Qp Date
This Act has "Not in Force" sections. See the Table of Legislative Changes.

Family Maintenance Enforcement Act

[RSBC 1996] CHAPTER 127

Contents
Part 1 — Definitions and Interpretation
1Definitions and interpretation
Part 2 — Enforcement by the Director
2Director of Maintenance Enforcement
3Filing of orders
4Enforcement of filed orders
5Enforcement by director exclusive
6Withdrawal from filing
7Notice of filing, withdrawal or application to vary
8Searchable information
8.1Requesting and disclosing searchable information
8.2Requesting searchable information
8.3Disclosing searchable information
8.4Information-sharing agreements
9Orders respecting correspondence and searchable information
9.1Change of address
10Payments
11Record of payments
Part 3 — Enforcement Mechanisms
11.1Interest
12Statement of finances required by director
12.1Payment conference
13Statement of finances required by court
14Failure to provide statement of finances
14.1A corporation with only the debtor as shareholder
14.2A corporation controlled by the debtor or by

the debtor and immediate family members
14.3Balanced approach to enforcement against a corporation
14.4Annual default fee
15Notice of attachment
16Withdrawal of notice of attachment
17Notice of attachment from outside British Columbia
18Garnishment
19Summons for default hearing
20Warrant for arrest
21Default hearing
22Failure to report
23Committal hearing
24Attachment orders
25Attachment or garnishment of money owing by the government
25.1Lottery winnings
26Registration in land title office
26.1Registration in personal property security registry
27Warrant of execution
28Priority over other judgment debts
29Appointment of receiver
29.1Debtor's licences and number plates
29.2Withdrawing the director's notice
30Restraining order
30.1Order requiring security for maintenance payments
31Arrest of absconding debtor
32Crediting of payments
Part 4 — General
33Provincial Court may enforce Supreme Court orders
34Proceedings in Provincial Court
35Joinder and defence of variation application
36Presumption and inferences
37Debt is no defence
38Spouses compellable
39Third parties compellable
40Proof of default or arrears
41Document signed by director as evidence
41.1Documents from reciprocating jurisdictions
41.2Evidentiary matters
42Proof of service not required
43Information confidential
44Protection against action
45Provision unenforceable
46Order restraining harassment
47Employers must not penalize employees
48Appeal
49Offences
50Section 5 of the Offence Act
51Power to make regulations and orders

Part 1 — Definitions and Interpretation

Definitions and interpretation

1  (1) In this Act:

"annual default fee" means the fee prescribed under section 51 for purposes of section 14.4;

"attachee" means a person required or directed to pay under a notice of attachment or attachment order;

"attachment order" means an order made under section 24;

"court" means,

(a) in sections 3 (1) and (2), 9, 10, 12.1 (4), 13 to 24, 26 (1), (10), (12) and (13), 29.2 (2), 30.1, 31, 32, 36 (2), 39, 40, 45 (c), 46, 47 (2) and (3), 49 (1) (b) and 51 (2) (c), the Supreme Court or the Provincial Court,

(b) in sections 29 and 30, the Supreme Court, and

(c) in section 27 (1) and (2), the Provincial Court;

"creditor"

(a) in relation to a maintenance order, except one referred to in paragraph (b), means the person entitled under the order to receive maintenance for himself or herself or another person, and, in the following provisions of this Act, includes any minister to whom the order is assigned, or deemed to have been assigned, under the Employment and Assistance Act or the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Act:

(i)   section 9 (1);

(ii)   section 10 (1) (a) (ii);

(iii)   section 11 (1) and (2);

(iv)   section 28 (2) and (4), and

(b) in relation to a maintenance order requiring a parent, guardian or stepparent to contribute to the maintenance of a child who is in the care of a director under the Child, Family and Community Service Act, means that director;

"debtor" means a person required under a maintenance order to pay maintenance;

"default hearing" means a hearing referred to in section 19;

"director" means the person designated under section 2 (1) as the Director of Maintenance Enforcement and, in relation to a power, duty or function that the director has under section 2 (2) delegated to another person, service, agency or body, includes that other person, service, agency or body;

" Divorce Act " means the Divorce Act (Canada) or an Act repealed by that Act;

"maintenance" means maintenance, support or alimony, whether payable

(a) periodically, annually or otherwise,

(b) for an indefinite or limited period or until the happening of a specified event, or

(c) as a lump sum,

and includes

(d) expenses arising from and incidental to

(i)   the prenatal care of the mother or child, or

(ii)   the birth of a child,

(d.1) the cost of tests for paternity,

(e) an amount payable under section 14 (1) (b) or 22 (2) (a),

(f) fixed costs awarded under the regulations in favour of the director or a creditor,

(g) taxed costs awarded in relation to anything that comes within this definition,

(h) prescribed fees or expenses,

(i) interest that is or may be imposed under section 11.1, and

(j) any annual default fee that is imposed under section 14.4;

"maintenance order" means a provision for the payment of maintenance in an order or judgment that is enforceable in British Columbia and includes

(a) an interim order, made under the Family Law Act, respecting support,

(b) an order made under section 21,

(c) an agreement deemed to be a maintenance order under subsection (2), and

(d) an order that is a support order under the Interjurisdictional Support Orders Act,

but does not include a provisional order or a provisional variation order, as defined in section 1 (1) of the Interjurisdictional Support Orders Act;

"notice of attachment" means a notice of attachment issued under section 15;

"reciprocating jurisdiction" means a reciprocating jurisdiction as defined in section 1 (1) of the Interjurisdictional Support Orders Act;

"searchable information" means searchable information, including personal information, as described in section 8;

"spouse" means a person who

(a) is married to a debtor, or

(b) is living with a debtor in a marriage-like relationship.

(1.1) For the purposes of this Act, a maintenance order is considered to be assigned to the minister under the Employment and Assistance Act or the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Act during the period

(a) beginning on the date the right to receive payment under the order or the right to file the maintenance order under this Act is assigned to that minister, and

(b) ending on the date the assignment terminates.

(1.2) While a maintenance order is assigned to a minister referred to in subsection (1.1), that minister is deemed for the purposes of this Act to be a party to the maintenance order.

(2) For the purposes of this Act, the following are deemed to be maintenance orders made by the Provincial Court:

(a) an agreement that, under section 148 or 163 of the Family Law Act, is enforceable under this Act and contains a provision respecting maintenance;

(b) an agreement made or deemed to have been made under section 97 of the Child, Family and Community Service Act;

(c) an agreement that was entered into under section 20 of the Child Paternity and Support Act, R.S.B.C. 1979, c. 49, and that contains a provision respecting maintenance.

(3) [Repealed 2011-25-343.]

Part 2 — Enforcement by the Director

Director of Maintenance Enforcement

2  (1) The Attorney General must designate a person as the Director of Maintenance Enforcement for the purposes of this Act.

(2) Subject to subsection (3), the director may delegate to any person, service or agency any power, duty or function of the director under this Act or any other enactment.

(3) The director may delegate the power conferred on the director by section 8.1, 8.2 or 8.3 only to a person employed under the Public Service Act.

Filing of orders

3  (1) A maintenance order that is

(a) made by, or deemed under section 1 (2) to have been made by, a court in British Columbia, or

(b) made under the Divorce Act (Canada) by a court outside British Columbia, if the creditor and debtor both reside in British Columbia,

may be filed in the prescribed manner with the director by a creditor or debtor under the order even though the order was made or entered into before this subsection came into force.

(2) Subject to the regulations, a court designated under section 2 of the Interjurisdictional Support Orders Act may file with the director all orders requiring payment of maintenance that are made or registered by that court.

(3) A minor who is a creditor or debtor under a maintenance order may file the order under subsection (1).

(4) If a maintenance order is varied while it is filed with the director, the variation of the order is deemed to have been filed with the director.

(5) Subsection (4) does not apply to a variation of an agreement that is deemed under section 1 (2) of this Act to be a maintenance order unless the variation is filed under section 148 or 163 of the Family Law Act.

Enforcement of filed orders

4  If the director considers it is necessary and practicable to do so, he or she must enforce a maintenance order that is filed with the director and, for that purpose, the director may in his or her name

(a) take whatever steps the director considers advisable for the enforcement of the maintenance order,

(b) commence, conduct, continue or discontinue any proceeding that may be taken by a creditor under Part 3,

(c) sign all documents with respect to the enforcement of the maintenance order, and

(d) enforce the payment of all or part of any arrears of maintenance owing under the maintenance order, even though the arrears accrued before the maintenance order was filed with the director or before this Act came into force.

Enforcement by director exclusive

5  (1) While a maintenance order is filed with the director, no person may enforce the order except

(a) the director, or

(b) the creditor, if authorized to do so under subsection (2).

(2) Unless the maintenance order is assigned to the minister under the Employment and Assistance Act or the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Act, the director

(a) may, in writing, authorize the creditor to enforce a maintenance order while it is filed with the director, and

(b) may include any conditions in the authorization.

