Farrell v. Boeing Employees Credit Union, No. 19-16130 (9th Cir. 2020)Annotate this Case
The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of defendants in an action brought by plaintiff, alleging that defendants' garnishment of his wages violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and California law.
The panel held that the Hatch Act Reform Amendments of 1993, the federal statute permitting garnishment of federal employees' wages, 5 U.S.C. 5520a, waived the federal government's sovereign immunity and subjected a federal employee's pay to legal process in the same manner and to the same extent as if the agency were a private person. Therefore, under the statute, federal employees' wages are subject to garnishment to the extent allowed by state law. In this case, plaintiff's federal wages were properly garnished under California law where the garnishment order was properly served on the federal government and plaintiff remained a government employee. The panel held that plaintiff's remaining arguments are unpersuasive.