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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

571.932 PREJUDGMENT GARNISHMENT AFTER NOTICE AND HEARING.
    Subdivision 1. Motion. A creditor seeking to obtain an order of garnishment in other than
extraordinary circumstances shall proceed by motion. The motion must be accompanied by
an affidavit setting forth in detail:
(1) the basis and amount of the claim in the civil action; and
(2) the facts that constitute one or more of the grounds for garnishment as specified in
section 571.93, subdivision 1.
    Subd. 2. Service. The creditor's motion to obtain an order of garnishment together with the
creditor's affidavit and notice of hearing must be served in the manner prescribed for service of
a summons in a civil action in district court unless that service is impracticable or would be
ineffective and the court prescribes an alternative method of service calculated to provide actual
notice to the debtor. If the debtor has already appeared in the action, the motion must be served
in the manner prescribed for service of pleadings subsequent to the summons. The date of the
hearing must be fixed in accordance with Rule 6 of the Minnesota Rules of Civil Procedure for
the District Courts, unless a different date is fixed by order of the court.
The notice of hearing served upon the debtor shall be signed by the creditor or the attorney
for the creditor and shall provide, at a minimum, the following information in substantially the
following language:
NOTICE OF HEARING
TO: (the debtor)
A hearing will be held (insert place) on (insert date) at (insert time) to determine whether
nonexempt property belonging to you will be garnished to secure a judgment that may be entered
against you.
You may attend the court hearing alone or with an attorney. After you have presented your
side of the matter, the court will decide whether your property should be garnished until the
lawsuit which has been commenced against you is finally decided.
If the court directs the issuance of a garnishment summons while the lawsuit is pending,
you may still keep the property until the lawsuit is decided if you file a bond in an amount set by
the court.
IF YOU DO NOT ATTEND THIS HEARING, THE COURT MAY ORDER YOUR
NONEXEMPT PROPERTY TO BE GARNISHED.
EXEMPTION NOTICE
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, 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 the garnishment. If you have questions about an
exemption, you should obtain competent 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 interests.
(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 the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP),
Emergency Assistance (EA), Work First Program, Medical Assistance (MA), General Assistance
(GA), General Assistance Medical Care (GAMC), Emergency General Assistance (EGA),
Minnesota Supplemental Aid (MSA), MSA Emergency Assistance (MSA-EA), Supplemental
Security Income (SSI), and Energy Assistance.
(7) Social Security benefits.
(8) Unemployment benefits, workers' compensation, or veterans' benefits.
(9) An accident, disability or retirement pension or annuity.
(10) Life insurance proceeds.
(11) The earnings of your minor child.
(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. 3. Standards for order. An order for prejudgment garnishment may be issued only if
the creditor has demonstrated the probability of success on the merits, and the creditor has stated
facts that show the existence of at least one of the grounds stated in section 571.93, subdivision 1.
However, even if those standards are met, the order may not be issued if:
(1) the circumstances do not constitute a risk to collectibility of any judgment that may be
entered; or
(2)(i) the debtor has raised a defense to the merits of the creditor's claim or has raised a
counterclaim in an amount equal to or greater than the claim and the defense or counterclaim
is not frivolous; and
(ii) the interests of the debtor cannot be adequately protected by a bond filed by the creditor
pursuant to section 571.932, subdivision 6, if property is garnished; and
(iii) the harm suffered by the debtor as a result of garnishment would be greater than the
harm that would be suffered by the creditor if property is not attached.
    Subd. 4. Protection of creditor. If the creditor makes the showing prescribed by subdivision
3 but the court nevertheless determines that an order of garnishment should not be issued for the
reasons set forth in subdivision 3, clause (2), the court shall enter a further order protecting the
rights of the creditor to the extent possible. The order may require that the debtor post a bond
in an amount set by the court, that the debtor make the property available for inspection from
time to time, that the debtor be restrained from certain activities, including, but not limited to,
selling, disposing, or otherwise encumbering property, or any other provision the court considers
appropriate.
    Subd. 5. Stay of order. An order permitting prejudgment garnishment of property may be
stayed up to three days to allow the debtor time to post a bond.
    Subd. 6. Bonding requirement. (a) Before issuing an order of garnishment, the court
shall require the creditor to post a bond in the penal sum of at least $500, conditioned that if
judgment be given for the debtor or if the order is vacated, the creditor will pay all costs that may
be awarded against the creditor and all damages caused by the garnishment. Damages may be
awarded in a sum in excess of the bond only if, before the issuance of the order establishing the
amount of the bond, the debtor specifically notified the creditor and the court of the likelihood
that the debtor would suffer the specific damages, or the court finds that the creditor acted in bad
faith in bringing or pursuing the garnishment proceeding. In establishing the amount of the bond,
the court shall consider the value and nature of the property garnished, the method of retention
or storage of the property, the potential harm to the debtor or any party, and other factors that
the court considers appropriate. Nothing in this section modifies or restricts the application of
section 549.20 or 549.211.
(b) The court may at any time modify the amount of the bond upon its own motion or upon
the motion of a party based on the value of the property garnished, the nature of the property
attached, the methods of retention or storage of the property, the potential harm to the debtor or a
party, or other factor that the court considers appropriate.
(c) In lieu of filing a bond, either the creditor or the debtor may satisfy the bonding
requirements by depositing cash, an irrevocable letter of credit, a cashier's check, or a certified
check with the court.
    Subd. 7. Requirements of order. An order for prejudgment garnishment after notice and
hearing must:
(1) contain the findings required by section 571.932, subdivision 3;
(2) state with particularity the facts upon which the findings are made;
(3) state that a debtor who attended the hearing was offered an opportunity to identify exempt
property, without waiver of the right to claim exemption in property not identified at the hearing;
(4) direct the issuance of a garnishment summons; and
(5) specify the amount of the bond.
History: 1990 c 606 art 3 s 38; 1994 c 488 s 8; 1997 c 213 art 2 s 4; 1999 c 107 s 66;
1999 c 159 s 152; 2000 c 343 s 4