(3) An authorization under subsection (2) does not constitute a delegation of a power, duty or function of the director under section 2 (2).

(4) Nothing in this Act prohibits the director or, subject to subsection (1), a creditor from taking proceedings under another enactment of British Columbia or Canada to enforce a maintenance order.

Withdrawal from filing

6  (1) A maintenance order that has been filed with the director by the creditor may be withdrawn from filing if the creditor files with the director a written notice, signed by the creditor, that states the creditor wishes to withdraw the maintenance order.

(2) A maintenance order that has been filed with the director by the debtor may be withdrawn from filing if

(a) either party files with the director a written notice, signed by the party, that states the party wishes to withdraw the maintenance order, and

(b) the director obtains the written consent of the other party to the withdrawal of the order.

(2.1) A withdrawal under subsection (1) or (2) may be made if

(a) the director has recovered all amounts to which section 10 (5) refers respecting the creditor, or

(b) section 10 (5) does not apply respecting the creditor.

(3) The director may withdraw a maintenance order filed by the creditor

(a) if the director has reasonable grounds to believe that the creditor has contravened section 5 (1), or

(b) other prescribed circumstances apply.

(4) A withdrawal under subsection (3) may only be made 14 days after the director mails a notice of withdrawal by ordinary mail to the creditor.

(5) Despite subsections (1), (2) and (2.1), a maintenance order that is assigned to a minister under the Employment and Assistance Act or the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Act may only be withdrawn from filing

(a) by the minister to whom the order is assigned, or

(b) with the written consent of that minister.

(6) Subject to the regulations, a maintenance order that has been withdrawn under subsection (1) or (3) may be refiled with the director.

Notice of filing, withdrawal or application to vary

7  (1) The director must give notice of the filing or withdrawal of a maintenance order to all the parties to the order.

(2) On making an application for variation of a maintenance order that is filed with the director, the debtor or creditor must serve a copy of the application on the director.

(3) Notice under subsection (1) may be given by ordinary mail.

(4) The validity of proceedings under this Act is not affected by the inability of the director, after reasonable effort, to give notice to a party under subsection (1).

Searchable information

8  (1) Subject to subsection (2), the following information is searchable information:

(a) information necessary to identify or confirm a debtor's or creditor's identity or address, or both;

(b) information respecting

(i)   a debtor's or creditor's location, address and contact information,

(ii)   the name of a debtor's employer, and the debtor's location and address of employment,

(iii)   the location of a debtor's assets or source of income, and

(iv)   the particulars of a debtor's assets or income;

(c) for the purposes of section 8.1 (b) of this Act, information respecting the particulars of the interest, in a corporation within the meaning of section 14.2 (1) of this Act, of a debtor or an immediate family member;

(d) for the purposes of section 8.1 (c) of this Act, information respecting a protection order, within the meaning of section 189 of the Family Law Act, made against a debtor or a creditor.

(2) The following is not searchable information:

(a) personal correspondence between a debtor and a parent, child, spouse or sibling of the debtor;

(b) information in the possession or control of a debtor's solicitor, if the information is subject to solicitor-client privilege;

(c) information that cannot, under section 9 (1) (b) of the Statistics Act, be disclosed.

Requesting and disclosing searchable information

8.1  Searchable information may be requested under section 8.2 or disclosed under section 8.3 only to the extent necessary to do one or more of the following:

(a) to enforce a maintenance order that is filed with the director or to obtain information for a person performing a similar function in another jurisdiction;

(b) to determine whether enforcement proceedings may be taken against a corporation in which a debtor, or an immediate family member as defined in section 14.2 (1), has an interest;

(c) to protect the safety of

(i)   a creditor or debtor who is the subject of a maintenance order that is filed with the director,

(ii)   a child of the debtor or creditor, or

(iii)   a person in another jurisdiction to whom information is being provided to enforce a maintenance order or perform a similar function.

Requesting searchable information

8.2  (1) The director may request searchable information from any person.

(2) A person in British Columbia who receives a request for searchable information under subsection (1) and who has possession or control of the information must provide the information in the manner and form requested, and within the time requested.

(3) Subsection (2) applies despite any other enactment or any common law rule of privilege or confidentiality.

Disclosing searchable information

8.3  The director may disclose searchable information to the following persons:

(a) a person, a service or an agency to whom the director has delegated a power or duty under section 2;

(b) an officer of a court;

(c) an employee of the ministry of the Government of Canada responsible for the administration of the Family Orders and Agreements Enforcement Assistance Act (Canada);

(d) a public officer of a jurisdiction outside British Columbia whose duties are related to enforcing a maintenance order;

(e) a prescribed person.

Information-sharing agreements

8.4  (1) The minister may enter into information-sharing agreements to facilitate requests for and disclosures of searchable information as authorized under this Act.

(2) An information-sharing agreement must identify all of the following:

(a) the nature and type of searchable information that may be requested or disclosed under the agreement;

(b) the persons, by name, title or position, who may request or disclose searchable information under the agreement;

(c) the limits or conditions, if any, on the use or disclosure of shared searchable information;

(d) the term of the agreement and the circumstances in which the agreement may be renewed, suspended or terminated.

Orders respecting correspondence and searchable information

9  (1) A court, on application by the director, may order a person to provide to the director

(a) despite section 8 (2) (a), personal correspondence, between a debtor and a parent, child, spouse or sibling of the debtor, that is in the possession or control of the person if satisfied that the director needs the information contained in the correspondence for a purpose set out in section 8.1, and

(b) searchable information that is in the possession or control of the person, if satisfied that that person has refused, or not adequately complied with, a request for searchable information made under section 8.2.

(2) The person subject to the order must provide the information in the manner and form required, and within the time required.

(3) This section applies despite any other enactment or any common law rule of privilege or confidentiality.

(4) If the court makes an order under this section or under a similar provision in an enactment of Canada, it may make any order it considers appropriate with respect to the confidentiality to be maintained in connection with the information provided.

Change of address

9.1  (1) A debtor or creditor whose address changes must promptly file with the director, in the form and in the manner required by the director, a notice of the change of address.

(2) If a debtor or creditor does not file a notice under subsection (1), the director

(a) is not required to take any steps to determine the debtor's or creditor's current address, and

(b) despite any other provision under this Act, may proceed with any enforcement or other action under this Act without notice.

Payments

10  (1) Despite the provisions of the maintenance order, all payments required to be made by a debtor under a maintenance order that is filed with the director must

(a) be sent to the director and be payable

(i)   to the director, or

(ii)   if specified by the director, to a creditor, or to a reciprocating jurisdiction, or

(b) with the written approval of the director, be made directly to the creditor.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply if the maintenance order is made under the Divorce Act (Canada) and requires the payments to be made to the court.

(3) The court must

(a) forward to the party apparently entitled to receive them all payments received in accordance with a maintenance order made under the Divorce Act (Canada), and

(b) if the maintenance order is filed with the director, notify the director of the payment.

(4) Subject to subsections (4.1), (5) and (6), the director must forward to the person apparently entitled to receive them all payments received by the director in respect of a maintenance order.

(4.1) The director may reallocate the amount of payments received from a debtor amongst the creditors of the debtor if the director considers that it is reasonable and just to do so.

(5) If the director forwards to the creditor an amount to which the creditor is not entitled under the maintenance order, the director may deduct that amount from subsequent payments received on behalf of the creditor and must forward that amount to the person apparently entitled to it.

(6) If there is a dispute about the payment of any money received by the director in respect of a maintenance order, the director may hold the money in trust until the dispute is settled by the court or otherwise.

Record of payments

11  (1) The director must keep a record of all payments that, while a maintenance order is filed with the director, become due to the creditor and that are received and forwarded by the director on account of a maintenance order filed with the director.

(2) At the request of the creditor or the debtor, the director must provide a statement of account showing all payments that, while a maintenance order is filed with the director, become due to the creditor and that are received and forwarded by the director on account of the maintenance order.

(3) At the request of the proper officer of or a court of a reciprocating jurisdiction, the director must provide a sworn statement of account with respect to a maintenance order, showing

(a) all payments that have become due and owing by the debtor since the maintenance order was filed with the director, and

(b) all payments received by the director under the maintenance order since it was filed with the director.

Part 3 — Enforcement Mechanisms

Interest

11.1  (1) Subject to the regulations, the debtor must pay to the creditor on any arrears of maintenance that accrue before or after this section comes into force simple interest calculated from the date and in the manner determined in accordance with the regulations.

(2) The rate of interest payable under subsection (1) must be prescribed by regulation and the date from which the interest is calculated must not be earlier than the date this section comes into force.

(3) If interest is payable under this section on arrears under a maintenance order that is filed with the director,

(a) the director must not enforce payment of any interest that accrued before a date determined in accordance with the regulations, and

(b) the creditor remains entitled to any interest that accrued up to that date and may, subject to section 5, enforce payment of that interest.

