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First Substitute H.B. 92

Representative Jack R. Draxler proposes the following substitute bill:


             1     
GARNISHMENT AMENDMENTS

             2     
2008 GENERAL SESSION

             3     
STATE OF UTAH

             4     
Chief Sponsor: Jack R. Draxler

             5     
Senate Sponsor: Lyle W. Hillyard

             6     
             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:
             18          None
             19      Other Special Clauses:
             20          None
             21      Utah Code Sections Affected:
             22      AMENDS:
             23          78-7-44, as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 2001, Chapter 46
             24     
             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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