Saturday, January 21, 2012

No Tithing Exemption Allowed From Garnishment Order

United States v. Thomas, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5600 (ED CA, Jan. 17, 2012), is an action seeking garnishment of defendant's wages to pay off a $1.86 million balance on a restitution order growing out of her criminal conviction for embezzlement of funds from her employer. Among other claims, defendant sought to exclude 10% of her monthly pay from garnishment so she can use it to tithe to her church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The court denied this request, holding:
defendant has provided no legal authority or argument whatsoever supporting the proposition that the court's denial of a tithing exemption from garnishment would constitute a First Amendment violation. For this lack of legal support alone, defendant's request should be denied.
Additionally, defendant failed to provide factual support for the proposition that she would be prevented from attending her church or temple if she failed to pay her tithe.