Chapter 525 Garnishments
525.290 - Garnishment of wages — personal service upon defendant required — exception — petition and summons to show cause of action.
No wages shall be garnished in aid of attachment before personal service is had or obtained upon the defendant, unless the suit be brought in the county where the defendant resides, or in the county where the debt is contracted and the cause of action arose or accrued, and in cities over one hundred thousand inhabitants in the city where the defendant resides or the debt is contracted and the cause of action accrued; provided, the petition or statement filed in the cause and writ of attachment shall affirmatively show the place where the defendant resides and the place where the debt is contracted and the cause of action arose.
525.190 - Denial of garnishee to answer, how — replication — issues tried, how.
The plaintiff may deny the answer of the garnishee, in whole or in part, without oath.In all cases where the answer of the garnishee is denied, the denial shall contain, specially, the grounds upon which a recovery is sought against the garnishee; and the garnishee shall be entitled to a reply, and the issue or issues made up on the denial and reply shall be the sole issue or issues tried, and the issue or issues shall be tried as ordinary issues between plaintiff and defendant.
525.090 - Claimants may interplead.
Any person claiming property, money, effects or credits attached in the hands of a garnishee, may interplead in the cause, as provided by law in attachment cases; but no judgment shall be rendered against the garnishee in whose hands the same may be, until the interplea shall be determined.
525.280 - Garnishee owing note to defendant, latter may be required to produce same in court — proceedings.
If it shall be made to appear that any garnishee had, before his garnishment, executed to any defendant a negotiable promissory note, which, at the time of the garnishment, was unpaid, the court, or the judge thereof, may order the defendant to deliver the same into the court; and if the defendant, in showing cause for the nondelivery thereof, allege an endorsement or delivery thereof to some other person before the order of the court came to his knowledge, the fact of such transfer and the consideration and good faith thereof may be inquired into and determined by the court; and in order thereto, the alleged endorsee or transferee and the defendant may be examined, on oath, in open court, and if it appear that such endorsee or transferee holds the same by a fraudulent endorsement or delivery, the court may order him to deliver such note into court.Any order of delivery made in pursuance hereof may be enforced by attachment of the body of the party to whom it is directed.When any note shall be delivered into court, in pursuance of this section, the court shall take proper measures to cause any endorsers thereon to be notified, at its maturity, of its nonpayment.
525.080 - Garnishee to deliver property, or pay debts, or may give bond therefor.
1.If it appear that a garnishee, at or after his or her garnishment, was possessed of any property of the defendant, or was indebted to him or her, the court, or judge in vacation, may order the delivery of such property, or the payment of the amount owing by the garnishee, to the sheriff, into court, or to the attorney for the party on whose behalf the order of garnishment was issued, at such time as the court may direct; or may permit the garnishee to retain the same, upon his or her executing a bond to the plaintiff, with security, approved by the court, to the effect that the property shall be forthcoming, or the amount paid, as the court may direct.Upon a breach of the obligation of such bond, the plaintiff may proceed against the obligors therein, in the manner prescribed in the case of a delivery bond given to the sheriff.
2.Notwithstanding subsection 1 of this section, when property is protected from garnishment by state or federal law including but not limited to federal restrictions on the garnishment of earnings in Title 15, U.S.C. Sections 1671 to 1677 and Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance benefits as provided in Title 42, U.S.C. Section 407, such property need not be delivered to the court, or to any other person, by the garnishee to the extent such protection or preemption is applicable.
525.180 - Answer of garnishee excepted to, adjudged insufficient — proceedings.
The plaintiff may except to the answer of the garnishee for insufficiency, and if the same shall be adjudged insufficient, the court may allow the garnishee to amend his answer in such time and on such terms as shall be just, or the plaintiff may take judgment by default, or move the court to attach the body of the garnishee, to compel a sufficient answer.
525.233 - Notice of garnishment and writ of sequestration to contain federal taxpayer identification number — failure to comply, effect.
