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Rejection of garnishment request upheld

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A collection company seeking to garnish a woman’s wages in order to satisfy an alleged $1,800 debt was unable to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that the trial court had to issue the garnishment order.

In American Acceptance Co., LLC., as Assignee of Washington Mutual Finance v. Melissa Willis, 42A04-1208-CC-466, American Acceptance Co. argued based on Indiana Code 24-4.5-5-105, Melissa Willis had the income that was subject to garnishment and the trial court was required to order the garnishment.

American Acceptance filed a complaint against Willis in May 2009 that she owed $1,855.50 for goods and/or services. In June 2012, it sought to garnish her wages from Western Southern Financial Group. Willis testified that she was paid solely on commissions, she was supporting her husband and two children, and that she had to post a $25,000 cash bond for her husband’s release from jail. He was charged with theft and possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon. Willis suggested American Acceptance be paid out of the bond money when her husband’s criminal charges were settled.

The trial court denied American Acceptance’s motion, finding she didn’t have “substantial income to allow a wage garnishment order.”

In affirming the trial court, Judge Michael Barnes pointed to I.C. 34-55-8-7(a), which says a court may order garnishment of a debtor’s income to satisfy a judgment.

“The trial court here was not required to order garnishment of Willis’s income. Instead, it was within the trial court’s discretion to do so,” he wrote. “The trial court chose to order that the Clerk of the Knox Circuit/Superior Court ‘is not to release the bond in Cause Number 42D01-1010-FB-139, State vs. Todd Willis, until a hearing can be held in this cause of action for purposes of settlement.’”

Given Willis’ circumstances, this was not an abuse of discretion, the judges held.

 

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  1. Family court judges never fail to surprise me with their irrational thinking. First of all any man who abuses his wife is not fit to be a parent. A man who can't control his anger should not be allowed around his child unsupervised period. Just because he's never been convicted of abusing his child doesn't mean he won't and maybe he hasn't but a man that has such poor judgement and control is not fit to parent without oversight - only a moron would think otherwise. Secondly, why should the mother have to pay? He's the one who made the poor decisions to abuse and he should be the one to pay the price - monetarily and otherwise. Yes it's sad that the little girl may be deprived of her father, but really what kind of father is he - the one that abuses her mother the one that can't even step up and do what's necessary on his own instead the abused mother is to pay for him???? What is this Judge thinking? Another example of how this world rewards bad behavior and punishes those who do right. Way to go Judge - NOT.

  2. Right on. Legalize it. We can take billions away from the drug cartels and help reduce violence in central America and more unwanted illegal immigration all in one fell swoop. cut taxes on the savings from needless incarcerations. On and stop eroding our fourth amendment freedom or whatever's left of it.

  3. "...a switch from crop production to hog production "does not constitute a significant change."??? REALLY?!?! Any judge that cannot see a significant difference between a plant and an animal needs to find another line of work.

  4. Why do so many lawyers get away with lying in court, Jamie Yoak?

  5. Future generations will be amazed that we prosecuted people for possessing a harmless plant. The New York Times came out in favor of legalization in Saturday's edition of the newspaper.

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