What’s the law?
Court can garnish wages to pay claim
My adult daughter, after going to small claims court, won a civil suit against someone who had wrecked her automobile. Both parties agreed that my daughter would receive $100 on the first of each month until the approximate $3,500 is paid in full, starting on April 1, 2008. My daughter has received no money as of today. What recourse can you offer us? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Answer: From Legal Aid-Maui staff attorney Anne Leete: If you have obtained a civil judgment against another party, you can file a Motion for the Issuance of Garnishee Summons (MIGS), which asks the court for permission to begin the process of garnishing the other party's wages and/or accounts. The forms to start this process are available on the state judiciary's Web site at courts.state.hi.us.
Q: My 6-year-old nephew lives with me. He is not a U.S. citizen, but he has a green card. I would like to apply for food stamps for the two of us, but I've heard that people with green cards have to provide income and asset information from their financial sponsor. My nephew's sponsor is a member of his father's side of the family (I'm his mother's sister). I have no idea how to get in touch with the sponsor. Is there any way we can still apply for food stamps?
A: From Rochelle Sparko, Legal Aid Society of Hawaii public benefits attorney: You should be able to apply for food stamps and receive them if you are otherwise eligible even without the sponsor's financial information. Federal law and state policy directives prohibit the Department of Human Services from considering a sponsor's income and assets when determining the food stamp eligibility of minor children.
REMINDER: Legal Aid provides legal assistance for civil legal needs -- issues surrounding family law, housing, and public benefits -- of the low- to moderate-income population in Hawaii.
Legal Aid Society of Hawaii operates statewide. Practice areas include housing, public benefits, consumer and family law, but not criminal law. For information, call 536-4302. Submit questions by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
or by U.S. mail to Legal Aid Q&A, 924 Bethel St., Honolulu, HI 96813.