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Georgia Garnishment Statutes

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TITLE 18 | Chapter 4 | Garnishment Proceedings

Current Through the 2013 Regular Session

CONTENTS

ARTICLE 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS

  • § 18-4-1.  Definitions; practice and procedure generally
  • § 18-4-2.  Discovery
  • § 18-4-3.  Amendment of affidavits, bonds, garnishee answer, or pleadings
  • § 18-4-4.  Judge to perform functions of clerk where court has no clerk
  • § 18-4-5.  Challenge to sufficiency of bond; requiring of additional security; discharge of original surety
  • § 18-4-6.  Issuance of release of garnishment
  • § 18-4-7.  Discharge of employee subject to garnishment

ARTICLE 2. PROPERTY AND PERSONS SUBJECT TO GARNISHMENT

  • § 18-4-20.  Property subject to garnishment generally; claim amount and defendant’s social security number on summons; information to be contained on summons of garnishment upon financial institution
  • § 18-4-21.  Garnishment of salaries of officials and employees of state and its subdivisions; exemption; summons
  • § 18-4-23.  Service of summons of garnishment controlled by Civil Practice Act

ARTICLE 3. PREJUDGMENT GARNISHMENT PROCEEDINGS GENERALLY

  • § 18-4-40. Grounds for issuance of writ of garnishment prior to judgment
  • § 18-4-41. Application to judge for writ; contents
  • § 18-4-42. Entry of order by judge authorizing garnishment prior to judgment; issuance of summons of garnishment  pursuant to order by clerk of court generally
  • § 18-4-43. Bond required prior to issuance of summons of garnishment; amount; presentation of bond to clerk of court for approval
  • § 18-4-44. Service of order and summons of garnishment on defendant
  • § 18-4-45. Traverse of affidavit of plaintiff by defendant; show cause order; revocation of order upon failure of plaintiff to prove grounds
  • § 18-4-46. Personal earnings of defendant not subject to garnishment prior to judgment; statement of substance of of Code section to appear on summons of garnishment
  • § 18-4-47. Funds and property paid into court or subject to garnishment to be held by clerk pending judgment; exception
  • § 18-4-48. Proceedings subsequent to final judgment in action upon which garnishment summons issued generally; final judgment required

ARTICLE 4. POSTJUDGMENT GARNISHMENT PROCEEDINGS GENERALLY

  • § 18-4-60. Right to writ of garnishment after judgment
  • § 18-4-61. Affidavit for issuance of summons of garnishment; making and approval of affidavit
  • § 18-4-62. Contents and service of summons of garnishment; requirements as to filing of answer to summons
  • § 18-4-63. Issue of additional summons of garnishment; dismissal of garnishment proceedings upon nonissuance of summons
  • § 18-4-64. Service of copy of summons of garnishment upon defendant; notice of filing and issuance of summons of summons of garnishment; time for distribution
  • § 18-4-65. Issues defendant may raise by traverse of plaintiff’s affidavit
  • § 18-4-66. Forms for postjudgment garnishment

ARTICLE 5. ANSWER BY GARNISHEE AND SUBSEQUENT PROCEEDINGS

  • § 18-4-80. Effect of release of summons of garnishment on garnishee
  • § 18-4-81. Effect of defendant’s traverse on garnishee; filing of bond by defendant; entry of judgment on bond
  • § 18-4-82. Contents of garnishee answer
  • § 18-4-83. Service of answer of garnishee on plaintiff or attorney
  • § 18-4-84. Delivery to court of property admitted to be subject to garnishment; property in safety deposit box
  • § 18-4-85. Traverse of answer of garnishee by plaintiff — Time period; discharge for failure to traverse
  • § 18-4-86. Traverse of answer of garnishee by plaintiff — Contents
  • § 18-4-87. Traverse of answer of garnishee by plaintiff — Service
  • § 18-4-88. Order of proceedings after answer of garnishee generally
  • § 18-4-89. Proceedings after answer of the garnishee if no traverse or claim filed
  • § 18-4-90. Entry of default judgment upon failure of garnishee to file garnishee answer to summons; opening of default
  • § 18-4-91. Relief of garnishee from default judgment
  • § 18-4-92. Effect of garnishee’s failure to respond properly to summons of garnishment
  • § 18-4-92.1. Relief of garnishee from liability; definitions
  • § 18-4-93. Right of defendant to become a party to garnishment proceedings; procedure
  • § 18-4-94. Procedure where defendant prevails generally; establishment of interests in money or other property in in court by parties filing claims thereto; distribution of money or other property
  • § 18-4-95. Right of claimants of property subject to garnishment to become parties; procedure
  • § 18-4-96. Procedure where money or other property in court subject to conflicting cases
  • § 18-4-97. Right of garnishee to actual reasonable expenses in making true garnishee answer of garnishment; procedure for collection; reimbursement

ARTICLE 6. CONTINUING GARNISHMENT PROCEEDINGS

  • § 18-4-110. Right of plaintiff who has obtained money judgment to process of continuing garnishment; methods,  practices, and procedures for continuing garnishment generally
  • § 18-4-111. Property, money, or effects subject to continuing garnishment
  • § 18-4-112. Filing and contents of affidavit for continuing garnishment; issuance of summons; notice and service of summons
  • § 18-4-113. Contents of summons of continuing garnishment; filing and contents of garnishee answers
  • § 18-4-114. Traverse of garnishee answer by plaintiff
  • § 18-4-115. Entry of default judgment against garnishee; relief from default judgment
  • § 18-4-116. Effect of and proceedings upon filing of traverse by defendant
  • § 18-4-117. Effect of termination of employment relationship between garnishee and defendant
  • § 18-4-118. Forms for continuing garnishment

ARTICLE 7. CONTINUING GARNISHMENT FOR SUPPORT

  • § 18-4-130. Continuing garnishment for family support; issuance of writ of garnishment
  • § 18-4-131. Definitions
  • § 18-4-132. Contents of affidavit for a continuing garnishment for support; attachment of certified copy of judgment; amendment of affidavit
  • § 18-4-133. Service of summons; requirements as to filing of first garnishee answer accompanied by money; application of money
  • § 18-4-134. Filing further garnishee answers and tendering money; application of money; filing of final garnishee answer by garnishee upon termination of defendant’s employment
  • § 18-4-135. Period of attachment of writ of garnishment; garnishee’s reliance upon information in affidavit of garnishment

For the full text of Georgia’s garnishment statutes, read more:

TEXT

ARTICLE 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS

§ 18-4-1.

Definitions; practice and procedure generally

(a) As used in this chapter, the terms “garnishee answer,” “garnishee’s answer,” or “answer of garnishee” means the response filed by a garnishee responding to a summons of garnishment detailing the property, money, or other effects of the defendant that are in the possession of the garnishee or declaring that the garnishee holds no such property, money, or other effects of the defendant.

(b) The procedure in garnishment cases shall be uniform in all courts throughout this state; and, except as otherwise provided in this chapter, Chapter 11 of Title 9 shall apply in garnishment proceedings.

§ 18-4-2.

Discovery

Discovery in a garnishment proceeding shall be made in the manner provided for in Chapter 11 of Title 9.

§ 18-4-3.

Amendment of affidavits, bonds, garnishee answer, or pleadings

Unless otherwise provided in this chapter, any affidavit, bond, garnishee answer, or pleading required or permitted by this chapter shall be amendable at any time before judgment thereon.

§ 18-4-4.

 Judge to perform functions of clerk where court has no clerk

Where this chapter makes the performance of any function the duty of the clerk, the function shall be performed by the judge if the court in which the proceedings are filed has no clerk.

