New York Civil Practice Law and Rules § 5205. Personal property exempt from application to the satisfaction of money judgments
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(a) Exemption for personal property. The following personal property when owned by any person is exempt from application to the satisfaction of a money judgment except where the judgment is for the purchase price of the exempt property or was recovered by a domestic, laboring person or mechanic for work performed by that person in such capacity:
1. all stoves and home heating equipment kept for use in the judgment debtor's dwelling house and necessary fuel therefor for one hundred twenty days; one sewing machine with its appurtenances;
2. religious texts, family pictures and portraits, and school books used by the judgment debtor or in the family; and other books, not exceeding five hundred dollars in value, kept and used as part of the family or judgment debtor's library;
3. a seat or pew occupied by the judgment debtor or the family in a place of public worship;
4. domestic animals with the necessary food for those animals for one hundred twenty days, provided that the total value of such animals and food does not exceed one thousand dollars; all necessary food actually provided for the use of the judgment debtor or his family for one hundred twenty days;
5. all wearing apparel, household furniture, one mechanical, gas or electric refrigerator, one radio receiver, one television set, one computer and associated equipment, one cellphone, crockery, tableware and cooking utensils necessary for the judgment debtor and the family; all prescribed health aids;
6. a wedding ring; a watch, jewelry and art not exceeding one thousand dollars in value;
7. tools of trade, necessary working tools and implements, including those of a mechanic, farm machinery, team, professional instruments, furniture and library, not exceeding three thousand dollars in value, together with the necessary food for the team for one hundred twenty days, provided, however, that the articles specified in this paragraph are necessary to the carrying on of the judgment debtor's profession or calling;
8. one motor vehicle not exceeding four thousand dollars in value above liens and encumbrances of the debtor; if such vehicle has been equipped for use by a disabled debtor, then ten thousand dollars in value above liens and encumbrances of the debtor; provided, however, that this exemption for one motor vehicle shall not apply if the debt enforced is for child support, spousal support, maintenance, alimony or equitable distribution, or if the state of New York or any of its agencies or any municipal corporation is the judgment creditor; and
9. if no homestead exemption is claimed, then one thousand dollars in personal property, bank account or cash.
(b) Exemption of cause of action and damages for taking or injuring exempt personal property. A cause of action, to recover damages for taking or injuring personal property exempt from application to the satisfaction of a money judgment, is exempt from application to the satisfaction of a money judgment. A money judgment and its proceeds arising out of such a cause of action is exempt, for one year after the collection thereof, from application to the satisfaction of a money judgment.
(c) Trust exemption. 1. Except as provided in paragraphs four and five of this subdivision, all property while held in trust for a judgment debtor, where the trust has been created by, or the fund so held in trust has proceeded from, a person other than the judgment debtor, is exempt from application to the satisfaction of a money judgment.
2. For purposes of this subdivision, all trusts, custodial accounts, annuities, insurance contracts, monies, assets or interests established as part of, and all payments from, either any trust or plan, which is qualified as an individual retirement account under section four hundred eight or section four hundred eight A of the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1986, [FN1] as amended, a Keogh (HR-10), retirement or other plan established by a corporation, which is qualified under section 401 of the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or created as a result of rollovers from such plans pursuant to sections 402 (a) (5), 403 (a) (4), 408 (d) (3) or 408A of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or a plan that satisfies the requirements of section 457 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, shall be considered a trust which has been created by or which has proceeded from a person other than the judgment debtor, even though such judgment debtor is (i) in the case of an individual retirement account plan, an individual who is the settlor of and depositor to such account plan, or (ii) a self-employed individual, or (iii) a partner of the entity sponsoring the Keogh (HR-10) plan, or (iv) a shareholder of the corporation sponsoring the retirement or other plan or (v) a participant in a section 457 plan.
3. All trusts, custodial accounts, annuities, insurance contracts, monies, assets, or interests described in paragraph two of this subdivision shall be conclusively presumed to be spendthrift trusts under this section and the common law of the state of New York for all purposes, including, but not limited to, all cases arising under or related to a case arising under sections one hundred one to thirteen hundred thirty of title eleven of the United States Bankruptcy Code, as amended.
4. This subdivision shall not impair any rights an individual has under a qualified domestic relations order as that term is defined in section 414(p) of the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended or under any order of support, alimony or maintenance of any court of competent jurisdiction to enforce arrears/past due support whether or not such arrears/past due support have been reduced to a money judgment.
5. Additions to an asset described in paragraph two of this subdivision shall not be exempt from application to the satisfaction of a money judgment if (i) made after the date that is ninety days before the interposition of the claim on which such judgment was entered, or (ii) deemed to be fraudulent conveyances under article ten of the debtor and creditor law.
