With a jointly owned deposit checking or savings account, one of the named account holders may be a judgment debtor while another is not. When the judgment creditor seeks to garnish the account to collect the judgment debt, the ownership share of the non-debtor joint owner is at risk of seizure.
Kentucky law regarding the ownership rights of joint account holders is the substantive context within which the practical procedural mechanisms connected to bank garnishments are discussed. The substantive law of joint account ownership may change, while the application of Kentucky’s Rules of Civil Procedure in garnishment proceedings remains the same. This is to say that the main focus of this book (How to Intervene in a Kentucky Bank Garnishment to Protect a Joint Account) is upon the practical procedural aspects of intervention in a bank garnishment proceeding, but the problem of joint ownership is what makes the discussion relevant and interesting.
There are two interrelated issues which represent the intersection between procedure and substance. How can a non-judgment debtor account holder protect his or her ownership interest in a joint account? And, how can a non-judgment debtor account holder establish that he or she is entitled to an ownership interest in a joint account?
There is a third problem much too vexing to contemplate. Kentucky law and standard bank procedures do not seem to provide for notice of an account garnishment to all joint owners. What happens when a co-owner learns of an account garnishment only after the fact?
Legal research and writing for no apparent reason is a lot like science fiction.