§ 18-4-5.

Challenge to sufficiency of bond; requiring of additional security; discharge of original surety

(a) Any party of record to a proceeding under this chapter who may be affected materially thereby may challenge the sufficiency of any bond required or permitted by this chapter. Such challenge shall be made by motion to require additional security; and, if upon hearing the same the court shall determine that the security upon the bond is inadequate for the purposes for which the bond is filed, an order shall be entered requiring the person filing the bond to furnish additional security within seven days of the date of the order.

(b) The original surety shall not be discharged from his liability on the bond until another surety is approved.

§ 18-4-6.

Issuance of release of garnishment

It shall be the duty of the clerk of the court in which garnishment proceedings are pending to issue a release of garnishment if:

(1) The plaintiff or his attorney so requests in writing;

(2) The amount claimed due together with the costs of the garnishment proceeding are paid into court;

(3) A dissolution bond is filed by the defendant and approved by the clerk as provided for in this chapter;

(4) A judge shall enter an order, after a hearing required by this chapter, directing that the garnishment be released; or

(5) The garnishment is dismissed.

§ 18-4-7.

Discharge of employee subject to garnishment

No employer may discharge any employee by reason of the fact that his earnings have been subjected to garnishment for any one indebtedness, even though more than one summons of garnishment may be served upon such employer with respect to the indebtedness.

§ 18-4-8.

Definitions; entity as garnishee; execution and filing by certain officers or employees of an entity

(a) As used in this Code section, the term:

(1) “Entity” means a public corporation or a corporation, limited liability company, partnership, limited partnership, professional corporation, firm, or other business entity other than a natural person.

(2) “Public corporation” means the State of Georgia or any department, agency, branch of government, or State of Georgia political subdivision, as such term is defined in Code Section 50-15-1, or any public board, bureau, commission, or authority created by the General Assembly.

(b) When a garnishment proceeding is filed in a court under any provision of this chapter involving an entity as garnishee, the execution and filing of a garnishee answer may be done by an entity’s authorized officer or employee and shall not constitute the practice of law. If a traverse or claim is filed to such entity’s garnishee answer in a court of record, an attorney shall be required to represent such entity in further garnishment proceedings.

(c) An entity’s payment into court of any property, money, or other effects of the defendant, or property or money which is admitted to be subject to garnishment, may be done by an entity’s authorized officer or employee and shall not constitute the practice of law.

ARTICLE 2. PROPERTY AND PERSONS SUBJECT TO GARNISHMENT

§ 18-4-20.

Property subject to garnishment generally; claim amount and defendant’s social security number on summons; information to be contained on summons of garnishment upon financial institution

(a) As used in this Code section, the term:

(1) “Disposable earnings” means that part of the earnings of an individual remaining after the deduction from those earnings of the amounts required by law to be withheld.

(2) “Earnings” means compensation paid or payable for personal services, whether denominated as wages, salary, commission, bonus, or otherwise, and includes periodic payments pursuant to a pension or retirement program.

(b) All debts owed by the garnishee to the defendant at the time of service of the summons of garnishment upon the garnishee and all debts accruing from the garnishee to the defendant from the date of service to the date of the garnishee’s answer shall be subject to process of garnishment; and no payment made by the garnishee to the defendant or to his order, or by any arrangement between the defendant and the garnishee, after the date of the service of the summons of garnishment upon the garnishee, shall defeat the lien of such garnishment.

(c) All property, money, or effects of the defendant in the possession or control of the garnishee at the time of service of the summons of garnishment upon the garnishee or coming into the possession or control of the garnishee at any time from the date of service of the summons of garnishment upon the garnishee to the date of the garnishee’s answer shall be subject to process of garnishment except, in the case of collateral securities in the hands of a creditor, such securities shall not be subject to garnishment so long as there is an amount owed on the debt for which the securities were given as collateral.

(d)

(1) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this Code section, the maximum part of the aggregate disposable earnings of an individual for any work week which is subject to garnishment may not exceed the lesser of:

(A) Twenty-five percent of his disposable earnings for that week; or

(B) The amount by which his disposable earnings for that week exceed 30 times the federal minimum hourly wage prescribed by Section 6(a)(1) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, U.S.C. Title 29, Section 206(a)(1), in effect at the time the earnings are payable.

(2) In case of earnings for a period other than a week, a multiple of the federal minimum hourly wage equivalent in effect to that set forth in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be used.

(e) The limitation on garnishment set forth in subsection (d) of this Code section shall apply although the garnishee may receive a summons of garnishment in more than one garnishment case naming the same defendant unless the garnishee has received a summons of garnishment based on a judgment for alimony or the support of a dependent, in which case the limitation on garnishment set forth in subsection (f) of this Code section shall apply although the garnishee may receive a summons of garnishment in more than one garnishment case naming the same defendant. No garnishee shall withhold from the disposable earnings of the defendant any sum greater than the amount prescribed by subsection (d) or subsection (f) of this Code section, as applicable, regardless of the number of summonses served upon the garnishee.

(f) The exemption provided by subsection (d) of this Code section shall not apply if the judgment upon which the garnishment is based is a judgment for alimony or for the support of any dependent of the defendant, provided the summons of garnishment shall contain a notice to the garnishee that the garnishment is based on the judgment for alimony or the support of a dependent. In any case in which the garnishment is based on the judgment, the maximum part of the aggregate disposable earnings of an individual for any workweek which is subject to garnishment shall be 50 percent of the individual’s disposable earnings for that week.

(g) Except as provided in Article 7 of this chapter for a summons of continuing garnishment for support, the summons of garnishment, including a summons of continuing garnishment pursuant to Article 6 of this chapter, shall on its face state the total amount claimed to be due at the time of the summons and the amount subject to garnishment shall not exceed the amount so shown on the summons of garnishment.

(h) The summons of garnishment, including a summons of continuing garnishment, may on its face set forth, if known, the social security number of the defendant.

(i) A summons of garnishment upon a financial institution, or an attachment thereto, shall state with particularity all of the following information, to the extent reasonably available to the plaintiff:

(1) The name of the defendant, and, to the extent such would reasonably enable the garnishee to properly respond to the summons, all known configurations, nicknames, aliases, former or maiden names, trade names, or variations thereof;

(2) The service address and the current addresses of the defendant and, to the extent such would reasonably enable the garnishee to properly respond to the summons of garnishment and such is reasonably available to the plaintiff, the past addresses of the defendant;

(3) The social security number or federal tax identification number of the defendant; and

(4) Account, identification, or tracking numbers known or suspected by the plaintiff to be used by the garnishee in the identification or administration of the defendant’s funds or property.

A misspelling of any information required by paragraph (1) or (2) of this subsection, other than the surname of a natural person defendant, shall not invalidate a summons of garnishment, so long as such information is not misleading in a search of the garnishee’s records.

§ 18-4-21.

Garnishment of salaries of officials and employees of state and its subdivisions; exemption; summons

(a) Money due officials or employees of a municipal corporation or county of this state or of the state government, or any department or institution thereof, as salary for services performed for or on behalf of the municipal corporation or county of this state, or the state, or any department or institution thereof, shall be subject to garnishment, except in no event may the officials’ or employees’ salary for services performed for or on behalf of any municipal corporation or county of this state, or the state, or any department or institution thereof, be garnisheed where the judgment serving as a basis for the issuance of the summons of garnishment arises out of the liability incurred in the scope of the officials’ or employees’ governmental employment while responding to an emergency. In such cases, the summons shall be directed to such political entity and served upon the person authorized by law to draw the warrant on the treasury of the government or to issue a check for such salary due, or upon the chief administrative officer of the political subdivision, department, agency, or instrumentality; and such entity shall be required to respond to the summons in accordance with the mandate thereof and as provided by this chapter.