(d) Income exemptions. The following personal property is exempt from application to the satisfaction of a money judgment, except such part as a court determines to be unnecessary for the reasonable requirements of the judgment debtor and his dependents:
1. ninety per cent of the income or other payments from a trust the principal of which is exempt under subdivision (c); provided, however, that with respect to any income or payments made from trusts, custodial accounts, annuities, insurance contracts, monies, assets or interest established as part of an individual retirement account plan or as part of a Keogh (HR-10), retirement or other plan described in paragraph two of subdivision (c) of this section, the exception in this subdivision for such part as a court determines to be unnecessary for the reasonable requirements of the judgment debtor and his dependents shall not apply, and the ninety percent exclusion of this paragraph shall become a one hundred percent exclusion;
2. ninety per cent of the earnings of the judgment debtor for his personal services rendered within sixty days before, and at any time after, an income execution is delivered to the sheriff or a motion is made to secure the application of the judgment debtor's earnings to the satisfaction of the judgment; and
3. payments pursuant to an award in a matrimonial action, for the support of a wife, where the wife is the judgment debtor, or for the support of a child, where the child is the judgment debtor; where the award was made by a court of the state, determination of the extent to which it is unnecessary shall be made by that court.
(e) Exemptions to members of armed forces. The pay and bounty of a non-commissioned officer, musician or private in the armed forces of the United States or the state of New York; a land warrant, pension or other reward granted by the United States, or by a state, for services in the armed forces; a sword, horse, medal, emblem or device of any kind presented as a testimonial for services rendered in the armed forces of the United States or a state; and the uniform, arms and equipments which were used by a person in the service, are exempt from application to the satisfaction of a money judgment; provided, however, that the provisions of this subdivision shall not apply to the satisfaction of any order or money judgment for the support of a person's child, spouse, or former spouse.
(f) Exemption for unpaid milk proceeds. Ninety per cent of any money or debt due or to become due to the judgment debtor for the sale of milk produced on a farm operated by him and delivered for his account to a milk dealer licensed pursuant to article twenty-one of the agriculture and markets law is exempt from application to the satisfaction of a money judgment.
(g) Security deposit exemption. Money deposited as security for the rental of real property to be used as the residence of the judgment debtor or the judgment debtor's family; and money deposited as security with a gas, electric, water, steam, telegraph or telephone corporation, or a municipality rendering equivalent utility services, for services to judgment debtor's residence or the residence of judgment debtor's family, are exempt from application to the satisfaction of a money judgment.
(h) The following personal property is exempt from application to the satisfaction of money judgment, except such part as a court determines to be unnecessary for the reasonable requirements of the judgment debtor and his dependents:
1. any and all medical and dental accessions to the human body and all personal property or equipment that is necessary or proper to maintain or assist in sustaining or maintaining one or more major life activities or is utilized to provide mobility for a person with a permanent disability; and
2. any guide dog, service dog or hearing dog, as those terms are defined in section one hundred eight of the agriculture and markets law, or any animal trained to aid or assist a person with a permanent disability and actually being so used by such person, together with any and all food or feed for any such dog or other animal.
(i) Exemption for life insurance policies. The right of a judgment debtor to accelerate payment of part or all of the death benefit or special surrender value under a life insurance policy, as authorized by paragraph one of subsection (a) of section one thousand one hundred thirteen of the insurance law, or to enter into a viatical settlement pursuant to the provisions of article seventy-eight of the insurance law, is exempt from application to the satisfaction of a money judgment.
(j) Exemption for New York state college choice tuition savings program trust fund payment monies. Monies in an account created pursuant to article fourteen-A of the education law are exempt from application to the satisfaction of a money judgment as follows:
1. one hundred percent of monies in an account established in connection with a scholarship program established pursuant to such article is exempt;
2. one hundred percent of monies in an account is exempt where the judgment debtor is the account owner and designated beneficiary of such account and is a minor; and
3. an amount not exceeding ten thousand dollars in an account, or in the aggregate for more than one account, is exempt where the judgment debtor is the account owner of such account or accounts.
For purposes of this subdivision, the terms “account owner” and “designated beneficiary” shall have the meanings ascribed to them in article fourteen-A of the education law.
