Entries in Garnishment (2)

Thursday
Feb232012

Georgia Garnishment Laws Changed...Again!

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. 

Tuesday
Sep202011

Companies Now Required to Use Attorney When Answering Garnishments

On September 12, 2011, the Georgia Supreme Court adopted an informal State Bar of Georgia opinion stating that any non-lawyer who answers a garnishment in Georgia is engaging in the unauthorized practice of law.  This decision means that all companies must now use an attorney licensed in Georgia when answering a summons of garnishment.  If a company does not have in-house counsel, then it must engage outside counsel to review and prepare the answers to a summons of garnishment.  Any non-lawyer employee who answers on behalf of a company will effectively be engaging in the unauthorized practice of law, and the court may issue a default judgment against the company because the answer was not filed by a licensed attorney.