RULE 3-645. GARNISHMENT OF PROPERTY--GENERALLY
West's Annotated Code of MarylandMaryland RulesEffective: January 1, 2020
Effective: January 1, 2020
MD Rules, Rule 3-645
RULE 3-645. GARNISHMENT OF PROPERTY--GENERALLY
(a) Availability. Subject to the provisions of Rule 3-645.1, this Rule governs garnishment of any property of the judgment debtor, other than wages subject to Rule 3-646 and a partnership interest subject to a charging order, in the hands of a third person for the purpose of satisfying a money judgment. Property includes any debt owed to the judgment debtor, whether immediately payable or unmatured.
(b) Issuance of Writ. The judgment creditor may obtain 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 each judgment debtor with respect to whom a writ is requested, and (4) the name and address of the garnishee. Upon the filing of the request, the clerk shall issue a writ of garnishment directed to the garnishee.
(2) direct the garnishee to hold, subject to further proceedings or to termination of the writ, the property of each judgment debtor in the possession of the garnishee at the time of service of the writ and all property of each debtor that may come into the garnishee's possession after service of the writ,
(6) notify the judgment debtor that, if the garnishee files an answer pursuant to section (e) of this Rule and no further filings concerning the writ of garnishment are made with the court within 120 days following the filing of the answer, the garnishee may file a notice of intent to terminate the writ of garnishment pursuant to subsection (k)(2) of this Rule.
Committee note: A writ of garnishment may direct a garnishee to hold the property of more than one judgment debtor if the name and address of each judgment debtor whose property is sought to be attached is stated in the writ.
(d) Service. The writ shall be served on the garnishee in the manner provided by Chapter 100 of this Title 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. Proof of service and mailing shall be filed as provided in Rule 3-126. Subsequent pleadings and papers shall be served on the creditor, debtor, and garnishee in the manner provided by Rule 1-321.
(e) Answer of Garnishee. The garnishee shall file an answer within 30 days after service of the writ. The answer shall admit or deny that the garnishee is indebted to the judgment debtor or has possession of property of the judgment debtor and shall specify the amount and nature of any debt and describe any property. The garnishee may assert any defense that the garnishee may have to the garnishment, as well as any defense that the judgment debtor could assert. After answering, the garnishee may pay any garnished indebtedness into court and may deliver to the sheriff any garnished property, which shall then be treated as if levied upon by the sheriff. A garnishee who has filed an answer admitting indebtedness to the judgment debtor or possession of property of the judgment debtor is not required to file an amended answer solely because of an increase in the garnishee's indebtedness to the judgment debtor or the garnishee's receipt of additional property of the debtor.
(g) When Answer Filed. If the garnishee files a timely answer, the matters set forth in the answer shall be treated as established for the purpose of the garnishment proceeding unless the judgment creditor files a reply contesting the answer within 30 days after its service. If a timely reply is not filed, the court may enter judgment upon request of the judgment creditor, the judgment debtor, or the garnishee. If a timely reply is filed to the answer of the garnishee, the matter shall proceed as if it were an original action between the judgment creditor as plaintiff and the garnishee as defendant and shall be governed by the rules applicable to civil actions.
(h) Interrogatories to Garnishee. The judgment creditor may serve interrogatories directed to the garnishee pursuant to Rule 3-421. The interrogatories shall contain a notice to the garnishee 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 3-401 (b). If the garnishee fails to serve timely answers to interrogatories, the court, upon petition of the judgment creditor and proof of service of the interrogatories, may enter an order in compliance with Rule 15-206 treating the failure to answer as a contempt and may require the garnishee to pay reasonable attorney's fees and costs.
(i) Release of Property; Claim by Third Person. Before entry of judgment, the judgment debtor may seek release of the garnished property in accordance with Rule 3-643, except that a motion under Rule 3-643 (d) shall be filed within 30 days after service of the writ of garnishment on the garnishee. Before entry of judgment, a third person claimant of the garnished property may proceed in accordance with Rule 3-643 (e).
(j) Judgment. The judgment against the garnishee shall be for the amount admitted plus any amount that has come into the hands of the garnishee after service of the writ and before the judgment is entered, but not to exceed the amount owed under the creditor's judgment against the debtor and enforcement costs.
(1) Upon Entry of Judgment. Upon entry of a judgment against the garnishee pursuant to section (j) of this Rule, the writ of garnishment and the lien created by the writ shall terminate and the garnishee shall be under no obligation to hold any additional property of the debtor that may come into its possession after the judgment was entered.
(2) By the Garnishee. If the garnishee has filed an answer and no further filing concerning the writ of garnishment is made within 120 days after the filing of the answer, the garnishee may file, at any time more than 120 days after the filing of the answer, a notice of intent to terminate the writ of garnishment. The notice shall (A) contain a statement that a party may object to termination of the writ by filing a response within 30 days after service of the notice and (B) be served on the judgment debtor and the judgment creditor. If no response is filed within 30 days after service of the notice, the garnishee may file a termination of the garnishment, which shall release the garnishee from any further obligation to hold any property of the debtor.
Committee note: The methods of termination of a writ of garnishment provided in section (k) of this Rule are not exclusive. Section (k) does not preclude a garnishee or other party from filing a motion for a court order terminating a writ of garnishment on any other appropriate basis.
(l) Statement of Satisfaction. Upon satisfaction by the garnishee of a judgment entered against it pursuant to section (j) of this Rule, the judgment creditor shall file a statement of satisfaction setting forth the amount paid. If the judgment creditor fails to file the statement of satisfaction, the garnishee may proceed under Rule 3-626.
Source: This Rule is derived as follows:
Section (a) is new but is consistent with former M.D.R. G47 a and G50 a.
Section (b) is new.
Section (c) is new.
Section (d) is in part derived from former M.D.R. F6 c and 104 a (iii) and is in part new.
Section (e) is in part new and in part derived from former M.D.R. G52 a and b.
Section (f) is new.
Section (g) is new.
Section (h) is derived from former M.D.R. G56.
Section (i) is new.
Section (j) is new.
Section (k) is new.
Section (l) is new.
[Adopted April 6, 1984, eff. July 1, 1984. Amended April 7, 1986, eff. July 1, 1986; March 22, 1991, eff. July 1, 1991; June 7, 1994, eff. Oct. 1, 1994; June 5, 1996, eff. Jan. 1, 1997; Dec. 10, 1996, eff. July 1, 1997; Nov. 12, 2003, eff. Jan. 1, 2004; April 21, 2011, eff. May 1, 2011; Nov. 19, 2019, eff. Jan. 1, 2020.]
The November 12, 2003, order, in section (a), in the second sentence, substituted “immediately payable or unmatured” for “immediately payable, unmatured, or contingent”.
The April 21, 2011, order, in subsec. (a), added “Subject to the provisions of Rule 3-645.1”.
The November 19, 2019 order added language to subsection (c)(2) requiring a writ of garnishment of property to direct the garnishee to hold the property of each judgment debtor in its possession, subject to further proceedings or to termination of the writ; added subsection (c)(6) requiring that the writ of garnishment notify the judgment debtor that the garnishee may file a notice of intent to terminate the garnishment at any time more than 120 days after the garnishee files an answer, if no further filings concerning the writ of garnishment are made with the court; made stylistic changes to section (k); and added subsection (k)(2) establishing a process by which a garnishee may terminate a writ of garnishment.
MD Rules, Rule 3-645, MD R RCP DIST CT Rule 3-645
Current with amendments received through December 15, 2019.
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