(b) For purposes of this Code section only, the state and its political subdivisions, departments, agencies, and instrumentalities shall be deemed private persons; and jurisdiction for the purpose of issuing a summons of garnishment shall be restricted to a court located in the county in which the warrant is drawn on the treasury of the government or in which the check is issued for the salary due the official or employee of the state or its political subdivisions, departments, agencies, or instrumentalities.

§ 18-4-22.

Exemption of pension or retirement funds or benefits

(a) Funds or benefits from a pension or retirement program as defined in 29 U.S.C. Section 1002(2)(A) or funds or benefits from an individual retirement account as defined in Section 408 or 408A of the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, shall be exempt from the process of garnishment until paid or otherwise transferred to a member of such program or beneficiary thereof. Such funds or benefits, when paid or otherwise transferred to the member or beneficiary, shall be exempt from the process of garnishment only to the extent provided in Code Section 18-4-20 for other disposable earnings, unless a greater exemption is otherwise provided by law.

(b) The exemption provided by this Code section shall not apply when the garnishment is based upon a judgment for alimony or for child support, in which event such funds or benefits shall then be subject to the process of garnishment to the extent provided in subsection (f) of Code Section 18-4-20.

(c) Nothing in this Code section shall prohibit the attachment or alienation of welfare benefits as defined in 29 U.S.C. Section 1002(1) in the control of an administrator or trustee.

§ 18-4-23.

Service of summons of garnishment controlled by Civil Practice Act

The method of service of a summons of garnishment shall be as provided in Code Section 9-11-4.

ARTICLE 3. PREJUDGMENT GARNISHMENT PROCEEDINGS GENERALLY

§ 18-4-40.

Grounds for issuance of writ of garnishment prior to judgment

In cases where an action is pending against the defendant, garnishment may issue prior to judgment only in the following cases:

(1) When the defendant resides outside the limits of the state;

(2) When the defendant is actually removing, or about to remove, outside the limits of the county;

(3) When the defendant is causing his property to be removed beyond the limits of the state;

(4) When the defendant has transferred, has threatened to transfer, or is about to transfer property to defraud or delay his creditors; or

(5) When the defendant is insolvent.

§ 18-4-41.

Application to judge for writ; contents

When the plaintiff contends one or more of the grounds set forth in Code Section 18-4-40 exist, the plaintiff may, prior to obtaining judgment against the defendant, make application to a judge of any court of record, other than the probate court, in the county of residence of the garnishee having jurisdiction over the garnishee, for an order authorizing the issuance of summons of garnishment. Such application shall be made in writing, under oath, and shall set forth the specific facts that show the existence of one or more such grounds as well as the name of the court where the action is pending, the case number of such action, and the amount claimed therein by the plaintiff.

§ 18-4-42.

Entry of order by judge authorizing garnishment prior to judgment; issuance of summons of garnishment pursuant to order by clerk of court generally

After considering plaintiff’s application, if the judge to whom same is made finds that the facts alleged show the existence of one or more of the grounds set forth in Code Section 18-4-40, he may enter an order authorizing garnishment prior to judgment. The entry of such order shall authorize the clerk of the court in which the garnishment proceedings are pending to issue summons of garnishment from time to time without a further showing until the case is terminated or until further order of the court.

§ 18-4-43.

Bond required prior to issuance of summons of garnishment; amount; presentation of bond to clerk of court for approval

No summons of garnishment prior to judgment shall issue unless accompanied by a bond with good security, conditioned to pay the defendant all costs and damages that he may sustain in consequence of the issuance of the summons of garnishment in the event that the amount claimed to be due was not due, or that no lawful ground for the issuance of such garnishment prior to judgment existed, or that the property sought to be garnisheed was not subject to garnishment. Such bond shall be in a sum equal to twice the amount claimed due in the plaintiff’s application. The bond shall be presented to the clerk of the court where the application provided for in this article is sought to be filed, for approval by the clerk prior to making application to the judge of the court for the writ of garnishment.

§ 18-4-44.

Service of order and summons of garnishment on defendant

Upon the entry of an order authorizing the issuance of garnishment prior to judgment, summons of garnishment shall issue and be served as provided in Code Section 18-4-62. A copy of the order and of each summons of garnishment issued pursuant thereto shall be served upon the defendant in any manner prescribed for the service of original summons and complaints.

§ 18-4-45.

Traverse of affidavit of plaintiff by defendant; show cause order; revocation of order upon failure of plaintiff to prove grounds

When summons of garnishment shall issue before judgment against the defendant, the defendant may at any time traverse the plaintiff’s affidavit upon which the garnishment was obtained, stating that the affidavit is untrue or legally insufficient. Upon filing of the traverse, the court from which the garnishment issued shall issue a show cause order to the plaintiff requiring him to appear at a specified time, which shall not be more than ten days from the filing of the traverse, to prove the grounds for the issuance of the garnishment. If the plaintiff shall fail to carry the burden of proof, the order authorizing the garnishment prior to judgment shall be revoked.

§ 18-4-46.

Personal earnings of defendant not subject to garnishment prior to judgment; statement of substance of Code section to appear on summons of garnishment

Any other provisions of this chapter to the contrary notwithstanding, no part of the personal earnings of the defendant shall be subject to garnishment prior to judgment, whether such earnings be denominated as salary, wages, commissions, or otherwise; and each summons of garnishment which is issued pursuant to this article shall state the substance of this Code section upon the face thereof.

§ 18-4-47.

Funds and property paid into court or subject to garnishment to be held by clerk pending judgment; exception

When funds or other property are paid into court or subject to garnishment under this article, the funds or other property shall be held by the clerk of the court in which the garnishment proceedings are pending until final judgment is entered against the defendant in the main proceedings; provided, however, that, if the garnishment is released by filing of the bond provided for by Code Section 18-4-81, such funds or other property shall be delivered to the defendant if no claim has been filed pursuant to Code Section 18-4-95 at the time the bond is approved and filed with the clerk of the court.

§ 18-4-48.

Proceedings subsequent to final judgment in action upon which garnishment summons issued generally; final judgment required

After final judgment is entered in an action in which a summons of garnishment was issued prior to judgment, the garnishment proceedings shall continue in accordance with Article 4 of this chapter. The plaintiff shall not have judgment against the garnishee until he obtains final judgment against the defendant.

ARTICLE 4. POSTJUDGMENT GARNISHMENT PROCEEDINGS GENERALLY

§ 18-4-60.

Right to writ of garnishment after judgment

In all cases where a money judgment shall have been obtained in a court of this state or in a federal court sitting in this state, the plaintiff shall be entitled to the process of garnishment.

§ 18-4-61.

