Saint Charles, MO asked in Consumer Law for Missouri

Q: What can be done concerning a garnishment for a debt that you don't owe & the original garnishment was orderd 3-2012?

When researching a friends finances, I discovered that a garnishment in April 2018, was the second attempt to collect a debt that had been purchased sometime prior to November 2011, when the first garnishment order was filed for.

When questioning my friend concerning the information that I found, such as the original debt and the financial institutions involved in the case, she denied ever having the debt or doing any business with either the credit grantor or the institution that received the first court order for garnishment/asset seizure.

She was completely unaware of anything concerning this case, until her employer notified her of the garnishment order in May 2018. It was at this time she learned of the Head of Household Rule and filed for that exemption. In spite of the numerous notes of the plaintiff's appearances and service to a 3rd party on her behalf, she never received official notification of this case or hearings.

Additional information is available upon request.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Ronald J. Eisenberg
Ronald J. Eisenberg
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Chesterfield, MO
  • Licensed in Missouri

A: Missouri judgments are valid for 10 years and may be revived for additional 10-year periods.

A garnishment was issued because a judgment was entered. A money judgment requires service of process. If your friend was not served, then she should hire an attorney familiar with process of filing a motion for relief from judgment, which differs slightly from a motion to set aside a default judgment, the latter requiring "good cause" and a "meritorious defense." Most defendants who file these motions pro so don't know what they are doing and therefore their motions are denied.

74.06. Relief From Judgment or Order

(a) Clerical Mistakes - Procedure. Clerical mistakes in judgments, orders or other parts of the record and errors therein arising from oversight or omission may be corrected by the court at any time of its own initiative or on the motion of any party and after such notice, if any, as the court orders. During the pendency of an appeal, such mistakes may be so corrected with leave of the appellate court.

(b) Excusable Neglect - Fraud - Irregular, Void, or Satisfied Judgment. On motion and upon such terms as are just, the court may relieve a party or his legal representative from a final judgment or order for the following reasons: (1) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect; (2) fraud (whether heretofore denominated intrinsic or extrinsic), misrepresentation, or other misconduct of an adverse party; (3) the judgment is irregular; (4) the judgment is void; or (5) the judgment has been satisfied, released, or discharged, or a prior judgment upon which it is based has been reversed or otherwise vacated, or it is no longer equitable that the judgment remain in force.

(c) Motion Under Subdivision (b) - Affect on Judgment - Time for Filing - Notice of Hearing - Service. A motion under subdivision (b) does not affect the finality of a judgment or suspend its operation. The motion shall be made within a reasonable time and for reasons (1) and (2) and (3) of subdivision (b) not more than one year after the judgment or order was entered. The motion and a notice of a time and place for hearing on the motion shall be served upon the parties to the judgment pursuant to Rule 54.

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