Skip to main content

Being garnished but never served

Pueblo, CO |

I have just been informed (June 20, 2013) by my employer that i'm being garnished for $800+. I was never served, and apparently the court date was in April which I was never informed of. My employer just received the garnishment papers in June, but the letter from the attorney is dated April 15, 2013. Is there anything I can do?

+ Read More

Attorney answers 4


Were you never served with the garnishment papers or never served with the Summons and Complaint that obtained the judgment against you. It would be best to go to the courthouse and make a copy of your file for review and to take to an attorney to see if the attorney can set aside either the initial judgment or the garnishment. Best wishes

The information provided in this answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you are interested in his legal services, feel free to call Chris at (303) 409-7635 at his law office in the Denver Tech Center. All initial consultations are free of charge.


It's likely that a default judgment was entered against you. However, it is important to remember that you have a legally guaranteed right to service of process before any judgment is entered against you.
Thus, if you believe that you were not properly served with process, you should call either the Court or an attorney to have he default judgment set aside on grounds of insufficient service.
Good luck with your case!


You have two options: (1) you can go to the court and attempt to vacate the judgment based upon deficient or lack of service or (2) if you agree with the amount, you can just fight the amount that the creditor is allowed to garnish. Either option isn't wonderful, option 1 will vacate the judgment but now you have to defend yourself in a lawsuit, and option 2 just draws out the amount of time that you have to pay the judgment. If you have additional liabilities outstanding, then speak with a local bankruptcy attorney and you may be able to take care of all credit issues (if any) in one legal step.


You need to go to the courthouse, review the file, and review the "Return of Service". Someone told the court that you were served with papers. It is possible that the return of service will show that a family member over 18 who lives with you was served in which case there is nothing you can do to overturn the judgment because that would be valid service. It is also possible that the service was performed at the wrong location or at a time you can prove you were out of town or is otherwise invalid. In that case, you could file a motion to vacate the judgment due to lack of jurisdiction and seek a refund of the money.

The problem is that, even if successful, this will take work and it can be hard to justify for an $800 debt, especially if you don't have a solid defense to the debt to use when you are re-served.

You can reach Harkess & Salter LLC at (303) 531-5380 or Stephen Harkess is an attorney licensed in the state and federal courts of Colorado. This answer is for general information only and does not create an attorney client relationship between Stephen Harkess or Harkess & Salter LLC and any person. You should schedule a consultation with an attorney to discuss the specifics of your legal issues.

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer