Child Support Division
Employers: Income Withholding
Penalties and Late Fees
Employers that fail to comply with income withholding orders are subject to penalties and late fees set by state law. N.D.C.C. § 14-09-09.3 and N.D.C.C. § 14-12.2-33.4
14-09-09.3. Child support - Duties and liabilities of income payer under income withholding order.
- Any failure of an income payer to comply with this section or section 14-09-09.16 may be sanctioned as a contempt of court. The court shall first afford such income payer a reasonable opportunity to purge itself of the contempt.
- Any income payer who fails or refuses to withhold or deliver income pursuant to an income withholding order, when such income payer has had in its possession such income, is personally liable for the amount of such income which the income payer failed or refused to withhold or deliver, together with costs, interest, and reasonable attorney's fees. If an income payer fails or refuses to withhold or deliver income for more than fourteen business days after the date an obligor is paid, the court shall award damages in an amount equal to two hundred dollars or actual damages caused by the violation, whichever is greater, in addition to the amount of income that should have been withheld or delivered, costs, interest, late fees, and reasonable attorney's fees. Any damages awarded under this subsection must be allocated by the court between each affected obligor and obligee, or made payable on behalf of an obligor to the state disbursement unit for distribution under section 14-09-25. Each remedy authorized in this subsection is a remedial sanction as defined in section 27-10-01.1.
- Any employer who refuses to employ, dismisses, demotes, disciplines, or in any way penalizes an obligor on account of any proceeding to collect child support, on account of any order or orders entered by the court in such proceeding, on account of the employer's compliance with such order or orders, or on account of an income withholding order, is liable to the obligor for all damages, together with costs, interest thereon, and reasonable attorney's fees resulting from the employer's action. The employer may be required to make full restitution to the aggrieved obligor, including reinstatements and backpay.
- An income payer may be enjoined by a court of competent jurisdiction from continuing any action in violation of section 14 09 09.16.
- Any contempt proceeding against an income payer under this section must be commenced within one year after the income payer's act or failure to act upon which such proceeding is based.
- Compliance by an income payer with an income withholding order operates as a discharge of the income payer's liability to the obligor as to that portion of the obligor's income so affected.
- In considering an income withholding order issued by a court or administrative tribunal in a state other than the state of the obligor's principal place of employment, the income payer shall apply the law of the state of the obligor's principal place of employment in determining any withholding terms and conditions not specified in the income withholding order or in section 14-12.2-33.1.
- An employer who complies with an income withholding order that is regular on its face is not subject to civil liability to any individual or agency for conduct in compliance with the order.
- An income payer who fails to withhold or deliver income for more than seven business days after the date one or more obligors are paid may be charged a late fee equal to twenty-five dollars per obligor for each additional business day the payment is delinquent or seventy-five dollars for each additional business day the payment is delinquent, whichever is greater. A late fee charged under this subsection is payable fifteen days after service on the employer, by first-class mail, of notice of the imposition of the late fee. Failure to pay a late fee under this subsection may be sanctioned as a contempt of court. Any late fee assessed by the child support agency under this subsection must be paid to the state disbursement unit for distribution under section 14-09-25 and any remaining balance must be paid to the obligor. If an income payer has failed to withhold or deliver income for more than one obligor, any late fees collected under this section must be divided equally among all affected obligors.
14-12.2-33.4. (505) Penalties for noncompliance. An employer who willfully fails to comply with an income-withholding order issued by another state and received for enforcement is subject to the same penalties that may be imposed for noncompliance with an order issued by a tribunal of this state.