State Garnishment Laws: Arizona, California, and Colorado

Here you will find judgment laws and rules which apply for the area of garnishments in the states of Arizona, California, and Colorado. Realize that codes, regulations, and court rules change from time to time. You will want to check to confirm that these statutes are up to date as of the time you need to apply them. State garnishment laws and judgment law will dictate how you must proceed with implementing a garnishment. This post will be helpful if you hope to use a garnishment to enforce a money judgment whether it be a judgment Arizona, California, or Colorado.

Arizona Procedural Requirements

A writ of garnishment shall be issued pursuant to this article after the judgment creditor or a person in his behalf makes an application in writing. The application shall contain the following: A statement that the applicant is a judgment creditor. A statement that the applicant has good reason to believe that the garnishee is holding nonexempt monies on behalf of the judgment debtor. The amount of the outstanding balance due on the underlying judgment, together with interest and accrued allowable costs, on the date the application is made, and the rate at which interest accrues on that judgment. The address of the garnishee. Arizona. Rev. Statute. Ann. _ 121572.

When the judgment creditor has filed the application, the clerk or justice of the peace shall issue a writ of garnishment of monies or property and a summons directed to the sheriff, constable or any officer authorized by law to serve process in the county where the garnishee is alleged to be, commanding him to immediately summon the garnishee to appear before the court out of which the writ issued within the time specified in the writ to answer the writ. The writ shall state: The amount of the outstanding balance due on the judgment, including accrued interest and allowable costs, as of the date of the issuance of the writ, and the rate at which interest accrues on that judgment. The name and address of the garnishee or his authorized agent. The name and address of the judgment creditor and his attorney, if applicable. The last mailing address of the judgment debtor know to the judgment creditor. The judgment creditor, in the manner required for a summons by rules of the court in civil matters, shall serve on the garnishee two copies of the summons and writ of garnishment, a copy of the underlying judgment, four copies of the answer form, two copies of the notice to judgment debtor and request for hearing form and one copy of the instructions to garnishee provided for in _ 12 1596.

Within three days, not including weekends and holidays, the garnishee shall deliver to the judgment debtor a copy of the summons and writ of garnishment, a copy of the underlying judgment and the notice to judgment debtor and request for hearing form. Arizona. Rev. Statute. Ann. _ 121574.

Note, monies owing to a judgment debtor by a banking corporation or association, savings banks, savings and loan association, credit union, trust company or title insurance company, maintaining branch offices, or credits or other effects belonging to a judgment debtor and in the possession of or under the control of such entity, may be levied upon by serving a copy of the writ of garnishment upon the manager or other officer of such entity, at any office or branch thereof located in the county where such service is made. No garnishment shall be effective as to any debt owing by such entity if the account evidencing such indebtedness is carried at an office or branch other than the office or branch named in the writ and at which service is made or as to any credits or other effects in its possession or under its control at any other office or branch, unless the service of writ is accompanied by a cash tender of twenty five dollars to the garnishee as costs for the search. Upon the payment of the search fee the writ shall be effective as to any debt owing by such entity, if the account evidencing such indebtedness is carried at any office or branch thereof located in the county in which service is made, but shall not be effective as to any debt owing by such entity, if the account evidencing such indebtedness is carried at an office or branch thereof located in a county other than the county in which service is made. Arizona. Rev. Statute. Ann. _ 12 1577.

From and after the service of all documents required to be served pursuant to _ 121574 the garnishee shall not pay to the judgment debtor any monies which are not exempt. Any such payment is void and of no effect as to so much of the monies as is necessary to satisfy the judgment creditor’s demand. However, a financial institution shall not withhold from the judgment debtor the amount set forth as exempt pursuant to _ 331125, paragraph 7, unless ordered by the court to do so after a hearing pursuant to _ 121580. Arizona. Rev. Statute. Ann. _ 12 1578.

Actions in garnishment in which an answer has been filed by a garnishee shall not be dismissed except upon notice to the garnishee and an opportunity to be heard upon the question of allowance of garnishee’s costs and attorney’s fee. Arizona. Rev. Statute. Ann. _ 121582.

When the garnishee is discharged upon his answer, the cost of the proceeding, including reasonable compensation to the garnishee, shall be taxed against the judgment creditor. When there is no written objection to the answer of the garnishee and the garnishee is held on his answer, the above costs shall be taxed against the judgment debtor. Where the answer is objected to in writing the costs shall abide the issue. Arizona. Rev. Statute. Ann. _ 121591.

