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Illinois Compiled Statutes

Information maintained by the Legislative Reference Bureau
Updating the database of the Illinois Compiled Statutes (ILCS) is an ongoing process. Recent laws may not yet be included in the ILCS database, but they are found on this site as Public Acts soon after they become law. For information concerning the relationship between statutes and Public Acts, refer to the Guide.

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CIVIL PROCEDURE
(735 ILCS 5/) Code of Civil Procedure.

735 ILCS 5/Art. XII Pt. 7

 
    (735 ILCS 5/Art. XII Pt. 7 heading)
Part 7. Garnishment

735 ILCS 5/12-701

    (735 ILCS 5/12-701) (from Ch. 110, par. 12-701)
    Sec. 12-701. Affidavit for garnishment; Contents. Upon the filing by a judgment creditor, its attorney or other designee of (1) an affidavit that the affiant believes any person is indebted to the judgment debtor, other than for wages, or has in his or her possession, custody or control any other property belonging to the judgment debtor, or in which the judgment debtor has an interest, which person shall be identified as the garnishee, and includes the last address of the judgment debtor known to the affiant as well as the name of the judgment debtor, (2) the garnishment notice required by Section 12-705, and (3) written interrogatories to be answered by the garnishee with respect to the indebtedness or other property, the clerk of the court in which the judgment was entered shall issue summons against the person named in the affidavit commanding him or her to appear in the court as garnishee and answer the interrogatories in writing under oath. The interrogatories shall require that the garnishee certify that a copy of the completed interrogatories, as specified in subsection (b) of Section 12-707, has been mailed to the judgment debtor and shall be in a form consistent with local court rules.
(Source: P.A. 87-1252.)

735 ILCS 5/12-702

    (735 ILCS 5/12-702) (from Ch. 110, par. 12-702)
    Sec. 12-702. (Repealed).
(Source: P.A. 82-280. Repealed by 89-364, eff. 1-1-96.)

735 ILCS 5/12-703

    (735 ILCS 5/12-703) (from Ch. 110, par. 12-703)
    Sec. 12-703. Garnishment of administrators and executors. Administrators and executors may be summoned as garnishees regarding indebtedness or other property belonging to any heir or distributee of any estate, but judgment shall not be rendered against an administrator or an executor until an order of distribution is entered by the court which appointed him or her.
(Source: P.A. 82-280.)

735 ILCS 5/12-704

    (735 ILCS 5/12-704) (from Ch. 110, par. 12-704)
    Sec. 12-704. Exemptions from garnishment. Benefits and refunds payable by pension or retirement funds or systems and any assets of employees held by such funds or systems, and any monies an employee is required to pay to such funds or systems are exempt and are not subject to garnishment under Part 7 of Article XII of this Act.
(Source: P.A. 83-707.)

