2010 Wisconsin Code
Chapter 812. Garnishment.
812.02 Garnishment before and after judgment.


812.02 Garnishment before and after judgment.


(1) A plaintiff may commence a garnishment action at any time after:


(a) A summons and complaint are filed:


1. In an action for damages founded upon contract, express or implied (or in a contract action where a writ of attachment could issue on demands not yet due under s. 811.03 (3)).


2. In an action upon a judgment.


3. In a tort action where a writ of attachment could issue under s. 811.03 (2).


(b) An execution upon an in personam judgment is issuable.




(b) If the plaintiff in the principal action is unable to obtain personal service on a defendant and has filed the summons and return of service from the sheriff with the clerk of court, the judge of the court in which the principal action is pending may grant an order permitting the plaintiff to make substituted service on the defendant's employer if the plaintiff shows:


1. The defendant's present place of employment; and


2. That a cause of action exists; and


3. That a reasonable effort has been made to obtain personal service on the defendant.


(c) Before taking judgment in an action commenced under par. (b), the plaintiff shall present an affidavit from the defendant's employer stating that the defendant received the summons of that action.


(2e) A plaintiff may not commence any garnishment action affecting the property of a spouse who is not a defendant in the principal action unless the spouse is a defendant in the garnishment action.


(2m) Any garnishment action shall be subject to the limitations of s. 806.25.


(3) The plaintiff may, in like manner, subsequently proceed against other garnishees and, if the plaintiff has reason to believe they have subsequently become liable, against the same garnishee more than once.

812.02 - ANNOT.

History: Sup. Ct. Order, 67 Wis. 2d 585, 759, 778 (1975); Stats. 1975 s. 812.02; 1985 a. 37; 1993 a. 80, 486.

812.02 - ANNOT.

Judicial Council Committee Note, 1974: S. 812.02 (1) (a) (intro.) is amended to require the filing of summonses and complaints to make garnishment proceedings comport with other actions under s. 801.02. [Re Order effective Jan. 1, 1976]

812.02 - ANNOT.

An attorney prosecuting an action under sub. (1) (a), which has been found to be unconstitutional as applied to prejudgment garnishment of wages and other property, may be liable under an action under the Civil Rights Act, 42 USC 1983. United States General, Inc. v. Schroeder, 400 F. Supp. 713 (1975).

812.02 - ANNOT.

Prejudgment garnishment. 1975 WLR 860.

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