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First Substitute H.B. 92
7 LONG TITLE
8 General Description:
9 This bill allows a person who is wrongfully served with a writ of garnishment to
10 recover from the plaintiff.
11 Highlighted Provisions:
12 This bill:
13 . allows a person wrongfully served with a writ of garnishment to ask the court for
14 redress from the plaintiff in an amount up to $500; and
15 . provides guidelines for the court to determine whether the plaintiff was diligent in
16 determining the identity and location of the judgment debtor.
17 Monies Appropriated in this Bill:
19 Other Special Clauses:
21 Utah Code Sections Affected:
23 78-7-44, as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 2001, Chapter 46
25 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
26 Section 1. Section 78-7-44 is amended to read:
27 78-7-44. Fees for writ of garnishment -- Single or continuing.
28 (1) Any creditor who serves or causes to be served a writ of garnishment upon the
29 garnishee shall pay to the garnishee:
30 (a) $10 for a single garnishment; and
31 (b) $25 for a continuing garnishment.
32 (2) The creditor shall pay the fee directly to the garnishee.
33 (3) If a plaintiff attempts to garnish the property of a person other than the defendant by
34 serving a garnishment on a garnishee, that person may recover from the plaintiff an amount not
35 to exceed $500 if the person demonstrates to the court that the plaintiff failed to exercise
36 reasonable diligence in determining that the person and defendant were the same individual.
37 (4) The following factors may be taken into consideration by the court in determining
38 whether the plaintiff exercised reasonable diligence in determining whether the person
39 garnished and the defendant were the same individual:
40 (a) similarities between the person and the actual judgment debtor, including:
41 (i) the spelling of each person's name;
42 (ii) addresses;
43 (iii) physical descriptions;
44 (iv) identifying information, including Social Security number or driver license
45 number; and
46 (v) family status;
47 (b) whether previous contact was made to determine whether the person was the
48 judgment debtor;
49 (c) how the determination of who the judgment debtor was, was made; and
50 (d) what information the plaintiff had access to or was provided with regarding the
51 actual judgment debtor from all available sources.
52 (5) An employer who receives a written request for verification of employment, which
53 includes a copy of the judgment and judgment information statement, shall respond to the
54 request within five days. The response shall indicate whether or not the defendant identified in
55 the documentation is a current employee.
56 (6) A plaintiff is not liable for a violation of Subsection (3) regarding a wage
57 garnishment if the plaintiff transmitted a written request for verification of employment,
58 including a copy of the judgment and judgment information statement, to an employer and the
59 employer did not respond.
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