.gov.tt

LAWS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

28 Chap. 45:52 Attachment of Earnings (Maintenance)

ENDORSEMENT ON APPLICATION OF DEBTOR

To ................................................................................................................

TAKE NOTICE that this application has been filed by .........................................
and will be held by the Judge in Chambers at ....................................................
on the ...................... day of ................................................ , 20........ .

Dated this .................... day of ............................................. , 20....... .

Signed ..................................................

* Set out particulars of earnings.
† Insert amount of weekly/monthly sum payable under the attachment of earnings order.
‡ Delete whichever is inapplicable.

FORM 6

REPUBLIC OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE

THE ATTACHMENT OF EARNINGS (MAINTENANCE) ACT (CH. 45:52)

FORM OF RECEIPT TO BE GIVEN BY
THE REGISTRAR

No. .................................... of 20......
.......................................................... vs. .............................................................*

Received from .............................................................. this ........................
day of ................................................... , 20....... the sum of ..............................
being amount due under an attachment of earnings order in the above matter
in respect of ...................................................................weeks/months payments
ending the .................................. day of .............................................. , 20...... .

Signed ..................................................

Name and address of person entitled to receive payments under maintenance order

Registrar of the Supreme Court

Registrar of the Supreme Court
$

Section 6.
[28 of 1995].

*Insert title of proceedings.

UNOFFICIAL VERSION


UPDATED TO DECEMBER 31ST 2014

MINISTRY OF LEGAL AFFAIRS www.legalaffairs.gov.tt

L.R.O.

LAWS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

Attachment of Earnings (Maintenance) Chap. 45:52 29

FORM 7

REPUBLIC OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE

THE ATTACHMENT OF EARNINGS (MAINTENANCE) ACT (CH. 45:52)

SUMMONS FOR ATTACHMENT OF EARNINGS
To ........................................................................................................................

WHEREAS application has been made to the High Court .................................
20........ that by a maintenance order made at the High Court held at .................
on the ................................. day of .......................................... 20...... it was
adjudged that ........................................................... was ordered to pay the sum
of $ ................................... per week/month to ...................................................
or to .................................................................. having the care of the minor child/
or minor children ..................................................................................................
And the applicant further states that there are certain earnings capable of
being attached, namely .......................................................................................

These are therefore to require you to be and appear on the .................... day
of ................................... , 20....... at .......................... o’clock in the forenoon in
the High Court at ................................................. to show cause why an order
should not be made that the sum of .....................................................................
.............................................................. or such part thereof as the Court may
order may each week/month be attached out of the said earnings and paid in the
manner specified in the said application.

You are requested to give to the Court, within fourteen (14) days, a sworn
statement of the following matters:

(i) the name and address of any person by whom earnings
are paid to you;

(ii) particulars about your earnings and anticipated earnings
including your resources as well as your needs;

(iii) particulars of the amount of income tax and compulsory
social security contributions which are to be deducted
from your earnings or anticipated earnings as the case
might be;

(iv) particulars for the purpose of enabling you to be
identified by any employer of yours.

Given under my hand this ........................... day of ................................ ,
20......... at .........................................................

Signed .................................................

Section 5.
[28 of 1995].

Name and Address of Debtor

Registrar of the Supreme Court

UNOFFICIAL VERSION


UPDATED TO DECEMBER 31ST 2014

MINISTRY OF LEGAL AFFAIRS www.legalaffairs.gov.tt

LAWS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

30 Chap. 45:52 Attachment of Earnings (Maintenance)

Section 5.
[28 of 1995].

F0RM 8

REPUBLIC OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

THE ATTACHMENT OF EARNINGS (MAINTENANCE) ACT (CH. 45:52)

*In the Magistrate’s Court
In the High Court of Justice

NOTICE OF APPLICATION
TO .......................................................................................................................

TAKE NOTICE that ...........................................................................................
having made an application for maintenance applies to the Court for an
Attachment of Earnings Order under section 5 of the Attachment of Earnings
(Maintenance) Act (Ch. 45:52).

The application will be heard immediately after the order for maintenance
has been granted and in default of your appearance an order may be made as the
Court thinks fit.

Take Notice also that you must send to the Registrar/Clerk of the Peace so
as to reach him within fourteen days after you receive this notice a sworn
statement of the following matters:

(i) the name and address of any person by whom earnings
are paid to you;

(ii) particulars about your earnings and anticipated earnings
as well as your resources and needs;

(iii) particulars of the amount of income tax and compulsory
social security contributions which are to be deducted
from your earnings or anticipated earnings as the case
may be; and

(iv) particulars for the purpose of enabling you to be
identified by any employer of yours.

Dated .....................................................

Signed ........................................................................
*Registrar of the Supreme Court/

Clerk of the Peace for the Magistrates District

Name and address of person against whom order is being sought

*Delete whichever is inapplicable.

UNOFFICIAL VERSION


UPDATED TO DECEMBER 31ST 2014

MINISTRY OF LEGAL AFFAIRS www.legalaffairs.gov.tt

L.R.O.

LAWS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

Attachment of Earnings (Maintenance) Chap. 45:52 31

FORM 9

REPUBLIC OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

THE ATTACHMENT OF EARNINGS (MAINTENANCE) ACT (CH. 45:52)

APPLICATION TO VARY ATTACHMENT OF
EARNINGS ORDER

*In the Magistrate’s Court
In the High Court of Justice

No. ......................................... of ..........................................................................

WHEREAS by an attachment of earnings order dated the ...............................
day of ...................................................., 20....... was required out of earnings
falling to be paid by him to ..................................................................................
to make payments to me in or towards satisfaction of the payments due to
............................................................................................................. under a
maintenance order made by the High Court of Justice or as the case may be on
the ....................... day of ............................................, 20...... .

And whereas it appears that—
(a) the aggregate of the payments made for the purposes or the

maintenance order exceeds the aggregate of the payments
required by that order; and

(b) the normal deduction rate specified by the attachment of
earnings exceeds the rate of payments required by the
maintenance order; and

(c) no proceedings for the variation or discharge of the attachment
of earnings order are pending.

Take notice that unless the said ............................................... applies to
the High Court of Justice/Magistrate’s Court within fourteen days after the
date of an order discharging the attachment of earnings order or varying it in
some manner, the Court will make an order varying the attachment of earnings
order by reducing the normal deduction rate to the rate of payments required
by the maintenance order or to such lower rate as the Court thinks fit having
regard to the amount of the excess mentioned in paragraph (a) of this notice.

Dated the .............................. day of ........................................... , 20........ .

*Signed (to be signed by the Registrar of the Supreme Court
or the Collecting Officer of the Magistrate’s Court as the
case may be).

Insert number of name of proceedings

Section 9.
[28 of 1995].

*Delete whichever is inapplicable.

UNOFFICIAL VERSION


UPDATED TO DECEMBER 31ST 2014

MINISTRY OF LEGAL AFFAIRS www.legalaffairs.gov.tt
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