Statement of finances required by director

12  (1) If the debtor has at any time defaulted in a payment required under a maintenance order that is filed with the director, the director may, by notice served on the debtor together with a statement of arrears in the prescribed form, require the debtor to file a statement of finances with the director.

(2) The statement of finances required by subsection (1) must be

(a) in the prescribed form,

(b) accompanied by the prescribed documents, and

(c) filed by the debtor with the director not more than 10 days after the debtor is served with a notice under subsection (1).

(3) The director may extend the period within which the statement of finances is required to be filed by the debtor with the director.

Payment conference

12.1  (1) On or after acting under section 12 (1), the director by service of notice in the prescribed form on the debtor may request that the debtor attend at the time and place specified in the notice to review the statement of arrears, the statement of finances and the prescribed documents referred to in section 12 and to arrange for payment of the arrears.

(2) With the consent of the director and the debtor, the time or place for the review under subsection (1) may be changed.

(3) With the consent of the director and the debtor, the review under subsection (1) may be conducted by telephone or other means of telecommunication.

(4) If the debtor refuses to participate in a review under this section or declines to discuss all or part of the information that is or should be set out in the statement of arrears, the statement of finances or the prescribed documents referred to in section 12, the director in any proceedings under this Part may report this lack of cooperation to the court and the court may take this lack of cooperation into account in making its order in those proceedings.

Statement of finances required by court

13  (1) If the debtor has at any time defaulted in a payment required under a maintenance order that is not filed with the director, the creditor may

(a) file a statement of arrears in the prescribed form with the clerk of the court, and

(b) by notice served on the debtor together with the statement of arrears, require the debtor to file a statement of finances with the court.

(2) The statement of finances required by subsection (1) must be

(a) in the prescribed form,

(b) accompanied by the prescribed documents, and

(c) filed by the debtor with the clerk of the court not more than 10 days after the debtor is served with a notice under subsection (1).

(3) The debtor must, on filing the statement of finances with the clerk of the court, serve the creditor with a copy of the statement of finances filed under subsection (2).

(4) The court may extend the period within which the statement of finances is required to be filed by the debtor with the court.

Failure to provide statement of finances

14  (1) If a debtor fails to file a statement of finances or prescribed document or both, as required under section 12 or 13, the court may

(a) on application by the director or the creditor, order the debtor to file the statement of finances or prescribed document or both before the date specified in the order, or

(b) on application by the creditor, order the debtor to pay an amount not greater than $5 000 for the benefit of the creditor.

(2) If a debtor fails to comply with an order under subsection (1) (a), the court may, on application by the director or the creditor,

(a) issue a summons requiring the debtor to appear before the court at the time and place specified in the summons to show cause why the order should not be enforced,

(b) issue a warrant authorizing the apprehension of the debtor to bring the debtor before the court to show cause why the order should not be enforced, or

(c) if the debtor is before the court and the court finds that the debtor is capable of complying with the order, order the debtor to be imprisoned for a term not longer than 30 days.

(3) [Repealed 2007-14-16.]

(4) A payment made under subsection (1) (b) does not reduce or discharge the debtor's obligations under a maintenance order.

(5) The imprisonment of a debtor under subsection (3) does not discharge the debtor's duty to file a statement of finances and the prescribed documents.

A corporation with only the debtor as shareholder

14.1  (1) In this section, "corporation" means a corporation as defined in section 1 of the Business Corporations Act for which the debtor

(a) is the sole shareholder, and

(b) has the sole beneficial interest in the shares of the corporation.

(2) A corporation becomes jointly and separately liable with the debtor for payments required under a maintenance order if

(a) the debtor defaults in a payment required under the maintenance order,

(b) the corporation has been served with a notice of attachment under this Part, or is a garnishee under section 18, respecting the amount owing by the debtor under the maintenance order, and

(c) the amount owing by the debtor under the maintenance order exceeds $3 000 after paragraph (b) applies.

(3) On becoming jointly and separately liable under subsection (2),

(a) a corporation continues to be liable as long as the debtor continues to be liable for payments required under the maintenance order,

(b) an enforcement proceeding that may be taken under this Part against the debtor may be taken against the corporation, and

(c) the amount of a payment required under a maintenance order that is paid by the corporation is a debt owed by the debtor to the corporation.

(4) Despite subsection (3), a corporation is not liable for payments under a maintenance order that come due on or after the director receives written notification from the corporation

(a) stating that the debtor has ceased to have a beneficial interest in any shares of the corporation and the date this took effect,

(b) giving the name and address of the person who acquired the beneficial interest in those shares, and

(c) specifying the nature and amount of the consideration, if known to the corporation, the debtor received or will receive for the transfer of the beneficial interest in the shares.

A corporation controlled by the debtor or by

the debtor and immediate family members

14.2  (1) In this section:

"control of the corporation" means the holding, other than by way of security only, by or for the benefit of a person or a group of persons not dealing with each other at arm's length, of shares in the corporation that, in an election of the directors of the corporation, carry, in total, sufficient voting rights, if those rights are exercised, to elect 50% or more of the directors or to otherwise effectively control the operations and direction of the corporation;

"corporation" means a corporation as defined in section 1 of the Business Corporations Act if the control of the corporation is by

(a) the debtor, or

(b) the debtor and the immediate family members of the debtor together;

"immediate family member" means a spouse, former spouse, child, sibling, step-sibling, half-sibling, parent or stepparent of the debtor;

(2) The director, if the maintenance order is filed with the director, or the creditor, if the maintenance order is not filed with the director, may apply to the court for an order that a corporation is jointly and separately liable with the debtor for payments required under the maintenance order if

(a) the debtor defaults in a payment required under the maintenance order,

(b) the corporation has been served with a notice of attachment under this Part, or is a garnishee under section 18, respecting the amount owing by the debtor under the maintenance order, and

(c) the amount owing by the debtor under the maintenance order exceeds $3 000 after paragraph (b) applies.

(3) On becoming jointly and separately liable under an order made under subsection (2),

(a) a corporation continues to be liable as long as the debtor continues to be liable for payments required under the maintenance order,

(b) an enforcement proceeding that may be taken under this Part against the debtor may be taken against the corporation, and

(c) the amount of a payment required under a maintenance order that is paid by the corporation is a debt owed by the debtor to the corporation.

(4) Despite subsection (3), a corporation is not liable for payments under a maintenance order that come due on or after the director receives written notification from the corporation

(a) stating that the debtor has ceased to have a beneficial interest in any shares of the corporation and the date this took effect,

(b) giving the name and address of the person who acquired the beneficial interest in those shares, and

(c) specifying the nature and amount of the consideration, if known to the corporation, the debtor received or will receive for the transfer of the beneficial interest in the shares.

Balanced approach to enforcement against a corporation

14.3  For the purposes of an enforcement proceeding referred to in section 14.1 or 14.2 against the corporation, the director and the court, as the case may be, must

(a) consider whether a significant risk to the continued solvency of the corporation arises or will arise from the enforcement proceedings, and

(b) if the conclusion under paragraph (a) is that a significant risk has arisen or will arise, proceed in a manner that will, in the opinion of the director or court, as the case may be, reduce the risk and allow enforcement under this Part to be effective.

Annual default fee

14.4  (1) A notice of the intention to impose an annual default fee may be given by the director to a debtor who is in default on a payment of maintenance under a maintenance order filed with the director.

(2) A notice is conclusively deemed to be given under subsection (1) to the debtor on the 14th day after the notice is deposited with Canada Post to be mailed to the debtor's last known address.

(3) A notice under subsection (1) must state that the annual default fee is imposed on the debtor for the calendar year if the debtor further defaults in the calendar year in payment on the dates and in the amounts specified under the maintenance order.

(4) If a further default as described in subsection (3) occurs after a notice is given under subsection (1), the debtor is liable to pay the government the annual default fee for the calendar year unless the director is satisfied that

(a) the notice under subsection (1) was issued in error, or

(b) the debtor was receiving income assistance under the Employment and Assistance Act or disability assistance under the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Act at the time the further default occurred.

(5) If the director determines that a debtor is not liable to pay the annual default fee, any payment made by the debtor of all or part of the annual default fee must be remitted to the debtor.

(6) In a proceeding in which a court reduces or cancels the arrears under a maintenance order that is filed with the director, the court may order that

(a) if the arrears under the maintenance order are cancelled, the amount owing by the debtor at that time as annual default fees is cancelled,

(b) if the arrears under the maintenance order are reduced but not cancelled, the amount owing by the debtor at that time as annual default fees is reduced by the amount that is proportionate to the reduction in the arrears under the maintenance order, or

(c) if the court is satisfied that special circumstances warrant, the amount owing by the debtor at that time as annual default fees

(i)   is not reduced or cancelled, or

(ii)   is reduced or cancelled as the court considers appropriate.

