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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

Chapter 518

Section 518.551

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518.551 Maintenance and support payments.

Subdivision 1. Scope; payment to public agency. (a) This section applies to all proceedings involving a support order, including, but not limited to, a support order establishing an order for past support or reimbursement of public assistance.

(b) The court shall direct that all payments ordered for maintenance and support be made to the public agency responsible for child support enforcement so long as the obligee is receiving or has applied for public assistance, or has applied for child support and maintenance collection services. Public authorities responsible for child support enforcement may act on behalf of other public authorities responsible for child support enforcement. This includes the authority to represent the legal interests of or execute documents on behalf of the other public authority in connection with the establishment, enforcement, and collection of child support, maintenance, or medical support, and collection on judgments.

(c) Payments made to the public authority other than payments under section 518.6111 must be credited as of the date the payment is received by the central collections unit.

(d) Amounts received by the public agency responsible for child support enforcement greater than the amount granted to the obligee shall be remitted to the obligee.

Subd. 2. Repealed, 1983 c 308 s 32

Subd. 3. Repealed, 1983 c 308 s 32

Subd. 4. Repealed, 1983 c 308 s 32

Subd. 5. Notice to public authority; guidelines. (a) The petitioner shall notify the public authority of all proceedings for dissolution, legal separation, determination of parentage or for the custody of a child, if either party is receiving public assistance or applies for it subsequent to the commencement of the proceeding. The notice must contain the full names of the parties to the proceeding, their Social Security account numbers, and their birth dates. After receipt of the notice, the court shall set child support as provided in this subdivision. The court may order either or both parents owing a duty of support to a child of the marriage to pay an amount reasonable or necessary for the child's support, without regard to marital misconduct. The court shall approve a child support stipulation of the parties if each party is represented by independent counsel, unless the stipulation does not meet the conditions of paragraph (i). In other cases the court shall determine and order child support in a specific dollar amount in accordance with the guidelines and the other factors set forth in paragraph (c) and any departure therefrom. The court may also order the obligor to pay child support in the form of a percentage share of the obligor's net bonuses, commissions, or other forms of compensation, in addition to, or if the obligor receives no base pay, in lieu of, an order for a specific dollar amount.

(b) The court shall derive a specific dollar amount for child support by multiplying the obligor's net income by the percentage indicated by the following guidelines:

Net Income Per Number of Children Month of Obligor 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 or more $550 and Below Order based on the ability of the obligor to provide support at these income levels, or at higher levels, if the obligor has the earning ability. $551 - 600 16% 19% 22% 25% 28% 30% 32% $601 - 650 17% 21% 24% 27% 29% 32% 34% $651 - 700 18% 22% 25% 28% 31% 34% 36% $701 - 750 19% 23% 27% 30% 33% 36% 38% $751 - 800 20% 24% 28% 31% 35% 38% 40% $801 - 850 21% 25% 29% 33% 36% 40% 42% $851 - 900 22% 27% 31% 34% 38% 41% 44% $901 - 950 23% 28% 32% 36% 40% 43% 46% $951 - 1000 24% 29% 34% 38% 41% 45% 48% $1001- 5000 25% 30% 35% 39% 43% 47% 50%

or the amount in effect under paragraph (k)

Guidelines for support for an obligor with a monthly income in excess of the income limit currently in effect under paragraph (k) shall be the same dollar amounts as provided for in the guidelines for an obligor with a monthly income equal to the limit in effect.

Net Income defined as: Total monthly income less *(i) Federal Income Tax *(ii) State Income Tax (iii) Social Security Deductions (iv) Reasonable Pension Deductions *Standard Deductions apply- (v) Union Dues use of tax tables (vi) Cost of Dependent Health recommended Insurance Coverage (vii) Cost of Individual or Group Health/Hospitalization Coverage or an Amount for Actual Medical Expenses (viii) A Child Support or Maintenance Order that is Currently Being Paid.

"Net income" does not include:

(1) the income of the obligor's spouse, but does include in-kind payments received by the obligor in the course of employment, self-employment, or operation of a business if the payments reduce the obligor's living expenses; or

(2) compensation received by a party for employment in excess of a 40-hour work week, provided that:

(i) support is nonetheless ordered in an amount at least equal to the guidelines amount based on income not excluded under this clause; and

(ii) the party demonstrates, and the court finds, that:

(A) the excess employment began after the filing of the petition for dissolution;

(B) the excess employment reflects an increase in the work schedule or hours worked over that of the two years immediately preceding the filing of the petition;

(C) the excess employment is voluntary and not a condition of employment;

(D) the excess employment is in the nature of additional, part-time or overtime employment compensable by the hour or fraction of an hour; and

(E) the party's compensation structure has not been changed for the purpose of affecting a support or maintenance obligation.