The notice of garnishment and the writ of sequestration shall contain only the last four digits of the federal taxpayer identification number, when available, on the judgment debtor.When the last four digits of the federal taxpayer identification number is omitted from the notice of garnishment or the writ of sequestration, the garnishee shall not be held liable for withholding from the incorrect debtor by the creditor garnishing the funds.The creditor shall not have any action against the garnishee, when the last four digits of the federal taxpayer identification number is omitted from the notice of garnishment or the writ of sequestration or does not match the last four digits of the federal taxpayer identification, for failure to withhold from any person the amount stated in the notice of garnishment or the writ of sequestration, except to serve a notice of garnishment or writ of sequestration for the original amount to the garnishee with the correct last four digits of the federal taxpayer identification number.
525.060 - Return of writ, how made.
The officer serving a writ of attachment shall return all bonds taken by him into court, with the writ, and a statement of the names of all garnishees, together with the day and hour and the places when and where they were respectively summoned.
525.160 - Railroad to answer garnishment for wages, when.
Except as herein provided, no railroad corporation shall be required to make answer to any interrogatories propounded to it, in any action against any person to whom it may be indebted on account of wages due for personal services, nor shall any default or other liabilities attach because of its failure to so answer in such cases, where a writ of garnishment was issued or served in advance of the recovery by the plaintiff against the defendant, in any action for two hundred dollars or less; and any judgment rendered against any railroad corporation for its said failure or refusal to make answer to any garnishment so issued or served before the recovery of final judgment in the action between the plaintiff and defendant in the cases mentioned in section 525.150 shall be void, and any officer entering said judgment or who may execute the same shall be taken and considered a trespasser and in addition thereto may be enjoined by any court having jurisdiction; provided, this section shall not apply when the debt or claim sued for was contracted or accrued in this state; provided further, in such cases the petition or statement filed in the cause and the writ or summons of garnishment shall affirmatively show that the debt or claim sued for was contracted or accrued in this state and is owing to a bona fide citizen or resident of this state.
525.260 - Debts not due may be attached.
Debts not yet due to the defendant may be attached, but no execution shall be awarded against the garnishee for debts until they shall become due.
525.170 - Judgment by default, how rendered final — extent and effect of against garnishee.
Such judgment by default may be proceeded on to final judgment, in like manner as in case of defendants in other civil actions; but no final judgment shall be rendered against the garnishee until there shall be final judgment against the defendant, and in no case for a greater amount than the amount sworn to by the plaintiff, with interest and costs, or for a greater amount than the garnishee shall appear to be liable for to the defendant.
525.070 - Garnishee may discharge himself, how.
Whenever any property, effects, money or debts, belonging or owing to the defendant, shall be confessed, or found by the court or jury, to be in the hands of the garnishee, the garnishee may, at any time before final judgment, discharge himself or herself, by paying or delivering the same, or so much thereof as the court shall order, to the sheriff, to the court, or if applicable, to the attorney for the party on whose behalf the order of garnishment was issued, from all further liability on account of the property, money or debts so paid or delivered.
525.270 - Claimants of debts assigned, or property sold, may be made parties, how — notice, how given — trial.
1.If the garnishee disclose in his answer, and declare his belief, that the debt owing by him to the defendant, or the supposed property of the defendant in his hands, has been sold or assigned to a third person, and the plaintiff contests or disputes the existence, force or validity of such sale or assignment, the court shall make an order upon the supposed vendee or assignee, to appear at a designated time and sustain his claim to the property or debt.
2.A copy of such order shall be served upon him, as in the case of a summons, if he can be found; if not, it shall be published once a week, for three consecutive weeks, in some newspaper published in or nearest the county in which the action is pending, which shall be equivalent to service.If the party so notified fail to appear as required, the garnishee's averment of such sale or assignment shall be disregarded; but if he appear, and, in writing, filed in the cause and verified by affidavit, claim under such sale or assignment, a trial of his right shall be had, without unnecessary delay, upon an issue made thereon; and if the same be determined in his favor, the garnishee shall, as to the property or debt in question, be discharged.
525.250 - Adjudication of costs in other cases.
