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156. Power of the Court of First Instance to determine whether particular payments are earnings

(1) Where an attachments of earnings order is in force, the Court shall, on the application of a person specified in subsection (2) below, determine whether payments to the debtor of a particular class or description specified by the application are earnings for the purposes of the order; and the employer shall be entitled to give effect to any determination for the time being in force under this section.
(2) The persons referred to in subsection (1) are —
(a) the employer;
(b) the debtor; and
(c) the person to whom payment under the relevant adjudication is required to be made (whether directly or through an officer of the Court).
(3) Where an application under this section is made by the employer, he shall not incur any liability for non-compliance with the order as respects any payments of the class or description specified by the application which are made by him to the debtor while the application, or any subsequent appeal, is pending; but this subsection shall not, unless the Court otherwise orders, apply as regards such payments if the employer subsequently withdraws the application or, as the case may be, abandons the appeal.
(4) On making a determination under this section, the Court of First Instance may in its discretion make such order as it thinks just and reasonable for payment by any of the persons mentioned in subsection (2) of the whole or any part of the costs of the determination.
(5) Costs ordered to be paid under subsection (4) shall be enforceable as a civil debt.