735 ILCS 5/12-705

    (735 ILCS 5/12-705) (from Ch. 110, par. 12-705)
    Sec. 12-705. Summons.
    (a) Summons shall be returnable not less than 21 nor more than 30 days after the date of issuance. Summons with 4 copies of the interrogatories shall be served and returned as in other civil cases. If the garnishee is served with summons less than 10 days prior to the return date, the court shall continue the case to a new return date 14 days after the return date stated on the summons. The summons shall be in a form consistent with local court rules. The summons shall be accompanied by a copy of the underlying judgment or a certification by the clerk of the court that entered the judgment, or by the attorney for the judgment creditor, setting forth the amount of the judgment, the name of the court and the number of the case and one copy of a garnishment notice in substantially the following form:
        "GARNISHMENT NOTICE
    (Name and address of Court)
    Name of Case: (Name of Judgment Creditor),
        Judgment Creditor v.
        (Name of Judgment Debtor),
        Judgment Debtor.
    Address of Judgment Debtor: (Insert last known address)
    Name and address of Attorney for Judgment
    Creditor or of Judgment Creditor (If no
    attorney is listed): (Insert name and address)
    Amount of Judgment: $(Insert amount)
    Name of Garnishee: (Insert name)
    Return Date: (Insert return date specified in summons)
    NOTICE: The court has issued a garnishment summons against the garnishee named above for money or property (other than wages) belonging to the judgment debtor or in which the judgment debtor has an interest. The garnishment summons was issued on the basis of a judgment against the judgment debtor in favor of the judgment creditor in the amount stated above.
    The amount of money or property (other than wages) that may be garnished is limited by federal and Illinois law. The judgment debtor has the right to assert statutory exemptions against certain money or property of the judgment debtor which may not be used to satisfy the judgment in the amount stated above.
    Under Illinois or federal law, the exemptions of personal property owned by the debtor include the debtor's equity interest, not to exceed $4,000 in value, in any personal property as chosen by the debtor; Social Security and SSI benefits; public assistance benefits; unemployment compensation benefits; workers' compensation benefits; veterans' benefits; circuit breaker property tax relief benefits; the debtor's equity interest, not to exceed $2,400 in value, in any one motor vehicle, and the debtor's equity interest, not to exceed $1,500 in value, in any implements, professional books or tools of the trade of the debtor.
    The judgment debtor may have other possible exemptions from garnishment under the law.
    The judgment debtor has the right to request a hearing before the court to dispute the garnishment or to declare exempt from garnishment certain money or property or both. To obtain a hearing in counties with a population of 1,000,000 or more, the judgment debtor must notify the Clerk of the Court in person and in writing at (insert address of Clerk) before the return date specified above or appear in court on the date and time on that return date. To obtain a hearing in counties with a population of less than 1,000,000, the judgment debtor must notify the Clerk of the Court in writing at (insert address of Clerk) on or before the return date specified above. The Clerk of the Court will provide a hearing date and the necessary forms that must be prepared by the judgment debtor or the attorney for the judgment debtor and sent to the judgment creditor and the garnishee regarding the time and location of the hearing. This notice may be sent by regular first class mail."
    (b) An officer or other person authorized by law to serve process shall serve the summons, interrogatories and the garnishment notice required by subsection (a) of this Section upon the garnishee and shall, (1) within 2 business days of the service upon the garnishee, mail a copy of the garnishment notice and the summons to the judgment debtor by first class mail at the judgment debtor's address indicated in the garnishment notice and (2) within 4 business days of the service upon the garnishee file with the clerk of the court a certificate of mailing in substantially the following form:
"CERTIFICATE OF MAILING
    I hereby certify that, within 2 business days of service upon the garnishee of the garnishment summons, interrogatories and garnishment notice, I served upon the judgment debtor in this cause a copy of the garnishment summons and garnishment notice by first class mail to the judgment debtor's address as indicated in the garnishment notice.
Date:............ .........................
                            Signature"
    In the case of service of the summons for garnishment upon the garnishee by certified or registered mail, as provided in subsection (c) of this Section, no sooner than 2 business days nor later than 4 business days after the date of mailing, the clerk shall mail a copy of the garnishment notice and the summons to the judgment debtor by first class mail at the judgment debtor's address indicated in the garnishment notice, shall prepare the Certificate of Mailing described by this subsection, and shall include the Certificate of Mailing in a permanent record.
    (c) In a county with a population of less than 1,000,000, unless otherwise provided by circuit court rule, at the request of the judgment creditor or his or her attorney and instead of personal service, service of a summons for garnishment may be made as follows:
        (1) For each garnishee to be served, the judgment
    
creditor or his or her attorney shall pay to the clerk of the court a fee of $2, plus the cost of mailing, and furnish to the clerk an original and 2 copies of a summons, an original and one copy of the interrogatories, an affidavit setting forth the garnishee's mailing address, an original and 2 copies of the garnishment notice required by subsection (a) of this Section, and a copy of the judgment or certification described in subsection (a) of this Section. The original judgment shall be retained by the clerk.
        (2) The clerk shall mail to the garnishee, at the
    
address appearing in the affidavit, the copy of the judgment or certification described in subsection (a) of this Section, the summons, the interrogatories, and the garnishment notice required by subsection (a) of this Section, by certified or registered mail, return receipt requested, showing to whom delivered and the date and address of delivery. This Mailing shall be mailed on a "restricted delivery" basis when service is directed to a natural person. The envelope and return receipt shall bear the return address of the clerk, and the return receipt shall be stamped with the docket number of the case. The receipt for certified or registered mail shall state the name and address of the addressee, the date of the mailing, shall identify the documents mailed, and shall be attached to the original summons.
        (3) The return receipt must be attached to the
    
original summons and, if it shows delivery at least 10 days before the day for the return date, shall constitute proof of service of any documents identified on the return receipt as having been mailed.
        (4) The clerk shall note the fact of service in a
    
permanent record.
    (d) The garnishment summons may be served and returned in the manner provided by Supreme Court Rule for service, otherwise than by publication, of a notice for additional relief upon a party in default.
(Source: P.A. 98-557, eff. 1-1-14; 99-78, eff. 7-20-15.)

