A writ of garnishment is an order issued by a court requiring the person or entity served with the writ (“garnishee”) to withhold property of the judgment debtor in the garnishee’s possession for the benefit of the judgment creditor (“garnishor”). Small businesses most frequently encounter a continuing writ of garnishment against the salary or wages of an employee. This means that some entity or person has obtained a judgment against your employee and is now trying to collect money on that judgment by reaching money that you, as the employer, owe the employee.
If your company is served with a writ of garnishment, realize that it is a powerful legal document that affects not only the rights of your employee, but could result in a judgment being entered against your company if you fail to respond to it. In Florida, you have 20 days from the date you were served to file an answer to the writ, and it is important to adhere strictly to this deadline. A savvy lawyer on the other side will act quickly to obtain a judgment against your business immediately after the 20 days expires.