(k) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, where the judgment involves funds of a convicted person as defined in paragraph (c) of subdivision one of section six hundred thirty-two-a of the executive law, and all or a portion of such funds represent compensatory damages awarded by judgment to a convicted person in a separate action, a judgment obtained pursuant to such section six hundred thirty-two-a shall not be subject to execution or enforcement against the first ten percent of the portion of such funds that represents compensatory damages in the convicted person's action; provided, however, that this exemption from execution or enforcement shall not apply to judgments obtained by a convicted person prior to the effective date of the chapter of the laws of two thousand one which added this sentence or to any amendment to such judgment where such amendment was obtained on or after the effective date of this subdivision. For the purpose of determining the amount of a judgment which is not subject to execution or enforcement pursuant to this subdivision: (i) the court shall deduct attorney's fees from that portion of the judgment that represents compensatory damages and multiply the remainder of compensatory damages by ten percent; and (ii) when the judgment includes compensatory and punitive damages, attorney's fees shall be pro rated among compensatory and punitive damages in the same proportion that all attorney's fees bear to all damages recovered.
(l) Exemption of banking institution accounts into which statutorily exempt payments are made electronically or by direct deposit. 1. If direct deposit or electronic payments reasonably identifiable as statutorily exempt payments were made to the judgment debtor's account in any banking institution during the forty-five day period preceding the date a restraining notice was served on the banking institution or an execution was served upon the banking institution by a marshal or sheriff, then two thousand five hundred dollars in the judgment debtor's account is exempt from application to the satisfaction of a money judgment. Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to limit a creditor's rights under 42 U.S.C. § 659 or 38 U.S.C. § 5301 or to enforce a child support, spousal support, alimony or maintenance obligation. Nothing in this subdivision shall alter the exempt status of funds that are protected from execution, levy, attachment, garnishment or other legal process, pursuant to this section or under any other provision of state or federal law, or shall affect the right of a judgment debtor to claim such exemption.
2. For purposes of this article, “statutorily exempt payments” means any personal property exempt from application to the satisfaction of a money judgment under any provision of state or federal law. Such term shall include, but not be limited to, payments from any of the following sources: social security, including retirement, survivors' and disability benefits, supplemental security income or child support payments; veterans administration benefits; public assistance; workers' compensation; unemployment insurance; public or private pensions; railroad retirement; and black lung benefits.
3. (i) Beginning on April first, two thousand twelve, and at each three-year interval ending on April first thereafter, the dollar amount of the exemption provided in this section, subdivisions (e) and (h) of section fifty-two hundred twenty-two, subdivision (a) of section fifty-two hundred thirty and subdivision (e) of section fifty-two hundred thirty-two of this article in effect immediately before that date shall be adjusted as provided in subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph.
(ii) The superintendent of financial services shall determine the amount of the adjustment based on the change in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-CT-PA, published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, for the most recent three-year period ending on December thirty-first preceding the adjustment, with each adjusted amount rounded to the nearest twenty-five dollars.
(iii) Beginning on April first, two thousand twelve, and at each three-year interval ending on April first thereafter, the superintendent of financial services shall publish the current dollar amount of the exemption provided in this section, subdivisions (e) and (h) of section fifty-two hundred twenty-two, subdivision (a) of section fifty-two hundred thirty and subdivision (e) of section fifty-two hundred thirty-two of this chapter, together with the date of the next scheduled adjustment. The publication shall be substantially in the form set below:
CURRENT DOLLAR AMOUNT OF EXEMPTION FROM ENFORCEMENT OF JUDGMENT UNDER NEW YORK CIVIL PRACTICE LAW AND RULES Sections 5205(l), 5222(e), 5222(h), 5230(a), and 5232(e)
The following is the current dollar amount of exemption from enforcement of money judgments under CPLR sections 5205(l), 5222(e), 5222(h), 5230(a), and 5232(e), as required by CPLR section 5205(l)(3):
This amount is effective on April 1, (year) and shall not apply to cases commenced before April 1, (year). The next adjustment is scheduled for April 1, (year).
(iv) Adjustments made under subparagraph (i) of this paragraph shall not apply with respect to restraining notices served or executions effected before the date of the adjustment.
(m) Nothing in subdivision (l) of this section limits the judgment debtor's exemption rights in this section or under any other law.
(n) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the term “banking institution” when used in this article shall mean and include all banks, trust companies, savings banks, savings and loan associations, credit unions, foreign banking corporations incorporated, chartered, organized or licensed under the laws of this state, foreign banking corporations maintaining a branch in this state, and nationally chartered banks.
(o) The provisions of subdivisions (l), (m) and (n) of this section do not apply when the state of New York, or any of its agencies or municipal corporations is the judgment creditor, or if the debt enforced is for child support, spousal support, maintenance or alimony, provided that the restraining notice or execution contains a legend at the top thereof, above the caption, in sixteen point bold type with the following language: “The judgment creditor is the state of New York, or any of its agencies or municipal corporations, AND/OR the debt enforced is for child support, spousal support, maintenance or alimony.”.
For Internal Revenue Code provisions, see 26 USCA.
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