In all cases between the plaintiff and garnishee, a court of competent jurisdiction may order the parties to pay or recover costs, as in ordinary cases between plaintiff and defendant.
525.150 - Garnishment for wages, issued against railroad, when.
Except as herein provided, no garnishment shall be issued by any court in any cause where the sum demanded is two hundred dollars or less, and where the property sought to be reached is wages due the defendant by any railroad corporation, until after judgment shall have been recovered by the plaintiff against the defendant in the action; provided, this section shall not apply when the debt or claim sued for was contracted or accrued in this state; provided further, in such cases the petition or statement filed in the cause and the writ or summons of garnishment shall affirmatively show that the debt or claim sued for was contracted or accrued in this state and is owing to a bona fide citizen or resident of this state.
525.050 - Notice of garnishment, how served on corporations.
Notice of garnishment shall be served on a corporation, in writing, by delivering such notice, or a copy thereof, only to a person designated by the corporation in a registered letter filed with the sheriff or officer for collection in the corporation's county of primary business; provided, if such designated person is not available or if such designation is not filed with the sheriff or officer of collection, then such notice may be served upon the president, secretary, treasurer, cashier or other chief or managing officer of such corporation.Notice of garnishment may be served on railroad corporations by delivering the same, or a copy thereof, to any station or freight agent of such corporation, and on insurance companies not incorporated by or organized under the laws of this state, by delivering the same, or a copy thereof, to the director of the department of insurance, financial institutions and professional registration.
525.240 - Costs adjudged against plaintiff, when — allowance to garnishee.
If any plaintiff in attachment shall cause any person to be summoned as garnishee, and shall fail to recover judgment against such garnishee, all the costs attending such garnishment shall be adjudged against such plaintiff, and the court shall render judgment in favor of such garnishee, against the plaintiff, for a sum sufficient to indemnify him or her for his or her bona fide time and expenses including actual employee costs, and reasonable attorney's fees, in preparing, attending and answering and defending in subsequent proceedings as garnishee.
525.040 - Effect of notice of garnishment — priority based on date of service.
1.Notice of garnishment, served as provided in sections 525.010 to 525.480* shall have the effect of attaching all personal property, money, rights, credits, bonds, bills, notes, drafts, checks or other choses in action of the defendant in the garnishee's possession or charge, or under his or her control at the time of the service of the garnishment, or which may come into his or her possession or charge, or under his or her control, or be owing by him or her, between that time and the time of filing his or her answer, or in the case of a continuous wage garnishment, until the judgment is paid in full or until the employment relationship is terminated, whichever occurs first; but he or she shall not be liable to a judgment in money on account of such bonds, bills, notes, drafts, checks or other choses in action, unless the same shall have been converted into money since the garnishment, or he or she fails, in such time as the court may prescribe, to deliver them into court, or to the sheriff or other person designated by the court.
2.Writs of garnishment which would otherwise have equal priority shall have priority according to the date of service on the garnishee.If the employee's wages have been attached by more than one writ of garnishment, the employer shall inform the inferior garnisher of the existence and case number of all senior garnishments.
525.140 - Garnishee shall file answer — failing, judgment by default.
Upon the filing of the interrogatories aforesaid, the garnishee shall exhibit and file his answer thereto, on oath, within six days thereafter, if the term shall so long continue, if not, during such term, unless for good cause shown the court shall order otherwise.In default of such answer, the plaintiff may take judgment by default against him, or the court may, upon motion, compel him to answer by attachment of his body; provided, in all cases where the garnishee is a corporation and fails to answer as above provided, the court may, upon motion, compel said corporation to answer by attaching the body of the president, secretary, treasurer, auditor, paymaster or deputy paymaster of such corporation, in which case the said corporation shall be liable for all the costs accruing by reason of such attachment.
525.210 - Answer taken as sufficient, when.
If the answer of the garnishee be not excepted to nor denied in proper time, it shall be taken to be true and sufficient.
525.310 - Compensation of state and municipal employees subject to garnishment, procedure.
1.The state, municipal, or other political subdivision employer served with a garnishment shall have the same duties and obligations as those imposed upon a private employer when served with a garnishment.
