Strickland v. Alexander, et al., No. 13-15483 (11th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff filed suit seeking declaratory and injunctive relief against a Georgia post-judgment garnishment statute. Plaintiff obtained funds from a workers' compensation settlement after suffering a permanent disability on the job. Plaintiff also received Social Security disability payments. One of plaintiff's creditors issued a garnishment summons that resulted in the freezing of plaintiff's worker's compensation funds for four months before plaintiff's creditor finally conceded that plaintiff's funds were exempt from garnishment and agreed to the dissolution of the hold on his funds. The court concluded that plaintiff had Article III standing and that his claim is not moot. The court declined to pass on the constitutionality of Georgia's post-judgment garnishment statute before ensuring that all interested parties have had notice and a chance to present all evidence and argument, and the district court has had an opportunity to examine and consider that evidence and argument on the merits. Accordingly, the court reversed the district court's sua sponte dismissal of plaintiff's suit for lack of standing and remanded, because it was substantially likely that plaintiff and his wife's exempt funds will soon be the subject of a garnishment summons again.