The court shall review the work-related and education-related child care costs paid and shall allocate the costs to each parent in proportion to each parent's net income, as determined under this subdivision, after the transfer of child support and spousal maintenance, unless the allocation would be substantially unfair to either parent. There is a presumption of substantial unfairness if after the sum total of child support, spousal maintenance, and child care costs is subtracted from the obligor's income, the income is at or below 100 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. The cost of child care for purposes of this paragraph is 75 percent of the actual cost paid for child care, to reflect the approximate value of state and federal tax credits available to the obligee. The actual cost paid for child care is the total amount received by the child care provider for the child or children of the obligor from the obligee or any public agency. The court shall require verification of employment or school attendance and documentation of child care expenses from the obligee and the public agency, if applicable. If child care expenses fluctuate during the year because of seasonal employment or school attendance of the obligee or extended periods of parenting time with the obligor, the court shall determine child care expenses based on an average monthly cost. The amount allocated for child care expenses is considered child support but is not subject to a cost-of-living adjustment under section 518.641. The amount allocated for child care expenses terminates when either party notifies the public authority that the child care costs have ended and without any legal action on the part of either party. The public authority shall verify the information received under this provision before authorizing termination. The termination is effective as of the date of the notification. In other cases where there is a substantial increase or decrease in child care expenses, the parties may modify the order under section 518.64.

The court may allow the obligor parent to care for the child while the obligee parent is working, as provided in section 518.175, subdivision 8, but this is not a reason to deviate from the guidelines.

(c) In addition to the child support guidelines, the court shall take into consideration the following factors in setting or modifying child support or in determining whether to deviate from the guidelines:

(1) all earnings, income, and resources of the parents, including real and personal property, but excluding income from excess employment of the obligor or obligee that meets the criteria of paragraph (b), clause (2)(ii);

(2) the financial needs and resources, physical and emotional condition, and educational needs of the child or children to be supported;

(3) the standard of living the child would have enjoyed had the marriage not been dissolved, but recognizing that the parents now have separate households;

(4) which parent receives the income taxation dependency exemption and what financial benefit the parent receives from it;

(5) the parents' debts as provided in paragraph (d); and

(6) the obligor's receipt of public assistance under the AFDC program formerly codified under sections 256.72 to 256.82 or 256B.01 to 256B.40 and chapter 256J or 256K.

(d) In establishing or modifying a support obligation, the court may consider debts owed to private creditors, but only if:

(1) the right to support has not been assigned under section 256.741;

(2) the court determines that the debt was reasonably incurred for necessary support of the child or parent or for the necessary generation of income. If the debt was incurred for the necessary generation of income, the court shall consider only the amount of debt that is essential to the continuing generation of income; and

(3) the party requesting a departure produces a sworn schedule of the debts, with supporting documentation, showing goods or services purchased, the recipient of them, the amount of the original debt, the outstanding balance, the monthly payment, and the number of months until the debt will be fully paid.

(e) Any schedule prepared under paragraph (d), clause (3), shall contain a statement that the debt will be fully paid after the number of months shown in the schedule, barring emergencies beyond the party's control.

(f) Any further departure below the guidelines that is based on a consideration of debts owed to private creditors shall not exceed 18 months in duration, after which the support shall increase automatically to the level ordered by the court. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit one or more step increases in support to reflect debt retirement during the 18-month period.

(g) If payment of debt is ordered pursuant to this section, the payment shall be ordered to be in the nature of child support.

(h) Nothing shall preclude the court from receiving evidence on the above factors to determine if the guidelines should be exceeded or modified in a particular case.

(i) The guidelines in this subdivision are a rebuttable presumption and shall be used in all cases when establishing or modifying child support. If the court does not deviate from the guidelines, the court shall make written findings concerning the amount of the obligor's income used as the basis for the guidelines calculation and any other significant evidentiary factors affecting the determination of child support. If the court deviates from the guidelines, the court shall make written findings giving the amount of support calculated under the guidelines, the reasons for the deviation, and shall specifically address the criteria in paragraph (c) and how the deviation serves the best interest of the child. The court may deviate from the guidelines if both parties agree and the court makes written findings that it is in the best interests of the child, except that in cases where child support payments are assigned to the public agency under section 256.741, the court may deviate downward only as provided in paragraph (j). Nothing in this paragraph prohibits the court from deviating in other cases. The provisions of this paragraph apply whether or not the parties are each represented by independent counsel and have entered into a written agreement. The court shall review stipulations presented to it for conformity to the guidelines and the court is not required to conduct a hearing, but the parties shall provide the documentation of earnings required under subdivision 5b.

(j) If the child support payments are assigned to the public agency under section 256.741, the court may not deviate downward from the child support guidelines unless the court specifically finds that the failure to deviate downward would impose an extreme hardship on the obligor.

(k) The dollar amount of the income limit for application of the guidelines must be adjusted on July 1 of every even-numbered year to reflect cost-of-living changes. The Supreme Court shall select the index for the adjustment from the indices listed in section 518.641. The state court administrator shall make the changes in the dollar amount required by this paragraph available to courts and the public on or before April 30 of the year in which the amount is to change.

