CHAPTER 905

FOREIGN ATTACHMENTS

Table of Contents

Sec. 52-329. Process of foreign attachment.

Sec. 52-330. Citing garnishee to disclose.

Sec. 52-331. Disclosure by garnishee to officer.

Sec. 52-332. Corporation as garnishee; disclosure; nonappearance.

Sec. 52-333. Liability of garnishee for not appearing.

Sec. 52-334. Disclosure by garnishee.

Sec. 52-335. Service of garnishee process on corporation.

Sec. 52-336. Service on disbursing agent or paymaster of garnishee.

Sec. 52-337. Service on bank or trust company as garnishee.

Sec. 52-337a. Garnishment of checking account.

Sec. 52-338. Service on nonresident garnishee.

Sec. 52-339. Service on partnership garnishees.

Sec. 52-340. Subrogation of factorizing creditor.

Sec. 52-341. Attachment of debt evidenced by negotiable note.

Sec. 52-342. Presentation of debt by attaching creditor to decedent’s or insolvent estate.

Sec. 52-343. Death of garnishee pending attachment.

Sec. 52-344. Levy of execution as a discharge of garnishee.

Sec. 52-345. Judgment debt attached. Stay of execution.

Sec. 52-346. Garnishments of mortgages.


Sec. 52-329. Process of foreign attachment. When the effects of the defendant in any proposed or pending civil action in which a judgment or decree for the payment of money may be rendered are concealed in the hands of his agent or trustee so that they cannot be found or attached, or when a debt other than earnings, as defined in subdivision (5) of section 52-350a, is due from any person to such defendant, or when any debt, legacy or distributive share is or may become due to such defendant from the estate of any deceased person or insolvent debtor, the plaintiff may insert in his writ, subject to the provisions of sections 52-278a to 52-278g, inclusive, a direction to the officer to leave a true and attested copy thereof and of the accompanying complaint, at least twelve days before the return day, with such agent, trustee or debtor of the defendant, or, as the case may be, with the executor, administrator or trustee of such estate, or at the usual place of abode of such garnishee; and from the time of leaving such copy all the effects of the defendant in the hands of any such garnishee, and any debt due from any such garnishee to the defendant, and any debt, legacy or distributive share, due or that may become due to him from such executor, administrator or trustee in insolvency, not exempt from execution, shall be secured in the hands of such garnishee to pay such judgment as the plaintiff may recover. Notwithstanding any provision of law, the remedy provided by this section shall be available to any judgment creditor and the status of the defendant as an elected or appointed official of any branch of the government of this state may not be interposed as a defense.

(1949 Rev., S. 8074; 1961, P.A. 280; P.A. 74-183, S. 100, 291; P.A. 78-280, S. 106, 127; P.A. 90-149, S. 1; P.A. 97-132, S. 7.)

History: 1961 act provided 12-day limitation on service of copy of writ and complaint applies only to superior court or court of common pleas and added 6-day limitation for circuit court; P.A. 74-183 specified that insertion of direction to leave copy of writ and complaint is subject to the provisions of Secs. 52-278a to 52-278g and that delivery must be made at least 12 days before court session in all cases where previously 12-day deadline applied to cases in superior court or court of common pleas and 6-day deadline applied to circuit court cases, effective December 31, 1974; P.A. 78-280 required delivery at least 12 days before “return day” rather than before “session of the court to which it is returnable”, reflecting fact that court now sits continuously; P.A. 90-149 made provisions of section applicable in any “proposed or pending” civil action and exempted earnings, as defined in Sec. 52-350a(5), from a debt subject to garnishment; P.A. 97-132 added provision that remedy provided by section shall be available to any judgment creditor and status of defendant as elected or appointed official may not be defense.

See Secs. 52-335–52-337 re service of garnishee process.

See Sec. 52-361a re execution on wages after judgment.

