Title 15
Domestic Relations

Chapter 21
Child Support Lien Act

R.I. Gen. Laws § 15-21-5

§ 15-21-5. Levy of personal property.

(a) In any case where the department has perfected a lien pursuant to § 15-21-4, the department may collect unpaid child support and levy upon all property as provided in this section. The department shall have the authority to issue an administrative notice of levy or administrative writ of execution to effectuate a levy under this chapter of the law. The term “levy” includes the power of seizure by any means authorized by law. The department may seize and sell any property that is subject to levy. Any person in possession of property upon which a lien has been imposed shall, upon demand, surrender the property to the department.

(b) A levy on property held by an organization with respect to a life insurance or endowment contract shall, without necessity for the surrender of the contract document, constitute a demand by the department for payment of the amount of the lien and the exercise of the right of the obligor to the advance of that amount. The organization shall pay the amount within ninety (90) days after service of notice of levy. The levy shall be deemed to be satisfied if the organization pays over to the department the full amount which the obligor could have had advanced to him or her, provided that the amount does not exceed the amount of the lien.

(c) Whenever any property upon which levy has been made is not sufficient to satisfy the claim of the state for which levy is made, the department may thereafter, as often as necessary, proceed to levy, with notice, upon any other personal property of the obligor liable to levy, until the amount due from him or her, together with expenses, is fully paid. In all cases, any support obligations shall be fully satisfied prior to payments for expenses.

(d) Upon demand by the department, a person who fails or refuses to surrender personal property subject to levy shall be liable in his or her own person and estate to the state in a sum equal to the value of the property not so surrendered, but not exceeding the amount of the lien, together with costs and interest, at the rate authorized for civil judgments, from the date of the levy. In addition, any person required to surrender property who fails or refuses to surrender the property without reasonable cause shall be liable for a penalty equal to twenty-five percent (25%) of the amount recoverable. The interest or penalty incurred under this subsection shall be paid to the general fund and shall not be credited against the child support liability. Any non-obligor party aggrieved by a decision of the department may, within ten (10) days of receipt of notice of demand, request an administrative hearing with the department.

[See § 12-1-15 of the General Laws.]

History of Section.
P.L. 1995, ch. 370, art. 29, § 6; P.L. 1995, ch. 374, § 6; P.L. 2001, ch. 155, § 5.