Governor Nathan Deal recently signed into law House Bill 683 which specifically authorizes non-lawyers to sign garnishment pleadings on behalf of a company. As discussed in our blog dated September 20, 2011, the Georgia Supreme Court issued an opinion that an attorney must sign all garnishment pleadings filed by a company in superior or state court. Any company employee who signed such pleadings was engaging in the unauthorized practice of law. This legislation counter-acts this ruling, and allows companies to go back to their routine practice of having human resources or payroll professionals sign garnishment pleadings. The new legislation increases the amount of fees that a company may deduct for processing the garnishment. Please note that while non-lawyers may once again sign garnishment pleadings submitted to superior or state court, an attorney must represent the company if the company’s answer is contested or if the company is in default. If you have any questions regarding garnishment proceedings, including how your company can deduct fees for processing garnishments, please contact your MBN attorney.