2.Pay of any officer, appointee, or employee of the state of Missouri, or any municipal corporation or other political subdivision of the state, shall be subject to garnishment to the same extent as in any other garnishment.All garnishments against such employee shall proceed in the same manner as any other garnishment.
3.Service of legal process to which a department, municipal corporation, or other political subdivision of the state is subject under this section may be accomplished by personal service upon the paying, disbursing, or auditing officer of the state, municipal corporation, or other political subdivision of the state, charged with the duty of payment or audit of such salary, wages, fees, or earnings of such employees.
525.110 - Execution same as on general judgment.
When judgment is rendered against any garnishee, the execution shall be such as is allowed by law on general judgment.
525.010 - Who may be summoned as garnishees.
All persons shall be subject to garnishment, on attachment or execution, who are named as garnishees in the writ, or have in their possession goods, moneys or effects of the defendant not actually seized by the officer, and all debtors of the defendant, and such others as the plaintiff or his attorney shall direct to be summoned as garnishees.
525.300 - Wages earned out of state exempt — exception.
Wages earned out of this state, and payable out of this state, shall be exempt from garnishment in aid of attachment in all cases where the cause of action arose or accrued out of this state, unless the defendant in the attachment suit is personally served with process; and if the writ of attachment is not personally served on the defendant, the court issuing the writ of attachment shall not entertain jurisdiction of the cause, but shall dismiss the suit at the cost of plaintiff.In all actions commenced in this state in which it is sought to garnish wages in aid of attachment, the petition or statement filed in such cause and the writ of attachment shall affirmatively show the place where the defendant resides and the place where the debt is contracted and the cause of action arose.
525.200 - What proceedings had, if effects found in hands of garnishee — judgment.
If, upon such trial, it shall appear that property, effects or money of the defendant are found in the hands of the garnishee, the court or jury shall find what property or effects, and the value thereof, or what money are in his hands, and unless he discharge himself, as provided in section 525.070, by paying over or delivering the same to the sheriff, or unless he shall, within such time as the court shall direct, as provided in section 525.080, pay or deliver up such property, effects or money, or shall execute his bond for the payment or delivery thereof, then the court shall enter up judgment against the garnishee for the proper amount or value as found in money, and execution may issue forthwith to enforce such judgment.
525.100 - Adjudication of costs.
In all cases of interplea, costs may be adjudged for or against either party, as in ordinary actions.
525.020 - Garnishees summoned, how.
When a fieri facias shall be issued and placed in the hands of an officer for collection, it shall be the duty of the officer, when directed by the plaintiff, his agent or attorney, to summon garnishees, and with like effect as in case of an original attachment.The service of garnishment in such case, and the subsequent proceedings against and in behalf of the garnishee, shall be the same as in the case of garnishment under an attachment.
525.120 - Courts may prescribe rules.
The court having jurisdiction may prescribe, by rule, the time and manner of excepting to and denying the answer of garnishees, of interpleading, exhibiting or filing papers, or taking any needful step in garnishment cases where the same are not prescribed by law.
525.220 - If answer admits effects or indebtedness, proceedings.
If, by the answer, not excepted to or denied, it shall appear that the garnishee is possessed of property or effects of the defendant, or is indebted to the defendant, the same proceedings may be had to ascertain the value of such property or effects, or amount of such indebtedness, and to render and enforce a judgment therefor, as is provided in section 525.200.
525.130 - Plaintiff may exhibit interrogatories against garnishees — interrogatories, when filed.
The plaintiff may exhibit in the cause written interrogatories touching the property, effects and credits attached in the hands of any garnishee, and require such garnishee to make full, direct and true answers to the same, upon oath; which interrogatories shall be filed at the return term of the writ, and within the first three days thereof, if the term shall so long continue, and if not, then before the end of the term, and not afterward, unless for good cause shown the court shall order otherwise.
525.030 - Persons exempted from summons as garnishee, when — amount to be withheld from wages, how computed — earnings defined — penalty.
