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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

571.72 General garnishment provisions.

Subdivision 1. Rules of civil procedure. Unless this chapter specifically provides otherwise, the Rules of Civil Procedure for the District Courts shall apply in all proceedings under this chapter.

Subd. 2. Service of a garnishment summons. To enforce a claim asserted in a civil action venued in a court of record, a garnishment summons may be issued by a creditor and served upon the garnishee in the same manner as other summons in that court of record, except that service may not be made by publication. Service of a garnishment summons on the garnishee may also be made by certified mail, return receipt requested. A garnishment summons served by certified mail is effective if served at the garnishee's regular place of business. The effective date of service by certified mail is the time of receipt by the garnishee. A single garnishment summons may be addressed to two or more garnishees but must state whether each is summoned separately or jointly.

The garnishment summons must state:

(1) the full name of the debtor, the debtor's last known mailing address, and the amount of the claim that remains unpaid;

(2) the date of the entry of judgment against the debtor or that the debtor is in default pursuant to Rule 55.01 of the Minnesota Rules of Civil Procedure for the District Courts. Where there is a prejudgment garnishment pursuant to section 571.93, the garnishment summons must include a copy of the court order;

(3) if the garnishment is on any indebtedness, money, or property other than earnings, the garnishee shall serve upon the creditor and upon the debtor within 20 days after service of the garnishment summons, a written disclosure, of the garnishee's indebtedness, money, or other property owing to the debtor and answers to all written interrogatories that are served with the garnishment summons. The garnishment summons shall also state that if the garnishment is on earnings and the debtor has garnishable earnings, the garnishee shall serve the disclosure within ten days of the last payday to occur within the 70 days after the date of service of the garnishment summons;

(4) that the creditor shall not require disclosure of the disposable earnings, indebtedness, money, or property of debtor in the garnishee's possession or under the garnishee's control in excess of 110 percent of the amount of the claim that remains unpaid;

(5) that the garnishee shall retain disposable earnings, indebtedness, money, or property of the debtor in the garnishee's possession or under the garnishee's control not in excess of 110 percent of the amount of the claim that remains unpaid, until the creditor causes a writ of execution to be served upon the garnishee, until the debtor authorizes release to the creditor, until the creditor authorizes release to the debtor, upon court order, or by operation of law;

(6) that after the expiration of the period of time specified in section 571.79 from the date of service of the garnishment summons, the garnishee's retention obligation automatically expires;

(7) that an assignment of wages made by the debtor within ten days before the service of the first garnishment summons on a debt is void and that any indebtedness to the garnishee incurred with ten days before the service of the first garnishment summons on a debt may not be set off against amounts otherwise subject to the garnishment.

Subd. 3. Representation by an attorney. Whenever a creditor is represented by an attorney, a responsive pleading or document from the garnishee or debtor under this chapter must be served on the creditor's attorney.

Subd. 4. Service of garnishment summons on debtor. A copy of the garnishment summons and copies of all other papers served on the garnishee must be served by mail at the last known mailing address of the debtor not later than five days after the service is made upon the garnishee. The first time a garnishment summons is served on the debtor pursuant to section 571.71, clause (2), the creditor shall also serve a copy of the affidavit of service of the original summons and complaint. Service of the garnishment documents on the debtor is effective upon mailing.

Subd. 5. Garnishment disclosure form. The creditor shall serve with the garnishment summons the applicable garnishment disclosure form substantially in the form set forth in section 571.75. The creditor may also serve written interrogatories with the garnishment summons.

Subd. 6. Bad faith claim. If, in a proceeding brought under section 571.91, or a similar proceeding under this chapter to determine a claim of exemption, the claim of exemption is not upheld, and the court finds that it was asserted in bad faith, the creditor shall be awarded actual damages, costs, reasonable attorney fees resulting from the additional proceedings, and an amount not to exceed $100. If the claim of exemption is upheld, and the court finds that the creditor disregarded the claim of exemption in bad faith, the debtor shall be awarded actual damages, costs, reasonable attorney fees resulting from the additional proceedings, and an amount not to exceed $100. The underlying judgment shall be modified to reflect assessment of damages, costs, and attorney fees. However, if the party in whose favor a penalty assessment is made is not actually indebted to that party's attorney for fees, the attorney's fee award shall be made directly to the attorney and if not paid an appropriate judgment in favor of the attorney shall be entered.

