Garnishments

Definition


Garnishments are one method that many businesses use to collect monies that are owed to them. Though garnishments are mainly sought after from businesses, citizens may also file a garnishment against another citizen. Note: Garnishments may be filed only after a judgment has been obtained against the debtor.

Jurisdiction


The Magistrate Court has jurisdiction to handle garnishments where the value judgment is $15,000 or less.

Venue


The venue is appropriate in the county where the garnishee (employer or bank) is located.

Filing Fee


The filing fee is $95 for one defendant and $50 for each additional defendant per case. If you have a private processor serving the papers, the filing fee is then $45. Checks should be made payable to Magistrate Court.

Procedures for Filing Garnishments


The Clerk of Magistrate Court provides forms required for filing and serving of Continuing Garnishment - Wages (PDF) or Regular Garnishment - Bank (PDF). An applicant may appear in person in the office of the Clerk of Magistrate Court and the clerk will assist in the filing of the paperwork. An out of county resident who would prefer to have the forms mailed, may fill the forms out completely and mail the forms along with the filing fee. All forms mailed must be completely filled out and properly signed and notarized.

In order to file a garnishment in the Magistrate Court of Effingham County, you must have a certified copy of the judgment upon which you are filing. View the complete Procedures for Filing Garnishments (PDF).

Answer


A business which has been served with a garnishment affidavit has 30 days to file an answer. If an answer is not filed within 30 days the garnishee (employer or bank) will be in default. All answers must be received in our office by 5 on the 30th day after service. View instructions on how to answer a garnishment (PDF).

Default


If an answer is not filed within 30 days, the garnishee is in default and the plaintiff may file a default against the garnishee (PDF) (employer or bank).