A bank deposit made in the names of two or more persons shall be subject to garnishment. The answering garnishee shall, upon service of the writ, impound all funds then present in the bank account, and shall promptly notify each person who appears from the business records of the garnishee to have an interest in such bank account in addition to the judgment debtor that such account has been impounded, the name of the judgment creditor and judgment debtor and the court in which the action is pending as Statuted on the writ. The notice may be made personally or by registered mail, postage prepaid, addressed to each such person at his last known address as reflected by the business records of the garnishee. The answer of the garnishee, in such case, shall Statutee under oath the names of all persons who appear from the business records of the garnishee to have an interest in the bank account in addition to the judgment debtor. Upon the filing of the answer the court shall join all persons who appear to have an interest in the bank account in addition to the judgment debtor, as reflected by the answer of the garnishee, and shall proceed to a determination of the interest of the judgment debtor therein. Upon entry of an order based upon such proceeding all impounded funds, except those of the judgment debtor, shall be released by the garnishee. The matter shall otherwise proceed as in any other garnishment action. Arizona. Rev. Statute. Ann. _ 12595.

Under the Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure, “In aid of the judgment or execution, the judgment creditor . . . may obtain discovery from any person, including the judgment debtor, in the manner provided in these Rules or otherwise by law.” Arizona. R. Civil. P. 69. Note: Personal property does not include accounts under Arizona. Rev. Statute. Ann. _ 121570.

Deliver means to hand deliver, to mail by regular first class mail to the address which the sender determines through reasonable good faith efforts to be best calculated to reach the recipient in a timely manner, or to serve on a party pursuant to the rules of civil procedure applicable to a summons. Arizona. Rev. Statute. Ann. _ 121570.

Interest Rate at which Judgments AccrueAny judgment shall be at the rate of ten percent per annum. However, a judgment given on an agreement bearing a higher rate not in excess of the maximum permitted by law shall bear the rate of interest provided in the agreement, and it shall be specified in the judgment. Arizona. Rev. Statute. Ann. _ 441201. Applicable Forms The court or justice of the peace shall provide to the parties, at no charge, copies of the following documents required to be delivered pursuant to _ 121574:

The notice to judgment debtor and request for hearing form as prescribed by the supreme court but necessarily including an explanation of the judgment debtor’s rights and responsibilities relating to the garnishment procedure, including information concerning exemption rights, grounds for objecting to the writ, and the objection and hearing procedures and a form on which the judgment debtor may request a hearing. The answer form. The instructions to garnishee. A party to a garnishment proceeding may use documents other than those provided, if such documents are substantially similar to those prescribed by the supreme court. Arizona. Rev. Statute. Ann. _ 121596.

California Procedural Requirements

At any time after delivery of a writ of execution to a levying officer and before its return, a person indebted to the judgment debtor may pay to the levying officer the amount of the debt or so much thereof as is necessary to satisfy the money judgment. The levying officer shall give a receipt for the amount paid and such receipt is a discharge for the amount paid. Cal. Civil. Procedure. Code _ 699.020.

A registered process server may levy under a writ of execution on deposit accounts. Before levying under the writ of execution, the registered process server shall deposit a copy of the writ with the levying officer and pay the fee provided by _ 26721 of the Government Code ($20). Cal. Civil. Procedure. Code _ 699.080.

After entry of a money judgment, a writ of execution shall be issued by the clerk of the court upon application of the judgment creditor and shall be directed to the levying officer in the county where the levy is to be made and to any registered process server. A separate writ shall be issued for each county where a levy is to be made. Writs may be issued successively until the money judgment is satisfied, except that a new writ may not be issued for a county until the expiration of 180 days after the issuance of a prior writ for that county unless the prior writ is first returned. Cal. Civil. Procedure. Code _ 699.510.

The writ of execution shall require the levying officer to whom it is directed to enforce the money judgment and shall include the following information: The date of issuance of the writ. The title of the court where the judgment is entered and the cause and number of the action. The name and address of the judgment creditor and the name and last known address of the judgment debtor. The date of the entry of the judgment and of any subsequent renewals and where entered in the records of the court. The total amount of the money judgment as entered or renewed, together with costs and the accrued interest on the judgment from the date of entry or renewal of the judgment to date of issuance of the writ, reduced by any partial satisfactions and by any amounts no longer enforceable. The amount required to satisfy the money judgment on the date the writ is issued. The amount of interest accruing daily on the principal amount of the judgment from the date the writ is issued. Whether any person has requested notice of sale under the judgment and, if so, the name and mailing address of such person. Cal. Civil. Procedure. Code _ 699.520.

Upon delivery of the writ of execution to the levying officer to whom the writ is directed, together with the written instructions of the judgment creditor, the levying officer shall execute the writ in the manner prescribed by law. The levying officer may not levy upon any property under the writ after the expiration of 180 days from the date the writ was issued. Cal. Civil. Procedure. Code _ 699.530.

The notice of levy shall inform the person notified of all of the following: The capacity in which the person is notified. The property that is levied upon. The person’s rights under the levy, including the right to claim an exemption and the right to make a third-party claim. The person’s duties under the levy. Cal. Civil. Procedure. Code _ 699.540. At the time of levy, the levying officer shall serve, either personally or by mail, a copy of the writ of execution, a notice of levy and, if the judgment debtor is a natural person, a copy of the form listing exemptions. Cal. Civil. Procedure. Code _ 700.010.

Subject to Section 700.160, to levy upon a deposit account, the levying officer shall personally serve a copy of the writ of execution and a notice of levy on the financial institution with which the deposit account is maintained. The execution lien reaches only amounts in the deposit account at the time of service on the financial institution (including any item in the deposit account that is in the process of being collected unless the item is returned unpaid to the financial institution). At the time of levy or promptly thereafter, the levying officer shall serve a copy of the writ of execution and a notice of levy on any third person in whose name the deposit account stands. Service shall be made personally or by mail. During the time the execution lien is in effect, the financial institution shall not honor a check or other order for the payment of money drawn against, and shall not pay a withdrawal from, the deposit account that would reduce the deposit account to an amount less than the amount levied upon. When the amount levied upon pursuant to this section is paid to the levying officer, the execution lien on the deposit account levied upon terminates. Cal. Civil. Procedure. Code _ 700.140. A deposit account in the name of a person other than the judgment debtor, either alone or together with other third persons, is not subject to levy under _ 700.140 unless the levy is authorized by court order.

A court order is not required as a prerequisite to levy on a deposit account in the name of the judgment debtor, whether alone or together with third persons, or the judgment debtor’s spouse, whether alone or together with other third persons. An affidavit showing that the person in whose name the account stands is the judgment debtor’s spouse shall be delivered to the financial institution at the time of levy. In any case where a deposit account in the name of a person other than the judgment debtor, whether alone or together with the judgment debtor, is levied upon, the financial institution shall not pay to the levying officer the amount levied upon until being notified to do so by the levying officer. The levying officer may not require the financial institution to pay the amount levied upon until the expiration of 15 days after service of notice of levy on the third person. Cal. Civil. Procedure. Code _ 700.160.

Interest Rate at which Judgments AccrueAt the rate of 10 percent per annum on the principal amount of a money judgment remaining unsatisfied. Cal. Civil. Procedure. Code _ 685.010. Interest commences to accrue on a money judgment on the date of entry of the judgment. However, if a money judgment is payable in installments, interest commences to accrue as to each installment on the date the installment becomes due. Cal. Civil. Procedure. Code _ 685.020.

Colorado Procedural Requirements

“Writ of garnishment with notice of exemption and pending levy” means the exclusive procedure through which the personal property of any kind (other than earnings of a natural person) in the possession or control of a garnishee including the credits, debts, chooses in action, or money owed to the judgment debtor, whether they are due at the time of the service of the writ or are to become due thereafter, is required to be held for payment of a judgment debt (a “Writ with Notice”). A Writ with Notice shall be in the form and content of Colo. R. Civil. P. Form 29.

After entry of a judgment when a writ of execution may issue, a Writ with Notice shall be issued by the clerk of the court upon request. Under such writ any indebtedness, intangible personal property, or tangible personal property capable of manual delivery, other than earnings of a natural person, owed to, or owned by, the judgment debtor, and in the possession or control of the garnishee at the time of service of such writ upon the garnishee, shall be subject to the process of garnishment. Issuance of a writ of execution shall not be required before the issuance of a Writ with Notice. Service of a Writ with Notice shall be made in accordance with Colo. R. Civil. P. 4.

Following service of the Writ with Notice on the garnishee, a copy of the Writ with Notice, together with a blank copy of Colo. R. Civil. P. Form 30 shall be served upon each judgment debtor whose property is subject to garnishment by such writ as soon thereafter as practicable. Such service shall be in accordance with Colo. Rev. Statute. Ann. 1354.5107(2)* 1 Service of a Writ with Notice upon the garnishee shall give the court jurisdiction over the garnishee and any personal property of any description, owned by, or owed to the judgment debtor in the possession or control of the garnishee. Colo. R. Civil. P. 103.

Interest Rate at which Judgments Accrue Creditors shall be allowed to receive interest on any judgment recovered before any court authorized to enter the same within this Statute from the date of entering said judgment until satisfaction thereof is made either at the rate specified in a contract or instrument in writing which provides for payment of interest at a specified rate until the obligation is paid, except that if the contract or instrument provides for a variable rate, at the rate in effect under the contract or instrument on the date judgment enters, or in all other cases where no rate is specified, at the rate of eight percent per annum compounded annually. Colo. Rev. Statute. Ann. _ 512102.

Note: Special rates apply if a judgment has been appealed. Colo. Rev. Statute. Ann. _ 512106. Furthermore, special rates apply in actions to recover damages for personal injuries. Colo. Rev. Statute. Ann. _ 1321101. Applicable Forms Colo. R. Civil. P. Form 29 Colo. R. Civil. P. Form 30 1 Service shall be made by delivering a copy of such notice to the judgment debtor personally or by leaving a copy of such notice at the usual abode of the judgment debtor with some member of his family over the age of eighteen years. In the event that personal service cannot be made, the section provides for service through publication. Such notice, with proof of service thereof, and, in the case of publication, an affidavit of publication and an affidavit of the mailing of notice shall be filed with the clerk of the court in which the judgment was entered. Colo. Rev. Statute. Ann. _ 1354.4107(2).

 
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