(l) In establishing or modifying child support, if a child receives a child's insurance benefit under United States Code, title 42, section 402, because the obligor is entitled to old age or disability insurance benefits, the amount of support ordered shall be offset by the amount of the child's benefit. The court shall make findings regarding the obligor's income from all sources, the child support amount calculated under this section, the amount of the child's benefit, and the obligor's child support obligation. Any benefit received by the child in a given month in excess of the child support obligation shall not be treated as an arrearage payment or a future payment.

Subd. 5a. Order for community services. If the court finds that the obligor earns $400 or less per month and does not have the ability to provide support based on the guidelines and factors under subdivision 5, the court may order the obligor to perform community services to fulfill the obligor's support obligation. In ordering community services under this subdivision, the court shall consider whether the obligor has the physical capability of performing community services, and shall order community services that are appropriate for the obligor's abilities.

Subd. 5b. Determination of income. (a) The parties shall timely serve and file documentation of earnings and income. When there is a prehearing conference, the court must receive the documentation of income at least ten days prior to the prehearing conference. Documentation of earnings and income also includes, but is not limited to, pay stubs for the most recent three months, employer statements, or statement of receipts and expenses if self-employed. Documentation of earnings and income also includes copies of each parent's most recent federal tax returns, including W-2 forms, 1099 forms, unemployment benefits statements, workers' compensation statements, and all other documents evidencing income as received that provide verification of income over a longer period.

(b) In addition to the requirements of paragraph (a), at any time after an action seeking child support has been commenced or when a child support order is in effect, a party or the public authority may require the other party to give them a copy of the party's most recent federal tax returns that were filed with the Internal Revenue Service. The party shall provide a copy of the tax returns within 30 days of receipt of the request unless the request is not made in good faith. A request under this paragraph may not be made more than once every two years, in the absence of good cause.

(c) If a parent under the jurisdiction of the court does not appear at a court hearing after proper notice of the time and place of the hearing, the court shall set income for that parent based on credible evidence before the court or in accordance with paragraph (d). Credible evidence may include documentation of current or recent income, testimony of the other parent concerning recent earnings and income levels, and the parent's wage reports filed with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development under section 268.044.

(d) If the court finds that a parent is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed or was voluntarily unemployed or underemployed during the period for which past support is being sought, support shall be calculated based on a determination of imputed income. A parent is not considered voluntarily unemployed or underemployed upon a showing by the parent that the unemployment or underemployment: (1) is temporary and will ultimately lead to an increase in income; or (2) represents a bona fide career change that outweighs the adverse effect of that parent's diminished income on the child. Imputed income means the estimated earning ability of a parent based on the parent's prior earnings history, education, and job skills, and on availability of jobs within the community for an individual with the parent's qualifications.

(e) If there is insufficient information to determine actual income or to impute income pursuant to paragraph (d), the court may calculate support based on full-time employment of 40 hours per week at 150 percent of the federal minimum wage or the Minnesota minimum wage, whichever is higher. If a parent is a recipient of public assistance under section 256.741, or is physically or mentally incapacitated, it shall be presumed that the parent is not voluntarily unemployed or underemployed.

(f) Income from self employment is equal to gross receipts minus ordinary and necessary expenses. Ordinary and necessary expenses do not include amounts allowed by the Internal Revenue Service for accelerated depreciation expenses or investment tax credits or any other business expenses determined by the court to be inappropriate for determining income for purposes of child support. The person seeking to deduct an expense, including depreciation, has the burden of proving, if challenged, that the expense is ordinary and necessary. Net income under this section may be different from taxable income.

Subd. 5c. Child support guidelines to be reviewed every four years. No later than 1994 and every four years after that, the Department of Human Services shall conduct a review of the child support guidelines.

Subd. 5d. Education trust fund. The parties may agree to designate a sum of money above any court-ordered child support as a trust fund for the costs of postsecondary education.

Subd. 5e. Adjustment to support order. A support order issued under this section may provide that during any period of time of 30 consecutive days or longer that the child is residing with the obligor, the amount of support otherwise due under the order may be reduced.

Subd. 5f. Subsequent children. The needs of subsequent children shall not be factored into a support guidelines calculation under subdivision 5. The fact that an obligor had additional children after the entry of a child support order is not grounds for a modification to decrease the amount of support owed. However, the fact that an obligor has subsequent children shall be considered in response to a request by an obligee for a modification to increase child support. In order to deviate from the support guidelines in subdivision 5 to consider the needs of subsequent children, the trial court must:

(1) find the obligor's total ability to contribute to dependent children, taking into account the obligor's income and reasonable expenses exclusive of child care. The obligor's expenses must be:

(i) reduced as appropriate to take into account contributions to those costs by other adults who share the obligor's current household; and

(ii) apportioned between the parent and any subsequent child with regard to shared benefits, including but not limited to, housing and transportation;

(2) find the total needs of all the obligor's children, and if these needs are less than the obligor's ability to pay, the needs may become the obligor's child support obligation. When considering the needs of subsequent children, the trial court must reduce those amounts as appropriate to take into account the ability to contribute to those needs by another parent of the children;

(3) make specific findings on the needs of the child or children who are the subject of the support order under consideration; and

(4) exercise discretion to fairly determine the current support obligation and the contribution left available for other children, considering that the support obligation being determined should be in an amount at least equal to the contribution for a subsequent child.