(7) Subsections (5) and (6) apply despite the Financial Administration Act.

(8) If subsection (4) applies to a debtor and the relevant maintenance order is withdrawn from filing under section 6, the liability of the debtor to pay the annual default fee for the calendar year continues to apply.

(9) The amount of a debtor's liability under subsection (4) is a debt due to the government and may be recovered through any enforcement procedure under this Act as if the debt were payable under an order of the court.

Notice of attachment

15  (1) If the debtor has at any time defaulted in a payment required under a maintenance order, the director may serve a notice of attachment in the prescribed form on a person who is indebted or likely to become indebted to the debtor.

(2) [Repealed 2011-5-18.]

(3) Service in accordance with the regulations of a notice of attachment on the attachee binds the attachee, without further service and to the extent limited by the regulations, in respect of

(a) any money or benefit that is due and owing on the date of service to the debtor by the attachee, and

(b) any money or benefit that becomes due and owing from time to time after the date of service to the debtor by the attachee.

(3.1) Subject to subsection (3.2), subsection (3) applies in respect of a notice of attachment served on a person that maintains a deposit account in the name of the debtor and one or more other persons as joint, or joint and several, account holders.

(3.2) For the purpose of subsection (3), if a notice of attachment is served in respect of a deposit account, each joint, or joint and several, account holder is presumed to own an equal share of the money credited to the deposit account and the attachee must, in the prescribed manner and within the prescribed time, provide the director and the joint, or joint and several, account holder with a notice that contains the prescribed information.

(3.3) Within 14 days of receiving the notice under subsection (3.2), a joint, or joint and several, account holder may apply to the court for an order that all or part of the money paid to the director by the attachee must be returned to the joint, or joint and several, account holder, and the court may make the order if satisfied that the joint, or joint and several, account holder owns all or part of the money paid to the director by the attachee.

(3.4) If the director receives a notice from an attachee under section (3.2), the director may release the money received with the notice, unless

(a) the director is served with notice of an application to the court under subsection (3.3), and

(b) the director receives an order under subsection (3.3) within 60 days of receiving the money attached under the notice of attachment.

(4) The director must deliver a copy of the notice of attachment to the debtor, but the inability of the director, after reasonable effort, to deliver the copy of the notice does not render the notice of attachment ineffective.

(5) Subject to subsection (7), a notice of attachment remains in effect without further service until whichever of the following occurs first:

(a) the date specified on the notice of attachment;

(b) a notice of withdrawal is served on the attachee under section 16 (1) (a);

(c) the court, on application by the director under section 16 (3) or by the attachee or the debtor under section 16 (4), orders otherwise;

(d) a notice of withdrawal is served on the attachee under section 16 (8).

(6) On receiving a notice of attachment, the attachee must

(a) deduct from the money or benefit then due and owing and from time to time becoming due and owing by the attachee to the debtor the amount required by the notice, and

(b) within 5 days after each amount is deducted in accordance with the notice of attachment, remit the amount deducted to the director in the manner specified in the notice of attachment.

(7) By serving an attachee with a notice of suspension, the director may suspend the attachee's duty to comply with subsection (6), either for a specified period or until further notified by the director.

(8) Payment by an attachee in accordance with the notice of attachment discharges the attachee's obligation to the debtor to the extent of the payment.

(8.1) In the case of a deposit account in the name of the debtor and one or more other persons as joint, or joint and several, account holders, payment by an attachee to the director discharges the attachee's obligation to the debtor and to the joint, or joint and several, account holder to the extent of the payment.

(9) In this section:

"benefit" means a benefit as defined in the Pension Benefits Standards Act;

"deposit account" includes a demand account, a time account, a savings account, a passbook account, a chequing account, a current account, an account for prepaid debit or credit card payments or another similar account at any one of the following:

(a) a bank that is set out in Schedule I or Schedule II of the Bank Act (Canada);

(b) a financial institution as defined in the Financial Institutions Act;

(c) an extraprovincial corporation as defined in the Financial Institutions Act;

(d) a financial institution similar to one mentioned in paragraphs (a) to (c);

(e) a deposit business as defined in the Financial Institutions Act.

Withdrawal of notice of attachment

16  (1) If the attachee responds in accordance with the regulations to a notice of attachment, the director must,

(a) by serving a notice of withdrawal on the attachee, withdraw the notice if the attachee satisfies the director that

(i)   no money or benefit is due and owing or is likely to become, during the term of the notice of attachment, due and owing by the attachee to the debtor,

(ii)   the director has not supplied the attachee with sufficient information with respect to the debtor to enable the attachee to make any deductions, or

(b) refuse to withdraw the notice if the director is not satisfied as to any matter referred to in paragraph (a).

(2) On application by the debtor, the director may withdraw a notice of attachment if the debtor satisfies the director that the notice contains or is based on a material error.

(3) If an attachee fails to pay in accordance with a notice of attachment served on the attachee or fails to respond in accordance with the regulations to the notice, on application by the director, the court may order payment by the attachee of the amount unpaid.

(4) If the director refuses to withdraw a notice of attachment, on application by the attachee or the debtor in accordance with the regulations, the court may

(a) summarily determine whether or not

(i)   the attachee is liable under the notice, or

(ii)   the notice contains or is based on a material error, or

(b) determine that an issue or question necessary for the determination of the liability of the attachee be tried.

(5) If the court determines that the attachee is no longer liable or determines that the notice contains or is based on a material error, the notice of attachment no longer has any effect and must be withdrawn.

(6) If the court determines that the attachee is liable, it must order payment by the attachee of the amount unpaid.

(7) An order under subsection (3) or (6) may be enforced by the director in any manner that a maintenance order may be enforced.

(8) The director must withdraw a notice of attachment by serving a notice of withdrawal of attachment on the attachee if

(a) the debtor enters into a voluntary payment arrangement that is satisfactory to the director,

(b) the debtor has fully satisfied his or her obligations under the maintenance order and no further payments will be due from the debtor to the creditor, or

(c) any other prescribed circumstances apply.

(9) The withdrawal of a notice of attachment by the director does not prevent the issue of another notice of attachment in respect of the same debtor and the same attachee.

(10) In this section, "benefit" means a benefit as defined in the Pension Benefits Standards Act.

Notice of attachment from outside British Columbia

17  (1) The director may serve a notice of attachment in accordance with section 15 (1) if both of the following are filed with the director:

(a) an order that contains a provision for the payment of maintenance and that is made by a competent authority outside British Columbia;

(b) a document that

(i)   is of similar effect to a notice of attachment,

(ii)   purports to be issued by a competent authority outside British Columbia,

(iii)   states that it is issued in respect of maintenance, and

(iv)   is written in or accompanied by a sworn or certified translation into English.

(2) Sections 15 (3) to (8.1) and 16 apply in respect of a notice of attachment served under this section.

(3) For the purposes of the application of sections 15 and 16 to a notice of attachment under this section,

"debtor" includes a person who is required by an order filed under subsection (1) (a) to pay maintenance;

"maintenance order" includes an order filed under subsection (1) (a).

Garnishment

18  (1) For the purposes of this section, "garnishee" means a person named in an order made under subsection (2) as, or likely to be, indebted to a debtor under a maintenance order.

(2) On application by the creditor under a maintenance order, without notice to any other person, the court may make an order that, subject to subsections (3) to (7), is deemed to be an order made under section 3 of the Court Order Enforcement Act.

(3) If provided in an order made under subsection (2), the order remains in force for the period, not longer than 12 months, specified in the order, unless the court during that period discharges it, to seize and attach, without further application or order, any debt that is then due and owing by the garnishee to the debtor under the maintenance order or that becomes due and owing at any time while the order under subsection (2) remains in force.

(4) If the garnishee admits a debt, the garnishee must promptly pay to the court the amount of the debt or the amount limited by the order and, if the maintenance order is filed with the director, that amount must be forwarded by the court to the director.

(5) Despite sections 6 (4) and 20 of the Court Order Enforcement Act, the garnishee, on paying to the court the amount of the debt or on complying with an order of the court made under that Act in respect of the debt, is not entitled to any costs or fees.

(6) If a copy of an order made under subsection (2) has been served on the garnishee and the debtor in accordance with section 9 of the Court Order Enforcement Act, money paid into court under that order may be paid out of court from time to time to the creditor or to the director

(a) without an order of the court under section 12 of that Act, and

(b) without notice being given to the debtor under section 13 of that Act or to the garnishee

unless the debtor or the garnishee files with the court, within 10 days after the date of service of the order under subsection (2), a notice of intention to dispute any payment out.

(7) Sections 6 (1) and (2) and 27 of the Court Order Enforcement Act do not apply in respect of an order made under subsection (2).

