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Georgia Garnishment Ruling Modified by Judge, No Longer Applies to Wages

Revising his September 8 decision that Georgia’s garnishment statute is unconstitutional, U.S. District Judge Marvin H. Shoob has issued an order stating that his ruling does not apply to wage garnishment cases filed against a judgment debtor’s employer. Strickland v. Alexander, No. 1:12-CV-02735-MHS (N.D. Ga. Oct. 5, 2015).

Judge Shoob’s earlier ruling also enjoined Gwinnett County, where the case arose, from issuing any garnishment summons. Accordingly, the judge modified his injunction on the Gwinnett County Clerk, explicitly stating that his decision does “not apply to continuing wage garnishments filed against a judgment debtor’s employer.”

In response to the judge’s October 6 ruling, the Gwinnett County Clerk issued a directive to the Court for the Clerk’s office to begin issuing wage and support garnishment summons and accept funds sent to the court for wage and support garnishment actions. Other county courts, including Fulton County and Cobb County, had issued similar standing orders to stay garnishment cases following the September 8 ruling. The Fulton County has lifted its standing order to stay garnishment cases and is accepting monetary deposits into its registry.

Employers should continue to garnish as usual, keeping in mind to garnish only monies, such as wages, that are subject to garnishment, until instructed by a court otherwise. Further, employer who were instructed to not send funds or were returned funds due to a court’s prior notice should resend any withheld funds to the courts immediately. If an employer receives a notice from a court regarding how to handle garnishments, the employer should comply with the notice in answering garnishments.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2020National Law Review, Volume V, Number 292

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About this Author

Todd Van Dyke, Employment Attorney, Sexual Harassment, discrimination, Jackson Lewis Law FIrm
Office Managing Principal

Todd Van Dyke is the Office Managing Principal of the Atlanta, Georgia, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He litigates all types of employment law claims, including claims alleging sexual harassment, sex discrimination, disability discrimination, age discrimination, race, color, and national origin discrimination, retaliation, wrongful discharge, breach of contract, and state tort issues in federal and state courts and in arbitration.

His practice includes single plaintiff, multi-plaintiff, class and collective action cases and EEOC pattern and practice cases. Mr....

404-586-1814
Justin R. Barnes, Jackson Lewis, Federal Employment Lawyer, Discrimination Allegations Attorney
Principal

Justin R. Barnes is a Principal in the Atlanta, Georgia, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He represents employers in federal and state courts and before administrative agencies on a variety of labor and employment related issues, including collective and class action wage and hour disputes, labor arbitrations, allegations of discrimination, and employment-related contract disputes.

Mr. Barnes’ practice is focused primarily on defending complex wage and hour class and collective actions in state and federal courts across the country. Mr. Barnes has recently assisted clients in defending state and federal wage and hour claims in Georgia, Arkansas, Oklahoma, New York, North Carolina, Illinois, Missouri, and Florida, among others.

404-586-1809
Erin J. Krinsky, Jackson Lewis Law firm, Labor Employment Attorney
Associate

Erin J. Krinsky is an Associate in the Atlanta office of Jackson Lewis P.C.  Her practice is focused on traditional labor and employment matters and counseling.

404-525-8200