Do you have an old judgment you didn’t know about? Were you just hit with a garnishment out of the blue? It’s not uncommon for people to be served with garnishments for cases they simply didn’t know existed. Thankfully Missouri does have a few legal mechanisms to set aside these old judgments and quash the garnishment. Here is some law on the issue:

Garnishment is merely an ancillary remedy, a valid judgment and valid execution are indispensable prerequisites to a valid garnishment.  Dunn v. Bemor Petroleum, 737 S.W.2d 187 (Mo.bank1987

Stated otherwise, if there is no underlying judgment in the main case, there can be no valid execution and, consequently, nothing to support a garnishment proceeding.  Flynn v. Janssen, 284 S.W.2d 421, 422 (Mo.1955).

A Motion seeking relief from a judgment on the basis that the judgment is void for lack of jurisdiction and can be asserted at any time. Supreme Court Rules 74.06(b) and 74.06(c); O’Hare v. Permenter, 113 S.W.3d 287, 289 (Mo.App.E.D.2003).

“Proper service of process must be accomplished before a court can obtain jurisdiction over the person or property of a defendant." O’Hare v. Permenter, 113 S.W.3d 287, 289, (Mo.app.E.D.2003); Maul v. Maul, 103 S.W.3d 819, 821 (Mo.App.E.D. 2003), citing Reisinger v. Reisinger, 39 S.W.3d 80, 83 (Mo.AppE.D.2001).

The best defense to these cases is that notice, or service of summons, for the original court date was improper. Maybe they served an old address or your next door neighbor. If you have a case call us and we’ll review it. In many cases we can find a winning legal strategy.