A common occurrence when searching civil case records for a company is to locate a record that identifies the company’s role in the case as a “garnishee.” What’s a garnishee and should these cases be included in background reports?
A garnishee can be any company (or person) who holds property (including money) owed to a debtor – that is, someone who has an unpaid judgment against them.
Employers often become a garnishee because they hold wages to be paid to an employee who is a debtor. A creditor can use a procedure called a wage garnishment, which is a court order, that requires the debtor’s employer to hold the debtor’s wages to pay the creditor. The employer as garnishee simply pays the employee-debtor’s wages to the court.
Because a garnishee’s involvement in a civil case is neither negative nor noteworthy, it typically should not be included in the report.