Affidavit for issuance of summons of garnishment; making and approval of affidavit

The plaintiff, the plaintiff’s attorney at law, or the plaintiff’s agent shall make, on personal knowledge, an affidavit setting forth that the plaintiff has a judgment against a named defendant, the amount claimed to be due on the judgment, the name of the court which rendered the judgment, and the case number thereof. Upon the filing of the affidavit with the clerk of any court having jurisdiction over the garnishee, the clerk shall cause a summons of garnishment to issue forthwith; provided, however, that the affidavit shall first be made and be approved as containing the information required by this Code section in one of the following ways:

(1) The affidavit may be made before and approved by a judge of the court in which the garnishment proceeding is filed;

(2) The affidavit may be made before and approved by a judge of the court that rendered the judgment upon which the garnishment is based;

(3) The affidavit may be made before and approved by a judge of any court of record;

(4) The affidavit may be made before any officer authorized to administer oaths, including a notary public, provided that the affidavit is then submitted by mail or in person to any judge of a court specified in paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of this Code section and is approved by him; or

(5) The affidavit may be made before the clerk or deputy clerk of the court in which the garnishment is filed or before any officer authorized to administer oaths, including a notary public, and may be approved by the clerk or deputy clerk if the judge or judges of the court promulgate rules supervising the initiation of the garnishment proceedings and the affidavit is made and approved pursuant to such rules. No court rule or practice shall preclude a plaintiff from proceeding pursuant to paragraph (1), (2), (3), or (4) of this Code section.

§ 18-4-62.

Contents and service of summons of garnishment; requirements as to filing of answer to summons

(a) The summons of garnishment shall be directed to the garnishee, commanding the garnishee to respond stating what money or other property is subject to garnishment. Except as provided in subsection (b) or (c) of this Code section, the garnishee’s answer shall be filed with the court issuing the summons not sooner than 30 days and not later than 45 days after the service of the summons and shall be accompanied by the money or other property subject to garnishment. Upon the affidavit and summons being delivered to the sheriff, marshal, constable, or like officer of the court issuing the summons, it shall be his or her duty to serve the summons of garnishment, as set forth in Code Section 18-4-23, upon the person to whom it is directed and to make an entry of service upon the affidavit and return the affidavit to the court. The summons of garnishment shall state that if the garnishee fails to file a garnishee’s answer to the summons, a judgment by default will be entered against the garnishee for the amount claimed by plaintiff against the defendant.

(b) Under circumstances where the defendant has been an employee of the garnishee, and if the defendant is no longer employed by the garnishee, and if the garnishee has no money or property of the defendant subject to garnishment, the garnishee may immediately file the garnishee’s answer; provided, however, that such garnishee’s answer shall be filed not later than 45 days after the service of the summons.

(c) If the garnishee is a bank or other financial institution and if the defendant does not have an active account with, and is not the owner of any money or property in the possession of, the bank or financial institution, then the garnishee may immediately file a garnishee’s answer; provided, however, that such garnishee’s answer shall be filed not later than 45 days after the service of the summons.

§ 18-4-63.

Issue of additional summons of garnishment; dismissal of garnishment proceedings upon nonissuance of summons

(a) Summons of garnishment may issue from time to time on the same affidavit until the judgment is paid or the garnishment proceeding is otherwise terminated in accordance with this chapter.

(b) In the event no summons of garnishment has been issued on an affidavit for two years or more, the garnishment proceeding based on that affidavit shall automatically stand dismissed.

§ 18-4-64.

Service of copy of summons of garnishment upon defendant; notice of filing and issuance of summons of garnishment; time for distribution

(a) In a garnishment based on a judgment, the defendant shall be given notice of the filing of the first summons of garnishment on an affidavit for garnishment and of the issuance of an additional summons of garnishment on such affidavit when no notice has been given to the defendant within 90 days immediately preceding the issuance of such additional summons, using any one or more of the following methods:

(1) The plaintiff, at the time the garnishment is filed with the clerk, shall commence procedures to effectuate the service of a copy of the summons of garnishment on the defendant; and service thereafter shall be made on the defendant as soon as is reasonably practicable. Service pursuant to this paragraph shall be made pursuant to Code Section 9-11-4;

(2) The plaintiff, after issuance of the summons of garnishment and not more than three business days after service of the summons of garnishment on the garnishee, shall cause a written notice to be sent to the defendant at the defendant’s last known address by registered or certified mail or statutory overnight delivery, return receipt requested. Either the return receipt indicating receipt by the defendant or the envelope bearing the official notification from the United States Postal Service of the defendant’s refusal to accept delivery of such registered or certified mail or statutory overnight delivery shall be filed with the clerk of the court in which the garnishment is pending. The defendant’s refusal to accept such registered or certified mail or statutory overnight delivery addressed to defendant shall be deemed notice to defendant;

(3) The plaintiff, after the issuance of the summons of garnishment and not more than three business days after service of the summons of garnishment on the garnishee, shall cause a written notice to be delivered personally to the defendant by the plaintiff or by the plaintiff’s attorney at law or other agent. A certification by the person making the delivery shall be filed with the clerk;
(4)

(A) When the defendant resides out of the state, has departed the state, cannot, after due diligence, be found within the state, or conceals his place of residence from the plaintiff and the fact shall appear, by affidavit, to the satisfaction of the judge or clerk of the court, the levy and attachment of the lien of the garnishment shall constitute sufficient notice to the defendant, provided such levy and attachment of the lien of garnishment alone shall constitute sufficient notice, unless the plaintiff has actual knowledge of the defendant’s address, in which case, to provide sufficient notice, the plaintiff shall also mail a written notice of garnishment to the defendant at said address; or, not having such actual knowledge of the defendant’s address but the address at which the defendant was served being shown on the return of service in the action resulting in the judgment, to provide sufficient notice, the plaintiff shall also mail a written notice of garnishment to the defendant at said address.

(B) A mailing of the written notice provided for in this Code section shall be made after the issuance of the summons of garnishment and not more than three business days after service of the summons of garnishment on the garnishee; and a certificate of such mailing shall be filed with the clerk by the person mailing the notice;

(5)

(A) Where it shall appear by affidavit that a defendant in the garnishment action is not a resident of this state or has departed from this state, or after due diligence cannot be found in this state, or conceals his place of residence from the plaintiff, notice may be given by causing two publications of the written notice in the paper in which advertisements are printed by the sheriff in each county in which a summons of garnishment is served. Such publications must be at least six days apart; and the second publication must be made not more than 21 days after the service of the summons of garnishment on the garnishee. A certification by the person causing the notice to be published shall be filed with the clerk, provided such publication shall constitute sufficient notice alone, unless the plaintiff has actual knowledge of the defendant’s address, in which case, to provide sufficient notice, the plaintiff shall also mail a written notice of garnishment to the defendant at said address.

(B) A mailing of the written notice provided for in this Code section shall be made after the issuance of the summons of garnishment and not more than three business days after service of the summons of garnishment on the garnishee; and a certificate of such mailing shall be filed with the clerk by the person mailing the notice;

(6) After issuance of the summons of garnishment and not more than three business days after service of the summons of garnishment on the garnishee, the plaintiff shall send by ordinary mail a written notice of the garnishment to the defendant at the address at which the defendant was served in the action resulting in the judgment on which the garnishment proceeding is based; provided, however, this paragraph may be used only when the garnishment proceeding is commenced within 60 days after the judgment upon which the garnishment is based was obtained. A certification by the person mailing the notice shall be filed with the clerk;

(7) Where the defendant’s address is known, the plaintiff, after issuance of the summons of garnishment and not more than three business days after service of the summons of garnishment on the garnishee, shall send to the defendant at such known address by ordinary mail a written notice of the garnishment. A certification by the person mailing the notice shall be filed with the clerk.

(b) The receiving by the defendant of actual timely notice of a summons of garnishment shall constitute notice.

(c) “Written notice,” as referred to in paragraphs (2) through (7) of subsection (a) of this Code section, shall consist of a copy of the summons of garnishment or of a document which includes the names of the plaintiff and the defendant, the amount claimed in the affidavit of garnishment, a statement that a garnishment against the property and credits of the defendant has been or will be served on the garnishee, and the name of the court issuing the summons of garnishment.