Summons for default hearing

19  If the debtor defaults in a payment required under a maintenance order, on application by

(a) the director, if the maintenance order is filed with the director, or

(b) the creditor, if the maintenance order is not filed with the director,

the clerk of the court that made the order may issue, as often as default occurs, a summons requiring the debtor to appear at a default hearing before the court at the time and place indicated on the summons to show cause why the order should not be enforced.

Warrant for arrest

20  If the debtor fails to appear before the court at the time and place indicated on a summons issued under section 19, the court may issue a warrant for the debtor's arrest for the purpose of bringing the debtor before the court to show cause why the maintenance order should not be enforced.

Default hearing

21  (1) Unless the court is satisfied at a default hearing that there are no arrears owing under the maintenance order or that the debtor is unable for valid reasons to pay the arrears in full, the court may make one or more of the following orders:

(a) that, by completing a statement of income and expenses in the prescribed form, the debtor report as directed by the court to

(i)   the court,

(ii)   the director, if the order is filed with the director, or

(iii)   a person, other than a family court counsellor, designated by name or position by the court;

(b) that the debtor provide, promptly, particulars of each change of residential address, place of employment or business address to

(i)   the court,

(ii)   the director, if the order is filed with the director, or

(iii)   a person, other than a family court counsellor, designated by name or position by the court;

(c) that the debtor either pay immediately an amount specified by the court or, despite section 82 of the Offence Act, be imprisoned immediately for a period of up to 30 days;

(d) that the debtor discharge the arrears

(i)   in one payment by a date the court specifies, or

(ii)   by periodic payments in the amounts and on the dates the court specifies;

(e) that, despite section 82 of the Offence Act but subject to section 23 of this Act, the debtor be imprisoned for a period of up to 30 days each time the debtor fails to pay, by a date specified in an order under paragraph (d) or subsection (11) (a),

(i)   the amount due on that date under the order under paragraph (d) or subsection (11) (a), and

(ii)   the amount due by that date under the order being enforced under paragraph (d) or subsection (11) (a);

(f) that, as security for the payments in arrears and subsequent payments, the debtor provide security in any form that the court directs.

(2) If an order is made under subsection (1) (d) and a previous order has been made under that subsection against the debtor, the court must also make an order under subsection (1) (e) unless it is satisfied that the debtor could not have avoided defaulting again in a payment required under the maintenance order.

(3) If the court is satisfied at a default hearing that the debtor is, for valid reasons, unable to pay the arrears in full or to make subsequent payments under the maintenance order, the court may

(a) order the debtor to make periodic payments under the maintenance order in a reduced amount and for a term specified by the court, with the amount by which the payments are reduced being added to the arrears, and

(b) make one or more of the orders described in subsection (1) (a), (b) or (d) to (f).

(4) In determining whether the debtor is able to pay the arrears in full, the court must take into account all of the debtor's circumstances, including the income and assets of the debtor's spouse.

(5) The court may make an order under subsection (1), (2) or (11) in the absence of the debtor if he or she was served with a summons issued under section 19 or was apprehended under a warrant issued under section 20.

(6) Imprisonment of a debtor under this section does not discharge arrears owing under a maintenance order.

(7) If the court is satisfied that there has been a change in the circumstances of the debtor since an order was made under subsection (1) or (3), and that the change has resulted in the debtor's inability to comply with that order, the court may vary the order without reducing or cancelling the aggregate of the arrears required to be paid under the order.

(8) If the court is satisfied that there has been a change in the circumstances of the debtor since an order was made under subsection (1) or (3), and that the change has improved the debtor's ability to pay the arrears, on application by the creditor or the director, the court may vary that order.

(9) In an order for security under subsection (1) (f) or a subsequent order, the court may provide for the realization of the security by seizure, sale or other means that the court directs or for the release of all or part of the security.

(10) If an order for payment under subsection (1), (3) (b) or (11) is in force, a payment made by the debtor must be credited as follows:

(a) first, to the amount due and owing under the maintenance order after the date of the order under subsection (1), (3) (b) or (11);

(b) next, to any arrears required to be paid under the order under subsection (1), (3) (b) or (11);

(c) next, to any other amount, except interest, that is due and owing;

(d) next, to any interest under section 11.1;

(e) last, to any annual default fees.

(11) Before adjourning a default hearing, the court may

(a) make an interim order requiring the debtor to pay a specified amount by a specified date,

(b) if an interim order is made, make an order under subsection (1) (e), and

(c) direct that a copy of the interim order and the order under subsection (1) (e) be served on the persons and in the manner specified by the court.

Failure to report

22  (1) If the debtor fails to comply with an order under section 21 (1) (a) or (b), on application by the director or the creditor, the court may issue

(a) a summons requiring the debtor to appear before the court at the time and place specified in the summons to show cause why the order should not be enforced, or

(b) a warrant authorizing the apprehension of the debtor to bring the debtor before the court to show cause why the order should not be enforced.

(2) If the court finds that a debtor who has been summoned or apprehended under subsection (1) is capable of complying with an order under section 21 (1) (a) or (b) and has not complied with the order, the court may order the debtor

(a) to pay an amount not exceeding $5 000 for the benefit of the creditor, or

(b) to be imprisoned for a term not exceeding 30 days.

(3) A payment made or a term of imprisonment served under subsection (2) does not reduce or discharge the debtor's obligations under a maintenance order.

Committal hearing

23  (1) If a debtor against whom an order is made under section 21 (1) (e) fails to pay by a date specified in an order under section 21 (1) (d) or (11) (a) the full amount required by the order under section 21 (1) (e), on application by

(a) the director, if the maintenance order is filed with the director, or

(b) the creditor, if the maintenance order is not filed with the director,

the clerk of the court that made those orders must issue a summons requiring the debtor to appear at a committal hearing before the court at a time and place indicated on the summons.

(2) If a debtor fails to appear before the court at the time and place indicated on a summons issued under subsection (1), the court may

(a) proceed with the committal hearing in the absence of the debtor and make an order under subsection (4), or

(b) issue a warrant for the arrest of the debtor for the purpose of bringing the debtor before the court for a committal hearing.

(3) If a debtor is summoned to a committal hearing or a committal hearing is held after a warrant is issued under subsection (2), the clerk of the court must give notice of the time and place of the hearing to

(a) the creditor, or

(b) the director, if the maintenance order in default is filed with the director.

(4) Unless the court is satisfied at a committal hearing that

(a) the debtor has paid the full amount required under section 21 (1) (e),

(b) there has been a change in the circumstances of the debtor since the order was made under section 21 (1) (e) and the change has resulted in the debtor's inability to pay the full amount required under that section, or

(c) it would be a grave injustice to order the imprisonment of the debtor,

subject to subsection (5), the court must order the debtor to be imprisoned in accordance with the terms of the order made under section 21 (1) (e).

(5) No debtor may be imprisoned for consecutive periods that in total exceed 90 days.

(6) A debtor who is imprisoned under this section must be released on payment of the full amount required by the order under section 21 (1) (e).

(7) If the court is satisfied at a committal hearing that

(a) there has been a change in the circumstances of the debtor since the order was made under section 21 (1) (e) and that the change has resulted in the debtor's inability to pay the full amount required under that section, or

(b) it would be a grave injustice to order the imprisonment of the debtor,

the court may

(c) vary the order made under section 21 (1) (d) or (11) (a) without reducing or cancelling the aggregate of arrears required to be paid under that order, or

(d) set a date for hearing an application to vary, in accordance with paragraph (c), the order under section 21 (1) (d) or to vary the order under section 21 (11) (a).

(7.1) On application by a debtor who was ordered to be imprisoned at a hearing held in the debtor's absence under subsection (2) (a), the court may suspend, change or cancel the order if

(a) the application is made within a reasonable time after the order was made,

(b) the application is accompanied by the debtor's affidavit setting out the reasons why the debtor did not appear in accordance with the summons issued under subsection (1) and why the debtor did not pay the amount specified in an order made under section 21 (1) (d) or (11) (a), and

(c) the court is satisfied that there is a good reason for cancelling the order.

(7.2) If the court suspends or cancels an order under subsection (7.1), the court must set a new date for a committal hearing.

(7.3) On application by the director in relation to a debtor who was ordered to be imprisoned at a hearing held in the debtor's absence under subsection (2) (a), the court may suspend, change or cancel the order.

(7.4) An application under subsection (7.3) may be heard without notice to the debtor.

(8) This section applies in respect of an order made under section 21 (1) (e) before or after July 30, 1991.

Attachment orders

24  (1) If at a default hearing or other proceeding the court finds that a debtor who has defaulted in a payment required under a maintenance order is receiving or entitled to receive wages, salary or other remuneration from a person employing or engaging the services of the debtor, or is receiving or entitled to receive a benefit, the court must make an attachment order unless it would be unfair to the debtor to do so.