The original act of 1726 limited this process to the case of nonresidents. In 1821 it was extended so as to embrace all absent or absconding debtors, and in 1843 it was made to apply to all debtors, present or absent. History of law of garnishment. 97 C. 394. This remedy is one to be favored. 20 C. 394. It will hold a judgment debt; 11 C. 171; property held as collateral security; 3 C. 182; an unadjusted claim on an insurance policy; 9 C. 433; 101 C. 335; 107 C. 554; liability insurance. 98 C. 452. A debt due by a negotiable instrument subject to be defeated by its negotiation to a bona fide purchaser; 3 C. 29; 21 C. 411; and goods held under a fraudulent conveyance; 1 R. 488; but not a future liability; 3 D. 440; 5 C. 122; 38 C. 293; nor a debt assigned to a third party, who gives reasonable notice to the garnishee of the assignment. 1 R. 157; 5 D. 488; Id., 538; 10 C. 446; 39 C. 27. A sheriff may be factorized for money collected on execution. 28 C. 111. Public and private corporations may be made garnishees. 20 C. 418–420; 9 C. 434. A public officer cannot be factorized for public money due to the defendant. 1 R. 551; 11 C. 127, 128. Mayor’s salary is not subject to garnishment for his private debts. 123 C. 390. A nonresident cannot be made a garnishee under this section. 25 C. 454; But a partnership, of which one member is a resident, can be. 32 C. 217. The garnishees should be described as severally or jointly indebted, as the case may be. 22 C. 258; 24 C. 426; But an inaccurate description is not necessarily fatal. 20 C. 393; 23 C. 301; 39 C. 315. If the attachment is not legally served, the garnishee cannot waive the defect. 40 C. 405. No valid attachment is made unless the copy is “attested” by the officer personally. 49 C. 249. Attachment held to secure an entire debt payable in installments. 50 C. 148. Whether plaintiff can garnish himself as a debtor of the defendant, quaere. 52 C. 172; 93 C. 296. A claim for a tort is not a “debt”. 52 C. 447. An equitable interest in the stock of a foreign corporation, pledged here, cannot be reached by foreign attachment. 53 C. 400. “Due” does not mean payable, but does imply an existing obligation. 54 C. 313; 101 C. 335; 107 C. 554. Widow’s allowance in hands of administrator is not attachable. 55 C. 118. Service upon an executor before the probate of the will is effectual to secure a legacy or distributive share. 67 C. 87. This process is not adapted to secure an interest in property to the possession and enjoyment of which the defendant may never succeed. 71 C. 156. Equitable interests not subject to, except by special statute; funds in hands of clerk of court. 80 C. 599. Debt is due when there is an existing obligation to pay, either at present or in future, and though amount not definitely ascertained. 89 C. 137; 120 C. 265; 129 C. 251. Where contract calls for payment when work done, partial payments before then give no greater right. 77 C. 630. Statutory steps must be followed. 88 C. 605. Meaning of “concealed”; tangible personal property in hands of lessee. 85 C. 67. Proceedings and effect where debt due to nonresident is attached. 72 C. 430; 79 C. 15; 90 C. 293; 107 C. 552. Right of foreign attachment available to nonresident to extent it results in discharge of garnishee from main creditor; denied where it results in double liability; effect of voluntary payment by garnishee in another jurisdiction. 111 C. 400. Priorities determined as of date of service. 85 C. 70; 89 C. 137. Wrongful garnishment does not affect validity of writ. 77 C. 347. Interpleader by garnishee. 74 C. 234; 85 C. 573; See note to Sec. 52-484. Garnishee who withholds money already assigned because of attempted attachment may be chargeable with interest. 82 C. 175. Future accruing income of trust fund not attachable. 90 C. 293. Garnishment of savings bank deposit holds interest thereafter accruing, even against assignee of deposit. 242 U.S. 357. Alimony not a “debt” within the statute. 93 C. 296; 102 C. 708. Money in custody of the law not attachable; bail in criminal case; limitation on rule suggested. 96 C. 356; 109 C. 319. Effect of garnishment; misdescription of defendant in writ harmless if neither garnishee or other creditors misled. 99 C. 674. Fire insurance company may be garnished immediately after fire, although debt is not payable till proofs of loss, etc., are filed. 101 C. 335; 107 C. 554. Property of one accused of crime, in hands of police as evidence, cannot be reached by foreign attachment. 109 C. 319. Where charter specifies six days for service on defendant of city court writ but silent as to garnishee, this statute applies. 113 C. 770. Where coming into existence of debt is dependent on happening of contingency, it is not due until contingency occurs. 120 C. 265; 129 C. 251. Before day rent payable under lease there is no debt subject to garnishment. 120 C. 265. Debt for which check or draft is outstanding is subject to garnishment; exception. 122 C. 166. Does not authorize garnishment of contents of safe deposit box as effects of defendant in hands of bank. 126 C. 169. Cited. 128 C. 544. Under certain life insurance, held that there was no debt to insured subject to garnishment. 129 C. 251. Cited. 145 C. 74. This section contemplates an uninterrupted possession by the garnishee of the res from the time of attachment to the time of demand on execution. 147 C. 561. Record did not show that property of nonresident defendant was reached or secured by garnishment; held there was no res over which the court had dominion which could give jurisdiction to enter an order. Id. In personam service of garnishment process on garnishee within Connecticut operates to seize any indebtedness owing from garnishee to defendant at time of garnishment, whether indebtedness arose from transaction within or without Connecticut or is payable within or without Connecticut. 153 C. 588. See note to Sec. 52-381. See Sec. 52-346 as to mortgages. Cited. 158 C. 22. Cited. 184 C. 85. Cited. 186 C. 329. Cited. 205 C. 604. Cited. 217 C. 507.

