Rule 3.102 Garnishment Before Judgment

(A) Availability of Prejudgment Garnishment.

(1) After commencing an action on a contract, the plaintiff may obtain a prejudgment writ of garnishment under the circumstances and by the procedures provided in this rule.

(2) Except as provided in subrule (A)(3), a prejudgment garnishment may not be used

(a) unless the defendant is subject to the jurisdiction of the court under chapter 7 of the Revised Judicature Act, MCL 600.701 et seq.;

(b) to garnish a defendant's earnings; or

(c) to garnish property held or an obligation owed by the state or a governmental unit of the state.

(3) This rule also applies to a prejudgment garnishment in an action brought to enforce a foreign judgment. However, the following provisions apply:

(a) The defendant need not be subject to the court's jurisdiction;

(b) The request for garnishment must show that

(i) the defendant is indebted to the plaintiff on a foreign judgment in a stated amount in excess of all setoffs;

(ii) the defendant is not subject to the jurisdiction of the state, or that after diligent effort the plaintiff cannot serve the defendant with process; and

(iii) the person making the request knows or has good reason to believe that a named person

(A) has control of property belonging to the defendant, or

(B) is indebted to the defendant.

(c) Subrule (H) does not apply.

(B) Request for Garnishment. After commencing an action, the plaintiff may seek a writ of garnishment by filing an ex parte motion supported by a verified statement setting forth specific facts showing that:

(1) the defendant is indebted to the plaintiff on a contract in a stated amount in excess of all setoffs;

(2) the defendant is subject to the jurisdiction of the state;

(3) after diligent effort the plaintiff cannot serve the defendant with process; and

(4) the person signing the statement knows or has good reason to believe that a named person

(a) has control of property belonging to the defendant, or

(b) is indebted to the defendant.

On a finding that the writ is available under this rule and that the verified statement states a sufficient basis for issuance of the writ, the judge to whom the action is assigned may issue the writ.

(C) Writ of Garnishment. The writ of garnishment must have attached or include a copy of the verified statement, and must:

(1) direct the garnishee to:

(a) file with the court clerk within 14 days after the service of the writ on him or her a verified disclosure indicating his or her liability (as specified in subrule [E]) to the defendant;

(b) deliver no tangible or intangible property to the defendant, unless allowed by statute or court rule;

(c) pay no obligation to the defendant, unless allowed by statute or court rule; and

(d) promptly provide the defendant with a copy of the writ and verified statement by personal delivery or by first class mail directed to the defendant's last known address;

(2) direct the defendant to refrain from disposing of any negotiable instrument representing a debt of the garnishee or of any negotiable instrument of title representing property in which he or she claims an interest held in the possession or control of the garnishee;

(3) inform the defendant that unless the defendant files objections within 14 days after service of the writ on the defendant, or appears and submits to the jurisdiction of the court, an order may enter requiring the garnishee to deliver the garnished property or pay the obligation to be applied to the satisfaction of the plaintiff's claim; and

(4) command the process server to serve the writ and to file a proof of service.

(D) Service of Writ. MCR 3.101(F) applies to prejudgment garnishment.

(E) Liability of Garnishee. MCR 3.101(G) applies to prejudgment garnishment except that the earnings of the defendant may not be garnished before judgment.

(F) Disclosure. The garnishee shall file and serve a disclosure as provided in MCR 3.101(H).

(G) Payment or Deposit Into Court. MCR 3.101(I) and (J) apply to prejudgment garnishment, except that payment may not be made to the plaintiff until after entry of judgment, as provided in subrule (I).

(H) Objection; Dissolution of Prejudgment Garnishment. Objections to and dissolution of a prejudgment garnishment are governed by MCR 3.101(K) and MCR 3.103(H).

(I) Proceedings After Judgment.

(1) If the garnishment remains in effect until entry of judgment in favor of the plaintiff against the defendant, the garnished property or obligation may be applied to the satisfaction of the judgment in the manner provided in MCR 3.101(I), (J), (M), and (O).

(2) MCR 3.101(P) and (Q) and MCR 3.103(I)(2) apply to prejudgment garnishment.

(J) Costs and Fees; Default; Contempt; Judicial Discretion. MCR 3.101(R), (S), and (T) apply to prejudgment garnishment.