Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Complexity of Kentucky Garnishment Procedure In a Nutshell

Kentucky's garnishment procedures, principally contained in KRS §425.501, et seq.,  KRCP Rule 69.02 and various local rules of court, attempt to accommodate a wide variety of factual circumstances, most of which never present in actual practice.
  • There are different rules for wage and non-wage garnishments;
  • There are different rules for wage garnishments of support payments, taxes, student loans and other types of debt;
  • The same rules apply to garnishment of debts owed to the judgment debtor and personal property owned by the judgment debtor currently in the possession of a third party;
  • Debts owed to the judgment debtor might or might not be for a specified fixed amount. For example, there are types of bank accounts that are tied to various markets that may fluctuate from day to day;
  • Debts owed to the judgment debtor might or might not be due on demand. A third party may owe money to a judgment debtor, but it is not due and payable right now;
  • Third parties may have superior claims to to property sought to be garnished;
  • A vast array of federal or state non-bankruptcy exemptions may apply to the property potentially subject to garnishment. Some of these exemption require the judgment debtor to affirmatively claim the exemption and some do not;
  • A garnishee defendant may be uncooperative and not respond to a garnishment order or may not serve notice of the garnishment order upon the judgment debtor, as required;
  • Garnishment orders may be one-shot deals or they may be continuing;
  • Multiple garnishments from different judgment creditors may descend at virtually the same time;
  • Enforcement of foreign judgments may present unique problems;
  • Seeking to garnish against an out-of-state garnishee defendant via Kentucky's long-arm statutes can be fun; 
  • With costs, post judgment interest and the costs of the garnishment added in, it may be difficult to know when the judgment creditor's judgment is satisfied and the garnishment lien is released; 
  • The garnishment may be barred by the time limit on judgments imposed by KRS 413.090;
  • The property sought to be garnished may be jointly owned, and;
  • . . . .more that I haven't considered yet.