(d) The methods of notification specified in subsection (a) of this Code section are cumulative and may be used in any sequence or combination. Where it appears that a plaintiff has reasonably, diligently, and in good faith attempted to use one method, another method thereafter may be utilized; and, for the time during which the attempt was being made, the time limit shall be tolled for the subsequent method.

(e) No money or other property delivered to the court by the garnishee shall be distributed; nor shall any judgment be rendered against the garnishee until after the expiration of ten days from the date of compliance with at least one method of notification provided by subsection (a) of this Code section.

§ 18-4-65.

Issues defendant may raise by traverse of plaintiff’s affidavit

(a) When garnishment proceedings are based upon a judgment, the defendant, by traverse of the plaintiff’s affidavit, may challenge the existence of the judgment or the amount claimed due thereon. The defendant may plead any other matter in bar of the judgment, except as provided in subsection (b) of this Code section.

(b) The validity of the judgment upon which a garnishment is based may only be challenged in accordance with Chapter 11 of Title 9; and no such challenge shall be entertained in the garnishment case. However, where the court finds that the defendant has attacked the validity of the judgment upon which the garnishment is based in an appropriate forum, the judge may order the garnishment released and stayed until the validity of the judgment has been determined in such forum.

(c) If the garnishment proceedings are based upon a pending action, the case shall proceed in accordance with Code Section 18-4-45.

§ 18-4-66.

Forms for postjudgment garnishment

For the purpose of Articles 1 through 5 of this chapter, the following forms are declared to be sufficient for garnishment after judgment, provided that nothing in this Code section shall be construed to require the use of particular forms in any proceeding under this article:

(1) Garnishment affidavit (LINK).

(2) Summons of garnishment. (LINK)

(3) Defendant’s traverse and order thereon. (LINK)

 (4) Answer of garnishee. (LINK)

(5) Plaintiff’s traverse. (LINK)

(6) Release of garnishment, (LINK)

(7) Attachment to summons of garnishment upon a financial institution. (LINK)

ARTICLE 5. ANSWER BY GARNISHEE AND SUBSEQUENT PROCEEDINGS

§ 18-4-80.

Effect of release of summons of garnishment on garnishee

A release of summons of garnishment shall relieve the garnishee from any obligation to file a garnishee answer to any summons of garnishment pending on the date of the release and shall authorize the garnishee to deliver to the defendant in garnishment any money or other property in the garnishee’s possession belonging to the defendant. A release shall not operate as a dismissal of the garnishment proceedings.

§ 18-4-81.

Effect of defendant’s traverse on garnishee; filing of bond by defendant; entry of judgment on bond

When the defendant files his or her traverse, the garnishee is not relieved of filing a garnishee answer, nor is the garnishee relieved of delivering the money or other property of the defendant which is subject to the garnishment to the court, unless the defendant files in the clerk’s office of the court where the garnishment is pending a bond with good security, in favor of the plaintiff, conditioned for the payment of any judgment that may be entered in the proceeding. The bond shall be subject to approval by the clerk of the court; and, upon receipt of a bond deemed acceptable by the clerk, it shall be the clerk’s duty to issue a release of any summons of garnishment pending in the garnishment proceeding. If the plaintiff shall prevail in the proceeding, the plaintiff shall be entitled to entry of judgment upon such bond against the principal and securities therein, as judgment may be entered against securities upon appeal. If the defendant files a bond, no further garnishment process may be filed in any court by the plaintiff against the defendant until the issues raised by the defendant’s pleadings are decided.

§ 18-4-82.

Contents of garnishee answer

Within the time prescribed by Code Section 18-4-62, the garnishee shall file a garnishee answer describing what money or other property is subject to garnishment under Code Section 18-4-20. If the garnishee owes the defendant any sum for wages, the garnishee answer shall also state specifically when the wages were earned by defendant and whether they were earned as daily, weekly, or monthly wages. If the garnishee has been served with summons in more than one garnishment case involving the same defendant, the garnishee shall state in each garnishee answer that the money or other property is being delivered to the court subject to the claims of all the cases and shall give the numbers of all such cases in each garnishee answer. If the garnishee is unable to respond as provided for in this Code section, the garnishee’s inability shall appear in the garnishee’s answer, together with all the facts plainly, fully, and distinctly set forth, so as to enable the court to give judgment thereon.

§ 18-4-83.

Service of answer of garnishee on plaintiff or attorney

All garnishee answers shall, concurrently with filing, be served upon the plaintiff or the plaintiff’s attorney. Service may be shown by the written acknowledgment of the plaintiff or the plaintiff’s attorney, or by the certificate of the garnishee or the garnishee’s attorney, attached to the garnishee’s answer, that a copy of the garnishee’s answer was mailed to the plaintiff or the plaintiff’s attorney; provided, however, that no service shall be required unless the name and address of the plaintiff or the plaintiff’s attorney shall appear on the face of the summons of garnishment; provided, further, that, if the garnishee fails to serve the plaintiff, the plaintiff shall be allowed 15 days from the time the plaintiff receives actual notice of the garnishee’s answer to traverse the same.

§ 18-4-84.

Delivery to court of property admitted to be subject to garnishment; property in safety deposit box

Along with the garnishee’s answer, the garnishee shall deliver to the court the money or other property admitted in the garnishee’s answer to be subject to garnishment. If in responding to the summons of garnishment, as provided in Code Section 18-4-82, the garnishee shall state that the property of the defendant includes property in a safe-deposit box or similar property, the garnishee shall respond to the court issuing the summons of garnishment as to the existence of such safe-deposit box and shall hold any contents of such safe-deposit box until the earlier of:

(1) Further order of said court either releasing the garnishment or specifically requiring the garnishee to open such safe-deposit box and deliver any contents thereof to said court upon conditions prescribed by said court; or
(2) The elapsing of 120 days from the date of filing of the garnishee answer to the summons of garnishment unless such time has been extended by the court.

§ 18-4-85.

Traverse of answer of garnishee by plaintiff — Time period; discharge for failure to traverse

If the garnishee’s answer is served on the plaintiff as provided for in Code Section 18-4-83, the plaintiff or claimant shall traverse the garnishee’s answer within 15 days after it is served, or the garnishee shall be automatically discharged from further liability with respect to the summons so answered.

§ 18-4-86.

Traverse of answer of garnishee by plaintiff — Contents

The traverse of the garnishee’s answer shall be a statement by the plaintiff or his attorney, or by a claimant or his attorney, that the garnishee’s answer is untrue or legally insufficient. Such statement places in issue all questions of law and fact concerning the garnishee’s answer.

§ 18-4-87.

Traverse of answer of garnishee by plaintiff — Service

A traverse shall be served in the same manner as is provided for in subsection (b) of Code Section 9-11-5 for the service of subsequent pleadings.

§ 18-4-88.

Order of proceedings after answer of garnishee generally

After the garnishee’s answer is filed, the defendant’s traverse shall be tried first, the plaintiff’s traverse shall be tried second, and claims shall be tried last; provided, however, the court shall retain the money or other property subject to garnishment until trial of all claims which are filed under this chapter.

§ 18-4-89.

Proceedings after answer of the garnishee if no traverse or claim filed

If no traverse or claim has been filed within 15 days after the garnishee’s answer is filed:

(1) If money is delivered to the court by the garnishee, the clerk shall pay the money to the plaintiff or his attorney on his application;

(2) If other property is delivered to the court by the garnishee, the sheriff, marshal, constable, or like officer of the court shall sell the property in the manner provided by law for the sale of property levied under an execution; and the proceeds of the sale shall be delivered to the plaintiff or his attorney on his application; or

(3) If money or other property admitted to be subject to the garnishment is not delivered to the court, judgment shall be entered for the plaintiff and against the garnishee for the money or other property and execution shall issue on the judgment.