735 ILCS 5/12-706

    (735 ILCS 5/12-706) (from Ch. 110, par. 12-706)
    Sec. 12-706. Conditional judgment. (a) When any person summoned as garnishee fails to appear and answer as required by Part 7 of Article XII of this Act, the court may enter a conditional judgment against the garnishee for the amount due upon the judgment against the judgment debtor. A summons to confirm the conditional judgment may issue against the garnishee, returnable in the same manner as provided in Section 12-705 of this Act, commanding the garnishee to show cause why the judgment should not be made final. If the garnishee, after being served with summons to confirm the conditional judgment or after being notified as provided in subsection (b) hereof, fails to appear and answer, the court shall confirm such judgment to the amount of the judgment against the judgment debtor and award costs. If the garnishee appears and answers, the same proceedings may be had as in other cases.
    (b) If any garnishee becomes a non-resident, goes out of this State, or is concealed within this State so that the summons to confirm the conditional judgment cannot be served upon him or her, upon the filing by the plaintiff or his or her agent of an affidavit as in cases of non-resident defendants in attachments, the garnishee may be notified in the same manner as a non-resident defendant in attachment; and upon notice being given to him or her as above stated, he or she may be proceeded against in the same manner as if he or she had been personally served with summons to confirm the conditional judgment.
(Source: P.A. 83-707.)

735 ILCS 5/12-707

    (735 ILCS 5/12-707) (from Ch. 110, par. 12-707)
    Sec. 12-707. Duties of garnishee.
    (a) To the extent of the amount due upon the judgment and costs, the garnishee shall hold, subject to the order of the court any non-exempt indebtedness or other non-exempt property in his or her possession, custody or control belonging to the judgment debtor or in which the judgment debtor has any interest. The judgment or balance due thereon becomes a lien on the indebtedness and other property held by the garnishee at the time of the service of garnishment summons and remains a lien thereon pending the garnishment proceeding.
    (b) The garnishee shall file, on or before the return date, or within the further time that the court for cause may allow, a written answer under oath to the interrogatories, setting forth as of the date of service of the garnishment summons any indebtedness due or to become due to the judgment debtor and any other property in his, her or its possession, custody or control belonging to the judgment debtor or in which the judgment debtor has an interest. The garnishee shall mail, by first class mail, a copy of the answer to the judgment creditor or its attorney and to the judgment debtor at the address specified in the affidavit filed under Section 12-701 of this Act, or at any other address or location of the judgment debtor known to the garnishee, and shall certify in the answer that it was so mailed to the judgment debtor.
(Source: P.A. 87-1252.)

735 ILCS 5/12-708

    (735 ILCS 5/12-708) (from Ch. 110, par. 12-708)
    Sec. 12-708. Deductions and set-offs of garnishee. The garnishee is entitled to assert against the indebtedness due to the judgment debtor offsetting claims against either or both the judgment creditor and the judgment debtor, whether due at the time of service of the garnishment summons or thereafter to become due and whether liquidated or unliquidated, except claims for unliquidated damages for actions sounding in tort. To the extent that other property belonging to the judgment debtor or in which the judgment debtor has an interest is pledged to or held by the garnishee in good faith as security or that the garnishee has other just claim against the other property, the garnishee is entitled to retain the other property. The garnishee is liable for the balance of the indebtedness due to the judgment debtor after the offsetting claims are adjusted and for the balance of other property after deducting property to which the garnishee has just claim. The verdict or finding and judgment shall show the amount of offsetting claims or deductions allowed against each party.
(Source: P.A. 83-707.)

735 ILCS 5/12-709

    (735 ILCS 5/12-709) (from Ch. 110, par. 12-709)
    Sec. 12-709. Negotiable paper. No person shall be liable as a garnishee by reason of having drawn, accepted, made or endorsed a negotiable instrument in the possession of the judgment debtor at the time of either (1) service of the garnishment summons or (2) entry of judgment when the negotiable instrument is not due.
(Source: P.A. 82-280.)

