Writ of Garnishment Law & Legal Definition


A writ of garnishment is an order granted to a third party (garnishee), to hold or attach the property of a defendant or judgment creditor. A garnishee can be a person or a corporation who is in possession of the property of a judgment creditor or a defendant.

A motion to quash writ of garnishment can be motion to suppress, set aside or make void a writ of garnishment due to lack of jurisdiction or unlawful basis. A motion to quash the writ of garnishment asks the judge to nullify its order, to a garnishee, of seizure or attachment of property of a defendant or judgment creditor.

Chapter 4, Article 4 under Title 18 (Debtor and Creditor) of the Official Code of Georgia deals with garnishment proceedings and post judgment garnishment proceedings.

O.C.G.A. § 18-4-62 as it appears in the Code:

§ 18-4-62. Contents and service of summons of garnishment; requirements as to filing of answer to summons

(a) The summons of garnishment shall be directed to the garnishee, commanding him to file an answer stating what money or other property is subject to garnishment. Except as provided in subsection (b) or (c) of this Code section, the answer must be filed with the court issuing the summons not sooner than 30 days and not later than 45 days after the service of the summons and must be accompanied by the money or other property 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. The summons of garnishment shall state that, if the garnishee fails to answer the summons, a judgment by default will be entered against the garnishee for the amount claimed by plaintiff against the defendant.

(b) Under circumstances where the defendant has been an employee of the garnishee, and if the defendant is no longer employed by the garnishee, and if the garnishee has no money or property of the defendant subject to garnishment, the garnishee may immediately file an answer; however, such answer shall be filed not later than 45 days after the service of the summons.

(c) 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.