Here you will find judgment laws and rules which apply for the area
of garnishments in the states of Florida, Georgia, and Hawaii. 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 will
dictate how you must proceed with implementing a garnishment. Garnishments
are a primary part of judgment law. This post will help anyone who
desires to use a garnishment to enforce a money judgment whether it
be a judgment Georgia, Florida, or Hawaii.
Florida Procedural Requirements
Final process to enforce a judgment solely for the
payment of money shall be by execution, writ of garnishment or other
appropriate process or proceedings. Fla. R. Civil. P. 1.570. In
aid of a judgment, decree or execution the judgment creditor may
obtain discovery from any person, including the judgment debtor,
in the manner provided in the Rules of Civil Procedure. Fla. R.
Civil. P. 1.560.
Executions on judgments shall issue during the life
of the judgment on oral request of the party entitled to it or his
attorney without praecipe. No execution or other final process shall
issue until the judgment on which it is based has been recorded
nor within the time for serving a motion for new trial or rehearing
and if a motion for new trial or rehearing is timely served, until
it is determined; provided execution or other final process may
be issued on special order of the court at any time after judgment.
Fla. R. Civil. P. 1.550.
Every person who has sued to recover a debt or has
recovered judgment in any court against any person, natural or corporate,
has a right to a writ of garnishment to subject any debt due to
defendant by a third person. Fla. Statute. Ann. _ 77.01. After judgment
has been obtained against defendant but before the writ of garnishment
is issued, the plaintiff, his agent or attorney, shall file a motion
Statuting the amount of the judgment and that movant does not believe
that defendant has in his possession visible property on which a
levy can be made sufficient to satisfy the judgment. The motion
may be filed and the writ issued either before or after the return
of execution. Fla. Statute. Ann. _ 77.03.
The writ shall require the garnishee to serve an
answer to it on plaintiff within twenty days after service Statuting
whether he is indebted to defendant at the time of answer, or was
indebted at the time of service of the writ, or at any time between
such times; and in what sum and what tangible or intangible personal
property of the defendant he has in his possession or control at
the time of his answer, or had at the time of the service of the
writ, or at any time in between such times; and whether he knows
of any other person indebted to defendant, or who may have any of
the property of defendant in his possession or control. The writ
shall Statutee the amount of the judgment. Fla. Statute. Ann. _
Within 5 days after service of the garnishee’s
answer on the plaintiff or after the time period for the garnishee’s
answer has expired, the plaintiff shall serve on the judgment debtor,
by mail, the following documents: a copy of the writ, a copy of
the answer, a notice, and a certificate of service. The notice shall
advise the judgment debtor that he must move to dissolve the writ
within the time period set forth in _ 77.07(2) [20 days] or be defaulted
and that he may have exemptions from the garnishment which must
be asserted as a defense. The plaintiff shall serve these documents
on the judgment debtor at his last known address and any other address
disclosed by the garnishee’s answer. The plaintiff must also
serve these documents on any other person disclosed in the garnishee’s
answer to have any ownership interest in the deposit, account, or
property controlled by the garnishee. The plaintiff shall file in
the proceeding a certificate of such service. Fla. Statute. Ann.
Service of the writ shall make the garnishee liable
for all debts due by him to the defendant and for any tangible or
intangible personal property of the defendant in his possession
or control at the time of service of the writ or at any time between
the service and the time of his answer. The garnishee shall report
in his answer and retain any deposit, account, or tangible or intangible
personal property in the possession or control of such garnishee;
and the answer shall Statutee the name or names and addresses, if
known to the garnishee, of the defendant and any other persons having
or appearing to have an ownership interest in the involved property.
Fla. Statute. Ann. _ 77.06.
