State Garnishment Laws: Louisiana, Maine, and Maryland

Here you will find judgment laws and rules which apply for the area of garnishments in the states of Louisiana, Maine, and Maryland.  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 garnishmentGarnishments are a primary part of judgment law.

Louisiana Procedural Requirements

A judgment for the payment of money may be executed by a writ of fieri facias
directing the seizure and sale of property of the judgment debtor. La. Code
Civil. Procedure. Ann. art. 2291. The judgment creditor, by petition and after
issuance of a writ of fieri facias, may cause a third person to be cited as a
garnishee to declare under oath what property he has in his possession or under
his control belonging to the judgment debtor and in what amount he is indebted
to him, even though the debt may not be due. He may require the third person to
answer categorically and under oath the interrogatories annexed to the petition.
The seizure shall take effect upon the service of the petition, citation, and
interrogatories.

A garnishment against a financial institution shall not be continuing in
nature and the garnishee need only respond as to property of the judgment debtor
that the garnishee has in his possession or under his control at the time the
garnishment interrogatories are served upon him. When the garnishee is a bank,
savings and loan association, or credit union, the garnishee may continue to pay
checks and drafts drawn on the judgment debtor’s deposit accounts maintained
with the garnishee that are presented for payment in the ordinary course of
business on the day garnishment interrogatories are served upon the garnishee or
on the next business day thereafter, without incurring any liability or
obligation in favor of the judgment creditor or any third party. La. Code Civil.
Procedure. Ann. art. 2411.

The sheriff shall serve upon the garnishee the citation and a copy of the
petition and of the interrogatories, together with a notice that a seizure is
thereby effected against any property of or indebtedness to the judgment debtor.
Service shall be in the manner provided for service of citation, except that if
the garnishee is an individual, service must be personal. The garnishee shall
file his sworn answers to the interrogatories within fifteen days from the date
of service. La. Code Civil. Procedure. Ann. art. 2412.

Interest Rate at which Judgments Accrue The legal rate of
interest between Sept. 11, 1981 and Jan. 1, 1988, is 12%. Thereafter, the legal
rate of interest is one point over average prime as defined and as calculated
Oct. 1 of each year, subject always to a cap of 14% and floor of 7%. La. Civil.
Code Ann. art. 2924.

Legal interest attaches from date of judicial demand on all judgments
sounding in damages “ex delicto.” La. Rev. Statute. Ann. 13:4203. Legal interest
on any claim for personal injury or wrongful death against the Statutee or its
political subdivisions shall accrue at six percent per annum from the date of
service is requested following judicial demand until the judgment thereon is
signed by the trial judge.

Legal interest accruing subsequent to the signing of the judgment shall be at
the rate as detailed above. La. Rev. Statute. Ann. 13:5112. When the object of
the performance is a sum of money, damages for delay in performance are measured
by the interest on that sum from the time it is due, at the rate agreed by the
parties or, in the absence of agreement, at the rate of legal interest. La.
Civil. Code Ann. art. 2000.

Maine Procedural Requirements

Upon a disclosure hearing when it is shown that there is a reasonable
likelihood that a third party has possession or control of property in which the
judgment debtor may have an interest or that the third party may be indebted to
the judgment debtor for other than earnings, the court, upon request of the
judgment creditor, may approve the service on the third party of an order to
hold and answer.

The order to hold and answer shall Statutee the amount owed on the judgment
debt and shall set forth the specific property of the judgment debtor alleged to
be in the possession of the third party, as well as any specific debt other than
earnings, alleged to be owed to the judgment debtor. The order shall demand an
answer under oath from the third party listing all property in the possession of
the third party in which the judgment debtor has an interest and listing all
debts owed by the third party to the judgment debtor, as of the date and time
the order is served. The order to hold and answer shall Statutee the
consequences of the failure of the third party to answer.

An order to hold and answer shall be served on the third party and the
judgment debtor within 20 days of the date of the order. An answer form shall be
supplied to the third party with the order. Unless the judgment debtor or
judgment creditor requests a hearing within 20 days of the filing of the answer
of the third party, the property or debt listed shall be subject to any
turnover, sale, or lien order. Likewise, if after the requested hearing, the
court is satisfied as to the existence and extent of the nonexempt property or
of any nonexempt money debt, it shall make either a turnover, sale, or lien
order. Me. Rev. Statute. Ann. tit. 14, _ 3127A.

Generally service may be made either personally or by first class mail,
postage prepaid, and including a return envelope, postage prepaid, addressed to
sender. Me. R. Civil. P. 4.

Interest Rate at which Judgments Accrue Interest After
judgment equals 15% for cases in which damages claimed or awarded do not exceed
the $30,000 District Court jurisdictional limit. For other actions, interest
equals the coupon issue yield equivalent of the average accepted auction price
for the last auction of 52 week Treasury bills settled immediately prior to the
date from which interest is calculated, plus 7%. Me. Rev. Statute. Ann. art. 14,
_ 1602A.

Interest before judgment equals 8% for cases in which damages claimed or
awarded do not exceed the $30,000 District Court jurisdictional limit. For other
actions, prejudgment interest equals the coupon issue yield equivalent of the
average accepted auction price for the last auction of 52 week Treasury bills
settled immediately prior to the date from which interest is calculated, plus
1%. Me. Rev. Statute. Ann. art. 14, _ 1602.

