On April 30, 2020, Governor Sisolak signed emergency Directive 017 aimed at providing temporary economic relief to Nevada by freezing some garnishment actions and executions of judgments.

All writs of execution and writs of garnishment currently in effect shall be stayed and no new writs of garnishment or writs of execution may be issued or served. Any funds or property garnished or attached after April 30th shall be returned and garnishees withholding funds shall stop such garnishments without fear of liability for failing to withhold.

In his press release, Governor Sisolak stated:

“During this period of economic uncertainty and hardship, this is not the time to create additional uncertainty and hardship, this not time to create additional stress on Nevadans who are struggling to make ends meet.” Notably, Governor Sisolak emphasized that the “measure ensures that federal stimulus money [funds received under the CARES Act] intended to help Nevada’s families and individuals actual stays in their pockets.”

Generally, writs of execution and writs of garnishment are used as a mechanism to collect debts from a debtor who will not make payments voluntarily. Through a writ of execution or garnishment, a creditor may take part of the debtor’s wages or salary in order to satisfy a court judgment or tax obligation. See NRS Chapters 21 and 31.

Although Directive 017 freezes certain actions, it does not apply to any actions or judgments awarding child support, spousal support, or any criminal restitution payable to victims.

Directive 017 will remain in effect until the Declaration of Emergency declared on March 12, 2020 ends unless otherwise extended.

Employers in Nevada should be aware of this temporary directive and ensure that any active executions or garnishments comply with Directive 017. If you have any questions, please contact the Nevada Association of Employers.