(2) The fact that an attachment order would reveal to a person who employs or engages the services of the debtor that the debtor owes arrears of maintenance is not sufficient to make the order unfair to the debtor.

(3) The attachment order must direct a person who, either when the order is made or at any time while the order is in effect, employs or engages the services of the debtor or pays a benefit to do the following:

(a) deduct from the money or benefit due and owing and from time to time becoming due and owing to the debtor the amount required by the order;

(b) if the maintenance order is filed with the director, send to the director, within 5 days after each amount is deducted in accordance with the attachment order, a cheque or money order payable to the person specified in the attachment order;

(c) if the maintenance order is not filed with the director, pay each amount deducted to the person specified in the order within 5 days after it is deducted.

(4) An attachment order must be served on every person who during the period the order is in effect employs or engages the services of the debtor or pays a benefit and, when served, binds that person, without further service, for as long as the order remains in effect and the debtor is entitled to receive wages, salary or other remuneration, or to receive a benefit from that person.

(5) An attachment order remains in effect until

(a) the date specified in the order, or

(b) the court, on application by the debtor or by an attachee, orders otherwise,

whichever occurs first.

(6) On application by the creditor or the director, the court may order an attachee who fails to comply with an attachment order served on the attachee to pay the amount the attachee has failed to pay.

(7) A payment order under subsection (6) may be enforced in any manner that a maintenance order may be enforced.

(8) Payment made by an attachee to the court or the person specified in the attachment order discharges the obligation of the attachee to the debtor under the maintenance order to the extent of the payment.

(9) An attachment order made before or after April 10, 1995 is deemed to contain the directions set out in subsection (3) (b) and (c), despite the terms of the order.

(10) In this section, "benefit" means a benefit as defined in the Pension Benefits Standards Act.

Attachment or garnishment of money owing by the government

25  (1) In this section:

"government corporation" has the same meaning as in section 1 of the Financial Administration Act, except that paragraph (b) of that definition does not apply;

"money" means

(a) wages, salary or other remuneration,

(a.1) a benefit as defined in the Pension Benefits Standards Act, or

(b) any prescribed payments or prescribed benefits authorized to be paid by the government or a government corporation under an enactment or a program under an enactment.

(2) Despite any other Act, the government or a government corporation may

(a) for the purpose of attaching or garnishing any money that is due to a debtor, be named as the attachee in a notice of attachment or as the garnishee in an order under section 18 (2), or

(b) for the purpose of attaching any wages, salary or other remuneration, or any benefit as defined in the Pension Benefits Standards Act, be named as the person directed to pay under an attachment order.

Lottery winnings

25.1  (1) In this section:

"corporation" means the British Columbia Lottery Corporation;

"lottery" means a lottery scheme, as defined in section 1 (1) of the Gaming Control Act, that

(a) is conducted by the corporation in British Columbia, and

(b) involves the issuance of lottery tickets, as defined in section 1 (1) of the Gaming Control Act;

"prize" means a monetary prize awarded in a lottery.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (4), in relation to a debtor who is in arrears under a maintenance order filed with the director, the director may provide notice to the lottery corporation containing the following information:

(a) the name and address and other identifying information about the debtor;

(b) the amount owing under the maintenance order.

(3) The corporation must, in relation to the notice referred to in subsection (2), provide prescribed information to the director.

(4) If a debtor in relation to whom the corporation has received notice from the director under subsection (2) is entitled to a prize from the corporation that is over a prescribed amount, the corporation must

(a) deduct from the prize the amount owing under the maintenance order that is set out in the director's notice or the amount of the prize, whichever is less, and

(b) pay the amount deducted to the director.

(5) Payment by the corporation to the director from a debtor's prize of the amount set out in relation to the debtor in the director's notice discharges the corporation's obligation to the debtor to the extent of the payment.

Registration in land title office

26  (1) A maintenance order may be registered in a land title office in the same manner as a charge is registered and is deemed for the purposes of Part 5 of the Court Order Enforcement Act to be a judgment as defined in section 81 of that Act if an application is made under this section for the registration and the application is accompanied by,

(a) if registration is by the director, a copy of the maintenance order, or

(b) in any other case, a copy of the maintenance order certified by a proper officer of the court.

(2) The creditor may apply for registration of a maintenance order unless it is filed with the director.

(3) With the consent of the creditor, the director may apply for registration of a maintenance order that is filed with the director.

(4) The creditor's consent is not required for an application under subsection (3) if the debtor has at any time defaulted in a payment required under the maintenance order.

(4.1) If a maintenance order registered under this section is varied, the maintenance order as varied is deemed to be registered and has the same priority as the registered maintenance order.

(5) Sections 83 (1), 95 and 111 of the Court Order Enforcement Act do not apply in respect of a maintenance order registered under this section.

(6) If a maintenance order is registered on application by the director, the registrar of titles must note that fact in the register.

(7) Despite the Land Title Act but subject to subsections (10) and (11) of this section, the registrar of titles must not register the discharge or postponement of a maintenance order that is registered under this section unless the discharge or postponement is signed

(a) by the creditor, if the creditor applied for registration of the order, or

(b) by the director, if the director applied for registration of the order.

(8) Before signing a discharge or postponement of a maintenance order under subsection (7), the director must send by ordinary mail to the creditor a notice of the director's intention to sign the discharge or postponement.

(9) The inability of the director, after reasonable effort, to notify the creditor of the director's intention to sign the discharge or postponement of a maintenance order does not render the discharge or postponement ineffective.

(10) On application by

(a) the person against whose land a maintenance order is registered, or

(b) the creditor, if the director refuses to sign a discharge or postponement of a registered order,

the court may make an order discharging or partially discharging the registered order or an order postponing the registered order to allow the registration of a charge.

(11) If a maintenance order is registered under this section against land charged under section 170 (d) of the Family Law Act, the registrar of titles must not register the discharge or postponement of the registered order without an order under subsection (10).

(12) The court may, in an order made under subsection (10), impose any conditions as to security or otherwise it considers necessary and reasonable.

(13) An order must not be made under subsection (10) unless notice has been given to any person in the manner, including service by mail or by public advertisement, that the court requires.

Registration in personal property security registry

26.1  (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may prescribe the circumstances in which, for the purpose of enforcing a maintenance order, a claim may be registered by the director under the Miscellaneous Registrations Act, 1992, against the personal property of a debtor.

(2) Registration of a claim under the Miscellaneous Registrations Act, 1992, in respect of a maintenance order in circumstances prescribed under subsection (1) creates, in favour of the director for payment as provided for under section 10, a lien on the personal property against which the claim is registered.

(3) The lien created under subsection (2) is for the total of

(a) the amount of any arrears of maintenance accrued before the claim is registered, and

(b) the amount of any arrears of maintenance that accrues while the claim is registered.

(4) The lien created under subsection (2) has priority, for the total amount determined under subsection (3), over any other claim that is registered and any security interest that is perfected after the lien is created, even though part of that amount is for arrears, interest and other sums that accrue after the other claim is registered or after the security interest is perfected.

(5) Despite subsection (4), the lien created under subsection (2) does not have priority over

(a) liens for wages due to workers by their employers, and

(b) liens under section 52 of the Workers Compensation Act.

(6) The lien created under subsection (2) continues

(a) until the claim is discharged in accordance with the Miscellaneous Registrations Act, 1992, or a regulation made under this Act, or

(b) until the arrears are paid,

whichever happens first.

(7) Registration of a claim in circumstances prescribed under subsection (1) is notice to any person of the claim and of the lien created under subsection (2).

(8) If the claim is registered against a manufactured home, the Registrar of Manufactured Homes must not, except with a consent given in accordance with subsection (9) or except in prescribed circumstances,

(a) issue a transport permit under section 15 of the Manufactured Home Act, or

(b) register a transfer, or an agreement for sale, of a manufactured home.

(9) For the purposes of subsection (8), consent must be in the prescribed form and may be given by the director.

(10) For the purposes of sections 6 and 7 of the Miscellaneous Registrations Act, 1992, and of any regulations made under section 9 (2) (c) of that Act, the director is considered to be the holder of a claim registered under that Act in respect of a maintenance order that is filed with the director.

Warrant of execution

27  (1) If the debtor defaults in a payment required under a maintenance order, the court may issue a warrant of execution, on application by the creditor or the director without notice to any other person.

(2) A warrant of execution must be executed in the same manner as a judgment of the Provincial Court given under the Small Claims Act.

(3) Money realized when a maintenance order is enforced under this section is not subject to distribution under the Creditor Assistance Act.

Priority over other judgment debts

28  (1) Despite any other Act, a maintenance order, whether filed with the director or not, takes priority over any other unsecured judgment debt of the debtor regardless of when an enforcement process is issued or served.

(2) The priority under subsection (1) does not apply to arrears of maintenance owing under a maintenance order that were owing more than one year before the date on which the creditor initiated the current proceedings to enforce the maintenance order.

