2021 Georgia Code
Title 18 - Debtor and Creditor
Chapter 4 - Garnishment Proceedings
Article 1 - General Provisions
§ 18-4-4. Process of Garnishment; Period of Garnishment

Universal Citation: GA Code § 18-4-4 (2021)
  1. All obligations owed by the garnishee to the defendant at the time of service of the summons of garnishment upon the garnishee and all obligations accruing from the garnishee to the defendant throughout the garnishment period shall be subject to the process of garnishment. No payment made by the garnishee to the defendant or on his or her behalf, or by any arrangement between the defendant and the garnishee, after the date of service of the summons of garnishment upon the garnishee shall defeat the lien of such garnishment.
  2. All money or other property of the defendant in the possession or control of the garnishee at the time of service of the summons of garnishment upon the garnishee or coming into the possession or control of the garnishee throughout the garnishment period shall be subject to the process of garnishment, provided that, in the case of collateral securities in the hands of a creditor, such securities shall not be subject to garnishment so long as there is an amount owed, even if not then due, on the debt for which the securities were given as collateral.
  3. The garnishment period shall begin on the day of service of the summons of garnishment and, for:
    1. A continuing garnishment, shall include the next 1,095 days;
    2. Garnishments, other than a continuing garnishment or continuing garnishment for support, served on a financial institution, shall include the next five days;
    3. A continuing garnishment for support, shall remain for so long as the defendant is employed by the garnishee and shall not terminate until the original arrearage is retired; and
    4. All other garnishments, shall include the next 29 days.

(Code 1981, §18-4-4, enacted by Ga. L. 2016, p. 8, § 1/SB 255; Ga. L. 2020,p. 691, § 4/SB 443.)

The 2020 amendment, effective January 1, 2021, inserted ", even if not then due," near the end of subsection (b) and substituted "1,095 days" for "179 days" in paragraph (c)(1).

Law reviews.

- For comment on Reeves v. Motor Contract Co., 324 F. Supp. 1011 (N.D. Ga. 1971), see 23 Mercer L. Rev. 369 (1972).

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

ANALYSIS

  • General Consideration
  • Constitutionality
  • What Is Subject to Garnishment
  • Setoff by Garnishee

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Editor's notes.

- In light of the similarity of the statutory provisions, opinions decided under former Code 1933, § 46-301 as it read after passage of Ga. L. 1976, p. 1608, § 1 are included in the opinions for this Code section.

Right of setoff exists in garnishee-employer respecting indebtedness of defendant-employee to garnishee employer as against claim of plaintiff in garnishment; thus, the garnishee is entitled to pay oneself from earnings accruing to the employee before paying the plaintiff in garnishment. 1976 Op. Att'y Gen. No. U76-26 (decided under former Code 1933, § 46-301).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 6 Am. Jur. 2d, Attachment and Garnishment, §§ 69 et seq., 107.

C.J.S.

- 38 C.J.S., Garnishment, § 173.

ALR.

- Money due only on further performance of contract by debtor as subject to garnishment, 2 A.L.R. 506.

Rights of holder of check as affected by garnishment of drawer's bank account, 5 A.L.R. 587.

Garnishment of bank in suit against the payee or other holder of a check upon the bank, 5 A.L.R. 589.

Levy upon or garnishment of contents of safety deposit box, 19 A.L.R. 863; 39 A.L.R. 1215.

Judgment as subject to garnishment in another court of the state in which it was rendered, 43 A.L.R. 190.

Money or other property taken from prisoner as subject of attachment, garnishment, or seizure under execution, 48 A.L.R. 583.

Priority of assignment of chose in action over subsequent garnishment as affected by lack of notice to debtor of assignment, 52 A.L.R. 109.

Foreign attachment or garnishment upon which jurisdiction is dependent resting upon property coming into hands of garnishee, or obligations having their inception, after service of the writ, 53 A.L.R. 1022.

Garnishment of salaries, wages, or commissions not expressly exempted by statute, 56 A.L.R. 601.

Debt owing to two or more as subject of garnishment in action against less than all, 57 A.L.R. 844.

Who is "employee" within debt exemption statute, 58 A.L.R. 777.

Right of creditor upon dissolution of his own attachment to garnish custodian of attached property, 59 A.L.R. 526.

Garnishment against executor or administrator by creditor of heir, legatee, distributee, or creditor of estate, 59 A.L.R. 768.

