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Re: All you need to know about the WOMEN'S CHARTER

PART IX
ENFORCEMENT OF MAINTENANCE ORDERS

Interpretation of this Part

80. In this Part, unless the context otherwise requires —

"court" includes the Syariah Court constituted under the provisions of the Administration of Muslim Law Act (Cap. 3);

"defendant" , in relation to a maintenance order or a related attachment of earnings order, means the person liable to make payments under the maintenance order;

"earnings" , in relation to a defendant, means any sums payable to him —

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

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

(c) if the defendant is a self-employed person, by way of payments received from self-employment;

"employer" means a person by whom, as a principal and not as an employee or agent, earnings fall to be paid to a defendant, and references to payment of earnings shall be construed accordingly;

"maintenance order" means —

(a) an order for the payment of a monthly allowance made or deemed to be made by a court under Part VIII;

(b) an order for the payment of periodical sums by way of maintenance or alimony to a wife or for the benefit of any child under Part X;

(c) an order for maintenance made by the Syariah Court under the Administration of Muslim Law Act (Cap. 3);

(d) an order for maintenance made under the Maintenance of Parents Act (Cap. 167B); and

(e) a maintenance order registered or confirmed by the court under the Maintenance Orders (Facilities for Enforcement) Act (Cap. 168)1.
[14/69;30/96]

1This Act, which was formerly known as the Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Orders Act (Cap. 26, 1970 Ed.), will be repealed upon the commencement of section 19 (1) of the Maintenance Orders (Reciprocal Enforcement) Act (Cap. 169).

Power of court to make attachment of earnings order
81. —(1) A court may, when ordering the payment of maintenance under Part VIII or at any time thereafter, if the court considers just, make an attachment of earnings order to secure payment of the maintenance.
[30/96]

(2) A District Court may make an attachment of earnings order to secure payments the defendant is required to make under a maintenance order made by the High Court.
[26/80]

Nature of attachment of earnings order

82. —(1) An attachment of earnings order shall require the person to whom the order in question is directed, being a person appearing to the court to be the defendant’s employer, to make out of the earnings falling to be paid to the defendant payments in satisfaction of the order.

(2) The amount to be prescribed in an attachment of earnings order shall be such sum as to the court seems reasonable after taking into account the resources and needs of the defendant and the needs of persons for whom he must or reasonably should provide.

(3) An attachment of earnings order shall contain, so far as they are known to the court making the order, such particulars as may be prescribed for the purpose of enabling the defendant to be identified by the person to whom the order is directed.

(4) An attachment of earnings order or any variation thereof shall not come into force until the expiration of 7 days from the date when a copy of the order is served on the person to whom the order is directed.

(5) An attachment of earnings order shall designate the officer to whom the payments under the order are to be made.

Effect of attachment of earnings order
83. —(1) When an attachment of earnings order is made, all other proceedings for the enforcement of the related maintenance order begun before the making of the attachment of earnings order shall be suspended.

(2) The court by which an attachment of earnings order has been made may, if it thinks fit, on the application of the defendant or a person entitled to receive payments under the related maintenance order, make an order discharging or varying the attachment of earnings order.

(3) An attachment of earnings order shall cease to have effect —

(a) upon the issue of a warrant directing that the amount due under the related maintenance order shall be levied in the manner provided by law for levying fines;

(b) upon the making of an order sentencing the defendant to imprisonment for failure to comply with the related maintenance order;

(c) upon the making of a garnishee order under section 71(1)(c); and

(d) upon the rescission of the related maintenance order.[30/96]

(4) Where an attachment of earnings order ceases to have effect under subsection (3), the court making the order shall give notice of the cessation to the person to whom the order was directed.

Duty of defendant and employer to comply with attachment of earnings order
84. —(1) A person to whom an attachment of earnings order is directed shall, notwithstanding anything in any other written law but subject to the provisions of this Part, comply with the order or, if the order is subsequently varied under section 83, with the order as so varied.

(2) Where, on any occasion on which earnings fall to be paid to a defendant, there are in force 2 or more attachment of earnings orders relating to those earnings, then, for the purpose of complying with this Part, the employer shall —

(a) deal with those orders according to the respective dates on which they came into force disregarding any later order until all earlier orders have been dealt with; and

(b) deal with any later order as if the earnings to which it relates were the residue of the defendant’s earnings after the making of any payment under this Part in pursuance of any earlier order.

(3) An employer who, in pursuance of an attachment of earnings order, makes a payment under this Part shall give to the defendant a statement in writing specifying the amount of that payment.

(4) A person to whom an attachment of earnings order is directed who, at the time when a copy of the order is served on him, has on no occasion during the period of one month immediately preceding that time been the defendant’s employer shall forthwith give notice in writing to that effect in the prescribed form to the court which made the order.
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