§ 18-4-90.

Entry of default judgment upon failure of garnishee to file garnishee answer to summons; opening of default

In case the garnishee fails or refuses to file a garnishee answer by the forty-fifth day after service of the summons, the garnishee shall automatically be in default. The default may be opened as a matter of right by the filing of a garnishee answer within 15 days of the day of default and payment of costs. If the case is still in default after the expiration of the period of 15 days, judgment by default may be entered at any time thereafter against the garnishee for the amount claimed to be due on the judgment obtained against the defendant.

§ 18-4-91.

Relief of garnishee from default judgment

When a judgment is rendered against a garnishee under Code Section 18-4-90, on a motion filed not later than 60 days from the date the garnishee receives actual notice of the entry of the judgment against the garnishee, the garnishee may, upon payment of all accrued costs of court, have the judgment modified so that the amount of the judgment shall be reduced to an amount equal to the greater of $50.00 or $50.00 plus 100 percent of the amount by which the garnishee was indebted to the defendant from the time of service of the summons of garnishment through and including the last day on which a timely garnishee answer could have been made for all money, other property, or effects belonging to the defendant which came into the garnishee’s hands from the time of service of the summons through and including the last day on which a timely answer could have been made and, in the case of garnishment of wages, less any exemption allowed the defendant by law. Notice to the garnishee by certified mail or statutory overnight delivery shall be sufficient notice as required in this Code section. On the trial of the motion, the burden of proof shall be upon any plaintiff who objects to the timeliness of the motion to establish that the motion was not filed within the time provided for by this Code section.

§ 18-4-92.

Effect of garnishee’s failure to respond properly to summons of garnishment

On the trial of the plaintiff’s traverse, if the court finds the garnishee has failed to respond properly to the summons of garnishment, the court shall disallow any expenses claimed by the garnishee and enter a judgment for any money or other property delivered to the court with the garnishee’s answer, plus any money or other property the court finds subject to garnishment which the garnishee has failed to deliver to the court; provided, however, that the total amount of such judgment shall in no event exceed the amount claimed due by the plaintiff, together with the costs of the garnishment proceeding.

§ 18-4-92.1.

Relief of garnishee from liability; definitions

(a) A garnishee may be relieved from liability for failure to file a garnishee answer properly to the summons of garnishment if the plaintiff failed to provide the information required by subsection (i) of Code Section 18-4-20 that would reasonably enable the garnishee to respond properly to the summons of garnishment and a good faith effort to locate the requested property was made by the garnishee based on the information provided by the plaintiff. In determining whether a garnishee may be relieved of liability imposed by Code Section 18-4-92, the court shall consider and compare the accuracy and quantity of the information supplied by the plaintiff pursuant to subsection (i) of Code Section 18-4-20 with the manner in which the garnishee maintains and locates its records, the compliance by the garnishee with its own procedures, and the conformity of the record systems and procedures with reasonable commercial standards prevailing in the area in which the garnishee is located.

(b) A garnishee and a plaintiff shall not be subject to liability to any party or nonparty to the garnishment at issue arising from the attachment of a lien, the freezing, payment, or delivery into court of property, money, or effects reasonably believed to be that of the defendant if such attachment, freezing, payment, or delivery is reasonably required by a good faith effort to comply with the summons of garnishment. In determining whether such compliance by a garnishee is reasonable, the court shall proceed in the manner prescribed in subsection (a) of this Code section by comparing the efforts of the plaintiff to comply with subsection (i) of Code Section 18-4-20 and the garnishee’s record system and procedures.

(c)

(1) As used in this subsection, the term:

(A) “Association account” means any account, or any safe-deposit box or similar property, maintained by a corporation, statutory close corporation, limited liability company, partnership, limited partnership, limited liability partnership, foundation, trust, a national, state, or local government or quasi-government entity, or any other incorporated or unincorporated association.

(B) “Fiduciary account” means any account, or any safe-deposit box, maintained by any party in a fiduciary capacity for any other party other than the defendant in garnishment. Without limiting the foregoing, for purposes of this subsection, the term fiduciary account shall include any “trust account” as defined in Code Section 7-1-810, any account created pursuant to a transfer governed by Code Section 44-5-119, and any agency account or safe-deposit box governed by a power of attorney or other written designation of authority.

(2)

(A) A garnishee shall not be liable for failure to deliver to the court property, money, or effects in an association account that may be subject to garnishment by reason of the fact that a defendant is an authorized signer on such association account, unless the summons of garnishment alleges that the association account is being used by the defendant for an improper or unlawful purpose.

(B) A garnishee shall not be liable for failure to deliver to the court property, money, or effects in a fiduciary account that may be subject to garnishment if such account specifically is exempted from garnishment by the laws of this state.

(C) A garnishee shall not be liable for failure to deliver to the court property, money, or effects in a fiduciary account that may be subject to garnishment by reason of the fact that a defendant is a fiduciary of the fiduciary account, unless the summons of garnishment is against the defendant in the defendant’s capacity as a fiduciary of the fiduciary account or the summons of garnishment alleges that the fiduciary account is being used by the defendant for an improper or unlawful purpose.

§ 18-4-93.

Right of defendant to become a party to garnishment proceedings; procedure

A garnishment proceeding is an action between the plaintiff and the garnishee; but, at any time before a judgment is entered on the garnishee’s answer or before money or other property subject to garnishment is distributed, the defendant may become a party to the garnishment for the purposes set out in Code Section 18-4-65 by filing a traverse to the plaintiff’s affidavit stating that the affidavit is untrue or legally insufficient; and he shall be a party to all proceedings thereafter. Upon the filing of the defendant’s traverse, and at the defendant’s application therefor, a judge of the court in which the case is pending shall order a hearing to be held not more than ten days from the date the traverse is filed. The hearing shall be available to the defendant as a matter of right after filing his traverse; and no further summons of garnishment may issue nor may any money or other property delivered to the court as subject to garnishment be disbursed until the hearing shall be held.

§ 18-4-94.

Procedure where defendant prevails generally; establishment of interests in money or other property in court by parties filing claims thereto; distribution of money or other property

(a) Where the defendant prevails upon the trial of the issues made by his traverse, the garnishment case shall be dismissed by the court; and any money or other property belonging to the defendant in the possession of the court shall be restored to the defendant unless a claim thereto has been filed.

(b) If a claim has been filed, all parties of record may introduce evidence to establish their respective interests in the money or other property in court; and the court shall direct that the money or other property be distributed in accordance with the laws governing priority of claims.

§ 18-4-95.

Right of claimants of property subject to garnishment to become parties; procedure

At any time before judgment is entered on the garnishee’s answer or money or other property subject to garnishment is distributed, any person may file a claim in writing under oath stating that he has a claim superior to that of the plaintiff to the money or other property in the hands of the garnishee subject to the process of garnishment; and the claimant shall be a party to all further proceedings upon the garnishment.

§ 18-4-96.

Procedure where money or other property in court subject to conflicting cases

Where money or other property in court is subject to the claims of more than one garnishment case, any interested party to any one of the garnishment cases may make a motion to the court in his case for the distribution of the money or other property. Each party of interest in each case and the clerk of the court shall be served with a copy of the motion. Upon hearing the motion, the court shall enter an order directing that the clerk be paid the court cost of each garnishment proceeding first, and all remaining money or other property shall be distributed in accordance with the law governing the relative priorities of claims, judgments, and liens.

