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Civil/Commercial Litigation (Lawsuits)/Garnishment after 9.5 years on a eviction case


Hello Mr. Smith. My name is Charles Butler Jr. and I have been served garnishment papers from an eviction that occurred 9.5 years ago.
I was 1- 20 days late on my rent. I obtained a Cashiers Check from my credit union for the late rent, the late fees and the following moths rent. I mailed it to the Management Company and it was returned to my mailbox by the Manager of the Management Company. He then proceeded to get an eviction hearing. I kept the Original Check and appeared before the judge. The Manager and his Attorney were present. I represented myself thinking he HAD to ACCEPT payment. I was so wrong. He declined acceptance and I was given 15 days to move. My wife packed up the kids and left me.
Now, I have until the 30th of November and they will be garnishing me for 5,765.14 9.5 years later. The original amount late was 1275.00 plus the 40 dollars late fee.
Can they do this. Take money from me when I originally tried to pay it?
Thank you in advance and for providing answers for the people.

Hello Mr. Butler,

My regrets on your difficult situation.

Before I respond further to your question, I must make clear that I do not represent you, and cannot give you individual particularized legal advice. No attorney client relationship is created by this email. For legal advice, you should hire your own attorney, and follow their advice. My role with AllExperts is limited to providing general information and suggestions for educational or general knowledge purposes. Before you take any action, consult with your own attorney.

Your expression of your question "Can they do this" makes it a little awkward for me to respond. That determination will ultimately be to a judge and a process of rules and laws estabilished in your state.

Further, it sounds to me like there are some pieces of fact missing from your case history.

In my state, an eviction proceeding is focused on possession of the property, and although money aspects may contribute to the circumstances, an eviction order itself does not address money issues.  Instead, it simply compels the tenant to vacate, and confirms the landlord's right to recover.

Frequently thereafter, a prevailing landlord might go to civil court to obtain a judgment, for example to recover for unpaid rent.  It occurs to me from your explanation that there may be a default judgment out there against you in favor of your landlord.  That would explain the efforts at effecting garnishment, based undoubtedly on that judgment.

My state, and likely yours, provides for relief for folks who have a default judgment against them.  There are four factors here, and one has to do with time.  That one gives me some concern because so much time has passed.  However, you may have a strong argument that you just found out about it during this garnishment proceeding.

I urge you to retain an attorney licensed to practice law in your state who is capable of helping you with a motion to vacate the default judgment and/or experienced with debtor/creditor issues.  Your haste in acting will likely protect not only your assets and legal rights but your continuing good credit rating.  It is likely that you will need to file a motion, which will come at some cost, and then you may be successful in overturning the default and getting the matter before a judge on the merits of the amount and propriety of the alleged debt.

I hope this helps, good luck to you.

Morgan Smith
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Conciliation Court * Civil Litigation * Forfeitures * Construction * Family Law  

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Morgan Smith


Civil litigation (contract claims, landlord-tenant actions, forfeiture suits, residential construction defect matters), Family law (divorce, custody modifications, child support modifications, and pre-nuptial agreement), new business start-ups, civil forfeiture, asset forfeiture. Please do not submit your question as Private. It is my policy not to answer Private questions from members of the public here on AllExperts; I reserve that function to my private clients. Although AllExperts permits me to change your questions from Private to Public, it is my policy not to do that. I encourage you to resubmit your question as a public question. Your public question has the potential to help others with similar concerns. I suggest that you use a pretend name and otherwise alter sensitive facts that make you inclined to treat your question as Private, and submit your question to me Publicly.


I've been practicing law in the State of Minnesota since 1995. I've worked in skyscraper firms, and now my own small firm in Minneapolis. Past answers from my earlier participation on AllExperts is posted at:

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