Subd. 7. Forms. No creditor shall use a form that contains alterations or changes from the statutory forms that mislead debtors as to their rights and the garnishment procedure generally. If a court finds that a creditor has used a misleading form, the debtor shall be awarded actual damages, costs, reasonable attorney's fees resulting from additional proceedings, and an amount not to exceed $100. All forms must be clearly legible and printed in not less than the equivalent of 10-point type. A form that uses both sides of a sheet must clearly indicate on the front side that there is additional information on the back side of the sheet.

Forms, including the statutory forms, used in garnishments of earnings for the satisfaction of judgments for child support must be changed by the creditor to reflect the fact that the 70-day period of effectiveness does not apply to these garnishments if the judgment creditor is a county and the employer is notified by the county when the judgment is satisfied.

Subd. 8. Exemption notice. In every garnishment where the debtor is a natural person, the debtor shall be provided with a garnishment exemption notice. If the creditor is garnishing earnings, the earnings exemption notice provided in section 571.924 must be served ten or more days before the service of the first garnishment summons. If the creditor is garnishing funds in a financial institution, the exemption notice provided in section 571.912 must be served with the garnishment summons. In all other cases, the exemption notice must be in the following form and served on the debtor with a copy of the garnishment summons.

STATE OF MINNESOTA DISTRICT COURT COUNTY OF .................. ............JUDICIAL DISTRICT .................(Creditor) against .................(Debtor) EXEMPTION NOTICE and .................(Garnishee)

A Garnishment Summons is being served upon you. Some of your property may be exempt and cannot be garnished. The following is a list of some of the more common exemptions. It is not complete and is subject to section 550.37 of the Minnesota Statutes and other state and federal laws. The dollar amounts contained in this list are subject to the provisions of section 550.37, subdivision 4a, at the time of garnishment. If you have questions about an exemption, you should obtain legal advice.

(1) a homestead or the proceeds from the sale of a homestead;

(2) household furniture, appliances, phonographs, radios, and televisions up to a total current value of $5,850;

(3) a manufactured (mobile) home used as your home;

(4) one motor vehicle currently worth less than $2,600 after deducting any security interest;

(5) farm machinery used by an individual principally engaged in farming, or tools, machines, or office furniture used in your business or trade. This exemption is limited to $13,000;

(6) relief based on need. This includes:

(i) Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) and Work First Program;

(ii) Medical Assistance (MA);

(iii) General Assistance (GA);

(iv) General Assistance Medical Care (GAMC);

(v) Emergency General Assistance (EGA);

(vi) Minnesota Supplemental AID (MSA);

(vii) MSA-Emergency Assistance (MSA-EA);

(viii) Supplemental Security Income (SSI);

(ix) Energy Assistance; and

(x) Emergency Assistance (EA);

(7) social security benefits;

(8) unemployment benefits, workers' compensation, or veteran's benefits;

(9) an accident, disability, or retirement pension or annuity;

(10) life insurance proceeds;

(11) earnings of your minor child; and

(12) money from a claim for damage or destruction of exempt property (such as household goods, farm tools, business equipment, a manufactured (mobile) home, or a car).

Subd. 9. Motion to determine objections. Upon motion of any party in interest, on notice, the court shall determine the validity of any claim of exemption and may make any order necessary to protect the rights of those interested.

HIST: 1990 c 606 art 3 s 4; 1993 c 156 s 15; 1994 c 488 s 8; 1999 c 107 s 66; 1999 c 159 s 148; 2000 c 343 s 4; 2000 c 405 s 17