Sunday, January 19, 2014

Practice and Procedure - The Part That Makes Me Crazy

Regarding the issuance and service of a Kentucky judicial garnishment.

KRS 425.501(3) states,
"The order of garnishment shall be served on the persons named as garnishees, and in addition a copy thereof shall be delivered by the garnishee to the judgment debtor or mailed to him at his last known address . . . . " [emphasis added]
The Kentucky Circuit Court Clerk's Manual procedure for garnishments states,
"6. To Issue a Wage Garnishment (AOC Form 150):
"a.  * * *
"b. Creditor or attorney will mail Notice of Rights (top page of AOC Form 150) to judgment debtor." [emphasis added]
There is no similar provision in the Clerk's Manual for the creditor, rather than the garnishee, to notify the judgment debtor for a non-wage garnishment order. Maybe there are instructions to the garnishee printed on the AOC Form 150.1. I have not seen that form yet. It's not available online.

So, does the garnishee notify the judgment debtor of the garnishment, does the judgment creditor notify the judgment debtor of the garnishment or do they both provide notice? Is the rule the same or is it different for wage garnishments and non-wage garnishments?

It's not a big deal if the judgment debtor actually receives timely written notice of the garnishment, regardless of who delivers the notice. But, if the judgment debtor does not receive written notice of the garnishment, or receives it late in the game, it could cause unnecessary problems.

I believe that the garnishee is more likely to be in the best position to have current accurate contact information for the judgment debtor. But, that's just me. I also believe that garnishees may not reliably follow instructions, like lawyers do.

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