Notice of garnishment received prior to payment of check; proceeds of debt were subject to garnishment under the statute. 4 CA 319. Cited. 14 CA 515; Id., 579.

Cited. 9 CS 476. Cited. 16 CS 143. Cash surrender value of life insurance policy is subject to garnishment under this section notwithstanding a condition of the policy that the cash surrender value would not be paid except on written application made on blanks of the company. 10 CS 336. Judgment on scire facias cannot be rendered against an administrator before the time it becomes his duty to deliver to the legatee his share. Meaning of the word “due” as used in section. 11 CS 446; 21 CS 16. Mere statutory right of action by X against the defendant is not a debt due from the defendant until this right is exercised. Id. A plaintiff may be a garnishee of a debt he owes the defendant. Id., 357. Funds held by court clerk in his official capacity are not subject to garnishment. 27 CS 481. Neither state nor state officer, acting in his official capacity, can be made garnishees in absence of statutory authorization. Id., 482. Cited. 37 CS 877. Since commissions real estate salesperson receive are debts accruing by reason of personal service they are “earnings” under Sec. 52-350a(5) and are exempt from garnishment in a prejudgment remedy application. 50 CS 460.

Procedural rule in Connecticut for prejudgment garnishment of debtors’ bank account satisfies due process requirements. 6 Conn. Cir. Ct. 103, 106.

Sec. 52-330. Citing garnishee to disclose. The plaintiff may insert in the writ a direction to the garnishee, except if he is described as an executor, administrator or trustee in insolvency, in which case he shall not be so cited in, to appear before the court to which the process is returnable and there disclose on oath whether he has in his hands the goods or effects of the defendant, or is indebted to him; and, at any time during the pendency of a foreign attachment suit, any garnishee who might have been so cited in but was not may be cited by the court to appear before it, at a time appointed, to make such disclosure.

(1949 Rev., S. 8075.)

Citing administrator to disclose does not make writ invalid. 77 C. 349. Effect of disclosure. 107 C. 553.

Sec. 52-331. Disclosure by garnishee to officer. The officer serving process upon any person or corporation named as garnishee shall, at the time of service, make inquiry as to the amount then owed by such garnishee to the defendant in such action; and, if such garnishee thereupon discloses to such officer whether anything is then owed to such defendant, and if so how much, such officer shall then and there endorse such disclosure on such process as a part of his return thereon; and such disclosure shall excuse such garnishee from appearing, unless thereafter summoned as a witness, before the court to which such process is returnable, and such court may, without further proof, find the fact to be as shown by such disclosure.

(1949 Rev., S. 8076.)

Cited. 56 C. 435. Cited. 107 C. 550.

Motion to quash granted where officer who served writ of attachment of defendant’s bank accounts, failed to state this in his return. 6 Conn. Cir. Ct. 51.

Sec. 52-332. Corporation as garnishee; disclosure; nonappearance. If any corporation made a garnishee and cited in to disclose was not indebted to, and had no effects of, the defendant in its possession when the complaint was served upon it, it need not appear before the court to disclose, provided it shall cause the affidavit of its treasurer or its paymaster stating such fact to be filed in such court on the return day of the complaint. If such affidavit is so filed and the plaintiff brings a scire facias against such corporation upon a judgment rendered against the defendant in the complaint, and it is found on the trial that the corporation was not indebted to the defendant and that it did not have his effects in its possession at the time of the service of the complaint, judgment shall be for the corporation to recover its costs.

(1949 Rev., S. 8077.)

Cited. 6 Conn. Cir. Ct. 53.

Sec. 52-333. Liability of garnishee for not appearing. If any garnishee, cited in to disclose before a court held in a town other than that in which he resides, was not indebted to the defendant and had no effects of the defendant in his possession when the writ was served upon him, it shall be a sufficient excuse for his not appearing before such court if he files therein on the return day of the writ his affidavit stating such facts; but if any garnishee, when cited in to disclose, fails to appear without reasonable excuse or refuses to disclose on oath whether he has any effects of the defendant in his possession or is indebted to him, then, if the plaintiff brings a scire facias against him on a judgment recovered against the defendant in the suit, judgment shall be rendered against such garnishee personally for the costs accrued on the scire facias, though it appears that he had no effects of the debtor in his possession and was not indebted to him.

