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Commonwealth Edison v. Denson

Court of Appeals of Illinois
494 N.E.2d 293 (1986)


Facts

Commonwealth Edison (Edison) (plaintiff) obtained a judgment in circuit court against Willie Denson (defendant) to collect a debt of $629.54 plus costs. Denson was employed by Caterpillar Tractor Company (Caterpillar). Edison attempted to garnish Denson’s wages by sending interrogatories to Caterpillar. Caterpillar did not take out the full 15 percent required by Edison’s order, because Caterpillar was already withholding $60 per week from Denson’s paycheck due to a support order. Another action was brought by Newsome Physical Therapy Clinic (Newsome) (plaintiff) against Dwight Morgan (defendant) for the collection of $748.19 plus costs. Morgan was also employed by Caterpillar. Newsome served Caterpillar with interrogatories and an affidavit for a wage-deduction order. However, Caterpillar was already withholding from Morgan’s paycheck due to a support order and declined to take out any amount for Newsome. The trial court ruled in favor of Edison and Newsome, holding that payroll deductions stemming from a support order should not be included when determining a reduction in disposable earnings for garnishment by a judgment creditor. Caterpillar appealed the trial court’s ruling.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Stouder, J.)

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