735 ILCS 5/12-710

    (735 ILCS 5/12-710) (from Ch. 110, par. 12-710)
    Sec. 12-710. Adverse claims; Trial.
    (a) In the event any indebtedness or other property due from or in the possession of a garnishee is claimed by any other person, the court shall permit the claimant to appear and maintain his or her claim. A claimant not voluntarily appearing shall be served with notice as the court shall direct. If a claimant fails to appear after being served with notice in the manner directed, he or she shall be concluded by the judgment entered in the garnishment proceeding.
    (b) If the adverse claimant appears and, within the time the court allows, files his or her claim and serves a copy thereof upon the judgment creditor, the judgment debtor, and the garnishee, he or she is then a party to the garnishment proceeding; and his or her claim shall be tried and determined with the other issues in the garnishment action. Upon certification by the Department of Healthcare and Family Services (formerly Illinois Department of Public Aid) that a person who is receiving support payments under this Section is a public aid recipient, any support payments subsequently received by the clerk of the court shall be transmitted to the Department until the Department gives notice to cease such transmittal. If the adverse claimant is entitled to all or part of the indebtedness or other property, the court shall enter judgment in accordance with the interests of the parties.
    (c) Claims for the support of a spouse or dependent children shall be superior to all other claims for garnishment of property.
(Source: P.A. 95-331, eff. 8-21-07.)

735 ILCS 5/12-711

    (735 ILCS 5/12-711) (from Ch. 110, par. 12-711)
    Sec. 12-711. Contest of answer and trial.
    (a) The judgment creditor or the judgment debtor may contest the truth or sufficiency of the garnishee's answer and the court shall immediately, unless for good cause the hearing is postponed, proceed to try the issues. The answer of the garnishee shall be considered denied without further pleading.
    (b) At any time on or before the return date, the judgment debtor may request a hearing to dispute the garnishment or to seek exemptions for certain moneys or property by notifying the clerk of the court before that time, using forms as may be provided by the clerk of the court. To obtain a hearing in counties with a population of 1,000,000 or more, the judgment debtor must notify the clerk of the court in person and in writing at the clerk's office before the return date specified in the summons, or appear in court on the date and time specified in the summons. To obtain a hearing in counties with a population of less than 1,000,000, the judgment debtor must notify the clerk of the court in writing at the clerk's office on or before the return date specified in the summons. The clerk of the court will provide a prompt hearing date and the necessary forms that must be prepared by the judgment debtor or the attorney for the judgment debtor and sent to the judgment creditor and the garnishee, or their attorneys, regarding the time and location of the hearing. This notice may be sent by regular first class mail. At the hearing the court shall immediately, unless for good cause the hearing is continued, proceed to try the issues.
    (c) The trial shall be conducted as in other civil cases.
    (d) If the finding or verdict is against a garnishee, appropriate judgment or other orders shall be entered against the garnishee and in favor of the judgment debtor to whom the garnishee is indebted, or for whom the garnishee holds property, for the use of the judgment creditor, in the same manner as if the facts are admitted.
    (e) No garnishment order shall be entered in favor of the judgment creditor unless the certificate of mailing required by subsection (b) of Section 12-705 is filed and the garnishee's answer to the interrogatories certifies that a copy of the answer was mailed to the judgment debtor in accordance with Section 12-707 of this Act.
(Source: P.A. 87-1252.)

735 ILCS 5/12-712

    (735 ILCS 5/12-712) (from Ch. 110, par. 12-712)
    Sec. 12-712. Effect of judgment - Discharge no bar. Judgment against a garnishee shall be enforceable as in other civil cases and shall discharge the garnishee of all claims by the judgment debtor for the indebtedness or other property paid, delivered or accounted for by the garnishee by virtue of the judgment in garnishment. The discharge of a garnishee is no bar to an action by the judgment debtor for the same claim.
(Source: P.A. 82-280.)

735 ILCS 5/12-713

    (735 ILCS 5/12-713) (from Ch. 110, par. 12-713)
    Sec. 12-713. No judgment until debt due. If the debt from the garnishee to the judgment debtor is not due, judgment shall not be entered against the garnishee until the debt is due, either by the terms of the agreement giving rise thereto or by acceleration as therein provided.
(Source: P.A. 82-280.)