County as subject to garnishment process, 60 A.L.R. 823.

Interest of vendee under conditional sales contract as subject to attachment, garnishment, or execution, 61 A.L.R. 781.

Issuance of successive writs of garnishment or other process to reach property or earnings exempt in whole or in part, 65 A.L.R. 1283.

Refusal to render judgment or garnishment in proceedings in rem, because of danger to garnishee of double liability in event of refusal of court of another jurisdiction to recognize or give effect to judgment, if rendered, 69 A.L.R. 609.

Indebtedness to partnership as subject of attachment or garnishment by creditor of individual partner, 71 A.L.R. 77.

Construction, application, and effect of statute exempting from garnishment debt evidenced by negotiable instrument, 71 A.L.R. 581.

Interest of mortgagor or pledgor in property in possession of mortgagee or pledgee as subject of garnishment, 83 A.L.R. 1383.

Liability for conversion of property as the subject of garnishment by creditor of the owner, 91 A.L.R. 1337.

Property of incompetent or infant under guardianship as subject of execution, attachment, or garnishment, 92 A.L.R. 919.

Unliquidated claims of damage in tort as subject of garnishment, 93 A.L.R. 1088.

Withdrawal value of stock in building and loan association as basis of attachment or execution by member or as subject of garnishment by member's creditor, 94 A.L.R. 1017.

Redemption money in hands of officer as subject to attachment, garnishment, or execution, 94 A.L.R. 1049.

Indebtedness as subject to garnishment or trustee process after debtor has given his check therefor, 94 A.L.R. 1391.

Right to garnish amount payable under a contract contemplating a cash transaction, 95 A.L.R. 1497.

Garnishment by landlord's creditor of tenant's obligation in respect of rent, 100 A.L.R. 307.

Garnishment of bank deposit as affected by bank's right, or waiver of right, to set off depositor's indebtedness to it against deposit or apply deposit to such indebtedness, 106 A.L.R. 62; 110 A.L.R. 1268.

Garnishment as suit within rule that state may not be sued without its consent, 114 A.L.R. 261.

Resident or foreign corporation doing business within state as subject to garnishment because of indebtedness to nonresident who in turn is indebted to nonresident principal defendant, 116 A.L.R. 387.

Debtor's exemption (other than homestead) as applicable in favor of nonresidents or of residents absent or about to remove from the state, 119 A.L.R. 554.

Judgment in tort action as subject of assignment, attachment, or garnishment pending appeal, 121 A.L.R. 420.

Issuance and return of execution as necessary condition of garnishment after judgment, 128 A.L.R. 1153.

What amounts to a contingency within statute or rule permitting garnishment or similar process before an obligation is due or payable, if payment or delivery is not dependent upon a contingency, 134 A.L.R. 853.

Right of creditors to reach by garnishment or other process, commissions of debtor, as executor, administrator, or trustee, 143 A.L.R. 190.

Form of judgment against garnishee respecting obligation payable in installments, 7 A.L.R.2d 680.

Judgment debtor's personal injury claims against third person or latter's liability insurer as subject to creditor's bill, 51 A.L.R.2d 595.

Value of room and board furnished to servant as included in total salary or earnings for purpose of statute exempting wages, 51 A.L.R.2d 947.

Sharecropper's share in crop wholly or partly unharvested as subject to garnishment, 82 A.L.R.2d 858.

Garnishment of salary, wages, or commissions where defendant debtor is indebted to garnishee-employer, 93 A.L.R.2d 995.

Funds deposited in court as subject of garnishment, 1 A.L.R.3d 936.

Attachment and garnishment of funds in branch bank or main office of bank having branches, 12 A.L.R.3d 1088.

Funds in hands of his attorney as subject of attachment or garnishment by client's creditor, 35 A.L.R.3d 1094.

Liability of creditor for excessive attachment or garnishment, 56 A.L.R.3d 493.

Garnishment against executor or administrator by creditor of estate, 60 A.L.R.3d 1301.

Special bank deposits as subject of attachment or garnishment to satisfy depositor's general obligations, 8 A.L.R.4th 998.

Garnishment of funds payable under building and construction contract, 16 A.L.R.5th 548.

Joint bank account as subject to attachment, garnishment, or execution by creditor of one joint depositor, 86 A.L.R.5th 527.

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