It depends on the type of garnishment.
There is no requirement for you to be served with a garnishment. Some garnishments, such as certain student loan and tax garnishments don't require that you be served with anything.
Other garnishments are related to judgments. In that case, you were supposed to be served with the summons and complaint, but that might have happened months or years before a garnishment is served. If you don't believe you were ever served with a summons and complaint, you will need to review the court documents to see where and when the plaintiff purposes to have served these documents and then you will need to file a motion to vacate the judgment if appropriate.
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Type employer should provide you with a copy of the garnishment papers. Those papers will tell you what the basis is for the garnishment. It most likely relayed back to a summons and complaint for a collection lawsuit that could have happened any time in the last several years. Once a judgment is obtained there is no further notice required before the creditor takes action to collect on the judgment.
If you have jumped to the conclusion that you were not legally served first, you need to have some facts to back up this claim. Most people wrongly believe that a uniformed officer must hand them legal papers to constitute legal service, whereas in most states, substituted service by publication in the classified section of an obscure local paper may be legal in instances where you moved without notifying the creditor in writing of your new address, did not happen to be home when the plain clothes process server stopped by, or refused to open the door to receive the papers. When you have the opportunity to get an answer from a volunteer lawyer, it helps to state facts and let the lawyers interpret the law. After all, that is what we do for a living. Hope this perspective helps!
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