Before issuance of any writ of garnishment, the
party applying for it shall deposit $100 in the registry of the
court which shall be paid to garnishee on his demand at any time
after the service of the writ for the payment or part payment of
his attorney’s fee which he expends, or agrees to expend,
in obtaining representation in response to the writ. At the time
of deposit, the clerk shall collect the Statutory fee provided by
_ 28.24(13) [service charge for receiving money into the registry
of the court equal to 2% of the first $500 plus 1% of each subsequent
$100] in addition to the $100 deposited into the registry of the
On rendering final judgment, the court shall determine
the garnishee’s costs and expenses, including a reasonable
attorney’s fee, and in the event of a judgment in favor of
the plaintiff, the amount shall be subject to offset by the garnishee
against the defendant whose property or debt owing is being garnished.
In addition, the court shall tax the garnishee’s costs and
expenses as costs. Plaintiff may recover in this manner the sum
advanced by him and paid into the registry of court, and if the
amount allowed by the court is greater than the amount of the deposit,
judgment for garnishee shall be entered against the party against
whom the costs are taxed for the deficiency. Fla. Statute. Ann.
Interest Rate at which Judgments Accrue On December
1 of each year, the Comptroller of the Statutee of Florida shall
set the rate of interest that shall be payable on judgments or decrees
for the year beginning January 1 by averaging the discount rate
of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York for the preceding year,
then adding 500 basis points to the averaged federal discount rate.
This process shall not affect a rate of interest established by
written contract or obligation. Fla. Statute. Ann. _ 55.03. Applicable
Forms Fla. R. Civil. P., Form 1.907.
Georgia Procedural Requirements
In all cases where a money judgment shall have been
obtained, the plaintiff shall be entitled to the process of garnishment.
Georgia. Code Ann. _ 18460. 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 approved in one of the
following ways: The affidavit may be made before and approved by
a judge of the court in which the garnishment proceeding is filed.
The affidavit may be made before and approved by a judge of the
court that rendered the judgment upon which the garnishment is based.
The affidavit may made before and approved by a judge of any court
of record. The affidavit may be made before any officer authorized
to administer oaths, including a notary public, provided the affidavit
is then submitted by mail or in person to any judge of a court of
record and is approved by him. The affidavit may be made before
the 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 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. Georgia.
Code Ann. _ 18461.
The summons of garnishment shall be directed to
the garnishee, commanding him to file an answer Statuting what money
or other property is 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
duty to serve the summons of garnishment upon the person to whom
it is directed and to make his entry of service upon the affidavit
and return the affidavit to the court. 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 an answer; however, such answer shall
be filed not later than 45 days after the service of the summons.
If the defendant does have an active account with, or is the owner
of any money or property in the possession of, the bank or financial
institution then the garnishee must file an answer no sooner than
30 days and no later than 45 days after the service of the summons
and must be accompanied by the money or other property subject to
garnishment. Georgia. Code Ann. _ 18462.
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 of the methods
contained in __ 18464 or 9114.
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.
Georgia. Code Ann. 18464. The garnishee shall be entitled to his
actual reasonable expenses, including attorney’s fees, in
making a true answer 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 $25 or 10 percent of the
amount paid into court, whichever is greater, not to exceed $50,
as reasonable attorney’s fees or expenses. If the garnishee
can show that his actual attorney’s fees or expenses exceed
the above amount, he must petition the court for a hearing at the
time of making his answer without deducting from the amount paid
into court. Upon hearing from the parties, the court may enter an
order for the payment of actual attorney’s fees or expenses
proven by the garnishee to have been incurred reasonably in making
his answer. Georgia. Code Ann. _ 18497.
Interest Rate at which Judgments Accrue All judgments
shall bear interest upon the principal amount recovered at the rate
of 12 percent per year unless the judgment is rendered on a written
contract or obligation providing for interest at a specified rate,
in which case the judgment shall bear interest at the rate specified
in such contract or obligation. Georgia. Code Ann. _ 7412. Applicable
Forms Georgia. Code Ann. _ 18466.
Hawaii Procedural Requirements
In any action brought by a creditor against a debtor,
the creditor may, after judgment rendered in the creditor’s
favor, request the court to summon any garnishee to appear personally,
upon a day appointed in the summons for hearing the cause as against
the garnishee, and make full disclosure. Alias summons shall also
be issued and served upon the garnishee in any of the manners described
under _ 6522.5 .
At the time of service, any and every element of
any garnishee fund  then in the hands of the garnishee shall
be there secured to pay the judgment already recovered and may not
otherwise be disposed of by the garnishee. If any party named in
the process as garnishee is a corporation, firm, or person having
places of business in more than one judicial circuit or district
in the Statutee, the service of process upon the garnishee shall
operate only to secure the garnishee fund within the circuit, circuits,
or district in which the process is served. Haw. Rev. Statute. _
In all cases in which the garnishee is summoned
after judgment, the garnishee fund, or such part thereof as may
be sufficient for that purpose, shall be liable to pay the judgment.
The plaintiff on praying out execution shall be entitled to have
included in the execution an order directing the officer serving
the same to make demand of the garnishee for the debt or wages secured
in his hands or the moneys held by him for safekeeping. Haw. Rev.
Statute. _ 6522.
Whenever any person summoned as a garnishee may
be desirous of so doing, the person may apply to the district judge
or any judge of the court from which the summons may have issued,
and the judge having caused reasonable notice to be given to the
plaintiff in the action, shall proceed to take the deposition of
the person thus summoned, and make such orders as may be proper
in the premises, at any time previous to the date appointed for
hearing the cause, and the person summoned as garnishee, shall be
taken to have obeyed the summons. Haw. Rev. Statute. _ 6529.
Section 6529 shall be printed or written conspicuously
on every summons issuing out of any court of the Statutee which
is intended to be served on any alleged attorney, factor, trustee,
or debtor of a defendant in any action. Haw. Rev. Statute. _ 65211.
Every garnishee shall be allowed $3 in cases in the circuit courts
and $1 in cases in the district courts for filing a return on or
before the return day or for appearance on the return day, as the
case may be, and, in special or exceptional cases in which the court
may deem proper, such further sums as the court may deem reasonable
for counsel fees and other necessary expenses. The allowance for
return or appearance of the garnishee shall be deposited with the
clerk of the court in order to hold for the garnishee and shall
be paid to the garnishee when the garnishee makes the garnishee’s
return and files the same in court or when the garnishee makes the
garnishee’s appearance in court.
The garnishee, if discharged, may collect from the
plaintiff on execution any unpaid allowances or, if held, may retain
the same out of goods, effects, or credits of the defendant in the
garnishee’s hands. As between the plaintiff and defendant,
if the garnishee is discharged, the costs of the garnishment proceeding,
including $1 for each copy of summons and $1 for each service of
summons, shall be taxed against the plaintiff; but, if the garnishee
is held, such costs and all such allowances as have been paid by
the plaintiff to the garnishee shall be taxed against the defendant.
Haw. Rev. Statute. _ 65213.
Interest Rate at which Judgments AccrueAt the rate
of ten percent a year, and no more, shall be allowed on any judgment
recovered before any court in the Statutee, in any civil suit. Haw.
Rev. Statute. _ 4782. Applicable Forms 1 Service of the copy upon
the garnishee may be made in any of the manners here described,
(1) If the garnishee lives or has an office in the
district in which process is issued, by the serving officer’s
handing a copy to the garnishee in person or leaving it in the garnishee’s
office in charge of some deputy or clerk or other employees or attache
of the office; or
(2) If the garnishee lives in a district other than
that in which the process was issued, by the serving officer’s
handing a copy to the garnishee in person, or by mailing it in a
sealed envelope, registered or certified, postage prepaid, return
receipt requested, and addressed to the garnishee’s last known
home or business address. Haw. Rev. Statute. _ 6522.5. 2
The term “garnishee fund” includes the
goods and effects of the defendant then in the hands of the garnishee,
any debt then owing from the garnishee to the defendant, moneys
of the defendant then in the possession of the garnishee for safekeeping,
and a portion of the defendant’s wages, salary, stipend, commissions,
annuity, or net income under a trust, remaining after the deduction
of any amounts required by law. Haw. Rev. Statute. _ 6521.