(a) As authorized by subdivision (c) of Section 704.110 of the Code of Civil Procedure , the following actions shall be taken in order to enforce support obligations that are not being met:
(1) Within 18 months of implementation of the California Child Support Enforcement System (CSE), or its replacement as prescribed by former Section 10815 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, and certification of CSE or its replacement by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the department shall compile a file of all support judgments and orders that are being enforced by local child support agencies pursuant to Section 17400 that have sums overdue by at least 60 days or by an amount equal to 60 days of support.
(2) The file shall contain the name and social security number of the person who owes overdue support, the amount of overdue support as of the date the file is created, the name of the county in which the support obligation is being enforced by the local child support agency, and any other information that is deemed necessary by the department and the Public Employees' Retirement System.
(3) The department shall provide the certified file to the Public Employees' Retirement System for the purpose of matching the names in the file with members and beneficiaries of the Public Employees' Retirement System that are entitled to receive Public Employees' Retirement System benefits. The department and the Public Employees' Retirement System shall work cooperatively to develop an interface in order to match the names in their respective electronic data processing systems. The interface required to intercept benefits that are payable periodically shall be done as soon as it is technically feasible.
(4) The department shall update the certified file no less than on a monthly basis to add new cases within the local child support agencies or existing cases that become delinquent and to delete persons who are no longer delinquent. The department shall provide the updated file no less than on a monthly basis to the Public Employees' Retirement System.
(5) Information contained in the certified file provided to the Public Employees' Retirement System by the department and the local child support agencies and information provided by the Public Employees' Retirement System to the department shall be used exclusively for child support enforcement purposes and may not be used for any other purpose.
(b) Notwithstanding any other law, the Public Employees' Retirement System shall withhold the amount certified from the benefits and refunds to be distributed to members with overdue support obligations or from benefits to be distributed to beneficiaries with overdue support obligations. If the benefits are payable periodically, the amount withheld pursuant to this section shall not exceed the amount permitted to be withheld for an earnings withholding order for support under Section 706.052 of the Code of Civil Procedure .
(c) The Public Employees' Retirement System shall forward the amounts withheld pursuant to subdivision (b) within 10 days of withholding to the department for distribution to the appropriate county.
(d) On an annual basis, the department shall notify individuals with overdue support obligations that PERS benefits or PERS contribution refunds may be intercepted for the purpose of enforcing family support obligations.
(e) No later than the time of the first withholding, the Public Employees' Retirement System shall send those persons subject to withholding the following:
(1) Notice that his or her benefits or retirement contribution refund have been reduced by payment on a support judgment pursuant to this section.
(2) A form developed by the department that the applicant shall use to request either a review by the local child support agency or a court hearing, as appropriate.
(f) The notice shall include the address and telephone number of the local child support agency that is enforcing the support obligation pursuant to Section 17400 , and shall specify that the form requesting either a review by the local child support agency or a court hearing must be received by the local child support agency within 20 days of the date of the notice.
(g) The form shall include instructions that are designed to enable the member or beneficiary to obtain a review or a court hearing as appropriate on his or her own behalf. The form shall specify that if the member or beneficiary disputes the amount of support arrearages certified by the local child support agency pursuant to this section, he or she may request a review by the local child support agency.
(h) The department shall develop procedures that are consistent with this section to be used by each local child support agency in conducting the requested review. The local child support agency shall complete the review in accordance with the procedures developed by the department and shall notify the member or beneficiary of the result of the review within 20 days of receiving the request for review. The notification of review results shall include a request for hearing form and shall inform the member or beneficiary that if he or she returns the completed request for hearing form within 20 days of the date of the notice of review results, the local child support agency shall calendar the matter for court review. If the local child support agency cannot complete the review within 20 days, the local child support agency shall calendar the matter for hearing as specified in subdivision (k).
(i) The form specified in subdivision (g) shall also notify the member or beneficiary that he or she may request a court hearing to claim an exemption of any benefit not payable periodically by returning the completed form to the local child support agency within 20 days. If the local child support agency receives a timely request for a hearing for a claim of exemption, the local child support agency shall calendar a court hearing. The amount of the exemption, if any, shall be determined by the court in accordance with the procedures set forth in Section 703.070 of the Code of Civil Procedure .
(j) If the local child support agency receives the form requesting either a review by the local child support agency or a court hearing within the 20 days specified in subdivision (f), the local child support agency shall not distribute the amount intercepted until the review by the local child support agency or the court hearing is completed. If the local child support agency determines that all or a portion of the member's or beneficiary's benefits were intercepted in error, or if the court determines that any amount of the benefits are exempt, the local child support agency shall refund any amount determined to be exempt or intercepted in excess of the correct amount to the member or beneficiary within 10 days of determination that a refund is due.
(k) Any hearing properly requested pursuant to this section shall be calendared by the local child support agency. The hearing shall be held within 20 days from the date that the local child support agency receives the request for hearing. The local child support agency shall provide notice of the time and place for hearing by first-class mail no later than five days prior to the hearing.
(l) Nothing in this section shall limit any existing rights of the member or beneficiary, including, but not limited to, the right to seek a determination of arrearages or other appropriate relief directly from the court. However, if the procedures of this section are not utilized by the member or beneficiary, the court may not require the local child support agency to refund any money that was distributed to the child support obligee prior to the local child support agency receiving notice of a court determination that a refund is due to the member or beneficiary.
(m) The Department of Child Support Services and the Public Employees' Retirement System shall enter into any agreement necessary to implement this section which shall include provisions for the department to provide funding to the Public Employees' Retirement System to develop, implement, and maintain the intercept process described in this section.
(n) The Public Employees' Retirement System shall not assess service charges on members or beneficiaries in order to recover any administrative costs resulting from complying with this section.
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