§ 18-4-97.

Right of garnishee to actual reasonable expenses in making true garnishee answer of garnishment; procedure for collection; reimbursement

(a) The garnishee shall be entitled to the garnishee’s actual reasonable expenses, including attorney’s fees, in preparing and filing a garnishee’s answer to a summons of garnishment. The amount so incurred shall be taxed in the bill of costs and shall be paid by the party upon whom the cost is cast, as costs are cast in other cases. The garnishee may deduct $50.00 or 10 percent of the amount paid into court, whichever is greater, not to exceed $100.00, as reasonable attorney’s fees or expenses.

(b) If the garnishee can show that the garnishee’s actual attorney’s fees or expenses exceed the amount provided for in subsection (a) of this Code section, the garnishee shall petition the court for a hearing at the time of filing the garnishee’s answer without deducting from the amount paid into court. Upon hearing from the parties, the court may enter an order for payment of actual attorney’s fees or expenses proven by the garnishee to have been incurred reasonably in preparing and filing the garnishee’s answer.

(c) In the event the garnishee makes the deduction permitted in subsection (a) of this Code section but the costs are later cast upon the garnishee, the garnishee shall forthwith refund to the defendant the funds deducted; and, if the costs are later cast against the plaintiff, the court shall enter judgment in favor of the defendant and against the plaintiff for the amount of the deductions made by the garnishee.

(d) Nothing in this Code section shall limit the reimbursement of costs incurred by a financial institution as provided by Code Section 7-1-237.

ARTICLE 6. CONTINUING GARNISHMENT PROCEEDINGS

§ 18-4-110.

Right of plaintiff who has obtained money judgment to process of continuing garnishment; methods, practices, and procedures for continuing garnishment generally

In addition to garnishment proceedings otherwise available under this chapter, in cases where a money judgment has been obtained in a court of this state or a federal court sitting in this state, the plaintiff shall be entitled to the process of continuing garnishment against any garnishee who is an employer of the defendant against whom the judgment has been obtained. Unless otherwise specifically provided in this article, the methods, practices, and procedures for continuing garnishment shall be the same as for any other garnishment as provided in this chapter, including, but not limited to, those proceedings after a garnishee’s answer as provided in Code Section 18-4-89.

§ 18-4-111.

Property, money, or effects subject to continuing garnishment

(a) All debts owed by the garnishee to the defendant at the time of service of summons of continuing garnishment upon the garnishee and all debts accruing from the garnishee to the defendant from such date of service to and including the one hundred seventy-ninth day thereafter shall be subject to process of continuing garnishment; and no payment made by the garnishee to the defendant or to his order or by any arrangement between the defendant and the garnishee after the date of the service of the summons of continuing garnishment upon the garnishee shall defeat the lien of such garnishment.

(b) All property, money, or effects of the defendant in the possession or control of the garnishee at the time of service of the summons of continuing garnishment upon the garnishee or coming into the possession or control of the garnishee at any time from the date of such service to and including the one hundred seventy-ninth day thereafter shall be subject to process of continuing garnishment, except in the case of collateral securities in the hands of a creditor. Such securities shall not be subject to continuing garnishment so long as there is an amount owed on the debt for which such securities were given as collateral.

(c) Notwithstanding this Code section, the exemptions from garnishment required or allowed by law, including, but not limited to, exemptions provided by Code Sections 18-4-20 and 18-4-22, shall be applicable to a continuing garnishment.

§ 18-4-112.

Filing and contents of affidavit for continuing garnishment; issuance of summons; notice and service of summons

(a) In addition to the information required by Code Section 18-4-61, an affidavit for continuing garnishment shall state that the plaintiff believes that the garnishee is or may be an employer of the defendant and subject to continuing garnishment and shall request that a summons of continuing garnishment shall issue. Upon the filing of the affidavit with the clerk of any court having jurisdiction over the garnishee, the clerk shall cause a summons of continuing garnishment to issue forthwith, provided that the affidavit shall first be made and approved as containing the information required by Code Section 18-4-61 and by this Code section in one of the ways provided for in Code Section 18-4-61.

(b) Only one summons of continuing garnishment may issue on one affidavit for continuing garnishment, and the defendant shall be given notice of the issuance of the summons using any method provided for in Code Section 18-4-64.

(c) The plaintiff, using either forms provided by the court or forms prepared by the plaintiff, shall cause forms sufficient for seven garnishee answers to a summons of continuing garnishment to be served on the garnishee along with the summons.

§ 18-4-113.

Contents of summons of continuing garnishment; filing and contents of garnishee answers

(a) The summons of continuing garnishment shall be directed to the garnishee, who shall be required:

(1) To file a first garnishee answer no later than 45 days after service of summons of continuing garnishment, which garnishee answer shall state what property, money, or other effects of the defendant are subject to continuing garnishment from the time of service through and including the day of the first garnishee answer;

(2) To file further garnishee answers for the remaining period covered by the summons of continuing garnishment. Further garnishee answers shall be filed no later than 45 days after the previous garnishee answer date. Further garnishee answers shall state what property, money, or other effects of the defendant are subject to continuing garnishment from the previous garnishee answer date through and including the date on which that next garnishee answer is filed. No subsequent garnishee answers shall be required on a summons of continuing garnishment if the last garnishee answer filed states what property, money, or other effects of the defendant are subject to continuing garnishment from the previous garnishee answer date to and including the one hundred seventy-ninth day after service of summons of continuing garnishment. The last garnishee answer shall be filed, notwithstanding the other provisions of this paragraph, no later than the one hundred ninety-fifth day after service. For purposes of this paragraph, “previous garnishee answer date” means the date upon which the immediately preceding garnishee answer to the summons of continuing garnishment was filed as provided in this subsection; and

(3) To accompany all such garnishee answers with any property, money, or other effects of the defendant admitted in the garnishee answer to be subject to continuing garnishment.

(b) The summons of continuing garnishment shall state the requirements of subsection (a) of this Code section and shall inform the garnishee that failure to comply with such requirements may result in a judgment against the garnishee for the entire amount claimed due on the judgment against the defendant.

§ 18-4-114.

Traverse of garnishee answer by plaintiff

If the garnishee’s answer is served on the plaintiff as provided in Code Section 18-4-83, the plaintiff shall traverse the garnishee answer within 15 days after it is served, or the garnishee shall be automatically discharged from further liability with respect to the summons so answered.

§ 18-4-115.

Entry of default judgment against garnishee; relief from default judgment

(a) If the garnishee fails or refuses to file a garnishee answer at least once every 45 days, the garnishee shall automatically become in default. The default may be opened as a matter of right by the filing of the required garnishee answer within 15 days after the day of default upon payment of costs. If the case is still in default after the expiration of such period of 15 days, judgment by default may be entered at any time thereafter against garnishee for the amount claimed to be due on the judgment obtained against the defendant.

(b) The garnishee may obtain relief from default judgment entered as provided in subsection (a) of this Code section upon the same conditions as provided in Code Section 18-4-91.

§ 18-4-116.

Effect of and proceedings upon filing of traverse by defendant

(a) In a continuing garnishment proceeding, upon the filing of a traverse by defendant pursuant to Code Section 18-4-93, no further summons of garnishment may issue nor may any money delivered to the court as subject to garnishment be disbursed until the hearing is held upon defendant’s traverse. The filing of a traverse by the defendant does not relieve the garnishee of the duties of filing a garnishee answer, of withholding property, money, or other effects subject to continuing garnishment, or of delivering to the court any property, money, or other effects subject to continuing garnishment.