Subd. 6. Failure of notice. If the court in a dissolution, legal separation or determination of parentage proceeding, finds before issuing the order for judgment and decree, that notification has not been given to the public authority, the court shall set child support according to the guidelines in subdivision 5. In those proceedings in which no notification has been made pursuant to this section and in which the public authority determines that the judgment is lower than the child support required by the guidelines in subdivision 5, it shall move the court for a redetermination of the support payments ordered so that the support payments comply with the guidelines.

Subd. 7. Fees and cost recovery fees for IV-D services. (a) When a recipient of IV-D services is no longer receiving assistance under the state's title IV-A, IV-E foster care, medical assistance, or MinnesotaCare programs, the public authority responsible for child support enforcement must notify the recipient, within five working days of the notification of ineligibility, that IV-D services will be continued unless the public authority is notified to the contrary by the recipient. The notice must include the implications of continuing to receive IV-D services, including the available services and fees, cost recovery fees, and distribution policies relating to fees.

(b) An application fee of $25 shall be paid by the person who applies for child support and maintenance collection services, except persons who are receiving public assistance as defined in section 256.741 and, if enacted, the diversionary work program under section 256J.95, persons who transfer from public assistance to nonpublic assistance status, and minor parents and parents enrolled in a public secondary school, area learning center, or alternative learning program approved by the commissioner of education.

(c) When the public authority provides full IV-D services to an obligee who has applied for those services, upon written notice to the obligee, the public authority must charge a cost recovery fee of one percent of the amount collected. This fee must be deducted from the amount of the child support and maintenance collected and not assigned under section 256.741 before disbursement to the obligee. This fee does not apply to an obligee who:

(1) is currently receiving assistance under the state's title IV-A, IV-E foster care, medical assistance, or MinnesotaCare programs; or

(2) has received assistance under the state's title IV-A or IV-E foster care programs, until the person has not received this assistance for 24 consecutive months.

(d) When the public authority provides full IV-D services to an obligor who has applied for such services, upon written notice to the obligor, the public authority must charge a cost recovery fee of one percent of the monthly court-ordered child support and maintenance obligation. The fee may be collected through income withholding, as well as by any other enforcement remedy available to the public authority responsible for child support enforcement.

(e) Fees assessed by state and federal tax agencies for collection of overdue support owed to or on behalf of a person not receiving public assistance must be imposed on the person for whom these services are provided. The public authority upon written notice to the obligee shall assess a fee of $25 to the person not receiving public assistance for each successful federal tax interception. The fee must be withheld prior to the release of the funds received from each interception and deposited in the general fund.

(f) Cost recovery fees collected under paragraphs (c) and (d) shall be considered child support program income according to Code of Federal Regulations, title 45, section 304.50, and shall be deposited in the cost recovery fee account established under paragraph (h). The commissioner of human services must elect to recover costs based on either actual or standardized costs.

(g) The limitations of this subdivision on the assessment of fees shall not apply to the extent inconsistent with the requirements of federal law for receiving funds for the programs under Title IV-A and Title IV-D of the Social Security Act, United States Code, title 42, sections 601 to 613 and United States Code, title 42, sections 651 to 662.

(h) The commissioner of human services is authorized to establish a special revenue fund account to receive child support cost recovery fees. A portion of the nonfederal share of these fees may be retained for expenditures necessary to administer the fee and must be transferred to the child support system special revenue account. The remaining nonfederal share of the cost recovery fee must be retained by the commissioner and dedicated to the child support general fund county performance-based grant account authorized under sections 256.979 and 256.9791.

Subd. 8. Repealed, 1986 c 404 s 20

Subd. 9. Assignment of rights; judgment. (a) The public agency responsible for child support enforcement is joined as a party in each case in which rights are assigned under section 256.741, subdivision 2. The court administrator shall enter and docket a judgment obtained by operation of law under section 548.091, subdivision 1, in the name of the public agency to the extent that the obligation has been assigned. When arrearages are reduced to judgment under circumstances in which section 548.091 is not applicable, the court shall grant judgment in favor of, and in the name of, the public agency to the extent that the arrearages are assigned. After filing notice of an assignment with the court administrator, who shall enter the notice in the docket, the public agency may enforce a judgment entered before the assignment of rights as if the judgment were granted to it, and in its name, to the extent that the arrearages in that judgment are assigned.

(b) The public authority is a real party in interest in any IV-D case where there has been an assignment of support. In all other IV-D cases, the public authority has a pecuniary interest, as well as an interest in the welfare of the children involved in those cases. The public authority may intervene as a matter of right in those cases to ensure that child support orders are obtained and enforced which provide for an appropriate and accurate level of child, medical, and child care support. If the public authority participates in a IV-D case where the action taken by the public authority requires the use of an attorney's services, the public authority shall be represented by an attorney consistent with the provisions in section 518.255.