(1949 Rev., S. 8078.)

Return that garnishee “failed to disclose that he was indebted” will not prevent award of costs to him. 81 C. 622.

Sec. 52-334. Disclosure by garnishee. The court may examine upon oath any garnishee cited in to disclose as to whether, at the time of the service of the foreign attachment, he had effects of the defendant in his hands or was indebted to him, and may hear any other proper evidence respecting the same. If it appears that such garnishee had no effects of the defendant in his possession or was not indebted to him, he shall recover judgment for his costs; but, if it appears that such garnishee had in his possession effects of the defendant or was indebted to him, the court shall ascertain the amount, and the same shall, if the plaintiff recovers judgment and brings a scire facias against the garnishee, be prima facie evidence of the facts so found; but the defendant shall then have a right again to disclose on oath, and the parties may introduce any other proper testimony regarding such facts. If the plaintiff in such action by foreign attachment withdraws his suit or fails to recover judgment against the defendant, such garnishee shall be entitled to judgment for his costs.

(1949 Rev., S. 8079.)

A finding that the garnishee is not indebted, no bar to a scire facias. 26 C. 605. Motion in error does not lie for errors in taking disclosure. 27 C. 519. The finding upon a disclosure by the garnishee is not a judgment. 67 C. 258. Disclosure by garnishee is not a pleading; cannot be considered on plaintiff’s demurrer to principal defendant’s plea to the jurisdiction. 107 C. 553. Cited. 122 C. 171.

Sec. 52-335. Service of garnishee process on corporation. When any corporation, engaged in transacting business in any other town than that in which its secretary or clerk resides, is named as agent, trustee or debtor of the defendant, in any action commenced by process of foreign attachment, service may be made upon such corporation by some proper officer, by leaving a true and attested copy thereof, at least twelve days before the process is returnable, with, or at the usual place of abode of, its secretary or clerk, or any agent or clerk employed by such corporation to keep its accounts or pay its employees in the town where it transacts business and where any moneys, which may be owing to the defendant, are due and payable. When the plaintiff recovers judgment in any action so brought and obtains execution for the same, a demand by the officer serving such execution on, or at the usual place of abode of, the secretary, agent or clerk of such corporation with whom service was originally made, shall be a sufficient demand of such corporation.

(1949 Rev., S. 8080.)

“Resides” means official residence, or the town where the secretary or clerk performs his duties as such. 46 C. 322.

There is a difference in the methods of service on a corporation of process generally and service on a corporation in a garnishment proceeding. 9 CS 473.

Sec. 52-336. Service on disbursing agent or paymaster of garnishee. When any corporation having a disbursing agent or paymaster, with an office or place of business in this state, is named as garnishee, service may be made on it by leaving with such agent or paymaster, or at his office or place of business, or at his usual place of abode, an attested copy of the process in such action, at least twelve days before the return day thereof.

(1949 Rev., S. 8081.)

Cited. 9 CS 476.

Sec. 52-337. Service on bank or trust company as garnishee. Whenever a bank, savings bank, trust company or industrial bank is named as garnishee, process shall be served by leaving a copy thereof with any officer or teller at the garnishee’s principal office during its regular hours of business; provided, whenever a branch of any such bank or trust company which is located in a different town from the one in which the principal office of such bank or trust company is located is named as garnishee, process shall be served by leaving a copy thereof with any officer or teller at such branch during its regular hours of business.

(1949 Rev., S. 8082; 1951, S. 3201d.)

Sec. 52-337a. Garnishment of checking account. Section 52-337a is repealed.

(1963, P.A. 580; P.A. 76-401, S. 6, 7.)

Sec. 52-338. Service on nonresident garnishee. When the garnishee does not reside in this state, but is engaged in the transaction of business therein by an agent or agents, process may be served on such garnishee by leaving a true and attested copy thereof with such agent or agents.

(1949 Rev., S. 8083.)

What must appear to give court jurisdiction. 72 C. 433. Where served on judge of probate under section 52-61, must be directed against garnishee. 88 C. 607.

Sec. 52-339. Service on partnership garnishees. When a partnership, the business of which is transacted by one or more of the partners exclusively, or by an agent or agents, is named as garnishee, service may be made upon such partnership by leaving a true and attested copy of the process with, or at the usual place of abode of, the members of such partnership, or such acting partner or partners, agent or agents; and the plaintiff, at any time before final judgment in such suit, may amend such process, without costs, by inserting the names of the persons composing such partnership.

(1949 Rev., S. 8084.)

