You must wait 21 days after your small claims judgment was signed before you can file a garnishment.
Filing a Garnishment
- You fill in the names and addresses of both the defendant and the garnishee on the request part of the form. The garnishee is the person or business who has control or possession of the defendant's money.
- Once you complete the request, you must file it with the court. There is a $15 filing fee.
- The court will issue the writ (order) by signing the form.
- The request and writ must be served on the garnishee along with the Garnishee Disclosure (PDF). The cost of serving the garnishment varies.
- If the garnishment is for periodic payments, include a $35 disclosure fee.
- In the case of a periodic or non-periodic garnishment, the garnishee has 14 days after the garnishment is served to let you, the court, and the defendant know if any money is available for garnishment. This information will be provided on the Garnishee Disclosure (PDF).
Payments of Garnishments
- If you are trying to garnish wages, you will only receive part of the wages based on a federal formula.
- If money is available, it will be withheld from the defendant right away. However, this money will be held for 28 days to allow the defendant time for objections. If there are no objections the withheld money will be sent to you after 28 days.
- If the garnishment is for periodic payments, money will continue to be sent to you as payments become due to the defendant until the garnishment expires.
A periodic garnishment is used to garnish the defendant's wages, rent payments, land contract payments, or other debt which is paid to the plaintiff on a periodic basis until all judgment costs and interest are paid in full.
Use the form Request and Writ for Garnishment (Periodic) to start this process. There is a $15 filing fee.
A non-periodic garnishment is used to garnish the defendant's bank account or other property. Once money has been garnished under the non-periodic writ, the writ is no longer valid. If there is a remaining balance on the judgment, you must get another writ to collect more money.
Use the form Request and Writ for Garnishment (Non-Periodic) to start this process. There is a $15 filing fee.
An income tax garnishment is used to garnish the defendant's state tax refund if they are entitled to one. The State of Michigan will not accept current year garnishments until November 1 of each year. The garnishment will remain in effect until the following October 1.
Use the form Request and Writ for Garnishment (Income Tax Refund/Credit) to start this process. There is a $15 filing fee.