Subd. 10. Repealed, 1994 c 630 art 10 s 3

Subd. 11. Reopening support awards. Section 518.145, subdivision 2, applies to awards of child support.

Subd. 12. Occupational license suspension. (a) Upon motion of an obligee, if the court finds that the obligor is or may be licensed by a licensing board listed in section 214.01 or other state, county, or municipal agency or board that issues an occupational license and the obligor is in arrears in court-ordered child support or maintenance payments or both in an amount equal to or greater than three times the obligor's total monthly support and maintenance payments and is not in compliance with a written payment agreement pursuant to section 518.553 that is approved by the court, a child support magistrate, or the public authority, the court shall direct the licensing board or other licensing agency to suspend the license under section 214.101. The court's order must be stayed for 90 days in order to allow the obligor to execute a written payment agreement pursuant to section 518.553. The payment agreement must be approved by either the court or the public authority responsible for child support enforcement. If the obligor has not executed or is not in compliance with a written payment agreement pursuant to section 518.553 after the 90 days expires, the court's order becomes effective. If the obligor is a licensed attorney, the court shall report the matter to the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board for appropriate action in accordance with the Rules of Professional Conduct. The remedy under this subdivision is in addition to any other enforcement remedy available to the court.

(b) If a public authority responsible for child support enforcement finds that the obligor is or may be licensed by a licensing board listed in section 214.01 or other state, county, or municipal agency or board that issues an occupational license and the obligor is in arrears in court-ordered child support or maintenance payments or both in an amount equal to or greater than three times the obligor's total monthly support and maintenance payments and is not in compliance with a written payment agreement pursuant to section 518.553 that is approved by the court, a child support magistrate, or the public authority, the court or the public authority shall direct the licensing board or other licensing agency to suspend the license under section 214.101. If the obligor is a licensed attorney, the public authority may report the matter to the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board for appropriate action in accordance with the Rules of Professional Conduct. The remedy under this subdivision is in addition to any other enforcement remedy available to the public authority.

(c) At least 90 days before notifying a licensing authority or the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board under paragraph (b), the public authority shall mail a written notice to the license holder addressed to the license holder's last known address that the public authority intends to seek license suspension under this subdivision and that the license holder must request a hearing within 30 days in order to contest the suspension. If the license holder makes a written request for a hearing within 30 days of the date of the notice, a court hearing or a hearing under section 484.702 must be held. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, the license holder must be served with 14 days' notice in writing specifying the time and place of the hearing and the allegations against the license holder. The notice may be served personally or by mail. If the public authority does not receive a request for a hearing within 30 days of the date of the notice, and the obligor does not execute a written payment agreement pursuant to section 518.553 that is approved by the public authority within 90 days of the date of the notice, the public authority shall direct the licensing board or other licensing agency to suspend the obligor's license under paragraph (b), or shall report the matter to the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board.

(d) The public authority or the court shall notify the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board for appropriate action in accordance with the Rules of Professional Responsibility Conduct or order the licensing board or licensing agency to suspend the license if the judge finds that:

(1) the person is licensed by a licensing board or other state agency that issues an occupational license;

(2) the person has not made full payment of arrearages found to be due by the public authority; and

(3) the person has not executed or is not in compliance with a payment plan approved by the court, a child support magistrate, or the public authority.

(e) Within 15 days of the date on which the obligor either makes full payment of arrearages found to be due by the court or public authority or executes and initiates good faith compliance with a written payment plan approved by the court, a child support magistrate, or the public authority, the court, a child support magistrate, or the public authority responsible for child support enforcement shall notify the licensing board or licensing agency or the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board that the obligor is no longer ineligible for license issuance, reinstatement, or renewal under this subdivision.

(f) In addition to the criteria established under this section for the suspension of an obligor's occupational license, a court, a child support magistrate, or the public authority may direct the licensing board or other licensing agency to suspend the license of a party who has failed, after receiving notice, to comply with a subpoena relating to a paternity or child support proceeding. Notice to an obligor of intent to suspend must be served by first class mail at the obligor's last known address. The notice must inform the obligor of the right to request a hearing. If the obligor makes a written request within ten days of the date of the hearing, a hearing must be held. At the hearing, the only issues to be considered are mistake of fact and whether the obligor received the subpoena.

(g) The license of an obligor who fails to remain in compliance with an approved written payment agreement may be suspended. Prior to suspending a license for noncompliance with an approved written payment agreement, the public authority must mail to the obligor's last known address a written notice that (1) the public authority intends to seek suspension of the obligor's occupational license under this paragraph, and (2) the obligor must request a hearing, within 30 days of the date of the notice, to contest the suspension. If, within 30 days of the date of the notice, the public authority does not receive a written request for a hearing and the obligor does not comply with an approved written payment agreement, the public authority must direct the licensing board or other licensing agency to suspend the obligor's license under paragraph (b), and, if the obligor is a licensed attorney, must report the matter to the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board. If the obligor makes a written request for a hearing within 30 days of the date of the notice, a court hearing must be held. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, the obligor must be served with 14 days' notice in writing specifying the time and place of the hearing and the allegations against the obligor. The notice may be served personally or by mail to the obligor's last known address. If the obligor appears at the hearing and the court determines that the obligor has failed to comply with an approved written payment agreement, the court or public authority must notify the occupational licensing board or other licensing agency to suspend the obligor's license under paragraph (b) and, if the obligor is a licensed attorney, must report the matter to the lawyers professional responsibility board. If the obligor fails to appear at the hearing, the court or public authority must notify the occupational licensing board or other licensing agency to suspend the obligor's license under paragraph (b), and if the obligor is a licensed attorney, must report the matter to the lawyers professional responsibility board.

Subd. 13. Driver's license suspension. (a) Upon motion of an obligee, which has been properly served on the obligor and upon which there has been an opportunity for hearing, if a court finds that the obligor has been or may be issued a driver's license by the commissioner of public safety and the obligor is in arrears in court-ordered child support or maintenance payments, or both, in an amount equal to or greater than three times the obligor's total monthly support and maintenance payments and is not in compliance with a written payment agreement pursuant to section 518.553 that is approved by the court, a child support magistrate, or the public authority, the court shall order the commissioner of public safety to suspend the obligor's driver's license. The court's order must be stayed for 90 days in order to allow the obligor to execute a written payment agreement pursuant to section 518.553. The payment agreement must be approved by either the court or the public authority responsible for child support enforcement. If the obligor has not executed or is not in compliance with a written payment agreement pursuant to section 518.553 after the 90 days expires, the court's order becomes effective and the commissioner of public safety shall suspend the obligor's driver's license. The remedy under this subdivision is in addition to any other enforcement remedy available to the court. An obligee may not bring a motion under this paragraph within 12 months of a denial of a previous motion under this paragraph.

(b) If a public authority responsible for child support enforcement determines that the obligor has been or may be issued a driver's license by the commissioner of public safety and the obligor is in arrears in court-ordered child support or maintenance payments or both in an amount equal to or greater than three times the obligor's total monthly support and maintenance payments and not in compliance with a written payment agreement pursuant to section 518.553 that is approved by the court, a child support magistrate, or the public authority, the public authority shall direct the commissioner of public safety to suspend the obligor's driver's license. The remedy under this subdivision is in addition to any other enforcement remedy available to the public authority.

(c) At least 90 days prior to notifying the commissioner of public safety according to paragraph (b), the public authority must mail a written notice to the obligor at the obligor's last known address, that it intends to seek suspension of the obligor's driver's license and that the obligor must request a hearing within 30 days in order to contest the suspension. If the obligor makes a written request for a hearing within 30 days of the date of the notice, a court hearing must be held. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, the obligor must be served with 14 days' notice in writing specifying the time and place of the hearing and the allegations against the obligor. The notice must include information that apprises the obligor of the requirement to develop a written payment agreement that is approved by a court, a child support magistrate, or the public authority responsible for child support enforcement regarding child support, maintenance, and any arrearages in order to avoid license suspension. The notice may be served personally or by mail. If the public authority does not receive a request for a hearing within 30 days of the date of the notice, and the obligor does not execute a written payment agreement pursuant to section 518.553 that is approved by the public authority within 90 days of the date of the notice, the public authority shall direct the commissioner of public safety to suspend the obligor's driver's license under paragraph (b).

(d) At a hearing requested by the obligor under paragraph (c), and on finding that the obligor is in arrears in court-ordered child support or maintenance payments or both in an amount equal to or greater than three times the obligor's total monthly support and maintenance payments, the district court or child support magistrate shall order the commissioner of public safety to suspend the obligor's driver's license or operating privileges unless the court or child support magistrate determines that the obligor has executed and is in compliance with a written payment agreement pursuant to section 518.553 that is approved by the court, a child support magistrate, or the public authority.

(e) An obligor whose driver's license or operating privileges are suspended may:

(1) provide proof to the public authority responsible for child support enforcement that the obligor is in compliance with all written payment agreements pursuant to section 518.553;

(2) bring a motion for reinstatement of the driver's license. At the hearing, if the court or child support magistrate orders reinstatement of the driver's license, the court or child support magistrate must establish a written payment agreement pursuant to section 518.553; or

(3) seek a limited license under section 171.30. A limited license issued to an obligor under section 171.30 expires 90 days after the date it is issued.

Within 15 days of the receipt of that proof or a court order, the public authority shall inform the commissioner of public safety that the obligor's driver's license or operating privileges should no longer be suspended.

(f) On January 15, 1997, and every two years after that, the commissioner of human services shall submit a report to the legislature that identifies the following information relevant to the implementation of this section:

(1) the number of child support obligors notified of an intent to suspend a driver's license;

(2) the amount collected in payments from the child support obligors notified of an intent to suspend a driver's license;

(3) the number of cases paid in full and payment agreements executed in response to notification of an intent to suspend a driver's license;

(4) the number of cases in which there has been notification and no payments or payment agreements;

(5) the number of driver's licenses suspended;

(6) the cost of implementation and operation of the requirements of this section; and

(7) the number of limited licenses issued and number of cases in which payment agreements are executed and cases are paid in full following issuance of a limited license.