(b) Nothing in this Code section shall affect the right of the defendant to file bond under this chapter.

§ 18-4-117.

Effect of termination of employment relationship between garnishee and defendant

Notwithstanding the requirements of Code Section 18-4-113, if the employment relationship between the garnishee and the defendant does not exist at the time of the service of summons of continuing garnishment or terminates during the continuing garnishment, in any garnishee answer required by this article, the garnishee may state that the employment relationship between the garnishee and defendant does not exist or has been terminated, giving the date of termination if terminated on or after service of this summons of continuing garnishment. If no traverse is filed within 15 days after the garnishee answer is served as provided in Code Section 18-4-83, the garnishee shall be automatically discharged from further liability and obligation under Code Section 18-4-113 for that summons with respect to the period of continuing garnishment remaining after the employment relationship is terminated.

§ 18-4-118.

Forms for continuing garnishment

For purposes of this article, the following forms are declared to be sufficient, along with those provided in Code Section 18-4-66, for continuing garnishment, provided that nothing in this Code section shall be construed to require the use of particular forms in any proceeding under this article:

(1) Affidavit of continuing garnishment.

FORM OMITTED

(2) Summons of continuing garnishment.

FORM OMITTED

(3) Garnishee answer of continuing garnishment.

FORM OMITTED

ARTICLE 7. CONTINUING GARNISHMENT FOR SUPPORT

§ 18-4-130.

Continuing garnishment for family support; issuance of writ of garnishment

In addition to garnishment proceedings otherwise available in this chapter, a writ of garnishment shall issue for the continuing withholding of earnings for the enforcement of a judgment for periodic support of a family member. Unless otherwise specifically provided in this article, the methods, practices, and procedures for continuing garnishment for support shall be the same as for any other garnishment as provided in this chapter, including, but not limited to, procedures relative to default of a garnishee and relief from default and provisions relative to fees and expenses.

§ 18-4-131.

Definitions

As used in this article, the term:

(1) “Accruing on a daily basis” means the amount of support computed by conversion of the periodic amount to an annual sum, divided by 365.

(2) “Department” means the Department of Human Services.

(3) “Earnings” means any periodic form of payment due to an individual, regardless of source, including without limitation wages, salary, commission, bonus, workers’ compensation, disability, payments pursuant to a pension or retirement program, and interest.

(4) “Family member” means any minor child of the defendant or a spouse or former spouse of the defendant.

(5) “Judgment” means any order or judgment of a court of this state, any order or judgment of a court of another state which has been registered pursuant to Code Section 19-11-77 or otherwise, any order of a court of this state entered pursuant to a proceeding under Chapter 10 of Title 19, any final administrative order for support issued by the department, or any final administrative order issued by another state.

(6) “Periodic support” means support required by the terms of a court order or judgment or an administrative order to be paid regularly on a daily, weekly, monthly, or other similar specified frequency.

§ 18-4-132.

Contents of affidavit for a continuing garnishment for support; attachment of certified copy of judgment; amendment of affidavit

(a) The contents of the affidavit for continuing garnishment for support shall be substantially identical to those set forth in Code Section 18-4-112, but in addition thereto, the plaintiff shall attach a certified copy of the judgment to be enforced and shall also state the following in the affidavit:

(1) That the defendant is in arrears on the obligation of support in an amount equal to or in excess of one month’s obligation as decreed in said judgment;

(2) The amount of arrearage which exists under said judgment as of the date of the execution of the affidavit;

(3) The periodic amount of support due under the judgment for each obligee named therein, taking into account the possible attainment of majority or emancipation or death of any minor child named in the judgment; and

(4) The date of the termination of the obligation of support of each obligee named in the order or judgment of support, based upon the terms of said order or judgment, or, as to any obligee who is a minor child, the date each such obligee shall attain the age of 18 years.

(b) Such affidavit may be amended from time to time by subsequent affidavits of any party showing a modification or other amendment to the original judgment sought to be enforced. Such amended or subsequent affidavits shall include a certified copy of any such modification or amendment and shall contain the information required by paragraphs (1) through (4) of subsection (a) of this Code section.

§ 18-4-133.

Service of summons; requirements as to filing of first garnishee answer accompanied by money; application of money

(a) The summons of continuing garnishment for support shall be directed to the garnishee who shall be required to file a first garnishee answer no later than 45 days after service, which garnishee answer shall state what earnings were payable to the defendant from the time of service through and including the day of the first garnishee answer and the basis for the computation of same, including the rate of pay and hours worked, or salaries, commissions, or other basis of compensation.

(b) The garnishee shall accompany such initial garnishee answer with money of the defendant admitted in the garnishee answer to be subject to continuing garnishment for support. In computing the amounts subject to this article, the provisions of subsection (f) of Code Section 18-4-20 shall control.

(c) The money paid into court with the initial garnishee answer, after deduction for costs, shall be first applied to the periodic support payment accrued on a daily basis from the date of the affidavit of the plaintiff to the date of the initial garnishee answer. All sums in excess of such periodic payment shall be applied to the original arrearage. Original arrearage shall mean those arrears existing as of the date of the making of the plaintiff’s affidavit, plus any amounts includable pursuant to subsection (b) of Code Section 18-4-134.

§ 18-4-134.

Filing further garnishee answers and tendering money; application of money; filing of final garnishee answer by garnishee upon termination of defendant’s employment

(a) If the amount claimed as original arrearage as of the date of the making of the plaintiff’s affidavit is not satisfied by the money payable into court under the initial garnishee answer, after application of the funds as set forth in subsection (c) of Code Section 18-4-133, the garnishee shall file further garnishee answers no later than 45 days after the previous garnishee answer date, stating the earnings accrued and the basis of their accrual and tendering such money accruing in such period. The amounts paid into court pursuant to subsequent garnishee answers, over and above the periodic payment accruing within such period, shall be applied to the original arrearage until the same is retired.

(b) If the earnings paid into court pursuant to any garnishee answer are less than the sums due under the periodic support requirement accruing over the same period of time, after allowance for any costs deductible from same, the resulting difference shall be added to the amount due as original arrearage until the same is retired by subsequent payments.

(c) The garnishee shall file additional garnishee answers until the original arrearage is retired and all periodic support payments are current.

(d) Upon the termination of employment of the defendant by the garnishee, the garnishee shall be required to file a final garnishee answer stating the date and reason for the defendant’s termination from employment and stating, to the best of the garnishee’s information, the defendant’s present residential address and employer.

§ 18-4-135.

Period of attachment of writ of garnishment; garnishee’s reliance upon information in affidavit of garnishment

The writ of garnishment described in this article shall attach for so long as the defendant is employed by the garnishee and shall not terminate until the original arrearage is retired. The garnishee may rely upon the information as to the termination date of the duty of support of any individual claimed in the affidavit of garnishment, the amount of the duty of periodic support to be paid, any sums paid by the defendant between the date of the filing of the plaintiff’s affidavit and the date of the initial garnishee answer, and the amount of the original arrearage existing as of the date of the affidavit of garnishment, unless the same are traversed by the defendant and the court enters any finding otherwise.

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Written by Tom Fox

March 2, 2014 at 9:44 pm

One Response

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  1. […] For the purpose of Articles 1 through 5 of this chapter, the following forms are declared to be sufficient for garnishment after judgment, provided that nothing in this Code section shall be construed to require the use of particular forms in any proceeding under this article: See: Georgia Garnishment Statutes […]


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