Maryland Procedural Requirements

A judgment creditor may obtain discovery to aid enforcement of a money
judgment by use of depositions, interrogatories, and requests for documents. On
request of a judgment creditor, filed no earlier than 30 days after entry of a
money judgment, the court where the judgment was entered or recorded may issue
an order requiring the appearance for examination under oath before a judge or
examiner of any person if the court is satisfied by affidavit or other proof
that it is probable that the person has property of the judgment debtor, is
indebted for a sum certain to the judgment debtor, or has knowledge of any
concealment, fraudulent transfer, or withholding of any assets belonging to the
judgment debtor. The order shall specify when, where, and before whom the
examination will be held and that failure to appear may result in the person
served being held in contempt. The order shall be served in the manner provided
by Rule 2121. Maryland. R. 2633 [1].

The judgment creditor may obtain an issuance of a writ of garnishment by
filing in the same action in which the judgment was entered a request that
contains (1) the caption of the action, (2) the amount owed under the judgment,
(3) the name and last known address of the judgment debtor, and (4) the name and
address of the garnishee.

Upon the filing, the clerk shall issue a writ of garnishment directed to the
garnishee. The writ of garnishment shall: contain the information in the
request, the name and address of the person requesting the writ, and the date of
issue, direct the garnishee to hold the property of the judgment debtor subject
to further proceedings, notify the garnishee of the time within which the answer
must be filed and that failure to do so may result in judgment by default
against the garnishee, notify the judgment debtor and garnishee that federal and
Statutee exemptions may be available, notify the judgment debtor of the right to
contest the garnishment by filing a motion asserting a defense or objection.

The writ shall be served on the garnishee in the manner provided by Chapter
100 for service of process to obtain personal jurisdiction and may be served in
or outside the county. Promptly after service upon the garnishee, the person
making service shall mail a copy of the writ to the judgment debtor’s last known
address. The judgment creditor may serve interrogatories directed to the
garnishee pursuant to Rule 2421.

The interrogatories shall contain a notice that, unless answers are served
within 30 days after service of the interrogatories or within the time for
filing an answer to the writ, whichever is later, the garnishee may be held in
contempt of court. The interrogatories shall also inform the garnishee that the
garnishee must file a notice with the court pursuant to Rule 2401(c) at the time
the answers are served. Maryland. R. 2645. Service of process may be made by
delivery to the person or by mailing to the person by certified mail requesting:
“Restricted Delivery show to whom, date, address of delivery.” Maryland. R.
2121.

Service of process may be made by a sheriff or, by a competent private
person, 18 years of age or older, including an attorney of record, but not a
part to the action. Maryland. R. 2123. Note: A garnishment against property held
in bank, trust company, savings bank or savings and loan by husband and wife
jointly is not valid unless both are judgment debtors, and garnishment against
such property held by one party in trust for another is not valid unless both
are judgment debtors. Maryland. Code Ann., Courts _ 11603.

Interest Rate at which Judgments Accrue Judgments and
decrees generally bear interest at 10% from rendition. Money judgments for loan
debt not secured by realty may carry contract rate until originally scheduled
maturity date. Maryland. Code Ann., Courts __ 11106, 11107, 11301. ( These are
circuit court rules only, but district court rules are nearly identical. )

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You can find links to the complete sets of statutes for all 50 states by clinking on this link:

http://www.enforcementinstitute.com/?p=80

Good luck applying judgment laws in order to enforce your judgment!

Bryan

Click here to go to a page listing links to all articles on this blog site.

 

Enforcing a Judgment from a Community Property State

There are some states that are known as community property states.  If you have a judgment awarded in one of the community property states, you need to take note of that fact.  Basically in a community property state spouses are responsible for the debts incurred both by themselves individually and also those debts incurred by the spousal partner.  Be aware of these areas of judgment law if you are in a community property state.

Currently these are the community property states:  Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin.

This generally means that you can pursue your judgment collection efforts against both of the spouses at the same time.  As long as they were married at the time of the judge’s order, both of them are equally liable for the judgment debt.

You will want to check the statutes in the particular community property state to confirm the extent of a spouse’s liability for the judgment debt.   You should be able to pursue both spouses in your quest to collect your judgment.  It might not matter whether they are still married, as long as they were when the money judgment issued from the court.  You likely would be able to levy, garnish, or pursue any enforcement strategy against both of them at the same time.  Since any assets owned by one spouse, belong to both, you are free to go after assets belonging to either partner in your attempt to get paid for your judgment.

One thing to find out, is if you need to add the other spouse to the judgment before going after his/her assets.  Some states require the filing of a motion or declaration with the court which explains that you will hold the other spouse liable for the judgment debt.

It is very encouraging to know that you can pursue both spouses in collecting your judgment.  Sometimes the one who was your original legal adversary will be difficult or impossible to collect from.  This is sometimes referred to as being judgment proof.  But in community property states, you have 2 debtors which gives you double the chance to collect all of the money you are owed.

A quick trip to the local law library or a few minutes research on the internet might easily clarify the situation with your judgment from a community property state.  Being clear on these aspects of judgment law are vital for you to know.

You can find links to the complete sets of statutes for all 50 states by clinking on this link:

http://www.enforcementinstitute.com/?p=80

We hope you easily find the judgment laws that apply to you.

Good luck and happy enforcing!

Bryan

Click here to go to a page listing links to all articles on this blog site.