(g) In addition to the criteria established under this section for the suspension of an obligor's driver's license, a court, a child support magistrate, or the public authority may direct the commissioner of public safety to suspend the license of a party who has failed, after receiving notice, to comply with a subpoena relating to a paternity or child support proceeding. Notice to an obligor of intent to suspend must be served by first class mail at the obligor's last known address. The notice must inform the obligor of the right to request a hearing. If the obligor makes a written request within ten days of the date of the hearing, a hearing must be held. At the hearing, the only issues to be considered are mistake of fact and whether the obligor received the subpoena.

(h) The license of an obligor who fails to remain in compliance with an approved written payment agreement may be suspended. Prior to suspending a license for noncompliance with an approved written payment agreement, the public authority must mail to the obligor's last known address a written notice that (1) the public authority intends to seek suspension of the obligor's driver's license under this paragraph, and (2) the obligor must request a hearing, within 30 days of the date of the notice, to contest the suspension. If, within 30 days of the date of the notice, the public authority does not receive a written request for a hearing and the obligor does not comply with an approved written payment agreement, the public authority must direct the Department of Public Safety to suspend the obligor's license under paragraph (b). If the obligor makes a written request for a hearing within 30 days of the date of the notice, a court hearing must be held. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, the obligor must be served with 14 days' notice in writing specifying the time and place of the hearing and the allegations against the obligor. The notice may be served personally or by mail at the obligor's last known address. If the obligor appears at the hearing and the court determines that the obligor has failed to comply with an approved written payment agreement, the court or public authority shall notify the Department of Public Safety to suspend the obligor's license under paragraph (b). If the obligor fails to appear at the hearing, the court or public authority must notify the Department of Public Safety to suspend the obligor's license under paragraph (b).

Subd. 13a. Data on suspensions for support arrears. Notwithstanding section 13.03, subdivision 4, paragraph (c), data on an occupational license suspension under subdivision 12 or a driver's license suspension under subdivision 13 that are transferred by the Department of Human Services to respectively the Department of Public Safety or any state, county, or municipal occupational licensing agency must have the same classification at the Department of Public Safety or other receiving agency under section 13.02 as other license suspension data held by the receiving agency. The transfer of the data does not affect the classification of the data in the hands of the Department of Human Services.

Subd. 14. Motor vehicle lien. (a) Upon motion of an obligee, if a court finds that the obligor is a debtor for a judgment debt resulting from nonpayment of court-ordered child support or maintenance payments, or both, in an amount equal to or greater than three times the obligor's total monthly support and maintenance payments, the court shall order the commissioner of public safety to enter a lien in the name of the obligee or in the name of the state of Minnesota, as appropriate, in accordance with section 168A.05, subdivision 8, unless the court finds that the obligor is in compliance with a written payment agreement pursuant to section 518.553 that is approved by the court, a child support magistrate, or the public authority. The court's order must be stayed for 90 days in order to allow the obligor to execute a written payment agreement pursuant to section 518.553, which shall be approved by either the court or the public authority responsible for child support enforcement. If the obligor has not executed or is not in compliance with a written payment agreement pursuant to section 518.553 that is approved by the court, a child support magistrate, or the public authority within the 90-day period, the court's order becomes effective and the commissioner of public safety shall record the lien on any motor vehicle certificate of title subsequently issued in the name of the obligor. The remedy under this subdivision is in addition to any other enforcement remedy available to the court.

(b) If a public authority responsible for child support enforcement determines that the obligor is a debtor for judgment debt resulting from nonpayment of court-ordered child support or maintenance payments, or both, in an amount equal to or greater than three times the obligor's total monthly support and maintenance payments, the public authority shall direct the commissioner of public safety to enter a lien in the name of the obligee or in the name of the state of Minnesota, as appropriate, under section 168A.05, subdivision 8, on any motor vehicle certificate of title subsequently issued in the name of the obligor unless the public authority determines that the obligor is in compliance with a written payment agreement pursuant to section 518.553 that is approved by the court, a child support magistrate, or the public authority. The remedy under this subdivision is in addition to any other enforcement remedy available to the public agency.

(c) At least 90 days prior to notifying the commissioner of public safety pursuant to paragraph (b), the public authority must mail a written notice to the obligor at the obligor's last known address, that it intends to record a lien on any motor vehicle certificate of title subsequently issued in the name of the obligor and that the obligor must request a hearing within 30 days in order to contest the action. If the obligor makes a written request for a hearing within 30 days of the date of the notice, a court hearing must be held. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, the obligor must be served with 14 days' notice in writing specifying the time and place of the hearing and the allegations against the obligor. The notice may be served personally or by mail. If the public authority does not receive a request for a hearing within 30 days of the date of the notice and the obligor does not execute or is not in compliance with a written payment agreement pursuant to section 518.553 that is approved by the public authority within 90 days of the date of the notice, the public authority shall direct the commissioner of public safety to record the lien under paragraph (b).