(3) A maintenance order ranks equally with another maintenance order regardless of when an enforcement process is issued or served.

(4) Payments received by the director on behalf of a creditor are not attachable under any other Act.

Appointment of receiver

29  For the purpose of enforcing a maintenance order, on application by the creditor or the director, the court may appoint a person as a receiver of any property of the debtor.

Debtor's licences and number plates

29.1  (1) If a maintenance order is filed with the director and the debtor is in default and the arrears under the maintenance order total $3 000 or more, the director may do either or both of the following:

(a) forward to the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia a notice stating that the debtor is in default and that action under this section is to be taken in relation to the debtor's driver's licence;

(b) forward to the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia a notice stating that the debtor is in default and that action under this section is to be taken in relation to a licence and corresponding number plates for any motor vehicle or trailer owned by the debtor.

(2) At least 30 days before forwarding a notice to the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia under subsection (1) (a), the director must give the debtor notice that action under this section will be taken in relation to the debtor's driver's licence.

(2.1) At least 60 days before forwarding a notice to the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia under subsection (1) (b), and again at least 30 days before forwarding the notice under subsection (1) (b), the director must give the debtor notice, which must be in the manner prescribed by the regulations, that action under this section will be taken in relation to a licence and corresponding number plates for any motor vehicle or trailer owned by the debtor.

(3) On receipt of a notice under subsection (1) (a), the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, for the applicable period under subsection (3.2), must not issue or renew a driver's licence of the debtor.

(3.1) On receipt of a notice under subsection (1) (b), the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, for the applicable period under subsection (3.2), must not issue or renew a licence and corresponding number plates for a motor vehicle or trailer owned by the debtor.

(3.2) Subsections (3) and (3.1) apply in relation to a debtor from the date the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia receives the applicable notice under subsection (1) until the earliest of the following:

(a) the date the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia is advised by the director that the maintenance order

(i)   has been withdrawn under section 6, or

(ii)   is no longer in arrears;

(b) the date the director directs the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia under section 29.2 to disregard that notice.

(4) The director may, as a condition for acting under subsection (3.2) (a) (ii), require the debtor to give the director a deposit in a prescribed amount as security for future payments under the maintenance order in addition to paying the arrears.

(5) The director may hold a deposit received under subsection (4) until the debtor has not been in arrears under the maintenance order for at least 9 consecutive months since the deposit was given, in which case the deposit may be applied to future maintenance payments, or returned to the debtor, as the director considers appropriate.

(6) If the debtor gives a deposit under subsection (4) and subsequently falls into arrears for more than 10 consecutive days under the maintenance order filed with the director, the director may

(a) prepare and forward to the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia a further notice under subsection (1) without further notice to the debtor under subsection (2) or (2.1), as applicable, and

(b) apply the deposit to the payment of arrears under the maintenance order.

(7) Action by the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia under subsection (3) or the giving of a deposit under subsection (4) is not a bar to the bringing of other proceedings under this Part to enforce payment under the maintenance order.

Withdrawing the director's notice

29.2  (1) The director must direct the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia to disregard a notice given under section 29.1 if the debtor satisfies the director that

(a) the notice is based on a material error,

(b) the lack of anything referred to in section 29.1 (3) or (3.1) will significantly reduce the debtor's ability to pay under the maintenance order and the debtor has entered into an arrangement that is satisfactory to the director to report the debtor's financial circumstances from time to time, or

(c) the debtor has entered into a payment arrangement that is satisfactory to the director.

(2) If the director refuses to act under subsection (1), the court, on application by the debtor, may summarily determine whether the refusal was unreasonable and, if the refusal is found to be unreasonable, may order the director to act under subsection (1).

Restraining order

30  If, on application by the creditor or the director without notice to any other person, the court is satisfied that the debtor is likely to evade or hinder the enforcement of a maintenance order by disposing of or wasting any property, the court may make an order to restrain the debtor from disposing of or wasting the property.

Order requiring security for maintenance payments

30.1  (1) Whether maintenance is in arrears or not, the director, or if an order is not filed with the director, the creditor, on notice to the debtor, may apply to a court for an order under subsection (2).

(2) On hearing an application under subsection (1), the court may order that, as security for payments in arrears or subsequent payments, the debtor provide security for maintenance payments in any form that the court directs.

(3) If the court makes or has made an order under subsection (2), the court may issue a warrant of execution, on application by the creditor or the director without notice to any other person.

(4) Section 27 (2) applies to a warrant of execution under subsection (3).

(5) Money realized when an order for security for maintenance payments is enforced under this section is not subject to distribution under the Creditor Assistance Act.

Arrest of absconding debtor

31  If, on application by the creditor or the director without notice to any other person, the court is satisfied that there are reasonable and probable grounds for believing that a debtor is about to leave British Columbia in order to evade or hinder the enforcement of a maintenance order, the court may

(a) issue a warrant for the arrest of the debtor for the purpose of bringing the debtor before the court, and

(b) make an order under section 21 (1) (3) or (11).

Crediting of payments

32  Unless the court otherwise orders, all payments, except when an order for payment under section 21 (1), (3) (b) or (11) is in effect, must be credited as follows:

(a) first, to the periodic payment most recently due under the maintenance order;

(b) next, to the arrears due and owing;

(c) next, to any other amount, except interest, due and owing in respect of the maintenance order;

(d) next, to any interest under section 11.1;

(e) last, to any annual default fees.

Part 4 — General

Provincial Court may enforce Supreme Court orders

33  (1) If a copy of a maintenance order made by or registered for enforcement with the Supreme Court is certified by a proper officer of that court and is filed with the Provincial Court, the order, including arrears that accrued before the filing, may be enforced under this Act by the Provincial Court as if it were an order of that court.

(2) The powers and duties conferred or imposed on the Provincial Court by subsection (1) and sections 9, 10 (3), 12.1 (4), 13 (4) to 24, 26 (10), (12) and (13), 27 (1) and (2), 29.2 (2), 31, 35 (1), 36 (2), 39, 40, 45 (c), 46 and 47 (2) and (3) are, for the purpose of section 2 of the Provincial Court Act, conferred or imposed on a judge of that court.

Proceedings in Provincial Court

34  Subject to the regulations, an application under this Act to the Provincial Court must be heard summarily or in the manner the court may direct.

Joinder and defence of variation application

35  (1) A default hearing and an application for variation of the maintenance order in default may be heard together or separately by the court that made the order.

(2) The director may defend an application for variation of a maintenance order that is filed with the director and is in arrears.

(3) Subsection (2) applies also in respect of a maintenance order made under the Divorce Act (Canada), but only if the maintenance order has been assigned to a minister designated by the Lieutenant Governor in Council under that Act.

Presumption and inferences

36  (1) In a proceeding under this Act, unless the contrary is proved, the debtor is presumed to have the ability to pay the arrears owing under a maintenance order and to make subsequent payments as they become due under the maintenance order.

(2) If a debtor fails to file a statement of finances or prescribed document required under section 12 or 13, the court may at a default hearing draw whatever adverse inferences appear to it to be reasonable having regard to all the circumstances.

Debt is no defence

37  The fact that the debtor under a maintenance order owes money or has paid money owing to a person other than the creditor under the maintenance order is not a defence to a proceeding taken to enforce the maintenance order.

Spouses compellable

38  Despite section 8 of the Evidence Act, in a proceeding under this Act a person is compellable to disclose a communication made to the person by his or her spouse.

Third parties compellable

39  (1) If, on application by the creditor or the director, the court is satisfied that a debtor's association with an individual, corporation, partnership or proprietorship affects the debtor's ability to pay maintenance, the court must require the individual or an authorized representative of a corporation, partnership or proprietorship

(a) to attend a default hearing or a committal hearing before the court, and

(b) to file with the court by a date specified by the court financial information, financial statements or other prescribed documents.

(2) A person who has access to any information or document obtained under this section must not disclose the information or document except in the course of permitting it to be introduced in evidence at the default hearing or committal hearing.

Proof of default or arrears

40  For the purposes of proving default or arrears under a maintenance order, the court may accept in evidence an affidavit made by any person deposing to have knowledge of the facts or information and belief concerning the facts.

Document signed by director as evidence

41  (1) A statement of arrears signed by the director and stating the dates of default, the amount of arrears and any other facts relevant to default under a maintenance order is, without proof of the signature, evidence of the facts stated.

(2) A statement signed by the director and stating that a maintenance order is filed with the director is, without proof of the signature, conclusive evidence of the facts stated.

(3) Any document signed by the director with respect to the enforcement of a maintenance order is admissible in evidence without proof of the signature or official character of the director.

Documents from reciprocating jurisdictions

41.1  (1) If, in a proceeding under this Act, a document from a court in a reciprocating jurisdiction contains terminology different from the terminology of this Act or customarily in use in the court in British Columbia, the court in British Columbia must give a broad and liberal interpretation to the terminology so as to give effect to the document.

