Pacific Western Bank v. Eighth Judicial District CourtAnnotate this Case
Petitioner loaned Debtors, including Darren Badger, approximately $10,000,000. Debtors defaulted on the loan. A California court issued a judgment against Debtors in the amount of $2,497,568. Pacific Western later domesticated the judgment in Nevada. In order to collect on the judgment, Petitioner served Wells Fargo Advisors (WFA), a company that administered three financial accounts under 26 U.S.C. 529 (529 accounts) on behalf of Badger, with a writ of execution and garnishment. Badger claimed that the 529 accounts were outside of the Nevada district court’s jurisdiction because they were located in New Mexico and that the funds held in the 529 accounts were completely exempt under New Mexico law. The district court quashed the writs of execution and garnishment served upon WFA, ruling that Petitioner must attempt to execute upon Badger’s 529 accounts in New Mexico. The Supreme Court entertained Petitioner’s petition for a writ of mandamus and granted the petition in part, holding (1) funds contained in 529 accounts are a debt, not a chattel; and (2) accordingly, the district court had the power to garnish the debt through device of a writ of garnishment upon WFA.