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Garnishment
*Please note that Court personnel are prohibited by law from giving legal advice. If you need assistance or advice, please see our Legal Aid and Links page here.

General Information
Garnishment is a method creditors use to enforce debts when a debtor refuses to pay. A common example of garnishment is in civil litigation where a person or company sues another person and obtains a money judgment against that person, specifying an amount owed. The lawsuit winner may use garnishment as a way to get the money from the person who lost by garnishing the debtor's wages or other assets. 

Before a garnishment case can be filed, the judgment must be docketed in the Loudoun County Circuit Court Clerk's office for a period of 21 days. Once judgment has been recorded in the Clerk’s office of the Circuit Court of Loudoun County, an instrument number will be designated to identify the judgment. The date of the original judgment and the instrument number assigned at the time of recording must be provided on the garnishment Suggestion Form, regardless of whether a judgment is domestic or foreign. 

Documents Required for Filing a Garnishment 
  • Cover Sheet CC-1416 
  • Suggestion Form CC-1485 (Be sure to include original signature of filing party & date at bottom)
    • You must check one of the boxes following "This is a garnishment against..."
  • Original (front & back) of the Garnishment Summons Form. CC-1486
    • You must check one of the boxes following "This is a garnishment against..."
    • Please complete debtor & garnishee info on reverse
  • Original (front & back) of the Exemption Claim Form. DC-454
    • Please complete court, creditor, debtor & garnishee info
  • Original (front and back) of Loudoun County Garnishee Answer Form 
    • Please complete returns date, creditor, debtor & garnishee info
  • A business size envelope, pre-addressed to the Debtor, returnable to the Creditor, with 1st class postage.
  • To print forms without shading, please use the "Print" button in the document. 

All garnishment transactions must include the Defendant’s social security number. Otherwise, a certification by the judgment creditor, his agent or attorney, that he/she made a diligent good faith effort to secure the social security number of the judgment debtor and has been unable to do so must be stated on the Suggestion for Summons in Garnishment. 

Return Date (Hearing Date) 
The return (court) date for the hearing should run no more than 90 days from the date of filing, except in the instance of a wage garnishment no more than 180 days beyond the filing date (§ 8.01 514). Returns are heard on Circuit Court Motion’s Day docket every first Friday of each month at 2:00 p.m. The return date and time must be written in the “Hearing Date and Time” box on the left side of the Summons form, and on the Garnishee Answer Form.

Note: As stated in the "Notice to the Garnishee" and "Notice to Judgment Creditor", answers and any funds must be received before the return date. No funds will be accepted after the return date. On the Return (Court) Date the Judgment Creditor's attorney or the pro-se litigant submits a prepared order for entry by the Court. Garnishment funds collected by the clerk are only disbursed pursuant to a court order.

Filing Fees and Service Fees 
See the Civil Filing Fee Calculation for garnishments. Along with the garnishment filing fee also include the fee for a Writ of FiFa. Fees must be paid by cash, certified check, money order or personal check (no starter checks will be accepted) made payable to Clerk of Circuit Court. 

Service Fees
The filing party must advise the Clerk/Deputy Clerk of the method of service chosen for the summons on the Debtor and Garnishee. Also note what jurisdictions services are to be affected, and of any known live executions. 

The Debtor and Garnishee may be served by different methods. 
  • By a sheriff
    • Service address (es) must be in Virginia
    • Include full street address for each party to be served, and jurisdiction service is to be effected.
    • Sheriff’s service fee for a garnishment is normally $24.00 per service. If serving the normal documents to both debtor and garnishee through the sheriff include $48.00 in service fees.
    • Any additional documents (not listed in the required paperwork above) being served via the sheriff enclose two copies of the document and an additional $12.00 per document, per service. (The Summons and Writ of FiFa on form CC 1486 are considered separate documents/services (§ 17.1-272).)
    • Include Sheriff’s fees in the filing fee made to the Clerk of Circuit Court.
  • By Private Process Server
    • A Service fee is not collected for private process service.
    • Service address may be in-state or out-of-state.
    • Process Server must file a “return of service” in the court file prior to return date.
    • Provide a phone number for the Clerk to use to notify the Attorney, Pro-se litigant or PPS when the garnishment summons is ready for pick-up at the Clerk’s Office.
  • By Secretary of the Commonwealth (out-of-state service)
    • A separate $28.00 check made payable to the “Secretary of the Commonwealth”
    • One envelope addressed to the person/business being served, returnable to the plaintiff
    • Certified Mail green card pre-addressed, (USPS #3811).
    • Original + one copy of Affidavit for Service of Process (form CC-1418) completed in full with filing party’s original notarized signature and Notary Public’s embossed seal. (Documents sent out-of-state by SOTC must display an embossed notary seal.)
  • By Certified Mailing (service is mailed out-of-state to Debtor or Garnishee)
    • One each USPS Cards (#3800 and #3811) with complete addresses
    • One business-size envelope, pre-addressed to the Debtor with pre-paid certified postage.

Service of Joint Account Holders 
To request service of a joint account holder(s), he/she may provide a written request of service along with proper notice, see § 6.1-125.3 D. The filing party must advise the Clerk/Deputy Clerk of the method of service chosen for the summons on the joint account holder(s) and include the appropriate fees. 

Include the following documents per service requested: 

  • Two copies of the original Garnishment Summons that was served on the debtor.
  • Two copies of the original Exemption Claims form that was served on the debtor.
  • Four copies of required joint account holder notice, § 6.1-125.3 D
  • One business-size envelope, pre-addressed to the Debtor with pre-paid first class postage.
  • One business-size envelope, pre-addressed to the Garnishee with pre-paid first class postage.

General Filing Information 
  • Judgments from other Virginia courts are assessed a docketing fee of $10.00 when a judgment abstract is recorded. The fee for docketing a foreign (from another state) judgment is $25.00. The docketing package must include an abstract under triple seal with a notarized affidavit stating the debtors’ last known address.
  • If there is more than one garnishee or debtor, a separate case must be filed for each garnishee or each debtor.
  • Full addresses must be provided on the Summons form for Debtor and the Garnishee since this document is served.
  • Full address and phone contact for the creditor’s attorney must be provided on the Suggestion form.
  • Each garnishment is a new civil action; please do not assign a previous law action number to any of the garnishment forms.
  • All garnishment forms must be printed legibly in black ink or typed. The Supreme Court website offers fill-in forms upon their website.
  • Please note the court cannot accept documents with shaded fields, make sure to print your completed forms without shading. To print forms without shading, please use the "Print" button in the document.
  • For any filing questions please contact the Clerk’s office at 703-771-5644. Garnishments may be filed at the Clerk’s Office during normal business hours or by correspondence.

Contact UsKimberly Walker
Civil Division Manager

Robert Sproul
Civil Division Supervisor


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