1.No sheriff or other officer charged with the collection of money shall, prior to the return day of an execution or other process upon which the same may be made, be liable to be summoned as garnishee; nor shall any county collector, county treasurer or municipal corporation, or any officer thereof, or any administrator or executor of an estate, prior to an order of distribution, or for payment of legacies, or the allowance of a demand found to be due by his estate, be liable to be summoned as garnishee; nor shall any person be so charged by reason of his having drawn, accepted, made or endorsed any promissory note, bill of exchange, draft or other security, in its nature negotiable, unless it be shown at the hearing that such note, bill or other security was the property of the defendant when the garnishee was summoned, and continued so to be until it became due.
2.(1)The maximum part of the aggregate earnings of any individual for any workweek, after the deduction from those earnings of any amounts required by law to be withheld, which is subjected to garnishment may not exceed (a) twenty-five percentum, or, (b) the amount by which his aggregate earnings for that week, after the deduction from those earnings of any amounts required to be withheld by law, exceed thirty times the federal minimum hourly wage prescribed by section 6(a)(1) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 in effect at the time the earnings are payable, or, (c) if the employee is the head of a family and a resident of this state, ten percentum, whichever is less.
(2)The restrictions on the maximum earnings subjected to garnishment do not apply in the case of any order of any court for the support of any person, any order of any court of bankruptcy under chapter XIII of the Bankruptcy Act or any debt due for any state or federal tax.
(3)For pay periods longer than one week, the provisions of subsection 2(a) and (c) of this section shall apply to the maximum earnings subjected to garnishment for all workweeks compensated, and under subsection 2(b) of this section, the "multiple" of the federal minimum hourly wage equivalent to that applicable to the earnings subject to garnishment for one week shall be represented by the following formula:The number of workweeks or fractions thereof (x) x 30 x the applicable federal minimum wage.For the purpose of this formula, a calendar month shall be considered to consist of 4 1/3 workweeks, a semimonthly period to consist of 2 1/6 weeks.The "multiple" for any other pay period longer than one week shall be computed in a manner consistent herewith.
(4)The restrictions on the maximum amount of earnings subjected to garnishment shall also be applicable to all proceedings involving the sequestration of wages of employees of all political subdivisions.
(5)The term "earnings" as used herein means compensation paid or payable for personal services, whether denominated as wages, salary, commission, bonus, or otherwise, and includes periodic payments pursuant to a pension or retirement program.
3.In any proceeding of garnishment or sequestration of wages under the provisions of sections 525.010 to 525.480, the maximum part of the aggregate earnings of any individual in any workweek which shall be subject to garnishment or sequestration pursuant to the provisions of subsection 2 of this section shall be construed to constitute all wages or earnings of the defendant in the garnishee's possession or charge or to be owing by him to the defendant in that week.
4.No notice, summons, or writ of garnishment, or sequestration of wages issued or served under sections 525.010 to 525.480 shall attach or purport to attach any wages in excess of the amounts prescribed in subsection 2 of this section and each such notice, summons, or writ shall have clearly and legibly reproduced thereon the provisions of subsections 2, 5 and 6 of this section.
5.No employer may discharge any employee by reason of the fact that his earnings have been subjected to garnishment or sequestration for any one indebtedness.
6.Whoever willfully violates the provisions of subsection 5 of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor.
525.230 - Garnishee is a financial institution, one-time deduction permitted, when — procedure.
The garnishee may deduct a one-time sum not to exceed twenty dollars, or the fee previously agreed upon between the garnishee and judgment debtor where and if the garnishee is a financial institution, for his or her trouble and expenses in answering the interrogatories and withholding the funds, to be withheld from any funds garnished, in addition to the moneys withheld to satisfy the court-ordered judgment.Such fee shall not be a credit against the court-ordered judgment and shall be collected first.The garnishee may file a motion with the court for additional costs, including attorney's fees, reasonably incurred in answering the interrogatories in which case the court may make such award as it deems reasonable.The motion shall be filed on or before the date the garnishee makes payment or delivers property subject to garnishment to the court.