(2) For the purposes of this Act, it is presumed, unless the contrary is established, that procedures taken in a reciprocating jurisdiction have been regular and complete, that the court making an order in a reciprocating jurisdiction had jurisdiction to do so and that the jurisdiction is recognized under the conflict of laws rules of British Columbia.

Evidentiary matters

41.2  (1) In a proceeding under this Act, a document purporting to be signed by a judge, officer of a court or public officer in a reciprocating jurisdiction is, unless the contrary is proved, proof of the appointment, signature and authority of the person who signed the document.

(2) Statements in writing sworn by the maker, depositions or transcripts of evidence taken in a reciprocating jurisdiction may be received in evidence by a court in British Columbia under this Act.

Proof of service not required

42  If a proceeding is taken to enforce a maintenance order, it is not necessary to prove that the debtor was served with the order.

Information confidential

43  (1) Despite the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, a person must not disclose information obtained under this Act except

(a) to the extent necessary for purposes relating to the enforcement of a maintenance order,

(b) as provided in section 8 (4), or

(c) in accordance with an information-sharing agreement that is entered into

(i)   under and for the purposes of the administration and enforcement of the Employment and Assistance Act or the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Act, and

(ii)   with the minister responsible for the administration of this Act.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to information for research purposes disclosed in accordance with section 33.1 (1) (s) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

(3) Despite subsection (1), the director in prescribed circumstances may disclose to a reporting agency, as defined in section 106 of the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act, the fact that a debtor is in arrears under a maintenance order filed with the director.

(4) Section 109 (1) (o) of the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act does not apply to a disclosure under subsection (3).

Protection against action

44  An action for damages does not lie and must not be instituted against

(a) the Attorney General, the minister under the Employment and Assistance Act or the BC Benefits (Income Assistance) Act, the director or a person acting under the authority of any of them, or

(b) a person, service, agency or other body to whom the director has under section 2 (2) delegated a power, duty or function

for anything done in good faith in the performance or intended performance of a duty or in the exercise or intended exercise of a power or function under this Act or for any neglect or default in the performance or exercise in good faith of that duty, power or function.

Provision unenforceable

45  A provision in an agreement or a maintenance order by which a creditor agrees, or that requires a creditor,

(a) not to file a maintenance order with the director,

(b) to withdraw a maintenance order that is filed with the director, or

(c) to file with the court or the director a notice stating that the creditor does not wish to have a maintenance order enforced by the director

is not enforceable.

Order restraining harassment

46  (1) On application, the court may

(a) make an order restraining any person from molesting, annoying, harassing, communicating with or attempting to molest, annoy, harass or communicate with a creditor, a debtor or the director, a person to whom the director has delegated a power, duty or function under section 2 or an employee of that person, and

(b) require a person named in an order under paragraph (a)

(i)   to enter into a recognizance, with or without sureties, or to post a bond, and

(ii)   to report to the court or a person named by the court, at the times and places and for the period of time the court directs.

(2) An application under this section may be made by the director if the maintenance order is filed with the director.

Employers must not penalize employees

47  (1) An employer must not dismiss, suspend, lay off, penalize, discipline or discriminate against an employee if the reason for doing so is in any way related to the service of a notice of attachment, an order under section 18 (2) or an attachment order on the employer.

(2) On the application of an employee who alleges that he or she is the subject of a contravention of subsection (1), the court may, if it finds the allegation to be true, make any order in favour of the employee that it considers just, including an order for reinstatement and an award of damages.

(3) The court may make an order under subsection (2) even though the person against whom the order is made is convicted of an offence under section 49 (1) (e).

Appeal

48  (1) A person may appeal an order of the Provincial Court made under this Act to the Supreme Court and section 233 (2), (3) and (4) of the Family Law Act applies in respect of the appeal.

(2) Section 234 of the Family Law Act applies in respect of any order made under this Act.

(3) If the director is authorized by this Act to act in a proceeding, including a proceeding commenced under another enactment, the director

(a) has the same right as any other party to the proceeding to appeal or defend an appeal from an order or decision arising out of the proceeding, and

(b) must be served with notice of any appeal from such an order or decision.

Offences

49  (1) A person who does any of the following commits an offence:

(a) contravenes section 8 (3);

(b) knowingly gives false information in a statement of finances filed with the director or the court;

(c) knowingly gives false information in response to an order under section 21 (1) (a) or (b);

(d) contravenes an order made under section 39;

(e) contravenes section 43;

(f) contravenes an order made under section 46;

(g) contravenes section 47.

(2) Any person who, without reasonable excuse, refuses or neglects to comply with an order made under section 9 (2) or 21 (1) (f) commits an offence.

(3) An officer, director, employee or agent of a corporation who directed, authorized, assented to, acquiesced in or participated in the commission of an offence under subsection (1) (d) is a party to and guilty of the offence and is liable to the punishment provided for the offence.

Section 5 of the Offence Act

50  Section 5 of the Offence Act does not apply to this Act or the regulations.

Power to make regulations and orders

51  (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations referred to in section 41 of the Interpretation Act.

(2) Without limiting subsection (1), the Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations that the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers necessary or advisable for achieving the objects and purposes of this Act, including regulations as follows:

(a) prescribing forms and procedures for making and keeping records, returns and reports with respect to the director's responsibilities;

(b) respecting service of documents under this Act;

(c) governing all matters of practice and procedure in the court in proceedings under this Act;

(d) governing, with respect to Provincial Court proceedings under this Act, any matter referred to in section 1 of the Court Rules Act;

(e) providing that specified provisions of the Family Law Act apply for the purposes of this Act;

(f) providing that specified provisions of the Offence Act apply in respect of a person against whom a summons or warrant is issued under this Act or in respect of that summons or warrant;

(g) governing the payment by debtors or classes of debtors of interest on arrears under maintenance orders;

(h) exempting classes of debtors from the requirement to pay interest on arrears under maintenance orders;

(i) respecting the effect of service of a notice of attachment or attachment order if the attachee has more than one place for the service of process;

(i.1) prescribing the form of a section 12.1 notice;

(i.2) prescribing the amount of the annual default fee for the purposes of section 14.4;

(i.3) prescribing circumstances for the purposes of section 26.1 (8);

(i.4) prescribing a form for the purposes of section 26.1 (9);

(i.5) prescribing the amount under section 29.1;

(i.6) prescribing circumstances for the purposes of section 43 (3);

(i.7) prescribing the manner of giving notice under section 29.1 (2.1);

(i.8) prescribing the circumstances under which notice is deemed to have been given or deemed to have been received for the purposes of sections 29.1 (2) and (2.1);

(j) requiring creditors, attachees or garnishees to provide the director with information necessary for the purpose of enforcing or monitoring the enforcement of a maintenance order or for issuing, serving or varying a notice of attachment;

(k) for determining the amount of a debtor's wages, salary or other remuneration that are exempt from attachment under section 15 or 24 or from garnishment under section 18;

(l) providing for applications by debtors to court for orders increasing or decreasing exemptions from attachment under section 15 or 24 or from garnishment under section 18;

(l.1) prescribing the manner, time and information for the purposes of section 15 (3.2);

(l.2) prescribing information for the purposes of section 25.1 (3) and an amount for the purposes of section 25.1 (4);

(m) respecting payments that are to be included or deductions that are to be excluded for the purpose of determining the amount of salary, wages or other remuneration that may be bound by a notice of attachment or an attachment order;

(n) providing for the variation of payments required under a notice of attachment and for the application of surplus payments;

(o) requiring payment to be made by an attachee on a proportional basis if more than one notice of attachment or attachment order is served on the attachee in respect of the same debtor and the money payable to the debtor by the attachee is insufficient to satisfy all the notices;

(p) requiring the payment by debtors, or a class of debtors, of fees and expenses that relate to the costs of enforcing maintenance orders filed with the director or to the costs of monitoring or reporting on payments required or made under those orders;

(q) empowering the director to refuse in prescribed circumstances to accept from a debtor uncertified cheques;

(r) defining any word or expression used in this Act;

(s) requiring verification, by affidavit or otherwise, of any statement, information or document required to be filed or provided under this Act;

(t) governing the filing or withdrawal from filing of registered orders and any matters necessary for the transition to the enforcement of those orders under this Act;

(u) for any purpose for which regulations are contemplated by this Act.

(3) Despite any other enactment, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may exempt

(a) the director in the performance of his or her duties or functions or the exercise of his or her powers under this Act, or

(b) any person in the performance of a duty or function or the exercise of a power that the director has delegated to that person under section 2 (2) of this Act

from any provision of an enactment requiring a licence or permit or membership in a professional association or body and may impose conditions on an exemption granted under this section.

(4) Regulations made under subsection (2) (c) or (d) must be made in the manner provided for in the Court Rules Act.