Sec. 52-340. Subrogation of factorizing creditor. In actions by foreign attachment, the plaintiff shall be entitled to all the security which his debtor had for the debt or property attached.

(1949 Rev., S. 8085.)

Equity will allow the creditor to maintain a bill for a disclosure and account, if necessary. 32 C. 240.

Sec. 52-341. Attachment of debt evidenced by negotiable note. When a debt evidenced by a negotiable promissory note has been attached by process of foreign attachment and the defendant has had actual notice thereof, he shall not negotiate or transfer such note during the continuance of the attachment lien; and, if he does so, he shall be guilty of fraud upon the attaching creditor, who, if he recovers judgment in his original suit, may, within one year after its rendition, institute a civil action against the defendant for such fraud; but the title of any bona fide purchaser of such note for valuable consideration, without notice and before maturity, shall not be affected by the provisions of this section.

(1949 Rev., S. 8086.)

Cited. 3 C. 29. Transfer held ineffectual to vacate attachment lien. 21 C. 411. Interpleader by garnishee against holder of note and attaching creditor. 74 C. 234.

Sec. 52-342. Presentation of debt by attaching creditor to decedent’s or insolvent estate. When any debt due or to become due any person from an estate of a deceased person in settlement as a solvent estate is attached, the attaching creditor may, within the time limited for presenting claims against such estate, present the debt by him so attached to the executor or administrator, which shall be a sufficient presentation thereof. When any debt due or to become due any person from the estate of a deceased person represented insolvent, or from the estate of an insolvent debtor, is attached, the attaching creditor may, within the time limited for the presentation of claims against such estate, present the debt by him so attached to the commissioners on such estate, and may appear and be heard in relation thereto, and shall have the same right of appeal as the defendant; but such presentation and proof of any debt by an attaching creditor shall inure to his benefit alone, and shall not prevent such debt from being barred as against the original owner thereof, if not presented by him.

(1949 Rev., S. 8087.)

Sec. 52-343. Death of garnishee pending attachment. If any executor, administrator or trustee, in whose hands any debt, legacy or distributive share has been so attached, dies or is removed pending the proceedings either on the original writ or on the scire facias, upon proper suggestion being made upon the record such proceedings may be continued against the survivor, or his successor in such trust, as the case may be, in the same manner as they might otherwise have been against the original garnishee or garnishees.

(1949 Rev., S. 8088.)

Sec. 52-344. Levy of execution as a discharge of garnishee. The taking of any effects or debt by judgment of law out of the hands of an agent, trustee or debtor of the owner thereof, by process of foreign attachment, shall forever discharge such garnishee.

(1949 Rev., S. 8089.)

A conditional note is a sufficient payment to protect garnishee, when. 2 D. 498. Prior demand on principal debtor not necessary for protection of garnishee. 20 C. 409. Payment treated as one made under statute, when. 28 C. 251. Refers solely to a discharge of the claim of the judgment debtor. 48 C. 412.

Sec. 52-345. Judgment debt attached. Stay of execution. If any judgment debt is taken by foreign attachment, the issue of the execution on such judgment, or its levy, if already issued, shall be stayed during the continuance of the lien of such attachment; and the time during which such stay is continued shall be excluded in computing the time within which such execution shall be levied in order to preserve any attachment lien created by or in the original suit.

(1949 Rev., S. 8090.)

Cited. 85 C. 578. Judgment debtor, garnisheed by several alleged creditors of original judgment creditor, is fully protected by this section; he may not bring interpleader action. 94 C. 194.

Cited. 10 CS 345.

Sec. 52-346. Garnishments of mortgages. The plaintiff in any civil action in which garnishee process is served upon any person in any way obligated or liable under any mortgage or lien upon real estate, garnisheeing a debt or any part thereof secured by such mortgage or lien, shall, on or before the return day of such process, cause to be filed, in the office of the town clerk in the town in which the real estate is situated, a certificate giving the names of the parties to the action, the time when and the court to which such process is returnable, the amount of damages claimed and a statement that the debt secured by such mortgage or lien has been garnisheed. The town clerk shall record such certificate and note the same on the page on which such mortgage or lien is recorded. If such plaintiff recovers judgment in such action for the debt sued upon or any part thereof, he may file for record, in the land records of the town where such mortgage or lien is recorded, a judgment lien upon such mortgage or lien within four months after the date of such judgment, and thereupon he shall be subrogated to the rights of his judgment debtor in such mortgage or lien to the amount due him upon such judgment, and the rights of such judgment creditor shall not be affected by any instrument not appearing of record prior to the time of filing the certificate hereinbefore described.

(1949 Rev., S. 8091.)

See note to section 47-10. Cited. 121 C. 269.