(d) At a hearing requested by the obligor under paragraph (c), and on finding that the obligor is in arrears in court-ordered child support or maintenance payments or both in an amount equal to or greater than three times the obligor's total monthly support and maintenance payments, the district court or child support magistrate shall order the commissioner of public safety to record the lien unless the court or child support magistrate determines that the obligor has executed and is in compliance with a written payment agreement pursuant to section 518.553 that is determined to be acceptable by the court, a child support magistrate, or the public authority.

(e) An obligor may provide proof to the court or the public authority responsible for child support enforcement that the obligor is in compliance with all written payment agreements pursuant to section 518.553 or that the value of the motor vehicle is less than the exemption provided under section 550.37. Within 15 days of the receipt of that proof, the court or public authority shall either execute a release of security interest under section 168A.20, subdivision 4, and mail or deliver the release to the owner or other authorized person or shall direct the commissioner of public safety not to enter a lien on any motor vehicle certificate of title subsequently issued in the name of the obligor in instances where a lien has not yet been entered.

(f) Any lien recorded against a motor vehicle certificate of title under this section and section 168A.05, subdivision 8, attaches only to the nonexempt value of the motor vehicle as determined in accordance with section 550.37. The value of a motor vehicle must be determined in accordance with the retail value described in the N.A.D.A. Official Used Car Guide, Midwest Edition, for the current year, or in accordance with the purchase price as defined in section 297B.01, subdivision 8.

Subd. 15. License suspension. (a) Upon motion of an obligee or the public authority, which has been properly served on the obligor by first class mail at the last known address or in person, and if at a hearing, the court finds that (1) the obligor is in arrears in court-ordered child support or maintenance payments, or both, in an amount equal to or greater than six times the obligor's total monthly support and maintenance payments and is not in compliance with a written payment agreement pursuant to section 518.553, or (2) has failed, after receiving notice, to comply with a subpoena relating to a paternity or child support proceeding, the court may direct the commissioner of natural resources to suspend or bar receipt of the obligor's recreational license or licenses. Prior to utilizing this subdivision, the court must find that other substantial enforcement mechanisms have been attempted but have not resulted in compliance.

(b) For purposes of this subdivision, a recreational license includes all licenses, permits, and stamps issued centrally by the commissioner of natural resources under sections 97B.301, 97B.401, 97B.501, 97B.515, 97B.601, 97B.715, 97B.721, 97B.801, 97C.301, and 97C.305.

(c) An obligor whose recreational license or licenses have been suspended or barred may provide proof to the court that the obligor is in compliance with all written payment agreements pursuant to section 518.553. Within 15 days of receipt of that proof, the court shall notify the commissioner of natural resources that the obligor's recreational license or licenses should no longer be suspended nor should receipt be barred.

HIST: 1971 c 961 s 21; 1974 c 107 s 20; 1977 c 282 s 29; 1978 c 772 s 50; 1979 c 259 s 25; 1981 c 349 s 6; 1981 c 360 art 2 s 46; 3Sp1981 c 3 s 19; 1982 c 488 s 4,5; 1983 c 308 s 16-20; 1984 c 547 s 18,19; 1985 c 131 s 7; 1986 c 406 s 4; 1986 c 444; 1Sp1986 c 3 art 1 s 82; 1987 c 403 art 3 s 79,80; 1988 c 593 s 8; 1988 c 668 s 17,18; 1989 c 282 art 2 s 190,191; 1990 c 568 art 2 s 70-72; 1990 c 574 s 18; 1991 c 266 s 2; 1991 c 292 art 5 s 75-78; 1992 c 513 art 8 s 53,54; 1993 c 34 s 1; 1993 c 322 s 12; 1993 c 340 s 32-38; 1Sp1993 c 1 art 6 s 44; 1994 c 483 s 1; 1994 c 488 s 8; 1994 c 630 art 11 s 9,10; 1995 c 186 s 94; 1995 c 257 art 1 s 23-26; 1997 c 66 s 79; 1997 c 203 art 6 s 42,43; 1997 c 245 art 1 s 13-17; art 3 s 10; 1998 c 382 art 1 s 7-11; 1999 c 107 s 66; 1999 c 159 s 136; 1999 c 196 art 1 s 6; art 2 s 9-11; 1999 c 245 art 7 s 8; 2000 c 343 s 4; 2000 c 444 art 2 s 37; 2001 c 51 s 13,14; 2001 c 134 s 1; 2001 c 158 s 1; 2002 c 344 s 13-16; 2003 c 130 s 12; 1Sp2003 c 14 art 6 s 58; art 10 s 5,6; 2004 c 206 s 52

* NOTE: The amendment to subdivision 7 by Laws 2003, First *Special Session chapter 14, article 6, section 58, is effective *July 1, 2004, except paragraph (d) is effective July 1, 2005. *Laws 2003, First Special Session chapter 14, article 6, section *58, the effective date.