Rule 3146. Judgment against garnishee upon default or admission in answer to interrogatories.
(a)(1) If the garnishee within the time allowed by these rules fails to file an answer to interrogatories containing a notice to answer, the prothonotary on praecipe of the plaintiff shall enter judgment unliquidated in amount, in favor of the plaintiff and against the garnishee. The amount of the judgment shall thereafter be assessed by the court on motion, notice to the garnishee with a copy to the defendant in the form provided by subdivision (a)(2), and hearing. At the hearing the garnishee may raise defenses against the judgment debtor available under Rule 3145, provided that written notice thereof has been given to all parties not less than ten days prior to the hearing. If the garnishee appears, the court shall determine and enter judgment for the value of the property of the defendant in the hands of the garnishee but shall not enter judgment in excess of the judgment of the plaintiff against the defendant together with interest and costs. If the garnishee fails to appear, or if appearing offers no evidence, the amount of the judgment shall thereupon be entered in the amount of the plaintiffs judgment against the defendant together with interest and costs, and the court may also award to the plaintiff reasonable expenses including attorneys fees.
(2) The notice required by subdivision (a)(1) shall be in substantially the following form:
NOTICE OF ASSESSMENT OF DAMAGES
, you were served with a writ of execution as a garnishee and were notified of your duties under it.
Judgment has been entered against you because you have failed to answer the interrogatories served with the writ. The court will assess the amount of the judgment at a hearing to be held on
. M., in Courtroom
, Pa. If you fail to appear, damages will be assessed against you in the amount of the judgment of the plaintiff against the defendant, $
, together with interest, costs and reasonable expenses including attorneys fees, whether or not you may owe anything to the defendant or hold any of the defendants property.
YOU SHOULD TAKE THIS PAPER TO YOUR LAWYER AT ONCE. IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A LAWYER, GO TO OR TELEPHONE THE OFFICE SET FORTH BELOW. THIS OFFICE CAN PROVIDE YOU WITH INFORMATION ABOUT HIRING A LAWYER.
IF YOU CANNOT AFFORD TO HIRE A LAWYER, THIS OFFICE MAY BE ABLE TO PROVIDE YOU WITH INFORMATION ABOUT AGENCIES THAT MAY OFFER LEGAL SERVICES TO ELIGIBLE PERSONS AT A REDUCED FEE OR NO FEE.
(b)(1) Subject to paragraph (2) of this subdivision, the prothonotary, on praecipe of the plaintiff, shall enter judgment against the garnishee for the property of the defendant admitted in the answer to interrogatories to be in the garnishees possession, subject to any right therein claimed by the garnishee, but no money judgment entered against the garnishee shall exceed the amount of the judgment of the plaintiff against the defendant together with interest and costs. The entry of judgment shall not bar the right of the plaintiff to proceed against the garnishee as to any further property or to contest any right in the property claimed by the garnishee.
(2) If the garnishee is a bank or other financial institution, the prothonotary, in the absence of an order of court, shall not enter judgment pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subdivision as to funds of any account of the defendant that is identified in the garnishees answer to interrogatory no. 7 or 8.
Adopted March 30, 1960, effective November 1, 1960.
The provisions of this Rule 3146 amended December 10, 1981, effective February 8, 1982, 12 Pa.B. 267; amended June 10, 2003, effective September 1, 2003, 33 Pa.B. 2974; amended February 7, 2007, effective April 1, 2007, 37 Pa.B. 939. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (255373), (255374) and (297583) to (297584).
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