735 ILCS 5/12-714

    (735 ILCS 5/12-714) (from Ch. 110, par. 12-714)
    Sec. 12-714. Property surrendered in enforcement of a judgment and disposition thereof. (a) A garnishee having property other than money belonging to the judgment debtor, which the garnishee is obligated to deliver to the judgment debtor, shall deliver to the officer holding a certified copy of the judgment for the enforcement thereof against the judgment debtor so much thereof as is necessary to satisfy the amount due upon the judgment and costs.
    (b) If mortgaged or pledged property is in the possession of a garnishee, or property is held for the payment of a debt to the garnishee, the judgment creditor may, under order of court, pay or tender the amount due to the garnishee; and the garnishee shall thereupon deliver the property to the officer holding the certified copy of the judgment for the enforcement thereof against the judgment debtor.
    (c) Nothing contained in Part 7 of Article XII of this Act shall be construed to prevent the garnishee from selling property in his or her possession for the payment of claims for which it is mortgaged, pledged or otherwise held at any time before the amount due to the garnishee is paid or tendered, if the sale would be authorized as between the garnishee and the judgment debtor.
    (d) If property is held for purposes other than to secure the payment of money, and if the promise, condition or other act to be performed can be performed by the judgment creditor without damage to other parties, the court may permit performance by the judgment creditor. Upon performance, or a tender of performance, by the judgment creditor the garnishee shall deliver the property to the officer holding the certified copy of the judgment for the enforcement thereof against the judgment debtor.
    (e) Property received by an officer as described in this Section shall be sold in the same manner as if levied upon for the satisfaction of a judgment for the payment of money and from the proceeds of sale the officer shall repay the judgment creditor the amount paid the garnishee for the redemption, with interest, or shall indemnify the judgment creditor for acts done or performed pursuant to order of court in the redemption.
(Source: P.A. 83-707.)

735 ILCS 5/12-715

    (735 ILCS 5/12-715) (from Ch. 110, par. 12-715)
    Sec. 12-715. Refusal or neglect of garnishee to deliver property. If a garnishee refuses or neglects to deliver property in his or her possession when ordered by the court or upon request by the officer holding a certified copy of the judgment for enforcement thereof against the judgment debtor, the garnishee may be attached and punished for contempt; or the court may enter judgment against the garnishee for the value of the property or the amount due upon the judgment and costs, whichever is the lesser, and have same enforced against the garnishee.
(Source: P.A. 82-280.)

735 ILCS 5/12-716

    (735 ILCS 5/12-716) (from Ch. 110, par. 12-716)
    Sec. 12-716. Costs and fees.
    (a) The costs of obtaining a garnishment order shall be charged to the judgment debtor, unless the court determines, in its discretion, that costs incurred by the judgment creditor were improperly incurred, in which case those costs shall be paid by the judgment creditor.
    (b) No fee shall be paid by a garnishee for filing his, her or its appearance, answer or satisfaction of judgment against him, her or it.
    (c) No fee shall be paid to a garnishee at the time of service of the garnishment summons or at any time thereafter, unless he or she is subpoenaed to appear as a witness, in which case he or she is entitled to witness fees as in other civil cases.
(Source: P.A. 87-1252.)

735 ILCS 5/12-717

    (735 ILCS 5/12-717) (from Ch. 110, par. 12-717)
    Sec. 12-717. Death of garnishee and procedure thereafter. Upon the death of a garnishee, the procedure shall be the same as in the case of the death of a defendant in other civil cases.
(Source: P.A. 82-280.)

735 ILCS 5/12-718

    (735 ILCS 5/12-718) (from Ch. 110, par. 12-718)
    Sec. 12-718. Powers of court. If the garnishee has in his or her possession, custody or control any property belonging to the defendant or which he or she is obligated to deliver to the defendant, with or without condition, the court may enter all proper orders for the delivery thereof to the proper officer, the sale or disposition of the same, and the discharging of any lien thereon, and may authorize the garnishee to collect any indebtedness or to sell any other property and account for the proceeds. The court, when necessary to further the purposes and provisions of Part 7 of Article XII of this Act, may compel the judgment debtor to do or to refrain from doing any specific act or deed; or the court may appoint a receiver to collect any indebtedness or to take possession, sell or otherwise dispose of any other property, and enter all orders in regard thereto which are necessary and equitable between the parties.
(Source: P.A. 83-707.)

735 ILCS 5/12-719

    (735 ILCS 5/12-719) (from Ch. 110, par. 12-719)
    Sec. 12-719. Transfer of interest by heir or legatee. No assignment, transfer or other disposition by an heir or distributee of his or her interest in the possession of an administrator or executor shall defeat the garnishment, unless (1) prior to the service of garnishment summons upon the administrator or executor, the transfer or other disposition is reduced to writing and (2) the writing is filed in the office of the clerk of the court appointing the executor or administrator.
(Source: P.A. 82-280.)